Ask me about: “Red sauce.”
Vickie is a long-time Colorado resident who has made her living as a graphic designer. As a life-long artist, Vickie is passionate about enabling artists to create. In 2011, she was given the opportunity to establish an affordable, community-oriented art making space to support emerging and seasoned artists. After a few years of planning and major renovations to an old Safeway building in Denver’s Mayfair neighborhood, Art Gym opened in 2015.
As a graphic designer, Vickie spent more than 40 years telling the stories of many businesses, non-profits, and colleges/universities. Now, she is making her own art at Art Gym, exploring lithography, artist’s books, figure studies, and most recently metalsmithing/lapidary. Lapidary, she says, opened her world to the great color and wonderful randomness of rocks. Their story is the one she is now telling.
Director, Makers Kitchen and Art Gym Café
Ask me about: “Jeep club, how to hit a target with a bow and arrow, food hacks for backpacking trips and how to keep the cleanest kitchen in town.”
Norman moved to Colorado from Boston, MA, in 1995 and joined Art Gym in 2015. He describes himself as a collector of stories, and as director of the Makers Kitchen and Café he makes it possible for stories to be created through the medium of culinary arts. A passionate photographer and videographer, he believes that, like great food, there are great photographs waiting to be found in everyone, every day. In the kitchen, as in photography, it takes tenacity mixed with artistic vision to be successful, and the creativity found there is sustained through healthy ingredients, skilled technique, and locally roasted coffees. Norman’s hobbies are hiking, jeep-hiking, backpacking, camping, coffee and, of course, healthy good food!
Ask me about: “Lithography, kayaking or my art pin collection.”
Greg moved to Denver on New Year’s Eve, 2015 after a lifetime in New York City, where he kayaked the Hudson River and received two degrees and one certificate in printmaking. Soon after arriving, he joined Art Gym as Director of Printmaking and spent many months designing and equipping the printmaking workspace. Greg describes his art an outlet to explore emotional and physical relationships, as well as the relationships between memories and locations. As a space to create, he says Art Gym offers “the exact combination of affordability and varied print process accessibility” that a printmaker needs. Among his artistic influences he includes Joseph Albers, Jennifer Bartlett, Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Ellsworth Kelly, and Peter Halley.
Ask me about: “Abstract painting, how to dye Ikat fabric, and where to find amazing shoes.”
Born and raised in Germany, Elke has lived in Spain, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and New York, but for the past 20 years has happily made her home in Colorado. Elke began her career as a fabric designer in Germany and Spain. She then moved to Hong Kong where she worked as a designer and sales manager for a major European import company and later as merchandise manager for May Department Stores. While in Asia, she also learned the art of designing, dyeing and weaving kimonos in Japan and was trained in traditional Thai textile design in Thailand.
After some years in New York, Elke has since made her home in Colorado. She discovered her passion for curating after participating in a group show at 910arts gallery, then curating shows for that same gallery. She enjoyed helping other artists show their work so much that she formed her own company, Art D’Elke, with marketing expert Denise Robert, and began producing art shows and sales in galleries, artists’ studios and other venues throughout Colorado. Elke continues to pursue her passion to help artists show their work at its best by curating monthly exhibitions at Art Gym that showcase artists from Colorado and all over the country. She also continues to use her background as a designer to create vibrant abstract paintings.
Ask me about: “The very first gallery exhibit I installed at a gallery in Kansas City. I was terrified, due to the nature of the art, but it helped set my career path!”
Tyler was appointed Membership Director in January 2017. He received a BA in Art History from Colorado State University and brings to Art Gym an extensive background in the arts and arts administration, having worked at the Art Students League of Denver for 17 years as a Membership Coordinator, Gallery Coordinator, Program Coordinator, and finally as Director of Operations. Tyler is excited to be part of helping Art Gym grow. “I believe Art Gym is an important resource that is greatly needed in Denver and I feel lucky to be part of the team that will continue to build upon this resource and help facilitate artists reach their potential.” Anytime you need assistance or have questions, feel free to reach out and give him a call, e-mail, or stop by his desk. He is happy to assist in any way he can!
Metalsmith & Lapidary Steward
Ask me about: “The moment I began to understand design…”
Randy Burns discovered metalsmithing in high school. Since then, he has practiced his craft in Japan, Europe, and in several states in the U.S, including Oregon where he ran his own jewelry business while studying for an MFA. He directed the Jewelry & Metals program at Arapahoe Community College for over 20 years, and has been Art Gym’s area steward after recently retiring from ACC. Randy describes Art Gym as a non-competitive, non-threatening environment that is a welcoming space to create in outside of his home studio. Each piece he designs combines personal artistic expression with all the technical and practical requirements of the gold and silversmith’s craft. His work can be found at Culture Clash Gallery in Salida, CO, and at Art Gym. He has also participated in many group shows with the Colorado Metalsmithing Association.
Digital Lab Steward
Ask me about: “Ask me about my 95-pound Guppy and her white dragon brother, ‘Adventure Time,’ what I’m growing in my garden, and coffee, coffee, coffee and all the best places!”
Lesley is a Colorado native who started her college education in Denver at Metropolitan State University, moved up to CU Boulder, and eventually graduated from UC Denver with a double major in Art History and Communications, with a minor in Fine Art. She then worked for eight years in Tech Support and as a Quality Assurance Engineer for Quark Inc., before returning to school to earn an AS degree in Graphic Art from the Community College of Denver, and also a certificate degree in Animation from Red Rocks Community College. She sees computers as tools that are always asking us to learn more. As an artist and Art Gym’s Digital Lab Steward, she loves to help people push their boundaries and create unexpected and wonderful projects. Or, more simply, update their resume or CV. Like many Denverites, she will once again attempt a garden this year: “I am switching things up a bit and will try to grow a pumpkin in my front yard. Fingers crossed!”
Front Desk and Night Steward
Front Desk and Night Steward
Ask me about: “Sculpture, drag queens, and my visions of the apocalypse!”
Louis Trujillo is a Colorado based artist who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His main focus is the creation of sculptures that hang on walls and suspend from ceilings. His artwork explores themes that include the sublime, spirituality, and psychoanalysis. His current work focuses on the creation of large scale installations made of polymer clay painted with acrylic. Smaller elements come together to create larger entities that flow through the air with shadows that dance on the walls. The metamorphosis and the evolution of every element in the universe is the underlying influence. He is currently a member of Sync Gallery where his artwork is on display year round. Sync Gallery is located in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe in Colorado.
Front Desk and Night Steward
Ask me about: “Printmaking, politics, queer theory, aliens, and where to get the best waffles in Denver!”
Matthew Swisher is a Denver-based artist from the Bay Area, CA. He became a Colorado transplant when moving to attend the University of Denver, where he received his BFA in 2015. Since then, he has worked at multiple Fine Art printmaking facilities including Oehme Graphics (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Open Press (Denver, CO). In addition to his day job at community-focused Denver art studio Art Gym, Matthew also spends time as an Artist’s Assistant for local contemporary artists and fills in to help galleries with installation and event support. Though his primary medium is printmaking, Matthew enjoys jumping between various mediums including encaustic, painting, photography, installation, and performance. Matthew has so far shown in Colorado, NYC, Minnesota, and Wyoming, and looks forward to showing in other locations soon!
Ask me about: “Metalsmithing and occult studies“
Jessie Lycan is a Denver, CO based metalsmith, lapidary artist, and werewolf. Stemming from her love & fascination of ancient civilizations & cultures, mythology, mysticism, folklore & forces beyond the physical, she creates psychological alchemy through the fabrication & use of earth based stones & metal. “There’s a story & specific intention behind every piece I make. A part of my soul is set with each stone & solder. At times I pause to dance, sing, and sometimes even cry over my work, as a design comes to fruition. My greatest hope for my jewelry is that each piece brings its wearer the sense of empowerment & protection I felt when creating it.”