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Denver POP

SPRING/SUMMER 2014

COVER ARTIST CAROLINE GEYS


RiNo Art District

Where Art is Made.

150+ Artist Studios, Galleries, Creative Businesses & Gathering Places DENVER, COLORADO rinoart.org


The Art of Candy by Jill Landman Alfond

About a month after our store opened, a young woman came in, did a quick 360 tour, and exclaimed “what a perfectly curated shop!” The highest compliment! To me, it meant she saw the common thread in our attempt to weave together a multitude of seemingly unrelated objects – at first glance, gummy bears, preppy iPhone cases and hipster Tyvek wallets may not seem to have much in common, but for us, it all made sense.   When curating items that make it in our store (and to the outside eye, it may not look like there is ANY selection process - we have over 6500 items!) our goal is to ensure a delicious, joyful sensory experience with items that make life easier, taste great, or are simply just one of a kind.   Candy, by its’ design, function or packaging is a natural, tiny (and delicious) work of art.  The candy we invite into our store is there for a reason. Some of our selections evoke memories (from childhood, of course); some are the epitome of true artisan craftsmanship. There are many pieces, with the original artwork, that have stood the test of time, calling out to our customer like a beacon of their past, often recognized with a smile and an enthusiastic “I remember this from when I was…!” One of the favorite nostalgic candies at our store is the humble Big Hunk bar.  Hands down it’s our most popular retro candy: the name lends itself to a number of campy jokes between friends, and the package – the same as when it first came out – reassures and comforts in its familiarity. There is a certain beauty in tradition.  Another of our best sellers is the Hammonds Candies swirl lollipop. This iconic treat from our cherished childhoods evokes memories of days at the zoo or a carnival, stealing licks from sibling or best friend’s lolly. Hammonds has been crafting candy in Denver for over 90 years -   the familiar swirls are reminiscent of youth, and but have evolved with a juxtaposition of color and flavors for a fresh and modern feel. The traditional and expected candy cane palates - wintergreen, clove, and peppermint are complemented by new fresh flavors like pomegranate and blood orange.  The swirls of a lollipop are a constant of childhood, a treat to be shared with a friend or a reward for a job well done, and harbinger of fond memories for adults.  Hammond’s still offers daily factory tours, giving visitors a peek into how these beauties are crafted from start to finish.  While a trip down memory lane is always fun, there is still nothing like the thrill of the hunt - tracking down a new confectionary delight and sharing that discovery with others bring a satisfaction like few other pursuits.  Travel has always been an important part of my life - and being able to incorporate travel with discovering new candies is about as good as it gets.


A few summers ago on a trip to NYC, a hot tip from a friend yielded a very serendipitous find. When I stepped inside Sockerbit, the sweet spot of Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood, I discovered this tiny yet bustling outpost of Scandinavian treats. Sockerbit’s décor is the embodiment of everything Scandinavian, and shines the spotlight on the candy – exactly where it belongs. The store’s crisp, white aesthetic has been purposefully designed to allow the colorful confections to take center stage. Fresh and modern, the effect is reminiscent of the European open markets, where the candy is displayed in large wide open bins.  The temptation of brightly colored sour treats, pastel marshmallows and chocolates ratchets up several notches when displayed in this clean fashion. The candy is funky, fresh and most of it is totally unexpected - even flavors that Americans are accustomed to taste new. In the hands of the Swedes, cola candies actually taste like real cola - you can almost feel the sensation of fizz.  And the candies are non-GMO, letting the true flavors shine through. A few days after our opening, a young Swedish woman stood in front of our own artful selection of Swedish candy bins, tapping furiously on her smart phone. Turning to us she exclaimed, “They’re all going to be coming now!”  Our new customer had alerted the “Denver Swedish Facebook Community” that the treats they used to only be able to find in New York, or smuggle home in suitcases from Europe, were now available in Denver.  And she was right – they came in droves, and continue to be among our favorite customers. This group’s passion for candy is contagious, and we continue to learn from them as we hone our sleuthing skills, hunting and gathering more of their childhood favorites. Local Denver chocolatiers Andrew Starr and Jennifer Spielman of Black Star Chocolates take an artisan’s approach to creating chocolates that are both a feast for the eyes and savors the taste buds. Black Star Chocolates are crafted in small batches with garden fresh ingredients like hand picked mint, rosemary, lavender, and more. Their signature truffles are made with delightful and unexpected flavor combination: their Saffron Rose Cream truffle won “Best Truffle” at the 2012 Colorado Chocolate Festival, while the Raspberry Rose Pomegranate truffle, Basil Lemon truffle and Bourbon Grapefruit truffle consistently receive high praise.  Easy on the eyes and the taste buds, Black Star Chocolates are a fan favorite at our store.


We are a city of art lovers, of nature, of technology, and food. We’ve had the great fortune of local access to some of the greatest exhibits in the world (Ed Ruschka, Yves Saint Laurent, Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keefe in the past year alone.) The Rocky Mountains are our backyard. We’ve fast become known for a thriving community of creative and successful tech start-ups and entrepreneurs, and our reputation as a premier food city (both Denver and Boulder) is exponentially growing. We live in a time (and a state) when art is freely created daily and shared via many different platforms, by many different people. We’ve chosen to share the whimsical art candy. Be it a simple or complex treat, sugar free, sugar light, or “Sugarlicious,” candy is always meant to be savored and enjoyed with a smile. Jill Landman Alfond is one half of the “sweet tooth sister-in-law” team known as Sugarlicious, Colorado’s favorite candy shop. Located in Cherry Creek North, Sugarlicious is the place for sweet and colorful living. Offering a huge selection of candies, confections, and playful, whimsical gifts, the Sugarlicious team is also known for personalized monogramming services, custom candy bars and edible centerpieces for special events. www.sugarliciouscandy.com


A Line - Spring 2014 by Karmen Berentsen

As part of a series of programs giving Denver’s fashion savvy crowd coveted insider intel, A Line Boutique hosted a Spring Trend Reveal on a snowy January evening. Women from all over Denver and the surrounding suburbs vied for a coveted seat to this sold out event. For one evening, A Line Boutique transformed from a favorite shopping destination into a sophisticated fashion house, complete with designer swatches, sketches, look books, and more. The shop buzzed with excitement. Guests were greeted with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, raffle tickets and goody bags upon arrival. Fashionable women from all over the city mingled, sipping and sharing stories with old friends and new before settling in for a first look at what to expect in Spring ’14. The interactive presentation began when A Line Boutique owner Karmen Berentsen and Buyer Mayra Sanchez-Garcia took the floor with Fashion Editor and Stylist Georgia Benjou. Using the store’s celebrated design board, they showcased trends seen on the runway, and showed how to adapt these looks for the Colorado lifestyle. Offering insights and practical information on creating on trend looks that reflect your personal style, they educated guests on the “transcendental trends,” the looks that will stretch trough seasons and have longevity (and make for great investment pieces.) Joining the panel were experts from SOL and Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare. SOL’s Janelle Kenny shared the secrets to the perfect underpinnings, lingerie and swimwear, while L’erin Stortz, Ever Good, and Amie Belden from Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare demonstrated tips and techniques for the perfect Spring hair. Guests learned one of Spring’s big trends is Boho. The panel broke Boho down into style subsets with corresponding designers: Lingerie and hair looks to compliment each Boho style were illustrated by SOL and Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare. “As professional “retail therapists,” we’re experts at finding pieces our clients love to wear,” said owner Karmen Berentsen. “We deconstruct the trends and designers to find the best fit for our client’s lifestyle. Too often, salespeople push the sale rather than enhancing a woman’s


style, and things end up unworn in the closet. We want you to love what you find at A Line so much that you literally wear it out.” Post presentation, guests enjoyed champagne and petit fours, while raffle tickets were exchanged for impressive door prizes from designers like rag & bone, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and local

Karmen Berentsen is the owner of A Line Boutique. Located in The Village Shops at The Landmark, A Line Boutique has been recognized by Lucky Magazine and Elle as Colorado’s best boutique. Offering fashion-forward Colorado natives and transplants the bridge between high contemporary and high

partners including Matthew Morris and SOL. The Spring Trend Reveal sold out in under a week. To get on the list for the Fall Trend Reveal ticket information, email info@aline-online.com.

fashion, the stylists at A Line Boutique create outfits, solve fashion dilemmas, and write the script for their client’s day-to-day, special event, and vacation style. More than just a store, A Line Boutique is an experience. www.aline-online.com


a HOW BEAUTY IS a SAVING WOMEN a a a a a a a a a a a a a a

BeadforLife Celebrates 10 Years of Assisting Women Out of Poverty

By: Torkin Wakefield Global Ambassador and Co-founder, BeadforLife

Imagine taking used paper and turning it into beauty, hope and income for people who are literally starving. It seems like a miracle of sorts since that is exactly what happened when three women from Boulder went to Africa in 2004 and launched BeadforLife and the international paper bead industry. Torkin Wakefield, her daughter Devin and dear friend Ginny Jordan started with modest goals to help a handful of women who were working for a dollar a day in a rock quarry. Little did they anticipate that they were launching an

organization that would directly affect over 10,000 impoverished Ugandans each year, and so many more throughout Africa as well, women they would never meet.

It started when they met a woman Millie Grace, sitting in the dust in a Kampala slum, rolling a floppy piece of paper into a bead. Curious, they watched how she used thin triangles of colorful paper cut from an old poster. She had a sack full of necklaces and bracelets, but no market. She was a widow from the raging AIDS epidemic caring for 6 children, her own and two orphans. Thinking that they could at least help one woman, the women began thinking about marketing jewelry in North America and eradicating poverty. From that simple beginning, BeadforLife has grown into a multi-dimensional development organization specializing in helping the poorest of the poor become entrepreneurial and create sustainable income for themselves and their families. BeadforLife programs focus on income generation and women’s empowerment. One of these programs is in the slums of Kampala, the capital city, where they have piloted the Street Business School aimed at very poor entrepreneurs to help them scale up their businesses. In just a matter of months,


graduates of this program are tripling their income and growing their businesses. In northern Uganda, which suffered for 20 years in a civil war, BeadforLife sought an opportunity to help refugees who were returning to their homes. Seemingly very good at seeing opportunities, they spotted the Shea tree growing abundantly across northern Uganda. They began to purchase shea nuts from 800 women turning them into a premium shea butter used to create moisturizing cosmetics. At the same time BeadforLife was forging new strategies of income generation in Uganda, they built a Transformational Trade industry, selling an affordable and beautiful jewelry line from paper beads, including earrings, necklaces, and bracelets in a wide range of colors. They also offer a line of cosmetics created with Ugandan shea butter. Using these cosmetics they say “makes you Look Good, Do Good, and Feel Good”. BeadforLife products are available in a variety of locations including retail stores, through their online store www.beadforlife.org/store and at home parties. The parties with a purpose are fondly called “Bead Parties” and are given by women who want to make a difference. They organize a party at their home, office, church, school, or club, or simply carry a satchel of beads around with them throughout their day-to-day lives. Parties do not cost the hostess anything, and hosts report how meaningful it is to have a fresh way to participate and make a real difference. One of the amazing facts about BeadforLife is that as a non-profit it has been financially self-supporting since its beginnings. This means that the sale of the beads benefits first the woman who turned recycled paper into beauty and jewelry. Second, the resale of all BeadforLife jewelry and shea cosmetics allows them to offer many poverty-busting programs in three different locations in Uganda- Kampala, Iganga and Otuke District. Colorado has been one of BeadforLife’s key areas of support. BeadforLife launched the paper bead industry, which now has spread to Kenya, Rawanda, Botswana, and Tanzania. They seem proud that so many other non-profit organizations can provide income to other impoverished women by making paper beads. They emphasize that this means they have to make sure that BeadforLife means “Quality!” Visit BeadforLife and their studio any weekday afternoon and select Saturdays at 2336 Canyon Blvd., in central Boulder. To bring a group for an educational talk or tour, please email Amy@beadforlife.org. To learn more, visit www.beadforlife.org.

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Lisa DiAmor Sanchez

Written by Jeanne Connolly

If you are looking for thought provoking words collectively placed amongst vibrant works of art, than look no further than Colorado Artist, Lisa DiAmor Sanchez. Lisa often communicates about a subject she is passionate about in her work, the possibility of change and the vibrancy that change brings. As an Artist with intention, Lisa uses her art as her own language to connect with the world.

“It just takes one, but I am not the only one.” She does this by layering messages and images in each piece, which often times can be inspired by the beauty of urban decay and powered by her background in psychology.

“If everyone thought the same, nothing would ever change.” Socializing with her trusty sketchbook, allows Lisa to collect material from family, friends and strangers from whom she later layers into some of her best artwork. As a self-taught Artist, Lisa believes that there are no rules in art. Equipped with her three essential tools of the trade: a putty knife, notebook scribbles and q-tips, Lisa creates one-ofkind paintings that tell a story. Lisa believes that every Artist should follow their own path and when asked her secret work tip, she simply says: “Always be prepared to work hard. This is the best job I have ever had and I feel so lucky to be creating art everyday, so the hard work is worth it.”

“Only this and nothing more.”


There you have it folks! Fueled by the goal of reaching people’s emotions through art, molded by a strong family of creatives and taking on the world as a single Mom, Lisa DiAmor Sanchez is currently showing her work at the CHAC Gallery and on the road at various Art Shows. You can follow her online at LisaDiAmor.com where she directly links to all of her Tweets and favorite Facebook likes.

“I never realized until now that forever isn’t long enough.” If you do become an owner of Lisa DiAmor Sanchez’s work, you can guarantee it will be an original. Lisa says, “I am always asked if I have prints of certain pieces and at his point in my career I am happy to say that I don’t. I only want to “I believe that art should be accessible. I love that I can own originals, so I want provide everyone with original art. There is a different everyone else to have them as well.” kind of magic in original art. My art is created with intention and if I make a print some of that intention gets lost “But all the magic I have known in translation. I also love the texture and feel of an origiI have made myself.” nal piece, its like you are a part of the magic.”

“Nothing happens unless we dream first.” Someone Lisa knows has made all of the things that she loves most, whether it’s jewelry, clothing or art. “It’s important for me to buy local and know the story behind the piece.” Her favorite shops are Wild at Heart in the Belmar neighborhood (they carry a lot of local artists) and Sweetwater in Evergreen, CO.

“You can choose to find a way.” “Nothing happens unless we dream first”, so be sure to keep Lisa on your radar for original inspirational female art in Colorado.


Cover Artist

Caroline Geys

www.carolinegeys.com


PRESA HALL THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLACK SHEEP By Margaux Galli There is an aspect of artistry that contradicts the most important part of being an artist. The main purpose of an artist is to create. However, a creative must also shed away in order to begin anew and within the same token must preserve their foundations so that the seeds of creation can grow. Presa Hall, a new artist to the city of New York, has proved herself worthy to the progress of life. Originally from Utah and raised in a strict, Mormon family, she has been influenced by her own spiritual struggles and seeks to explore the “good and evil that battles inside all of us.” At age nineteen, Presa slowly began to doubt her religion after a personal struggle influenced her to look deeper into the beliefs she had been raised with since childhood. “After studying and actually learning about the values, I started to doubt because it didn’t fit with what I thought my values should be. Instead of leaving the religion right away, I decided to study a little bit more about other religions and [make a] full decision about leaving it. After I finally decided that [it wasn’t

the religion for me, it was like a weight off of my shoulders. I felt really good about myself,” says Hall. The years following this epiphany inspired Presa to discover what was beyond the standards of Mormonism and what she considered a sheltered upbringing. In her painting called significantly The Black Sheep’s Glory, a group of sheep is depicted with one black sheep in the center. This piece encapsulates Presa’s personal experiences and rather than falling prey to negativity surrounding her upbringing, she chooses to remain light-hearted and uses humor to establish her narrative language as an artist. “A nickname given to me was ‘the black sheep’ and it’s a joke with my family and I. As a kid, I followed the religion to the T but I always had this outlook about what people who aren’t Mormon do. I thought it was in the club, throwing bottles, being crazy, being sinful, and it was almost like this painting is a satire on what I thought as a kid. I painted that black sheep in the environment that I imagined to shed light on how silly it is because obviously there are different shades


of white and black, there’s gray. It’s not black and white. It’s not this is evil, this is good,” says Hall. Coming from an artistic family Presa has been influenced by a ballet dancer for a mother, a published author for a father, and a painter for a sister. Being the last of five children, a young Presa found ways to stand out amongst the gaggle of family. She learned to express herself not through words, which were sometimes lost, but through visually representing her feelings. According to

-ing her newly found independence and contrast within herself. As a further extension of her talent and her need to express emotion, most of her work has been inspired by her poetry and life experiences. “I want my paintings to tell a story, and invoke the emotion I had while creating it. I hope that my paintings will portray a moment in my life, a feeling, a person or place that made a significant impact. Colors can symbolize the feeling I want the viewer to have

Presa, the best way to get to know her would be to look at her artwork. “When I was a little girl, I wouldn’t really say much that was emotional or personal. I didn’t feel like I had to say it in words. , I would talk a lot to shout over my brothers, over my sister, over my family and I would never get responses or answers. So I would go do my own thing and then eventually my family would want to see all my artwork. Then you can’t ignore that, a piece of art that your kid made to show how she feels about something.” Although some of her work stems from past challenges in her life, Most of Presa’s pieces seem to represent the musings of a young woman explor

or invoke an emotion or memory of their own.” Like many artists and ambitious individuals, Presa dreamed of coming to New York since she was a teenager, a dream fueled by the idea that the city was a hub for serious artists. Eventually, as Presa grew older, the dream rose up again when after many years of living on her own and working at jobs she wasn’t passionate about, she decided to make the big move. Presa describes New York as a challenge and felt it was the driving force on what has kept her on an artistic path. “When I had to make that final decision of should I go to L.A., should I go to New York...it was kind


of a toss between the two…I decided to go with my original plan of when I was a teenager and envisioned that life for myself and just took a chance. It was kind of spur of the moment, got a one way ticket, and just came here with one bag.” After three years in New York and many layers shed to form the woman she is today, Presa feels more confident as an artist because she is finally being true to herself. Despite many spiritual and lifestyle differences, her family shows pride in their daughter’s success. A lot of us can relate to Presa’s story of feeling out of place and realizing that some values you’ve been raised with are no longer who you want to be, but this artist has clearly made peace with the past and carved out a place in the art world where she can be free to express herself. This ambition and fearlessness has earned Presa numerous solo shows, mural spaces, and a place in this year’s Miami Art Basel through Hangar Gallery where she showcased her most recent series of work called Eye Constellations.

In this collection, Presa juxtaposes close ups of irises, star constellations, and NASA images of stars. Gleaming off of the idea that the eyes are windows to our soul, Presa uses the glints in eyes to form the star constellations of different astrological signs. Each piece in the collection represents a different constellation, utilizing color and features of the eye to represent the “personality” of that sign. A both clever and beautifully conceived collection, Presa hopes to continue the use of texture that she created with recycled materials dipped in acrylic and ceramic base in her future pieces. “I wanted to show a little bit more depth because I feel like in my life, a lot of my friends’, and when people talk to me there’s always a struggle in the day-to-day of even simple decisions and a lot of self-doubting. I want to have pieces now that represent that conflict. I want to evoke a feeling the moment they look at it.”


The Art of Movement

Cher Aslor

Water: Surf Yoga Soothes the Colorado Soul Growing up in landlocked Colorado, I was never very comfortable in the water. Give me solid ground and I will move – I’ve been a dancer since I could walk, and a student and teacher of Pilates and yoga for a long time. I never was, nor will be, a good swimmer. When I was small, my older brother took me out on a boogie board during a family trip to Los Angeles. It was my first time ever seeing the ocean, and the rush of the waves was terrifying. That little voice inside my head screamed “I’m scared! We’re too far out!” As hot tears streamed down my face, I begged him to take me back to shore. In typical big brother fashion, he laughed and tried to reassure me all was fine. It ended in a meltdown that I (and he) will never forget.

It’s been a journey for me, getting comfortable in the water. And while I don’t think scuba diving will ever be in my future, in my adult life I’ve gotten a bit more adventurous. A few years ago, I took a snorkeling trip with my little sister off the island of Ko Phi Phi in Thailand. Even when we were young, she was much more at home in the ocean. As if our roles were reversed, she’s always stuck close to me in the water, like she was the big sister. On one of our outings that trip, the water was crystal clear and warm, with lots of brilliant ocean life to observe. Out of nowhere, I felt a sharp bite on my face, popped my head out of the water, and screamed....a jellyfish stung my lip. Our snorkel trip was cut short, and I ended up in the clinic for several days, miserable, my lips swollen like (a not hot) Angelina Jolie. As I mentioned, growing up in Colorado doesn’t

give for lots of ocean access, and some may call my relationship with the water “ironic.” But from boogie board blues and snorkel-stung lips, I grew up, and now lead surf yoga retreats. Notice I don’t call myself a surfer. I attempt to surf.

If you’ve ever tried surfing and didn’t catch a wave on your first day, you know what I mean when I say “attempt.” Surfing is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I’m a pretty good snow boarder. I can hang with the boys in the backcountry on a powder day. I practice and teach yoga and Pilates daily. Some might call me graceful. I’m constantly working with balance and movement. But there’s nothing like surfing, except surfing. In 2008, I started taking groups down to Playa Grande, Costa Rica. A good friend and fellow yoga enthusiast was living there for a year with her kids. She’d found a charming boutique hotel


with a space for yoga, and invited me to bring a group for a little yoga retreat. I gathered 8 bold souls (mostly friends and a few trusting clients), made some arrangements, and off to Costa Rica we went. Most of us had never touched a surfboard, and those who had were still novices. We found exceptional teachers, and it was on this trip that some really beautiful things happened. #1 - I began to conquer my fear of the water through learning to surf. #2 – I realized that if surfing could help me, then it was my job to bring this dynamic, healing adventure to others. It’s been five years and seven retreats since that first trip, and today my students join me in another Costa Rican town called Santa Teresa, further south of Grande on the Nicoyan Peninsula. It’s a bit of a trek to get to, but definitely worth it – it’s the perfect place to learn how to surf. The beach-break makes it’s safe to learn on the white wash (it’s shallow for a further distance, so you can still touch the ground pretty far out.) Here, beginners learn to surf on the waves after they break, making it easier to handle your board, get your balance, and try to stand up. Those with more experience can find their bliss too, as this spot is home to some of the best waves in the world. There’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re a “water baby” or need “water-wings.” While guests on my retreats come from all over, my Colorado students often provide the most interesting scenarios

(there’s that land locked thing again!) Last November, my friend Sarah decided to join us. She’s a yoga teacher like me, and your typical active Coloradan - loves to hike, bike, and be outdoors. Sarah had never swum in the ocean before, so she brought her swimming goggles. Her determination to wear those goggles surfing was both comical and endearing. If you’ve ever tried to surf, then you know that the ocean does not give a hoot about your “tools and accessories” - itsbest not to be too attached to anything worn in the water. Yes, sometimes that includes your bottoms (ladies, tie those bikini strings tight!)’ The first day we arrived in Costa Rica, I suggested we go for a swim to get comfortable in the ocean and ease her nerves. This is something a surf instructor had done with me on one of the trips I lead a few years back. After getting tossed pretty badly in what I viewed as a big wave, the simple act of swimming in the ocean helped me regain the confidence to get back on my surfboard. Into the water we went, her goggles in hand. Before she could even put them on, the joy and laughter of playing in the waves washed over us, and she


realized she didn’t need her goggles after all. As thing I’ve felt in my life. It gives me a sense of the week wore on, I watched her spirit unfold, pride that I can actually accomplish things that her fears dissipate, and she mastered standmy brain tells me that I can’t do, and I see that ing up on her board. I always feel like a proud same pride in the people that come on my remama bear watching my group learn, laugh, and treats. come back with stories of their time in the waButterflies as far as the eye can see. The scent of ter when we gather for our daily post-surf yoga. flowers and mangos fills the air. The sounds of A lively pairing of movement on land and in the birds and monkeys, our natural morning alarm water, these weeklong retreats combine daily clock. There’s nothing better than a day of surfyoga classes with 3 days of surf lessons (there’s ing in the ocean, yoga on the tree tops deck, and an option to add more lessons if desired.) Almost delicious meals in Santa Teresa with my students. every day is spent in the water, a huge treat for These surf yoga retreats are my way of bringing all the landlocked yogis from Colorado who join together the elements of earth and water for my me. After surfing, we head to the tree tops yoga students, challenging and awakening the spirit. deck for relaxing and reinvigorating yoga ses- And being able to connect these two elements in one space evokes a unique sense of gratitude sions overlooking the ocean. for landlocked Coloradoans like my students and Even with seven surf yoga retreats under my belt, me. I’m still not very good on a surfboard. But the few times I’ve caught a real wave (okay, I got pushed For that one week I am privileged. Souls are into it and my instructor told me when to start soothed. Bodies strengthened. Stories told. paddling, but still...) it was the most exhilarating Friendships made. Fears conquered.

Cher Aslor is a certified yoga instructor (Forrest yoga and Vinyasa yoga), a PMA Certified Pilates Instructor, and studio owner with two locations in Denver. Cher continues to study with and assist her teacher Ana Forrest at yoga workshop and conferences, leads a Pilates Teacher Training program at her studio pH7, and teaches yoga and Pilates workshops in Denver and nationally. Join her for her next retreat in Costa Rica April 26thMay 3rd and November 15th to the 22nd. For more information, visit www.yogawithcher.com

PHOTO CREDIT FOR HEADSHOT: KELLY SHROADS Photo credit for other shots: Jason Bach


SPRING FLINGING Spring Fli nging

Shelli SHELL Nelli gan NELLIGAN ANDERSON Anderson

Spring is just around the corner. The seed and plant catalogs are all arriving. The weather is tempting us with the occasional warm day. The days are becoming longer. Just the other day on my walk, bits of green grass were poking through the earth, a blue heron flew over head, the ice was melting on the creek, birds were singing with joy. Today, the buds on the columnar aspen were starting to open.

Gardens in the spring… isn’t that what we live for? The anticipation of the bulbs that were planted in the autumn, flowering. Waiting for last year’s perennials to become ever more established, and flowering even more? Turning over the soil, turning over a new leaf, a new year. I love the spring! I love donning my work clothes and my new leather gloves, heading out the door with the dogs to start the new season of gardening.

Before heading outside to start your garden clean up, there are a few practical matters to take care of. Make sure that you have new blades on your pruners. Take your loppers and your sheers to have them sharpened. Make sure that the blade on your spade has also been sharpened, that your rakes are springy and strong. Oil the handles of your wooden tools, be proud of the work that they help you do.

Once you are outside, settle in for the transformation that is about to happen. Gently prune away the dead foliage on the perennials. Give your roses a big pruning to open up the canes and to allow for new growth and new blooms. Cut back your ornamental grasses… No more brown. There are always the few plants that need a little extra love, clean them up and turn in some compost at the base, give them a big drink and a little prayer.


Now it’s time to sit back with your cup of tea, and look at your garden. This is a new year, it is time to turn over a new leaf. Time to think about the fountain that you have been pining for… let yourself dream about the sound. Maybe it’s time to look at that sunny area by the garage where the grass always dies, and consider vegetable boxes. Think about your outdoor room or rooms… perhaps adding on to your patio and installing a fire-pit. Perhaps a hedge to screen the new neighbors who seem just a bit too friendly, ”good fences make great neighbors”. Dream, sketch, dream some more…

Shelli Nelligan-Anderson is the owner of Stems Garden Design and Maintenance. A boutique firm serving clients big and small, in 2013 Shelli and Stems are proud to celebrate their twenty-year mark creating and cultivating beautiful gardens. Her love of nature (especially trees), combined with a rich career history in fashion, photography, and a stint at the New York Botanical Gardens has lead to the design and implementation of many beautiful outdoor spaces. www.stemsgardendesign.com

”It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want-oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain


ARTIST LEADING FROM THE HEART by by Diana Diana Rose Rose Frances

In the midst of fame, fortune, and notoriety, there is another benchmark for success amongst artists and performers. The rock-and-roll lifestyle now has a new competitor: the socially conscious artist. My personal investment in promoting these artists stems from my history as both a professional performer and as an “elementary school social worker,” having successfully rescued several local animals, and speaking out against plastic surgery and poor-self esteem on local news by age eight.

of precision in child management would truly heal their hearts.

My professional music career began in New York City at age seven. While a life in the spotlight gave me many irreplaceable skills and experiences, it also had its dark side. “You’re only as good as your last performance,” echoed through my head constantly. My identity was so tightly entwined with the reception of my audience; it was hard to know where I began and their applause ended.

as broken items in need of “fixing”) than I had in my previous five years of social work. It was then, at the eager requests of these children, that I faced my own fears and sat back down at the piano to share with them the gift of music.

What then, if not the old ways of rewards and consequences, would? In my experience, having meaningful conversations about the power of children’s thoughts, words, music, art, and creative expression had a greater effect than any of the hundreds of meticulous “safety plans” I had composed over the years. I saw more results in those first few months seeing the children as complete and healthy (not

Thus began my journey with creative healing. After years of soul searching and trial and error, I started to understand how to create a winning combination Eventually, stress got the better of me, and I si- by harnessing the healing properties of expressive multaneously let go of my career and all joy in life. arts and infusing the work with social and emotionFor seven full years I refused to sing, and instead al consciousness. dedicated my life to helping others as a social I am delighted and compelled to share this noworker. I experienced tremendous joy from con- tion of artists leading with the heart. While I enjoy necting to children in need, but as new education the works of many musicians who don expensive shifted my perspective, I realized that no level wardrobes and live in multimillion-dollar mansions,


I want to focus on the artists fighting the good fight. This column will be highlighting artists and organizations that are inspired by purpose in existence, by those who want to enact positive change in every way they can. Alternative practitioners know that toxic emotions are stored in the body, know that music and meditation heals the brain, and know that nature has a profound effect on a weary mind and heart. To date, simply knowing wasn’t enough to get a grant awarded. Now, esteemed neuroscientists confirm with scientific data that a positive mindset can reverse maladapted neurological patterns, certain exercises can reroute traumatized reactions, and sound and thought affect particular brainwaves. St. Francis Healing Works offers a wide range of services that connect people to these missing components of their human nature. If individuals have regular access to what is most natural – whole food, nutrition, peace of mind, physical wellness, exercise, connection with nature, creative expression and a sense of community-a large degree of mental, emotional, and physical disturbance would heal. This is a holistic approach to body, mind and spirit. St Francis Healing Works operates as a social enterprise that provides accessibility to people of all

backgrounds and socio-economic status. Currently, StF (as we fondly refer to the organization) is comprised of FORTE Expressive Works, a topnotch music school that fosters confidence in students to express their individuality as performers, and instills personal empowerment through art. Noah Wilson and I will be instructors and program directors.  SPACECRAFT, directed by Leanne Alaman, is an art thrift store. It will offer affordable art classes that foster personal empowerment and workshops on social justice. We will partner with Glowmundo, a local 501c3 directed by Candice Bataille that serves Denver youth by teaching them to harness the power of positive thinking. We will also be home to a team of massage therapists, meditation instructors, yoga instructors, and life coaches. St. Francis Healing Works has been a dream of mine for many years. I realize now that all my experiences, (positive and seemingly negative), have prepared me for the launching of this beautiful organization. I believe in my heart, and have experienced first-hand, the methodology of St. Francis. His advocacy for connecting to nature and animals, belief in the ability of wayward youth, and steadfast platform of unconditional love has healed hearts and propelled the organic emergence of this organization’s name:  St Francis Healing Works.


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Denver Pop - Spring/Summer 2014  
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