Parker Arts Brings Resident Artist to Parker
Lorenzo Chavez is an oil and pastel artist who finds passion in landscape and beautiful settings. A New Mexican native who has been influenced by the vast western culture of New Mexico and Colorado, he has traveled all across the Western U.S. in a constant search for pristine views of nature.
“Southern Colorado is a hidden gem as it hasn’t changed a lot,” explains Chavez. The Colorado landscape provides some of his inspiration and is a place that has always called him back over his career. You will see familiar landscapes in his works, including scenes near the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Hidden Mesa Open Space, Castlewood Canyon, Cherry Creek Trail and other out-of-the-way spots in what was once rural Aurora. ”At sunset, everything has a reddish tint on the earth and it looks like another planet,” explains Chavez as he describes his views of Castle Valley, Utah.
Chavez, who moved to Denver after high school and graduated with honors from the Colorado Institute of Art in 1983, believes the Parker area has some of the best landscapes in the Denver metro area. Chavez wanted to be a part of the art scene in Denver. After graduation from the Colorado Institute of Art he found work as a graphic designer. He moved to Capital Hill and spent much time exploring. He had his first studio on York Street in what is now known as Uptown. “Studio space has always been something that is not easy to come by or afford, ” says Chavez.
He has been coming to Parker since the early 1990s and actually moved here more than 11 years ago with his wife of 32 years, Dolores, and their two sons, who graduated from high school in Parker, attended college in Colorado and have now started their own families. “I used to come out to enjoy Parker’s landscape long before much of the growth we see today.”
Parker’s Own Resident Artist
Chavez is pleased to be a part of the first artist-in-residence at The Schoolhouse Artist Studio in downtown Parker. The Town of Parker’s Cultural Department, also known as Parker Arts, is working with Chavez to create a classic art studio environment where Chavez will work and promote his artwork. The studio will also be a common space for local artists to collaborate as part of a pilot program for future artists. Chavez will be The Schoolhouse Studio’s resident artist for up to two years with a goal of expanding and cultivating the area’s professional artists’ studios and galleries to bring more accessible creative working spaces for artists.
“Parker Arts does a great job of highlighting arts here and wants to see more. It is wonderful to see more resources available to artists and to the general public,” says Chavez, who has always wanted studio space that was close to home. “I could see this as a wonderful place to come paint and study the fine arts and be in a place with like-minded people.”
Chavez grew up like many of us, taking family road trips through Colorado and New Mexico and the West. It is from those moments that he has seen the most inspiration. He seems to understand nature and the small glimpses that one gets in the beautiful moments that are absolute perfection. He has studied and developed the art of witnessing nature by using these tiny glimpses.
“I create a small painting in a relatively small amount of time,” says Chavez. “These tiny gestured drawings can be on canvas board and done within 10 to 20 minutes. I keep a paint box in my vehicle so that I can see these tiny glimpses of nature that are so naturally fast moving.” Chavez has many of these moments that he has captured over the years and will work on until they are complete.
Chavez has participated several Plein Air workshops, including the Douglas County Land Conservancy (DLC) where several renowned artists are invited each year to visit private and public conserved properties in southern Douglas County as part of a fundraiser for DLC.
Chavez welcomes you to come out and explore the studio. “I’d love to see a constant flow of artists and inspiration for this area,” explains Chavez. “The Artist in Residency opportunity will continue long term and bring more ideas of the arts to Parker.” Throughout his residency, Chavez will be traveling to various workshops, such as the Alla Prima Westcliffe, in the fall, and will be an invaluable resource for the community. Be sure to stop by and say hello.
For more information on Lorenzo Chavez and to see more works of art, visit LorenzoChavez.com.