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Ars Nova Singers Presents “Shared Visions” in 2024

Shared Visions returns in 2024! This is an interdisciplinary collaborative project featuring works by Colorado visual artists, poets, composers, and performers, coordinated and presented by Ars Nova Singers. First presented in 2016, and again in 2019, this project brings together Colorado artists in a unique way, building a community of artistic inspiration and culminating in a performance of new music by Ars Nova Singers in June 2024.

We have assembled an online gallery of 24 works by eight Colorado visual artists. Colorado writers and poets: we invite you to access the visual art works, and select one (or more) as a basis for writing new poetry. New poetry must be submitted by September 1st. If you or someone you know might be interested in writing for this, complete details can be found on the Gallery page on our website:  https://arsnovasingers.org/shared-visions-2024-gallery/


Tony Ortega is a Denver-based visual artist, and educator. His work has been exhibited in over 30 solo shows and featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; Colorado Spring Fine Art Center; Harwood Museum, Taos, NM; Redline Art Center, Denver; and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM. Tony Ortega holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado Boulder and is currently a professor for Regis University. In 2018, he was the Regis College faculty lecture of the year. He was the recipient of the coveted Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1999) and the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1998). His work is in the collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Museo Estudio Diego Rivera, Mexico City.  http://www.tonyortega.net <http://www.tonyortega.net/>

He writes of his work:
“Throughout history, artists have responded to social concerns around them with artwork that depicts culture, religion, social injustice, human rights, environmental degradation and political power. Artists have used a variety of media such as: paint, photographs, pastels, sculpture and prints as extensions of their caring hearts and concerned minds to explore the aesthetics of interconnectedness and social responsibility. I believe that there is a relationship between art and social justice.  My goal as an artist is to create artworks that are personal and which also express a sense of social responsibility.

As an expressionist, I use distortion and exaggeration for emotional effect. I apply vivid and dynamic mark making, line density and value contrast.  I combine flat space with cubical space. My work interweaves the western concepts of perspective, light/shadow, and overlapping of shapes with folk art designs of simplified geometric shape creating a harmonious composition.  Merging abstraction, simplification, and realism, I juxtapose and superimpose unlikely images of realism, icons, symbols and fantasy from history and the contemporary world to foster opportunities for the bending of meaning and the warping of time and place.”  http://www.tonyortega.net

Danielle SeeWalker is Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta and citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. She is an artist, writer, activist, and boymom of two, based in Denver, Colorado. Her visual artwork often incorporates the use of mixed media and experimentation while incorporating traditional Native American materials, scenes, and messaging. Her artwork pays homage to her identity as a Lakȟóta wíŋyaŋ (woman) and her passion to redirect the narrative to an accurate and insightful representation of contemporary Native America while still acknowledging historical events.

Alongside her passion for creating visual art, Danielle is a freelance writer and published her first book in 2020 titled, “Still Here: A Past to Present Insight of Native American People & Culture.” She is also very dedicated to staying connected and involved in her Native community and currently serves as City Commissioner for the Denver American Indian Commission. Danielle has also been working on a personal, passion project since 2013 with her long-time friend called The Red Road Project. The focus of the work is to document, through words and photographs, what it means to be Native American in the 21st century by capturing inspiring and positive stories of people and communities.  https://www.seewalker.com/about

Photographer Raj Manickam says, “For years, I have noticed the kinds of images others might let pass without a second glance. Today, missed images have no longer escaped my lens ever since then.

My photos range in subject from the environment to human interest depiction. These images often partner with essays that tell even more of the narratives. I often find the engagement between the image and the story. Fundamentals of fine art, abstract, storytelling, and deep awareness emerge in a variety of my frames. With photography, I sometimes plan, and at times, I wander. Often, I also saunter in the wrong direction. I am drawn to places where I am mostly in quietude, even amongst people.

My photography starts with the art of observation. The act of observation comes from paying attention to one’s environment. I’m using that element of the witness consciously. My photos are my voice first. After it leaves my lens and shows up on a screen or paper, it becomes, or may then be, someone else’s voice and interpretation. I capture everything from sudden moments to everyday occurrences and translate them into fine yet relatable art. I strive to shine a light on the reality of the human experience through composition and honest storytelling. I am using my eastern culture’s rich language and over two decades of western point-of-view to draw in my viewers and tell a uniquely framed story. All in good light!”

Margaret Josey-Parker shares her inspiration. “Since graduating with an MFA from the University of Oregon, I have taught ceramics at many places in Colorado and other western states. I believe art is a visual language of personal symbols and my work is a rough sketch or diary of my life. The collection of individual events and the emotional ebb and flow of everyday life eventually stream into a coherent current through my work. I create sculptural objects that comfort me, but also challenge my notions of reality, beauty and spirituality.

My work has a modern cowboy aesthetic and is inspired by western life and landscape.  All the places I have lived have possessed an abundance of gorgeous visual stimuli. From the canyons of Utah and Arizona to the lush environs of the Pacific Northwest, the rich culture of New Mexico and now the open plains and mountains of Colorado, my sculptural work reflects my love for the landscape and history of the American West.

I work in series, and often integrate steel and wood elements into my volumetric ceramic forms in hopes of attaining a poetic composite of materials. My collection utilizes a variety of clay, glaze and firing techniques, and features carving of intricate patterns and symbolic objects on the surface of the clay forms.”

COMING SOON: We’ll introduce our other four visual artists for Shared Visions: Chris Deknikker, Kevin Johnson, Sara Rockinger, and  Michiko Theurer.