Monday, December 31, 2012

Catch Up

Here are some images from our last 2 shows.  Next show is scheduled for March 15th from 6-10 and March 16th, all day while the Knight's party upstairs for St. Patty's day!  Come grab a beer and some corn beef and hash and check out the art downstairs.

Fr. Riley from the Augustine Institute in Denver enthralls the crowd during our last lecture series

Music Friday night in October
Wide view of the October show

original by Dave Hazen

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Aggiornamento: Miniatures

Our next show, Aggiornamento: Miniatures, will feature some of our artist's very smallest work.  Come and see- and bring a magnifying glass just in case!

Friday, June 1st 6:00-10:00, live music and refreshments
Saturday, June 2nd, 1:00-6:00, Family art class at 1:30 will be making miniature gardens to take home for all your miniature friends.  Come and enjoy!

(By the way, the address is wrong on this month's poster.  Correction is 1555 Grant St, Denver)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Three things you can learn about the spiritual life from being an artist

Jen Loser is one of our regular Aggiornamento Artists

Our very own Jen Loser has been featured in an article here for FOCUS ministries.  Here's the article, and a link back to the FOCUS blog.  Thanks Jen!

Three things you can learn about the spiritual life from being an artist

Growing up, the arts were a more prevalent part of my life than the Catholic Church. I was baptized at 10 and then developed a love for the Catholic faith later in high school. However, my mom - a painter and all around artistic force - encouraged me to be creative from a young age. Long before I learned to pray the rosary or knew the truth of the Eucharist, I was familiar with watercolors, collage, and pottery. For me, the arts became a school of learning about God, who is massively creative. The three main things I learned from being an artist are foundational for how I encounter Christ today.

1. Discipline helps overcome obstacles.
Inspiration sometimes comes as a quiet and still voice, and I have to coax it out. I find that being disciplined helps my inspiration to emerge. So I set aside time for creativity and stick to it. The same is true for the spiritual life.
For example, the best time to pray is not just when the mood strikes. Loyalty to your pre-determined prayer time can have a radical impact on your relationship with God. Just as maintaining a regular time for creativity allows me to hear the whispers of inspiration, regular time for prayer gives space for God to speak to my heart.

2. Masterpieces are not made overnight.
Once I became serious about making art I realized how time-intensive it is. Not just in terms of actually sitting down in my studio and painting or drawing, but in how it also requires time to ponder, jot down inspirations, and find materials. When it actually comes time to do the work it can take days, weeks, and even years.
The Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi known as "the architect of God" knew this well. From 1883 until his death in 1926 Gaudi worked tirelessly on his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia (the Basilica of the Holy Family) in Spain. His work is still under construction and may not even be finished within the next twenty years.
God is the Creator we all imitate through artistic expression. We are God’s masterpiece, and He is willing to take time forming us, molding us, and perfecting us.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration.
Although I grew up surrounded by the arts, I wasn’t always so quick to call myself an artist. Not until I started meeting with a group of creative types did I begin living out what Bl. John Paul II in his Letter to Artists calls “the special vocation of the artist”.  This vocation is to create. He goes on to say “artists express themselves to the point where their work becomes a unique disclosure of their own being.” A daunting task if I do say so myself. By speaking with other artists about their struggles and triumphs I became more willing to have my own.
How true this is in the spiritual life as well. Our life with Christ, while very personal, is never private. We must encourage one another and build each other up (cf. 1 Thes. 5:11); this is the beautiful responsibility of the Christian. We can help our brothers and sisters become alive in the faith and they can help us as well!
The spiritual life, like the creative life, takes discipline, time, and support to develop. I remind you with St. Paul that what we will be has not yet been revealed (cf. 1 Jn. 3:2). Allow Christ to form your life into the masterpiece that he desires it to be.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Tonight only! "The Jeweler's Shop" by Karol Wojtyla (aka JPII)

Who loves the Pope?
Who loves the late Pope?
And who loves Authentic Catholic Culture?

You do?  Well then, have we got the weekend for you!  Come out tonight at 6:30 at the Knight's of Columbus UPSTAIRS hall to witness the latest rendition of Bl. John Paul II's play "The Jeweler's Shop" as produced and directed by Augustine Institute students. 

Also, Art downstairs, included our first annual Student Show for up and coming artists of all ages.

Drinks in the bar to benefit the Knights, and everything else is FREE!

We'll see you there!  Right?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April Show happening right now!

Ok, so we've been Eastered out, but the April show is still happening.  Head on down today from 1-6 to check out some pretty cool stuff, including a new artist who makes handmade reed baskets that she weaves and dyes herself.  Pretty awesome!

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Show ReCap

Alright, I think it's safe to say we're on a roll.  Now, let's keep rolling!

The Knight's of Columbus council #539 has always hosted a  huge St. Patrick's Day party to go along with the annual Denver Parade, and this year they offered the downstairs hall for us to set up in during the day's events.  What a wonderful gift!  Catholic Art and Culture got lots of publicity and we are headed down the right road for the rest of the year!  Let's keep it up, People!

(Again, I brought my camera, but as Nicole can attest to, I didn't take pictures.  I forgot I even had it with me, I was having so much fun.  But I'm hoping some of the other artists did, and I'm really, really hoping they will either email them to me, or post them here on their own.  Pretty please?)

Here are a few shots of the superstar of the show- Erik Feltes' Lucky Pipe.  How appropriate for the day!  I believe this is still available for sale if anybody is interested.
 You can read more about this pipe on Erik's Blog, here
Remember, our next show is NOT the first weekend of April, as that is Good Friday, but is the following weekend, April 13th and 14th- Divine Mercy weekend! See you then!  If you're interested in learning more about how you can support Catholic Art and Culture in Colorado in the mean time, let us know!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Poster for St. Patrick's Day show

Spread the news!  1 week from tomorrow.  Thanks to Mark for the great poster, and thanks to all the guys who spent the day passing out the posters around town.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Ok, so i don't have any pictures to share with you yet from this past weekend's show, but let me just say this.


We had probably 75 people come through the door Friday night, and another good group for the art lesson on Saturday.  We couldn't be more thrilled!  And to top it all off, we had both amazing art and fabulous works of fiction and non-fiction being displayed.  Friday night we had 3 readings by authors, and another reading on Saturday. 

This thing is really starting to take shape!

So now, here's the scope.  We're having another show... on March 17th.  And it's a biggie.

The Knight's of Columbus traditionally have always had a big St. Patrick's Day party to accompany the big parade through downtown.  This year, St Patty's day is actually on a Saturday, and the Knights have generously lent us the basement hall for the day so that we can show downstairs while you party upstairs.  They'll have beer, and food, and Irish Step Dancing, and bagpipes, and beer.  Oh, and beer.  There's a small entry fee (somebody help me out with how much?  $5 comes to mind) but it's a grand party and you'll love it!  Downstairs will be us, and we're bringing out all the big guns!  The Knights have waived their typical 10% donation for the day and we are going to be able to donate 25% of all sales directly to Catholic Education in the Diocese!  And wait, there's more!  YOU- that's right, you, the buyer of all our fine art- are going to pick where your donation goes!  If you have kids at St. James and you want your donation to go there, BAM!  there it goes!  If you work with a Homeschool co-op and think they deserve the extra buck, it goes straight to them.  How about your home parishes Religious Education Department?  Think they need a little boost?  Buy art, and they'll get 25% of your sale price in their pockets!

This is a very special event, and we're excited beyond imagination about it!  So come on down to the KofC hall from 10-7 of March 17th.  This is a 1 day only event, so don't miss it!  And don't forget your checkbook- the donation special only lasts 1 day!

Stay tuned, our next regularly scheduled show will be the week after Easter, April 13th and 14th, instead of the first weekend so as not to conflict with Holy Week.  After that it will be back to the regular First Friday Schedule for the remainder of the year.

I'll post pictures as soon as I get them.  Jen?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Use This Poster

All you people who want to get the word out for next weekend's show, here's a poster for you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

DCR Advertisement and Workshop Announcement

Hey all!  We sent an advertisement to be published in the Denver Catholic Register, but it didn't make it in this week.  They had a full page of advertisements, so I'm sure our's was just bumped in place of more important things- like masses and such.  Anyway, here's what it would have said.  If you can steal this little advert and publish it where ever you can, that'd be great!

Call for Entries for Catholic Writers:  Aggiornamento Art and Cultural Event is a collective of Catholic Artists and other creative people reviving our authentic Catholic Culture in the Denver Metropolitan Area.  Shows take place each First Friday and Saturday at the Knights of Columbus #539 Hall at 1555 Grant St in Denver.  This month's show will showcase local Catholic writers and authors, as well as local Catholic Artists, Artisans and Musicians.  We are looking for local authors, poets and other writers to submit their works for display and sale. A portion of proceeds from sold works goes to the KofC hall and to perpetuate the event.  Please contact Joey or Brittany Kerlin at or visit our blog at to apply by February 29th.  Show runs Friday, March 2nd, 6-10pm and Saturday, March 3rd, 1-5pm.  Local artists also welcome to apply.


Free Art Show and Cultural Event:  Aggiornamento Art and Cultural Event takes place each First Friday and Saturday at the Knights of Columbus #539 Hall at 1555 Grant St in Denver.  This month's show will spotlight local Catholic Writer's.  Visual art produced by local Catholic artists and artisans will also be on display, as well as live music by Catholic musicians Friday evening.  Works will be for sale, and a portion of all sales are donated to the Knights of Columbus and to support the collective.  A FREE Cultural lesson/demonstration for families will be held Saturday from 1:30-3:30pm.  Admission to all events is free, free will donations accepted.  For more information contact Joey or Brittany Kerlin at or visit our blog at

Also- In case you weren't aware, Joey and Britt Kerlin will be in charge of the March show as Nicole and Mark Thomason will be out of town visiting family.  For all you artists, this means contact us if you need help with anything.  If you need, you can drop off any work with us by Thursday, March 1st at our home.

And for everyone else, Joey Kerlin, our resident ceramicist and experienced instructor, will be leading our workshop on Saturday from 1:30-3:30.  Since our theme this month is Words, you'll be excited to learn that he has blended the 2 medium, visual and verbal art, together to bring this project to you.  If you want a sneak peek and what you'll be working on, come to the show on Friday to see Joey's newest creations- that are NOT made of clay!

Joey with a student working on a clay birdhouse
Finally!  Don't forget that the potluck will be Friday night, March 2nd!  Since it's lent, don't forget to bring a MEATLESS meal to share.  We will provide forks, spoons, plates and bowls, napkins and cups.  Bring your own serving utensils and anything else you may need.  Beer and wine sales will benefit the hall, and water will also be provided.  You don't have to be an artist to join us in our potluck!  Pre-show dinner begins at 5:30 and we will open the doors to the public at 6:00pm.

See you next week at the show!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New for this month's show!

I am excited to announce that we will have the privilege to have copies of the wonderful journal, Dappled Things, for sale at our March Show!  What a wonderful opportunity to support the greater Catholic Art and Culture movement through our local venue!  And what a perfect addition to our current Writer's show!  The journal is published quarterly and includes both visual art from Catholic artists as well as poetry, prose, and essays by Catholic writers.

Here's a sample of a piece written by Julie McGurn for the current issue of Dappled Things.  It's titled Old Grace and New Beauty and quite appropriate for this week, I think.  You can find the rest of her short story here.

Old Grace and New Beauty

Julie McGurn
At the end of the block on Main Street sits a small dry cleaners owned by the Choi family. It is a model of tidiness and precision. Every day the hum and whoosh of electric dryers and steam cleaners sound forth like the beating heart of a great giant. Mrs. Choi runs the register with an efficiency bordering on the brusque, but mitigated by her ability to greet each customer by name. The pronunciation may sometimes be wanting, but she’s got the raw data down cold.
No one could doubt her willingness to extend herself for her customers either. Like one February morning when a regular, Mr. Sam Gilette, came in with a black smudge on his forehead. After her usual boisterous hello, Mrs. Choi leaned over the counter, pointed to her own forehead, and whispered, “Your head,” in a discreet gesture meant to spare the man a day of embarrassment.
“Your forehead. It all dirty.”
“Oh, that,” he said. “Church. I’ve  just come from church. Ash Wednesday.”
“Oh. Church.” A flash of recognition crossed Mrs. Choi’s face as she remembered seeing such a smudge before. She was satisfied by his explanation and her own solicitude, and business could proceed. It’s an admirable service they provide to the public. People bring in their soiled, stained, wrinkled and ripped clothing and receive them back a few days later fresh, pressed,mended and clean.
Serena, Mrs. Choi’s niece, works as a seamstress. She sits just near the front counter, facing the wall under a pegboard of dozens of large, brightly colored spools of thread ready for any contingency. She had left Korea as a teenager to join her aunt and uncle who had emigrated to America several years before, and everything she knows of her new home she learned from them. But she possesses all the softness her aunt lacks. Her face is smaller and finely shaped, not the broad block of Mrs. Choi. She speaks infrequently to the customers, but when she does, a shy sweetness emanates from behind her unfashionable glasses. When things get busy, Serena gets up from her sewing machine and helps at the counter, but this is always a last resort. Everyone knows Mrs.Choi is in charge.
All that changed the day Mrs. Choi suffered a stroke. She had been sorting the day’s receipts when Serena noticed a trickle of drool fall from Mrs. Choi’s mouth onto the counter. The right side of her face had gone completely slack and looked as if it were melting. Now Mrs. Choi is in a rehab center and Serena is running the shop. At first, Serena was terrified. Though her aunt’s imperious manner could sometimes be irritating, it had been so much easier when Mrs. Choi was there. Serena had never needed to think for herself or make any decisions. Submitting to the commands of her superiors was second nature to her. When her aunt told her to step lively and help at the register, barking orders at her one at a time, she would do what she was told. Serena could even anticipate what her aunt would say next, but she always hung back and never let Mrs. Choi know. Out of politeness, perhaps. Her aunt liked it that way and Serena liked to please. But from such submission she had learned to do things on her own. Serena soon found herself doing what she would have imagined unthinkable a mere six months before. “The buck stop here,” she had taken to saying. Sometimes her new motto confused patrons. Some thought she was talking about the bus. Others had visions of marauding bands of male deer.
From her days of hemming and mending, she had gotten good at concocting lives for the garments customers brought in. Bits of the world came to her one hanger at a time, like bodies without spirits. Each suit, each dress, each cardigan, was an occasion for her to wonder about lives being lived on a big stage somewhere.
Say a 38 Long Brooks Brothers suit came into the store. Serena would see a man strutting through the morning rush at Penn Station as if wading in the shallow end of the shore, the other people like so much water in a wave, their presence a slight dragon his progress. In the evening he would reverse course, but slowly, buffeted by more waves than before. Serena would smell the stale odor of cigar clinging to the jacket and conjure a scene of male bonhomie, muttered complaints and bursts of laughter, the slow release of strife amid the billows of acrid smoke.
Serena liked cocktail dresses and ball gowns best. Her eyes would widen at the first glimpse of sequin or bead. One dress in particular caught her fancy. Long to the floor and short off the shoulder, its golden silk ruched on the side to conform to the wearer’s shape. She could almost feel the soft skin of the slightly rounded shoulders, cold like a marble statue. This one, this one, would be worn to a party, a grand party with string quartets and canap├ęs. She could see the lady in the gold dress walking into a parquet ballroom, a row of enormous floor to ceiling windows with layer upon layer of trim framing a Manhattan street scene a few stories below. The darkness outside would be punctuated by a haphazard array of lights—some red from the backs of cars,others white from lampposts or blue from shop signs.
Serena wondered what the size 6 gold dress lady would be thinking as she stood looking down to the street in between sips of her vodka tonic. Maybe she was steeling herself for the appearance of the woman her husband was carrying on with, andthe fake cordiality that she would endure. Maybe she would be cursing the ultra-support hose this clingy number necessitated, counting the minutes until she could free herself from the flesh-suffocating torturer. Or maybe she was thinking how pretty the street looked below with all the lights twinkling and the noise muted, and how golden the ballroom looked, and how she felt part of it all.
Serena never considered her own life a stage. She was always backstage. She was wardrobe. The real action of life was always elsewhere. She wasn’t depressed by this, and she suffered no envy. She was content with her place backstage. Almost.
Serena’s fear of Mrs. Choi had kept any thoughts other than pleasing her aunt in check. Her job was to do what Mrs. Choi told her, and she did that well. But with Mrs. Choi no longer there and her eventual success in running the shop assured, Serena began to think the stage not so scary either. She could run things. Mrs.Choi had become training wheels she no longer needed.
One day Mr. Gilette came in shortly before close. He placed a slender department store shopping bag on the counter.
“Serena, I have something I need cleaned. I need it tomorrow. Can you help me?”
“I don’t know, Mr. Gilette. It almost five o’clock. I don’t know. But I can try for you. The buck stop here.”
Mr. Gilette reached into the bag and pulled out a dress of lilac silk. He held it for a moment and then smoothed it out on the counter.
“Oh, very pretty.” She liked the smell of tea rose that accompanied it. “For Mrs. Gilette?”
“Yes, it’s my wife’s. Her favorite. I need it for her funeral the day after tomorrow. Is it possible?”
Serena, who had picked up and was admiring the dress, shuddered a little as if death had somehow touched her, too. “Oh, Mr. Gilette. I very sorry. Very sorry about Mrs. Gilette. I make sure it be ready.”
“She always looked so pretty in this dress. So soft,” his voice trailed off.
“You must loved her very much.”
“Yes, yes. Thank you, Serena. See you tomorrow.”
Mr. Gilette walked out the door and Serena took the dead woman’s dress to the machines in the back of the shop....

Read the rest of the story here, and be sure to buy a copy of the journal at our March 2nd and 3rd show to support the authors and artists both here and all over the country that share our beliefs and love of our faith and culture.

Friday, February 17, 2012

2 weeks away

The opening of our long awaited Writer's show, postponed because of the February Blizzard, is only 2 weeks away!  If you, or someone you know, is a Catholic writer who would like to submit work for this show, you have until Wednesday, February 29th to email or leave a comment here to get more information.  We can't wait to read what you've been writing!

Don't forget, just because it's a Writer's show doesn't mean we won't have some of your favorite, local Catholic visual artists and musicians as well.  Oh, and for all of you who made it to the January show, yes, the heat has been fixed!  Come and see all the hard work we've been doing on the hall, and enjoy some local Catholic culture of all kinds.

Finally, we take free will donations at the show to help off set the costs associated with running it and keep it going.  Our donations, so far, have helped to paint the hall and get some important equipment for the shows themselves, but there's so much more we can do.  If you are feeling called to help the Catholic Art and Culture Community in Denver, we'd be so happy!  Because so many people rely on debit cards and electronic funds, we will be adding a paypal donation button to this site as soon as we work the kinks out.  No pressure, but all funds donated both through the shows and through the paypal button will go to keep up this good and holy work.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Saturday Work Day

Calling all people in the Greater Denver area – we are having a Work day at Knights of Columbus council #539. They have been helping us by hosting our art exhibition and now is our a chance to help them improve the hall that we use for the shows. Many hands will really make the work go fast. I know this is last minute BUT PLEASE get the word out. KofC#539 is a great gift to the Denver Catholic community.
See those 1980's yellow walls behind the beautiful icons?  They're GONE!  

It all starts 9:30am, Saturday the 11th at 1555 Grant St. Denver Co 80203

We started painting last month, and now it's time to finish!

For those of you who can't make it, be sure to stop by March 2nd and 3rd for our rescheduled Writer's show to see all the hard work we've done, as well as all the hard work the writer's have done!  You won't believe the difference a few coats of paint and some old fashioned elbow grease can make!

Friday, February 3, 2012


There's about 2 feet of snow coming down, and I'm almost not exagerating.  Anyway, the show's canceled.  Our writer's show will be on March 2nd and 3rd, so you've got a whole month more to prepare!  Hope to see you all then!

Stay safe and warm1

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dappled Things

We aren't the only ones out there trying to promote Catholic Art and Culture!  We aren't the first, and I certainly hope we won't be the last. 

Dappled Things is a wonderful quarterly journal that includes original Catholic art, literature, and other cultural items.  It really is quite a beautiful journal, and I used to subscribe.  But Mark Thomason brought it to our attention today via our Facebook page that they are in trouble to not being able to continue their mission to bring these beautiful things to your doorstep.  They aren't asking for much, but if you can give a little donation to help them out, please do.

On that note- We are still accepting entries for our writer's show until midnight tomorrow night.  Please email Mark at if you're interested.  We'd love to have you join us!

Finally, the show will feature live music Friday night, and, as always, a FREE children's art lesson Saturday afternoon at 1:15.  And Artists, don't forget our Friday night Potluck before the opening!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Call For Entries- Words!

Call for entries- February Writer's Show 

The theme for our February 3rd and 4th show is Words.  We want to showcase as many local, Catholic authors/writers as possible in this special series.  If you or someone you know has writen a published or unpublished work, including:

  • Short Stories
  • Poems
  • Prose
  • Essays
  • Novels
  • One Act and Full Length Dramas
  • Fiction or Non-Fiction

You are invited to join us!  We will provide a venue for readings and book/manuscript signings and both are encouraged but not required. Content need not be Catholic but may not be offensive. Please contact Mark or Nicole Thomason either through this blog or at no later than January 31st, 2012 for more details. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012