Art Gym Denver is proud to present Vacant Spaces in the Common Space Gallery with an opening reception July 12 from 5 – 8PM. Vacant Spaces brings together Virginia Diaz Saiki’s intricate etchings and block prints with the gritty beauty of James Green’s dye on raw canvas.
Virginia Diaz Saiki will show work from her series My Neighborhood. The etchings and block prints grew out of her nostalgia for Denver during its rapid transformation. She records the change and movement she sees as she walks through the city. “It’s important for me to catch the contrast between the old and the new,” she says. “I know some of these houses won’t last very long. So, I’m creating a record that they were there.”
Diaz Saiki studied culinary arts in Peru before moving to Miami to study art. Her parents, believing the social scene in Miami was interfering with her studies, enrolled her in the BFA program at the University of South Dakota. There she studied under Lloyd Menard and fell in love with printmaking. She was working on an MFA at Louisiana State University when Hurricane Katrina cut her program short. She crammed everything she had into a minivan and moved to her brother’s in Denver.
Today, in addition to her own prints, Diaz Saiki manages Dark Horse Press, the studio of Western artist Duke Beardsley, and produces his prints. On July 13, 4 – 6PM, Virginia will give a demonstration called Inking: Intaglio vs Relief, where she will demonstrate tips and skills she has learned in her vast experience printing in both mediums.
While visiting the MONA in Tasmania, James Green was struck by a wall-sized piece of art created using dye on canvas. He’s been experimenting since, developing and perfecting his own technique. “There’s a bit of the unexpected every time,” he says.
Green, who has worked in oils and acrylics in the past, was searching for something different. “I enjoy the vibrance I get out of some of these dyes and color combinations…It’s completely different than what I’ve done before. I don’t know anyone else who’s doing this.”
An attorney by training, Green practiced law in Denver and New Jersey for 46 years. When he was able to break away from the intensity of his law practice, he used art to balance his work life. Limited space in his basement led him to Art Gym Denver, where he has the space and light he needs for his unique technique.