(Photo courtesy The Pattern Shop Studio ©)
The Pattern Shop Studio is located in the heart of the River North Arts District (RiNo) which is also one of Denver’s oldest industrial neighborhoods. The North Downtown district has recently transformed into an art enthusiasts dream: chock-full of craft shops, galleries, graphic design firms, upscale lofts, and artist studios. The Pattern Shop Studio is just one of many unique converted buildingsand was once the site of The Pattern Shop at Silver Engineering Works which manufactured processing equipment for the sugar beet industry from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. The Pattern Shop housed the woodworkers who created wooden patterns of machine parts to be converted to iron and steel in the foundry next door.
Sharon and Rex Brown purchased the building in 1991 and worked with architect David Owen Tryba to transform it into a remarkable gallery space and home. This unique atmosphere gives the phrase “artist in residence” new meaning. Sharon and Rex are also both contributing members of RiNo and regularly participate in events and openings.
(Photo by Allison Michl ©)
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Sharon and discuss the closing of her most recent exhibition, Creators which closes Friday December 4th and is a must see for all First Friday guests. Creators is a collection of black and white oil portraits of artists that Sharon knows, loves, and has chosen to immortalize through her art.
Enjoy the interview with Sharon below and don’t forget to add The Pattern Shop to your list of places to stop this coming First Friday. The closing reception for Creators will be held on Friday, December 4 from 6 - 9 p.m.
Sharon in her studio. (courtesy Allison Michl ©)
Sharon Brown Interview
Do you remember when art first entered your life? Do you have artistic people in your family?
SB: Art first entered my life when I could hold a crayon, I’ve been an artist ever since I can remember. Art has always been my passion and I have a number of artists in the family, Aunts especially, and I have two cousins who are artists in New York.
Everyone has a reason for choosing the medium they work in. Was there are reason for using oil paints, especially with this exhibition?
SB: I really have worked in a number of media…I really started out as a girl with crayons, with drawing. I love the simplicity that a pencil and paper is all you really need as equipment. And I grew up with watercolor as kind of the cheap child’s kind of paint. I graduated to oil probably when I was in college and, honestly, it’s a medium unlike any other. It has so much flexibility…so many buttery qualities that you can get with it…I’m a devotee of oil.
Do you feel that choice helped with these portraits?
SB: Well since it’s my primary medium it was certainly a familiar one. And with the black and white it was extremely simple since I had ivory, black, and white…essentially the only colors I had to deal with.
What drew you to represent other artists with this particular body of work?
SB: The whole body of work started when I painted a portrait of my sister as a teenager, and the reason I did that…my sister died of breast cancer a couple of years ago and she is often in many of paintings actually, and any time I’ve painted her it’s been sort of an inspiration, a leaping off point. And I just thought, you know, of all populations the whole concept of being a creator, an art creator, I thought was a compelling body of people to work on, to paint. Although, I’m finding that the definition of “creator” really has breadth and in fact I think I’m going to be folding in some authors and some musicians into this group because there aren’t many people who aren’t creators.
This interview will coincide with the closing of your exhibition so I think it’s important to discuss how much you think about the future of your work, and your future in general. What’s next for you?
SB: In the Spring this series, or part of this series, will be in Jimmy’s studio at the project space (Sellars Project Space). I am going to continue this, for a while…so that it can be a larger body of work. Ideally, what I’d like to do, is sell this body of work as a body so that there’s a sense of artists of Colorado and artists of Denver for that matter.
You mentioned you were going to work in authors and musicians…
SB: I have authors and musicians and, in fact, a Judge. I mean, really, you can expand that definition of “creators” very easily…and it’s been wonderful living with these because theses are all my pals. So it’s sort of like a party, I can be around people I love and I’m sure I’ll continue to add artists to the list.
Read the complete interview at Pixel Picnic….