Class of 2017

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.