We had the good fortune of connecting with Corbett Kesler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Corbett, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
The end goal for myself is to be a full time artist that gives back to my community by supporting various special needs populations. Currently I am a special needs teacher and a part time artist, I would like to reverse the two roles. I have been teaching special needs for the last 10 years and I just don’t think I could ever give that up entirely. These kids will always hold a special place in my heart. By the end of my career I would like to be creating larger pieces that really stretch my limits and to push me to a higher level. I am currently constricted by time and a work life balance. I envision a time where I can walk into the studio and create all day long and then not have to work during “off times” and weekends.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think of my work as artfully re-purposing a previous life; celebrating and honoring animals and a culture long forgotten. While I use a variety of materials and processes in each project, my methodology is consistent. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work. My arrangements and organizational placements are a reflection on my inner and external personality, I rely on symmetry to reflect beauty. My work so far reflects a small tribal culture with my own spin on the beauty of bead work. Each piece of work averages 12,000 – 60,000 hand placed beads. The uncompromising desire to reflect beauty in each piece drives each bead placement. I got to where I am at currently within my art, by continually evolving and expanding my designs and color combinations. I have learned to spend extra time designing the overall pattern and color ways. This extra time is reflected in some of my best work, some of my larger pieces have over 100 hours in the entire process. I would like the world to see and appreciate the time, patience, and thought each piece receives.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend visiting I would have them visit during the fall. Fall in Denver is the best, obviously not during a COVID-19 pandemic, there are so many outdoor activities and things to do in and out of the city. Denver- We would work out most days either at Crossfit Verve (RiNo area), bike on the Cherry Creek Trail, a run around Sloan’s Lake, or 10th Planet BJJ Denver. Then for coffee and breakfast would be Rivers and Roads coffee shop in the Coal area, or Central Market on Larimer (RiNo). Mural walks would be a must around RiNo. Dinner would be a mixture of high end and medium priced spots. Super Mega Bien, Hop Ally, Guard and Grace, Torchy’s, Post Oak BBQ, West End, King of Wings, and a must is Billy’s Inn. For drinks, my go to would be Tatarian on Tennyson St., Death and Co, and Finn’s Manor in RiNo. Then we would go to Crested Butte or Breckenridge, depending on how much time we had. Both places have great art, food, and outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hiking.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have two people that I would like to give credit too, my beautiful wife and the Cherry Creek Arts festival organization. I have always been creative but never considered myself an “artist”. I met my wife 4 years ago, and during the early stages of our relationship I made her a beaded skull as a gift. She encouraged me to do more with my beaded creations and really pushed me to be a better artist. A fellow teacher and artist encouraged me to enter the Cherry Creek Arts Festival two years ago. I did not want to and did not think my art warranted “art show” material. Thankfully I followed through with the entry and got accepted to show. Cherry Creek Arts Festival receives close to 3000 applications each year from all over the country and they usually accept 250 or so applicants. The first year I was accepted I sold everything I brought to the show. Cherry Creek Arts Festival has been very supportive to myself as a new artist. This will be my second time to be in the show and I will continue to support them as long as I can. I finally felt like I was an artist after being fully embraced within the art community. Thank you Ali Kesler and Cherry Creek Arts Festival for always supporting me.
Wade Godman @wadegodman