El Corazón

On July 19, we said goodbye to our spring/summer artist-in-residence, Armando Silva. Beloved for his musical action painting performances, Armando had a knack for reaching even the quietest child and encouraging all to look at art, and themselves, in a whole new way.

And while our guests learned so much from Armando, it appears he gained just as much from his time with them. At his closing reception, Armando read a poem inspired by his residency at the Children’s Museum, all about discovering his inner child.

I contain the mastery of my inner child en mi corazón.

Each day, I am more and more my mother’s treasure and my dad’s pride.

I have siblings I play with and a bike I love to ride.

I’ve worn my favorite shirt four days in a row,

and picked the scab on my knee twice this week.

I see the world but don’t acknowledge it.

I mean, that tree grows so that I can climb it right?

I climb to climb and don’t worry about coming down.

I’m here to play, I’m here to draw and I’m here to paint.


And that hill over there, I’m going to roll down it as fast as I can!

I’ll turn that towel into a cape and save the dog from being inside all day!

I’m now 30 years of age and I am excited to say…

I contain the mastery of my inner child and that child wants to play.

-Armando Silva, ARTMANDO

El Corazón
A metamorphosis
by Armando Silva, 2017 spring/summer artist-in-residence



Class of 2017 Artists-in-Residence

After reviewing dozens of applications submitted by talented local artists, the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus is pleased to announce the our Class of 2017 Artists-in-Residence:

Kia Neill – Winter Session

Armando Silva – Spring Session

Betony Coons – Summer Session

George Perez- Fall Session

Kia Neill

Kia Neill is a multidisciplinary artist working in mixed media drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.  A Chicago native, Neill received her MFA from The University of California, San Diego. She relocated to Denver, CO in 2014 after repeated visits as a Guest Artist in the Breckenridge Arts District (now BreckCreate) to explore her deep attraction to the mountain landscape, which heavily influences her work.

Armando Silva

Armando Silva was born in Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Mexico. His family moved to the Northern Colorado area in search of the American Dream when he was just five. Armando quickly became familiar with pop culture in America; everything from Michael Jackson to current cartoons.  In 2010 he received his BA in Fine Arts from The University of Northern Colorado. Since graduating, Armando has used his artistic platform to pursue his passion and purpose. He believes he has a responsibility within the community to lead, educate and give back. Armando paints portraits to help tell stories, sometimes in his studio or on stages in front of thousands. As a creative, Armando looks for opportunities to paint a bigger picture. His intuition is to find the greens in a red rose and the blues in an orange.

Betony Coons

Betony Coons was unschooled in rural Kansas on an apple orchard. Her parents highly valued abundant play and gave all five children the time to explore and follow their curiosity. Those same values have stayed with Betony through adulthood. As a mother of three, Betony is constantly moved by the beauty and wonder of childhood. This is reflected in her wild and whimsical paintings and murals. Betony’s paintings are large, iconic images holding frenetic energy and bold color within the collage elements and acrylic paint. Her pieces explore home, struggle and love.

George Perez

George Perez is an artist that creates photographic works through impractical techniques such as long exposure, digital screen shot appropriation, and/or scanography. He received a BFA (Cum Laude) in 2014 from the University of Colorado, Boulder and has also served as artist-in-residence at Redline in Denver. Perez’s work is based on the banal or mundane environments he interacts with on a day-to-day basis and his interpretation of present day society, either in real life or the digital realm. Images are documented and manipulated to alter the meaning into another perception of a particular common narrative.


Pop-up Books with Ajean

We had a great time last week with Ajean Ryan’s private family workshop!  Each guest got to learn  how to make 5 different types of 3-D effects from her, then they got to select colorful paper and blank books of their own to make eye-popping stories. Very rarely do young children get the chance to have one-on-one moments with professional artists and we saw the impact of this opportunity first hand. Check out some of the scenes below!



Artists: Where are they Now?

Wes Sam-Bruce

One of the cool things about our artists is that their influence stretches far beyond the walls of our Museum. We love hearing about the wonderful opportunities they receive due to their expertise, the new knowledge they’ve gained from working with us and the joy they continue to bring to others.

Our summer 2016 artist, Wes Sam-Bruce, who encouraged families to explore their relationship with nature, is no exception. Since working with us, his imaginative, mixed media works have been featured in numerous art galleries, museums and institutions across Colorado and the US. Here’s an overview of some of the pieces he’s made for  Svper Ordinary Gallery (which he collaborated on with another past AIR, Jaime Molina!) and Tointon Gallery.


Wes summarized his year of thinking and creating through an article on his website, and the impact it had on the world around him:

“Over 4,500 different people were able to participate in workshops, community center partnerships, education programming, gallery interactions, and other elements that I was able to craft and collaborate on this last year.  These programs empowered personal and social empathy in communities and neighborhoods, grew character, inspired deep attention and curiosity, encouraged self / world awareness, and worked generally towards creative and innovative good both tangible and intangible. “

The list of bragging rights don’t stop there! Wes’ work is going to be the subject of upcoming artistic film. According to the trailer, the movie aims to be “a feature documentary that follows the vulnerable and inspiring path of the creation of a world within a world.” It’s set to release in 2017. Needless to say, we’ll all be awaiting it with eager eyes!


Meet our next artist!

Kia Neill

January – March 2017


We are excited to announce the first artist of the 2017 class, Kia Neill!

Kia is a multidiscipline artist working in mixed media drawing, painting, photography and sculpture. She’s lived and worked in a number of cities throughout the U.S. as a professional artist doing public and private commissions, exhibitions, lectures, juroring and teaching college and continuing education for 15 years.See some of her awesome pieces below!


Native to Chicago Illinois, she received her MFA from The University of California, San Diego, and relocated to Denver CO in 2014 from Houston Texas. After repeat visits as a Guest Artist in the Breckenridge Arts District (now BreckCreate), Neill moved to Colorado to explore her deep attraction to the mountain landscape. The mountains have heavily influenced her work.

Stay tuned for her open studio hour times and keep your eyes peeled for her private family workshops! 


Uncategorized · Wes Sam-Bruce

Why Workshops are Wonderful

What is an artist-in-residence workshop?

Artist-in-residence workshops are one-of-a-kind opportunities for your child to work with a professional artist and explore the possibilities of their imagination. As unique as the artists who conduct them, these workshops give your little Picassos the chance to discover, create and explore art in new ways.

Previous workshops have included collaborative mural painting and creating inflatable sculptures. Wes Sam-Bruce, our summer artist-in-residence, invited families to create representations of themselves on custom wooden sculptures. Participants collected words, animals and even real plants to create their take-home “family hands.” Check out the gallery below to get a peek at the fun!

Together, your family can explore the world of art in a playful, personal way and make lasting memories. Space in these workshops is limited to allow each child one-on-one time with the artist, a rare educational opportunity! Workshops fill up quickly and reservations must be made in advance.

What is the next workshop?

Pop-Up Books with Ajean Ryan
Wednesday, December 14, 5:30 – 7 pm

Stories are better when they jump off the page! Ajean will guide you in the creation of your own pop-up book utilizing illustration and mixed media. Each participant will learn how to construct pop-out pages, the secrets of story building and take their custom creations home to treasure.

Register for this workshop here.

Tickets start at $10/member and $20/member and include Museum admission.

Please note: This fee-based workshop is designed for children 5+ and their grown-ups. One adult per 3 children required and adults must have their own ticket. Space is limited to 25 participants, including both children and adults. Tickets are non-refundable (with the exception of a weather-related cancellation), but are transferable to a friend.