Adolfo Romero · Colorado art · Public Art · Uncategorized

The Path of the Buffalo

Through the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, local artists hold open studio hours with Museum guests and use them as an inspiration to create a piece of artwork that is displayed in the Museum. This has taken on many forms, with each artist adding their own twist on what it means.

But never before have we had an artist who incorporated a piece from every child who visited open studio hours – until now.

During his residency, Adolfo Romero created mosaic tiles with Museum guests. And The Path of the Buffalo used every single one of them.

“The buffalo followed the stars, and the people followed the buffalo.”
-Nick Estes

“We don’t make it easy on the artists, and this execution took weeks,” said Director of Exhibits, Chris Van Dyken, “But Adolfo had such a strong vision for the piece, and a passion for what he does. It came through clearly in the artwork.”

A tribute to the wisdom of indigenous people who followed the buffalo during seasonal changes, the piece takes on the form of a hopscotch and evokes the path of the star. For Adolfo, it was important to include a little something from every child; “This is such a powerful piece, and it is full of energy from the children.”

Salim Khoury, Art Programs Coordinator and a fellow clay aficionado, felt a special connection to this residency, “The ceramic process is very humbling and natural. It fit the theme of acknowledging the wisdom and importance of indigenous people.”

The Path of the Buffalo lives in Joy Park, sparking imagination and wonder in all who see it. To learn more about Adolfo and his time at the Museum, check out this article by the Westword.

Colorado art · The Art Studio · Uncategorized

Color Play

On March 22, we said goodbye to artist-in-residence, Julia Rymer. Throughout her residency, Julia encouraged us to not only see colors, but feel them. Her piece, made just for the Museum, is a series of 8 paintings that explores color relationships; Primary, Secondary, Warm, Cool, Monochromatic, Analogous, Earth Tones and Complementary.

Color Play hangs in The Art Studio to remind us all that color is more than what you see. Thank you, Julia, for a beautiful, vibrant and of course, colorful, residency!

Color Play by Julia Rymer

What if?

Art is not meant to be limiting, but sometimes, that’s exactly what it is. A piece didn’t turn out how you planned, so you scrap it. Maybe you start over. Maybe you stop trying.

But what if we gave up our preconceived notion of what art was supposed to be? What if we focused on creating something that represented how we felt in that particular moment, and simply accepted it for what it was?

Enter artist-in-residence Julia Rymer; abstract painter, entrepreneur and mother of two. While studying abroad in the south of France, she decided to cease creating works that mirrored the world around her, and shifted her focus to painting how the landscapes made her feel.

“Each piece is an individual conversation between nature and my emotional experience with it,” explains Julia.

Julia in her studio

As a seasoned art educator, Julia hopes to share not only her knowledge of technique, but create a space where children can discover the connection between color and emotion for themselves through a program she has developed over the years – Color Play.

“Color Play is really about kids exploring materials and noticing how what they are working with – be it a specific paint color or material – makes them feel.”

During her open studio hours, Julia invites conversation with young creators about their artistic choices. “It is a process of discovery,” she explains, “Of colors or of materials they respond to, or forms that express their feelings.”

Open studio hours at the Children’s Museum

Julia is with us through March. Check out her open studio hours here.


Winter Blooms

Artist-in-Residence Tiffany Matheson and Museum guests are taking over The Art Studio with these beautiful blooms!

Join Tiffany during her open studio hours, most Fridays and Saturdays through December, to create your own 3D flower to take home or contribute to the massive flowering tree that is living in the Artist-in-Residence Studio.

Fun fact: When Tiffany went back to school after working in international business for 6 years, she took her first art class instead of a physics lab. And now she is a professional artist!

Want to learn more about Tiffany? Check out her interview with Colorado Parent.

Frankie Toan · Uncategorized

Meet Burt

On September 29, we unveiled the newest addition to The Art Studio, Burt, created by summer artist-in-residence, Frankie Toan.

True to Frankie’s wild and whimsical style, this vibrant piece is designed to be playful and interactive. Using recycled fabrics, Museum guests contributed unique patchworks that were photographed and printed to create Burt’s “skin.” Kiddos and grown-ups can arrange the pieces however they like on the Velcro wall to form a new and fantastic body collage.


Burt, by Frankie Toan


Frankie Toan · The Art Studio

Touch, Don’t Look

In a world where viewing art can often feel pretentious and laden with rules, it’s refreshing to see art that is warm, vibrant and oh-so touchable; begging to be experienced rather than simply seen.

“When I was in second grade, I threw a tantrum because you can’t touch anything in museums,” recalls Frankie Toan, summer artist-in-residence at the Children’s Museum. Perhaps a little foreshadowing of things to come…

Inspiration for his wacky sculptures comes from all kinds of places; science fiction novels, the human body, or even a stroll through Goodwill. This is evident in his abstract, colorful pieces; each one equal parts whimsical and thought-provoking.

Frankie’s art

Art is in Frankie’s blood. Both of Frankie’s parents were artists, and they encouraged exploration and expression early on.

“I often skipped class to hang out in the art room. One time, I even took the rat I was supposed to be training in science to the art room to draw it! When I was looking at colleges, I knew art was something I wanted to explore further.”

College changed everything for Frankie. Mostly a 2-D artist up to that point, the School of the Art Institute in Chicago opened his eyes to other possibilities, and he became passionate about wood, fiber and metal sculpture, with his focus eventually narrowing to fiber, “I have always loved knitting and sewing – I just couldn’t stay away any longer!”

So why the Children’s Museum?

“Play is a huge part of my work, and what better place to play than the Children’s Museum?”

We couldn’t agree more. During Frankie’s studio hours, guests can experiment with sewing, fabrics and fibers. Letting your imagination run wild is highly encouraged.

Studio hours are most Fridays and Saturdays through September from 11 am – 2 pm. Get the full schedule here.

Frankie’s open studio hours


Call for applicants

Now accepting applications for our
2019 Artist-in-Residence Program

Video: Hear what program alums have to say about this one-of-a-kind opportunity

Program Overview

2019 marks the fourth year of the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Children’s Museum. This program provides an opportunity for families to observe and create with professional artists through open studio hours. And, with the help of Museum guests, artists design a custom piece for the Museum. Learn more.

The Artist-in-Residence Program is open to professional artists working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, clay, textiles, illustration and digital media.

Now accepting applications! Deadline for submission is October 19, 2018. Request for Proposal and application here.


Salim Khoury