We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Hart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, why did you pursue a creative career? You can say that I’ve taken a long, circuitous path towards fully realizing and acknowledging myself as an artist. First I worked with a cultural exchange program in the former USSR – traveling with an exhibit on “Photography USA”. After that I worked mostly for 20 years in the field of early childhood special education, helping family support groups get grants, etc. I was not working as an official “artist” but there was a lot of creativity involved in developing training programs and interagency collaboration. And I doodled thru many many meetings. It wasn’t until later in life that I felt free to identify myself as an “Artist”. There’s a small town in southern Colorado – La Veta. While living there I became part of a lovely small town mix of ranchers, old hippies and artists. Everyone was a musician, an actor or a visual artist. The La Veta School of the Arts, led by Peggy Zehring not only taught abstract art but t’ai chi in the park every Saturday. We appreciated and encouraging each other’s growth. When I moved back to my home town, Denver, I wanted to find a similar community of artists. I also needed affordable studio space. Thanks to Craigslist (!) I responded to an ad for a studio upstairs from Denver Art Society, in the Santa Fe Arts District. in 2013. I’ve been there ever since (except for a 6 month blip) because this art coop is what living as an artist is all about- artists supporting each other intellectually, and creatively.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally? I describe myself as an abstract painter. My strongest influences have been Wassili Kandinsky, Marc Chagall and Hillary Af Klimt. I love color. So I would describe myself as a neo-colorist if that’s a word. Acrylics and watercolors are my favorite. For many years I painted “music”. Pure abstract and gestural. I started teaching same to classes at Denver Art Society and in the community. It was a great way for people to learn about abstract expressionism, and enjoy meeting random others who were interested in creating. I am happiest when different parts of my life converge – like teaching and art. Last month I taught basic water color painting to 20 people with Down syndrome – on Zoom! It was really fun but I had to let go of control and let the creativity flow. Lately I’ve been painting my dreams, or my memory of them. This means my paintings are less abstract and more a set of personal hieroglyphics.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Day 1 – rest and get used to Denver altitude. Stroll the Highline Canal near my house. Cook dinner together. Day 2 – Go to Lookout Mountain, west of Denver, Hike. Enjoy the view. Eat in Golden.
Day 3 – Go to Denver Art Society, Denver Art Museum, Eat at the Art Hotel
Day 4 – Go to Barr Lake North east of Denver. Look for eagles. Picnic.
Day 5 – Stay home and make art and good food
Day 6 – Go to Glenwood Springs, Soak in the hot water and enjoy vapor caves
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 dedicate this story to artist members of the Denver Art Society, and especially the two founders – Sean McGowan and Iskõn RaWa (formerly Russell Takeall). Thanks for creating a safe community space with art accessible to all.
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