S P R I N G
FAUNA 2 018
IDA + MOON @idaandmoon
T h i s s p r i n g, ta r r a i s d i v i n g into the value of failure. Why is failure critical to success? How can you conquer the fear of failure? W h a t i s i t a b o u t f a i l u re t h a t â€™s s o p o w e r f u l ? Why is it that we are deathly afraid of failing?
MAY 10, 2018
Fa i l u r e s, Fa l s e S ta r t s & Everything in Between M a s t e r c l a s s a n d A n t i - N e t w o r k i n g Ev e n t to benefit Girls, Inc. of Metro Denver
TARRA Masterclass at Modern Nomad 4:00-6:15pm; Presented by DADO
TAR R A x Me tta S o ci e ty A n t i-N et work in g at Bar He l ix to B e n e f i t G irls In c. of M et ro D e n ver 6:30-8:00pm; Presented by Abby Sparks Jewelry
TARRA Council Dinner at The Bindery 7:30-10:00pm; Presented by K Contemporary
B u y t i c k e t s : ta r r a .c o / e v e n t s PRESENTED by:
This is for innovators, risk-takers, rebels, and game changers who are ready for more. TARRA is a global network of women cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders.
T H AT ’S YO U. T H AT ’S T H E M . T H AT ’S U S. Mentoring Programs Anti-Networking Events Innovative Education
w e ’ r e l e v e l i n g t h e p l ay i n g f i e l d . join us.
Ta r r a .c o
S P R I N G
T E A M
Directors Board Carlee Henderson Jordyn Timpson Kate Kirkwood Hannah Thurston Jess Draper Laure Ely
Editor-in-Chief/ Art Director Publishing Director Social Media Director Creative Director Advertising Design Director Copy Editor
Photographers Ash Taylor Adam Gardner Jordyn Timpson
@thegutsandglory @wildanimas @demojordyn @alliehoo @jonrosephoto
AlexandrĂŠ Brexa Hoosen Jon Rose
Contributing Writers Jahla Seppanen Lindsay Graham Kate Kirkwood Alyson Goodman Carlee Henderson
@ballabacon @lindsaylouise_ @katekirkwood @notthatalyway @carleeah
Sponsors Kate Bailey, Annabel Media & TARRA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . @annabelmedia, tarra.co/
Dustin Chiappetta, Pearl Wine Company
Maggie Yarbrough and Melyssa Mead, Suerte Tequila. . . . . . . . . . . . . @suertetequila
Hannah Thurston, Ida+Moon
Quinton Bennett, Wheelhouse Cannned Cocktails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . @wheelhousecannedcocktails
Benefactors Fernando, Joan Jones, Eleanor Cheetham, Becky Miller, Mandi Casolo, Valerie Santerli, Hilary Morris, Jason DeMarte, Earl Standerford, Erin Bird, Jen Tobias, Kate Bailey, Lisa Cozad, Christopher Minarik, Dustin Peterson, Jon Rose & The Holiday Chalet
To those whoâ€™ve donated and contributed to the success of this zine publication, thank you. 6
E D I T O R I A L
CONTENT Note from the Editor: Nature in Flux 8 Local Shop Highlight: Becky Miller of Modern Nomad 10 Kyle Emerson: Virility in Bloom 24 Jason DeMarte and Rule Gallery: Artificial Sweetener 34 A F L O R A | | F A U N A Feature The History of US 40 Colfax Avenue: “Gateway to the Rockies” 42 Last of the Easy Riders: Ride High Stay High 54 Sacred Thistle: An Elevated Botanica 62 The Velveteers: Midnight Mischief at Hi-Dive 70
VOLUME 3 ISSUE 1
Listen to this issue’s podcast and see additional film at: w w w . f l o r a f a u n a z i n e . c o m Collaborate with us! Follow FLORA || FAUNA on Instagram: @__flora_fauna__ Like us on Facebook: @ f l o r a f a u n a m a g
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FLORA || FAUNA is a Denver based zine publication highlighting local creatives and entrepreneurs. All material in FLORA || FAUNA may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the consent of FLORA || FAUNA Editor-in-Chief Carlee Henderson.
Inquiries: h e l l o @ f l o r a f a u n a z i n e.com
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR. Denver, the alchemist? Such a medieval way to think of a city in our country’s day and age; to witness a magical economic boom before one’s eyes, igniting a new way of living with technological advancements and architectural modernization (that has now surpassed the city’s current structural limitations). But, magical? Why does it sound so incredulous to believe a strong and innovative economy exists in the United States? Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014, Colorado’s economy has grown exponentially. But how much is too much? Is a steady alchemic rhythm possible for the Mile High? When will Denver find the right balance and who denotes this? How were we to know it would turn out this exponentially inflated? Maybe other states should take note on how powerful legalizing cannabis has impacted our state in a positive way. Some have. But unfortunately not the ones that need it most. The nature of our own wellbeing is always in flux. Growing, changing, moving, adapting. Many who’ve moved here have taken it upon themselves to travel towards “greener” pastures. I believe this to be a choice we’re all incumbently faced with, to try to live in prosperity and hope; to find a balance. The influx of people moving here has brought a new wave of creativity on top of an already cultured city. Growing up outside of Flint, MI, I watched small businesses close their doors to franchise competition until everything around me was just that, a franchise. So to have this many successful small businesses thriving is incredibly exciting and a fantastic opportunity to get more involved. The theme of this issue, Nature in Flux, highlights these local businesses, artists and musicians who are heavily influenced by nature in their everyday life and translate it into their work through various and unique methods. Each article touches on metaphorical depth through growth and blossoming circumstances, each curated individually to tailor each subject. However, all come together cohesively to complement how people are bringing nature “back” into a city that’s modernizing so rapidly. The vast group of people chosen for this issue come from different backgrounds yet all share that same feeling of connecting to nature, as executed through their work. The feature, The History of US 40 Colfax Ave.: “Gateway to the Rockies”, shares the history of kitschy Colfax motels, originally built from high demand of western travelers and vacationers back in the mid-20th century. Even with their ornate signs that still stand on the strip today, modernized hotels and AirBnB make it impossible to compete. So why do they remain open, and at what cost to their reputation? The shoot was themed to portray a 1970’s cross-country road trip, taking US 40 through its entirety (the longest street in America!) and enjoying all the perks motels offered back then. Denver is leading the way for an economic revolution. I can only hope other states are able to follow suit, and fast.
Photograph by Alexandré Hoosen
MODERN nomad A FLORA
L O CA L
SH O P HIGHLIGHT
B e c ky m i l l e r s c o r e d p r o p e r t y o n L a r i m e r a d e c a d e a g o . N o w , s h e w e l c o m e s t h e e c o n o m i c c h a n g e i n D e n v e r by opening he r d o o r s to othe r female busine ss owne r s as a c o l l e c t i v e c e l e b r at i n g d e s i g n . IN TE RVIE W BY CA RLE E H E N D E R SON P H OTO G RA P H Y BY J ORDY N TI MP SON Tell me about your company! What is your mission and what do you offer your community?
“I felt that RiNo and its residents were underserved by retail and was therefore compelled to create a place where people can go to roam, shop, mingle, and be inspired.
“The space and store came to be in 2017 when I had the opportunity to build and create a vision for a 5,500 SF warehouse in the heart of RiNo.
They say retail is dead, but it’s all about the experience and meaningful collaborations with exceptional people.
I grew up in Denver and I remember when this part of town was strictly industrial and sketchy. It was where the cool kids went to dance and RiNo as we know it didn’t exist. Since then, it has come into its own, and I feel that it is the most exciting neighborhood in Denver right now. The history, the rawness of it all, the juxtaposition, the people who have been pioneers in commercial and residential real estate, the artists, the residents (old and new), the incredible visionaries and business owners have all made RiNo THE place to be.
The concept of Modern Nomad is a multi-tenant retail space with the absence of demising walls. The tenants have created their store and experience within a store. We’re all different yet distinctly complementary. We’ve created a space that is beautiful, inspiring, polarizing – yet friendly and one that people can linger in for hours and feel at home and welcome. I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends and local business owners I respect personally and professionally. I honestly look forward to going to work every day!”
What is the history of this building and how it came to be yours? “We purchased this building (and the one next door) in 2007. It was a risky move but it felt right. As soon as we bought both buildings, the market crashed and we had to rethink everything. A pivotal moment was DNC. Not only that it was in Denver, but that they chose our building to host an incredible event – featuring Gavin Newsom, Sarah Silverman, Z-Trip, Shepard Fairey, She & Him, etc. David Cho did the mural on our overhead door which stood for years as proof. I’ll never forget that energy in Denver. Being young, being part of a city that was growing leaps and bounds, and progressive. The energy that night was off the charts, and for the first time as a native of Denver, I felt that we had made it, there was hope, and that we were on the map. After having several tenants over the years, the building came up for lease in 2017, and I knew it was the perfect space for Modern Nomad. I literally couldn’t sleep as I was determined that this would come to be. It was an idea I had for years, but it was never the right time. We had several lucrative offers to buy and lease the building, but I was lucky enough to have the support of several people who trusted me to make this a reality. Notably my husband and his business partner, and our friendship with Jill Warner of Mod Livin’ - which sealed the deal. I spent 4 months peeling back and exposing the original structure. Nothing major structurally because the building had good bones, but it was necessary to unveil the potential. It was more work and money than I anticipated, as it always is, but it turned out how I imagined it would. The space speaks for itself. I love it when people walk in and remark how beautiful it is. Most people are surprised that this is in Denver, which might be the best compliment ever.” T o p p h o t o : A f t e r . . . b y K e l ly S h r o a d s B o t t o m R I G H T: B e f o r e . . . b y B e c k y M i l l e r B O T T O M L E F T: B E F O R E . . . B Y G O O G L E M A P S
What was the building bought for originally? “The buildings were purchased for investment potential and office space to house a tech company.” What sparked starting your own business? What were you doing before you opened Modern Nomad for business? “I came up with the idea of Modern Nomad in 2012 and registered the name, but that’s how I’ve always felt about my life, vision and upbringing. I was lucky to have parents that supported my independence and intense need to leave the comforts of Denver and the US to get out of my comfort zone and explore new cultures, continents, countries and lifestyles. Apparently I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve worked as a real estate broker for the past 20 years in Denver, and since then, have opened 2 restaurants, a design business and now Modern Nomad. I lived in NYC for a period in my 20’s and discovered ABC Carpet & Home. From that time forward, I wanted to emulate that concept and feeling in Denver. Modern Nomad is by no way similar and to that scale, but it was always my inspiration. Just had to be the right time and the right space.” How has your real estate and interior design background shaped you and how you do connect and network within the community? “I found myself out of college in commercial real estate working for the top brokers in a locally owned top tier real estate firm. I graduated from CU with a degree in International Relations, and all I knew at the time was that I wanted to be back in a city. After spending 6 years in commercial real estate, I decided I wanted to sell homes. What I discovered was a more meaningful impact with my clients, and realized that I absolutely love Denver neighborhoods, architecture, emerging parts of the city, investment potential, and realizing what a space could be and should be. I also realized at that time how much I love interior design, because real estate is selling an ideal, vision, and realizing potential. Real estate and design go hand-in-hand, and I still enjoy selling real estate while cultivating Modern Nomad.”
How would you describe your interior design medium and aesthetic? “I am a textile freak and inspired by fashion. Living in Copenhagen in my 20’s also shaped my design aesthetic, as have all my travels since. I’m pretty eclectic - I love the assemblage and layering of modern furniture with tribal textiles, mixing high and low, couture and ethnic, street and glam. It’s all about layering, authenticity, juxtaposition and at the end of the day, how you feel in a particular space. I buy what I love. If it doesn’t work now, it will work in a design scheme later.”
What is your and your company’s connection to nature? “In addition to textiles, rugs, lighting and home décor, Modern Nomad features a rotating selection of plants. I love going to the florist and plant nursery – it is one of the highlights of my week. Luxury to me means having fresh flowers around always. A vignette always looks better with a plant in it.” How does nature influence you and your business decisions; what products you sell, who you get your products from, tactile, aesthetic, etc.? “What I love about design is that it is constantly evolving and changing. Just like fashion, the seasons influence design and choices that are made. When purchasing for the store, I buy things I love and would want in my home. Many of the items we carry are created in nature i.e. feather and shell collars from Borneo, wooden bowls from Africa, handmade baskets, naturally dyed pillows, etc.
Nature brings texture and I can’t get enough of it. ” Many of the products at Modern Nomad Home are sourced from small artisans. We see these mass-produced trends that lose their authenticity, so it’s important to source from the source. I have purposefully sought out artisans with small businesses which support their families and local communities. Most of these business owners are women who work hard, are insanely passionate about what they do, and are supportive of new business owners in every way.”
What are some words you’d use to describe Modern Nomad? “Being a Modern Nomad for me is travelling and collecting things that you love along the way – bringing the outside in – the unknown in – thereby making it part of your life and atmosphere. Yet as much as I would love a nomadic existence, I always need to come back to a place I call home. Home includes all those things you’ve collected in the world, along with beautiful furniture and art. Modern Nomad takes you on a journey, but it’s all about Home. I’d like to think that we have brought a sense of art, community, commerce and beauty to RiNo.”
What are your views of the city’s growth over the past 10 years and what are some positive aspects you see blooming from it? “To say this city has exploded in the last 10 years is an understatement. I spent most of my life trying to leave Denver as I felt uninspired and that it would always be a “cow town”. We have a long way to go in term of diversity, but change is happening. I love feeling pleasantly surprised (all the time lately) by the developers, architects, makers, business owners and influencers in this city. We are becoming a destination on many levels. For the most part, people here are friendly and welcoming. The business owners in RiNo inspire me everyday. We talk, inquire, collaborate and support each other. This town is small, and I actually love and appreciate that so much.” What is your favorite advice when it comes to design? What advice do you give people in your life looking to add beauty into their everyday surroundings? “Design is subjective. There are rules yet there are no rules. Be honest, true to yourself and don’t be afraid to take risks. Buy what you love. Always. If it doesn’t work now it will work later. Personally, I want my space to be beautiful. That’s my MO. For others its contrast, modernity, starkness, shock, tradition, trend, etc. For me it’s putting all those elements together in a way that works and makes people at ease, inspired, and want to linger. The hardest part is that I’m my own worst critic. I’d redecorate and move every 6 months if allowed. It never ends and always evolves. It feeds my soul. Which is the best part; it’s why I do this. Do what you love and the rest will follow.”
You collaborate with small artisans, what do you look for in a resident? “In terms of Modern Nomad, the collective, Mod Livin’ is the primary tenant. I love their modern, clean aesthetic, and I 100% believe in supporting local small business. They are not only good at what they do, the people behind the business are exceptional, and they go above and beyond for their clients. I worked with Jill Warner on a design project I had years ago, and since then we have become friends. Jill is a pioneer in the furniture business and she had such vision and bravery when opening Mod Livin’ 16 years ago on Colfax.
“I had envisioned the possibility that all of the businesses at Modern Nomad would be women owned and run, but this was never the criteria. But as you would have it, we are all women owned! I am so inspired by these women. Not only do they have businesses that complement the space and idea behind Modern Nomad, they are lovely people, inside and out. We laugh a lot. And have fun. I feel so lucky.” //
The newest tenants to join the space are La Lovely Vintage and Homefill. La Lovely Vintage is home to both men’s and women’s vintage (and new) clothing and accessories, vintage and handmade jewelry, postcards, succulents, handmade candles and a killer collection of vinyl records. Kim Whitehead of Homefill her mission is to reduce the single use of plastic and to support local business with all natural products. Homefill operates as a bulk kitchen and bath station where you can come to refill your common household products including everything from face scrubs to dishwasher detergent. Homefill has a wide variety of containers to choose from and only charges by the ounce when your fill is due! Almost all of her products are local to Colorado including bath bombs, shampoos and even dog treats! Homefill also carries those things you need to make your home more green, such as wool dryer balls, reusable produce bags and dishwasher safe sponges.”
Modern Nomad houses f e male run companies such as L a Lovely Vintage (far left) and Ida+Moon (top right)
KYLE EMERSON VIRILITY IN BLOOM By Aly Goodman Photography by Ash Taylor Art Direction by Carlee Henderson Creative Direction/Styling by Hannah Thurston Clothing by Goldmine Vintage Location: Denver Botanic Gardens www.botanicgardens.org @ denverbotanic
Musician Kyle Emerson started his career on a high note as former guitarist for the popular psychadelic band Plum. Once the band moved to LA, however, Kyle felt the need to return to the mountains and start his own solo project ; an intimate LP titled , Dorothy Alice , accelerating his success here in Denver.
Who were your biggest musical influences in creating Dorothy Alice?
How do you like to describe your music? “This is a tough one. It’s not quite singer-songwriter music nor is it that folky to me but both labels work. I guess I’m trying to combine all my favorite parts of the different kinds of music I love.”
“Dorothy Alice was very influenced by finger-picking guitar music and records that felt to me like they were made in a quick way. Albums like L.A. Turnaround by Bert Jansch, Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon, Folk Blues & Beyond by Davy Graham, and Harvest by Neil Young were all important references in the writing and recording process.”
This is a very personal record. You talk a lot about family and the record is named after your grandmother. How much of your upbringing and childhood is encased in this music? What’s it like to share so much of yourself publicly?
This album is a great showcase of your musicianship and guitar skills. Who are your guitar idols?
“It was especially uncomfortable at first playing these songs live in a bar setting. I’m used to it now but it definitely wasn’t easy to be in that head space night in and night out.
“I have so many favorites but to give a few I’d say Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Kurt Vile, and Blake Mills are some of the heaviest hitters for me, personally.
I’m still learning how my childhood and upbringing affects me as an artist because it’s the only experience I have. As my friends start to have kids and I compare our upbringings I’m finding little nuances that shaped who I am today, especially the religious aspect of my formative years.”
A lot of times my favorite part of a guitar player is their sonic exploration and how the sound/ tone is just as important as the notes they’re playing. David Gilmour is king to me in that department.”
Many decisions have to be made when writing and recording an album. With a band, you have the space to bounce ideas off each other and collaborate ideas. I read that you demo’d most of Dorothy Alice in your bedroom. How was that work in comparison to recording with Plum? Can you describe your experience writing and recording a solo project versus writing and recording with a collaborative band?
You play a lot with other Denver acts around town. How has moving back to Denver from LA affected your sound? What is the biggest difference between our scene and the larger LA scene? “I don’t think my sound changing has any correlation to moving. It’s hard to know why you write a certain song or where certain songs come from. However, the biggest difference I feel is having more resources at my disposal this time around and the ability to try out some of the new material on a live audience which I didn’t have the opportunity to do with Dorothy Alice before releasing those songs.
“Plum’s writing process was very collaborative and the majority of it happened with all of us in the room together. I’m working pretty heavily at this point with the live band in the studio but most of the arrangement and part writing still happens when I’m working on the songs by myself. This is sort of a best of both worlds balance that’s working out nicely at the moment.”
There doesn’t seem to be a huge difference in general vibe of the music scene as far as LA vs Denver goes. LA has more industry to offer it’s artists but Denver also seems less competitive and more inclusive which can be nice at times.”
If you weren’t playing music, what would you be doing ?
What’s next for you?
“Oh God, I have no idea. Maybe I’d be a dentist.”
“I’m currently writing and recording a handful of new songs that I’m really excited about. I don’t have any idea on when it will be released but hopefully sooner than later. We’re playing a few shows around Colorado this summer as well as starting to tour and I’m really looking forward to that.”
RAPI D FI RE RO U ND What have you been listening to lately? “Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.” Favorite female artist? “I’ve always been a big fan of Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief. I identify with female singer-songwriters more than I do with male singer-songwriters for the most part so there are quite a few I could name. There’s something extremely valuable to me about the angle that many women write from. It’s a kind of vulnerability and wisdom that I don’t find in as many male artists’ work. A song like Dreams by Fleetwood Mac comes to mind and how perfect Stevie Nicks’s perspective was on that subject matter. It’s vulnerable but never weak. That’s a place I want to get to as a songwriter.” Favorite local musician/ band? “Panther Martin.” Favorite city in the Southwest? “Taos, New Mexico.” Who is your favorite Muppet? “Animal.” Your favorite drink? “Ginger Kombucha.” What’s your favorite venue to play? To attend? “We played Washington’s in Fort Collins last month and it was incredible. All the way from the green room to the stage sound, it was the best. I love seeing shows at The Bluebird and have played there a handful of time, too. It’s the perfect combination of intimacy as an audience member and a big sounding room for the performer.” // 32
RULE GALLERY JASON DEMARTE
JASON D E MAR a r t i f i c i a l s w e e t e n e r | by Jahla Seppanen
Adorned by Jason DeMarte is a romantic exhibit of natural indulgence that subtly hints to an ultimate demise. Imagery donated by Rule Gallery w w w. r u l e g a l l e r y. c o m
Artist Jason DeMarte has birthed a new nature, more blushed and alluring than its organic form, but similarly tinged with the curdling saccharine of consumerism. This juxtaposition is the focus of his latest exhibition Adorned, showing at Denver’s Rule Gallery May 3 – June 16. By means of bright studio lighting trademarked by the marketing and consumer product industry, DeMarte captures pristine digital photos of singular flora and fauna, dripping with purple juices and sugared frosting, marrying the digital shots into one image with the depth of over 100 Photoshop layers. The result is a seductive and vivid window into a familiar yet bizarre nature— as though you, the viewer, are spying on a hidden scene with binoculars. Pulled in by the pieces’ colors and size, by the sharpness in each moth’s wing or flower petal’s wilting tip, a step closer to the frame and a darkness emerge from the paradise view. Foreboding skies and suspicious stares from the bird’s ink-black pupils brings about what can only be compared to eating too much ice cream, feeling a candy-coated pang in your stomach, and going back for another scoop. We sat down with DeMarte to discuss the Denver debut of Adorned, his home-grown process, and the impact of consumer environment’s infiltration of the natural world.
What was your earliest influence of nature in flux? “I found a pigeon that died who was laying in this beautiful lush green grass. I was attracted to the duality of the bright cheerful color and the finality of death. At the time, I’d also been working with the image of this ice cream cone and I put them together. It created a bird shape. I was drawn to this fleeting happiness of the ice cream cone and the finality of death of the pigeon. The ice cream cone was actually plastic, it was sculpture— a false happiness that still triggered an emotional happiness. This piece, Plastic Heaven, was a jumping off point of all my work; combining the natural world and this consumable commercial world and the duality of that language between the two.”
Your process draws from manipulating the truth, with influencers being constructed narrative photographers like Oscar Gustave Rejlander and Julia Margret Cameron. What does manipulation mean to you? “Our meddling in the natural world. How we’re genetically modifying food to be sweeter,
bigger, better, more plump. A lot of my work has been confected— a word that comes from infected. I’m crudely modifying these plants or birds to be more visually appealing and they’re infected with this commerce or idea of making them more appealing on the level of a capitalistic consumer culture.”
Do you have past experience in commercial photography? “As an undergrad, I did work for a photographer who does the Toys ‘R’ Us catalogue. Behind the scenes it’s total chaos pieced together with duct tape and strings. My intent was to treat these animals and plants as product as a way to make them look better than they are. To sell it, inspire awe; it’s the proven strategy for selling products.”
Step-by-step, how do you piece together a work? “I photograph everything in the pieces, lighted with studio lights. The paints, the syrups, candies, and all the other elements I photograph separately. The animals I raise, caterpillars or moths, raise and photograph them. Especially the more still items, I’ll photograph those at many different focal points so I can combine them all together so they appear sharp from the very front to the very back to get a depth of field. Then in Photoshop I combine all those single pieces together. From there, I’ll cut it out and combine all them in layers. It ends up being hundreds of layers in each image.”
This desire to present a nature more alluring than, well, natural, suggests you might be motivated by a romantic ideal. At heart, are you a romantic? “I look a lot at Hudson River School paintings and these adorning notions of the romantic world. I want to seduce my audience. The darkness creeps in and doesn’t work on the one-dimensional level of beauty and romance but creates a complex relationship behind it.”
For Adorned, how should one approach the work? “I try to make the work function on multiple levels. The initial reaction is one of awe. Being struck by beauty, by indulgence, and relying on the tropes of beauty and seduction of color and scale (most of the pieces are 40x60). That initial grab holds people long enough to contemplate the interactions of the piece and start relating it to some of our own experiences and contemporary lifestyles; how our priorities and decisions are reflected in the animals themselves. I see the animals as surrogates of ourselves, stand-ins for the people, to reflect back on our own lives.”
Do you have a favorite piece? “I tend to always like the last piece I make. If I don’t then I know it’s not working. If I were hard pressed, I would say Vanilla Sky. For one, it’s the culmination of a year-long process to raise silk moths and I am really happy how they worked out as subject matter. I also feel it summarizes my intentions in the new body of work in that it romanticizes a certain overt indulgence, while simultaneously hints to an ultimate demise. I wanted to strengthen that juxtaposition with this new work and I feel this piece, in particular, represents that intention.” //
A F LO R A | | FAU N A F E A T U R E
o t y a w
The History of US 40 Colfax Ave.
e t Ga ockies R the
By Kate Kirkwood Photography by Ash Taylor Art Direction by Carlee Henderson Creative Direction by Hannah Thurston Clothing by Goldmine Vintage Models: Cierra Lorenzen @ladycierra Ross Murphy @_eaglewing_ Conner Murphy @conner_lionheart
Cover photo by Carlee Henderson
The living, breathing histories
Spanning 26 miles (53 miles
of cities change more rigorously
from plains through mountains and
last decade at least, the identity
commercial street in the United
many things. One of the most
historic U.S. Route 40 helped
and of Denver identity-
and travel haven during the car
as they grow larger - and over the
coast) - Colfax remains the longest
of Denver has morphed into a great
States. Its designation as part of
significant identifiers of this flux,
Denver’s development as a tourism
historically, pop culturally, even
culture boom of the 1950s.
infamously, is Colfax Avenue.
Whether you grew up here, lived
Diners with swiss chalet roofs,
service stations, and kitschy yet
here long enough to remember the
clean motels were not only well
Colfax Marathon, or have become a
those traveling by car through
of Denver’s citizens has a formed
to make space for this arrival
Colfax. Some will vow to never ride
motels and businesses weren’t as
the dives and Greek diners daily,
residential foot traffic. This
music in low-ceilinged clubs.
long term, as use of Colfax as the
days before dispensaries and the
maintained but prosperous from
newly minted resident - every one
the West. When Colfax was widened
(and often complex) opinion on
of mass transit, the hundreds of
the 15 bus line, some frequent
accessible to neighboring
spending their evenings seeing
zoning proved unfortunate in the
While some admire and others
main highway was implicitly wiped out by the construction of I-70.
admonish the neon signage and their
The short golden years waned and
another - all have used Colfax as
of drug use, sex work, and
attached motels, at one point or
were replaced by a gritty notoriety
the needlepoint on their compass to
navigate this city. The duality of what makes Colfax
bizarre, vibrant, slovenly, charming, and cool - lies
within its storied, mid-century rich past. The erasure of these historic markers we accept and champion as symbols of Colfax,
implores us to unite revitalization with preservation.
Playboy Magazine was never proven
to have called Colfax “the longest, wickedest street in America”, but it doesn’t matter. Like the
collected stories and characters of the avenue, the attributed
urban legend is part of the mythos that makes Colfax quintessentially Colfax. Especially when our oral histories reinforce it. 44
All of us have Colfax stories,
Encouraging the historic
or as Colfax Museum curator, Jonny
value of Colfax as a significant
Barber puts it,
local transportation route,
a “Colfax Confessional”.
hub for business and culture,
while keeping it accessible to
Jack Kerouac mentioned
all of Denver’s residents
zipping down Colfax in classic
regardless of income is vital
beat novel On the Road. Sue Lyons
during commercial changes.
of Lolita once threatened to throw
herself out of the (one story high)
Naturally, positive changes
window at the Big (fka Bugs) Bunny
have also impacted the energy of
played to unimpressed crowds at
Portland import, Voodoo Doughnut
Motel. Bob Dylan couch-surfed and
Colfax. Befitting businesses like
Satire Lounge. Harry Houdini and
with its velvet paintings of Pam
Arthur Conan Doyle debated
Grier and 24 hour cash only
Spiritualism at The Ogden Theatre.
service makes sense next to
barbershops, tattoo parlors, and
A vault of Colfax memories for
pubs. Even more notably, the
those living in Denver in recent
historic Lowenstein Theater, a
years may include loading up on
prime example of Art Moderne
sopapillas at Casa Bonita -
architecture is home to Denver
a flamboyant frosted pink cake
institutions like Tattered Cover
amongst a comparatively drab strip
Book Store, Twist & Shout Records,
mall, or playing their first show at
and other locally operated shops.
the Lion’s Lair, being treated to a sugar steak at Bastien’s, and
Contributing to our shared
given a rose at PS Lounge with
history keeps the Gateway to the
their drink order.
Rockies a veritable Gateway to the Past and influences how we want its future to look. As we come into
Not all of our stories are
a new Denver, we must continue to
romanticized. While many intact
revere the multicultural,
mid-century motels are leveled
perfectly eccentric offerings of
to erect pancake-batter-colored
Colfax by investing into them
box-structures that flatline Colfax,
financially and politically, and
displaced residents have lost their
encouraging restoration and
long-term room rentals, unable to
afford the climbing rents and
motel signs and all. //
Location: The Holiday Chalet @theholidaychalet www.theholidaychalet.com Clothing: Goldmine Vintage @goldminevintage www.goldminevintage.com Editing: Ash Taylor & Carlee Henderson Special thanks to ColfaxAvenue.org and the illustrious Jonny Barber. Visit, learn, and share your Colfax story with the Colfax Museum at 6109 East Colfax Avenue.
Last of the Easy Riders Interview by Carlee Henderson Photography/Editing by Adam Gardner
“The smell of rain, filled the Silver Canyon, mountain tops draped in fog / Moonlight shines, on the Silver Canyon, shimmering ‘cross her sterling walls.” - Chris Since then the band has expanded and has a few releases under their belt which include a USA limited cassette tape release of their self-titled album on Sad Pad Records, an EP of the first record on vinyl out via Agitated Records, and their latest effort, the first full proper LP release, Unto the Earth - out in vinyl and CD, via Agitated Records (UK). The full band lineup consists of Christopher Minarik (Guitar, Backing Vocals), Mitch Mitchum (Drums, Vocals), Brad Grear (Guitar), Gann Matthews (Bass, Vocals), “USA” Mckay Belk (Pedal Steel), and George Szegedy (Keys, Vocals, Producer, and Recording Engineer).
Hiking during May in the Rockies can bring some of the most unpredictable weather Colorado has to offer. It was then in 2015, during the infancy stages of Last of the Easy Riders, a song was born. Mitch, Brad, and Chris had set out early that morning on a day trip to catch some early season wildflower blooms in Mayflower Gulch outside of Breckenridge, Colorado.
Amongst Silver Canyon, other songs come to mind regarding the progress this band has made in not just songwriting but also in sound. Woodland Echo is like crazy acid trip through the woods, and lead vocalist Mitch really took upon the challenge to manipulate his voice to higher, more abstract octaves,
As they hit the trailhead, fog began to roll in and a drizzle began to fall - which in turn, lead to a torrential downpour. As the saying goes, “a little rain never hurt anyone,” so they decided to push on and finish the trail. On the way back, the rain let up, drizzle went away, and the 3 were left with a pristine view of the canyons rock walls covered in fog, and glimpses of yellow, pink, and purple wildflowers popping up along the way.
intensifying the audible experience.
The band’s name may take reference from another time, even suggesting paid homage to Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the cult classic “Easy Rider”, but mark my words, this isn’t a tribute band. Somehow, all the while taking influence from a time past, the band manages to craft a refreshing take on music, and create a sound original to these modern times. //
This same story is told by the song “Silver Canyon” penned by Chris - following that hike. “I knew right then and there we had to have a song named Silver Canyon and it was going to be a country ballad,” says Chris. 56
What is your newest LP album, Unto the Earth, about? How did this album come into fruition?
I listen to RCR I will always be transported to a Colorado sun soaked mountain highway. I hope Unto the Earth has a similar effect.”
Chris: “Unto the Earth is about personal experiences, love and loss, and painting vivid pictures of time and places. Once Agitated put out the first EP I went straight to work crafting my contribution of songs to this album. Some songs like Silver Canyon and Freewheelin’ were written well before the album was recorded.”
C: “Gene Clark, Joe Walsh, CSNY, Eagles to name a few but really the entire 1960’s 1970’s SoCal and Laurel Canyon sound.” Songwriters? C: “Gene Clark, Bob Seger, Glynn Frey, Stephen Stills, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Gram Parsons.”
Who were your biggest musical influences during the production of this new album?
How would you describe your style and aesthetic?
Mitch: “Before we recorded there were a handful of records I tried to immerse myself in; Jimmy Carter and the Dallas County Green, Summer Brings the Sunshine, Link Wray (self-titled), Gene Clark’s No Other). The honesty of both the songwriting and the production are what inspired me. However during the writing process there was one self-titled record that I couldn’t get enough of the band Relatively Clean Rivers. It’s the only album the band ever recorded. The album is so effortless, eclectic and visual, every time (continued...)
C: “It’s not quite full blown country, not quite full blown psych rock, but somewhere in between. I love songwriting, so that’s my number one goal. Crafting a good “bare bones” song then filling in the rest with what we call Southwestern Psych which I suppose is just a mix of country, singer/ songwriter, and psych rock.”
How has the new album evolved and matured since the EP? C: “On Unto the Earth I tried to refine the sound more. Not necessarily change it all that much, but pick up right where we left off in the first album. Still the same vibes but maybe more mature, sonically bigger sounding, and all around better content. The first album was more streaming consciousness and going with what felt good; sense of innocence was there. Unto the Earth was all the more calculated and intentional. Just like anything else that evolves over time, our music has changed and evolved through life experiences we’ve each had.” What do you want your listeners to really hear when they reach for your album? What message do you want to leave behind with your music? M: “The feeling of nostalgia like the record was something they already knew.” C: “I want people to relate to experiences I write about. We all have had hardships and we all have those amazing times we’ll never forget. I try to incorporate those stories and feelings into what I do. Sometimes when I listen to music I like to be taken away from reality, or lose myself in the song. Unto the Earth has some songs specifically written to paint vivid pictures of time and places. The idea is for people to hear that and draw their own pictures and listen to the story; and hopefully if even for a moment they can forget about life and become part of what they’re listening to.” How has nature inspired this album and to what extent? C: “Nature has been our number one influence since starting Last of the Easy Riders. We all enjoy the outdoors so much and there’s endless amounts of inspiration to be found out in the woods. (continued...)
Growing up my grandmother and grandfather taught me to respect and appreciate nature and all the uniqueness it brings to this world. So, to me it’s only natural to follow my roots and core beliefs. It’s really a way of life.” What’s it like playing music in Denver’s nuanced underground scene considering your elevated sound is referenced to the greats of the ‘60s and ‘70s? Do you think your music can be ”heard” by many different generations? M: “Denver’s music scene is green and growing. People still want rock’n’roll; more like minded people will continue to move to Denver and keep the dream alive.” C: “The underground country scene has exploded here in Denver and what’s so great is for the most part it’s done through the independently owned venues around town. I also think people can play music that sounds old or new, because no matter the sound, if a good song is in there it’s going to come out. Time doesn’t change that.” The days of old naturally emerge not only in your sound but even the instruments you seek out to play. Why? C: “There’s definitely artists that have formulated tones I love. Being that they play certain instruments to achieve those sounds, I do my best to get some of the same things and try to craft tones for myself. For instance, since Neil Young played a Gretsch White Falcon back in CSNY, I have a Fender Coronado with almost the same vintage style pickups he used. Not the exact same, but in the same vein. Each guitar has its own sound, just like every paintbrush has a different stroke; they’re just like tools in a toolbox to me.”
What have been some of your favorite shows you’ve played in Denver?
After recording your first self-titled EP in 2016 (in a small cabin located near Nederland), you were signed almost immediately by Agitated Records based out of the UK. How did that come about?
M: “4/20 at the Hi Dive, when we lost power during a snow storm. People paid for a show so we picked up the acoustics, invited some friends on stage, and kept it going for as long as we could. I will never forget that.”
C: “The previous band I was in, The People’s Temple, had put a single out on Agitated Records. Once Agitated heard our EP, the owner Simon Keeler loved it and offered to release it.”
Rest of your plans for 2018? M: “Travel, see parts of the country that I haven’t seen, become inspired and start writing again.”
Why did you record in a cabin and in what regard to sound quality production? Was a deeper more metaphorical reason discussed? M: “Recording in that sort of environment has always been a dream of mine. The idea was to get away from our daily life, leave all of the bullshit at the door and completely narrow our focus onto the music. I think we really captured something special.” C: “It’s beautiful up there too, and quite inspiring. The cabin had a large main room with all hardwood floors so that worked out well with crafting the sound of the album.”
C: “Keep on writing new songs and play more fun shows around Colorado. I’m most looking forward to seeing Jackson Browne and Ry Cooder this summer!” Top photo, L to R: Gann @gannmatthews George @crystal_drive McKay @hamiltonbelk Brad @bakorn Mitch @mitch.mitchum Chris @chrisminarik I G : @ l a s t o f t heeasyriders F B : / l a s t o f t heeasyriders l a s t o f t h e e a s yriders.bandcamp.com L i s t e n t o t h e new LP album on: B a n d c a m p , S p otify and iTunes
Albums you’re listening to on repeat lately? M: “Grateful Dead, American Beauty.” C: “Zephaniah Ohara, This Highway; Ry Cooder, Alimony; Doug Dilliard & Gene Clark, The Fantastic Expedition of Dilliard and Clark; ZZ Top, Rio Grande Mud; Eagles, (self-titled); The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding.” Best advice you’ve learned from Neil Young… M: “It’s all about the music.” C: “Follow your gut and make music on your own terms.” Favorite female musicians/ muses… M: “Emmy Lou Harris, Courtney Barnett, and Linda Ronstadt.”
Last of the Easy Riders, 2016 EP; Agitated Records, UK Album design, Darrin Higgins Produced and engineered by George Szegedy
C: “Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris, and Angel Olsen.” Favorite local bands… M: “Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels.” C: “Andy Hamilton & the Rocky Mountain Contraband, Leisure Boys, High Plains Honky.” Decade you’re most inspired by… M + C: “1970s.”
Unto The Earth, 2018 LP; Agitated Records, UK Album design, Carlee Henderson Produced by George Szegedy & Christopher Minarik Engineered by George Szegedy
SACRED THISTLE an elevated botanica by lindsay graham photography by alexandré hoosen Sitting on the corner of 11th and Acoma is Sacred Thistle, a shop specializing in floral arrangements but offering much, much more. There’s absolutely something ‘sacred’ about what mother-daughter duo, Sydney and Cornelia Peterson, have created in their business and it’s apparent as soon as you walk in the front door. Seeking inspiration from nature and the seasons, these women have turned a ‘flower shop’ into a dreamy display of local artistry. Sydney and Cornelia have been influenced by a lesser-known style; the Japanese way of Wabi-Sabi. The long and short of it: they embrace imperfection and appreciate every stage of a flower’s being. By creating value in every step of a flower’s life, they seek to escape the mindset floral culture has ingrained in us. Thus, creating a new mantra: flowers, even those that are flawed, are beautiful. This artful expression of all things raw and beautiful can be seen not only in stunning floral arrangements, but also in each carefully placed item sold in their shop. From raw stones and sage bundles, to locally crafted jewelry and one-of- a-kind shadowboxed butterflies, Sacred Thistle marches to the beat of its own drum— in the most fantastic way.
Shop pup Iggy
Tell me about your shop:
How would you describe your personal style? Also, how are your two styles alike/ different?
“Sacred Thistle is a shop of unusual flowers and plants, alongside a lot of other products we love and want to share with the community.”
“Our styles are basically identical. We like hats, drapey clothes, and a lot of jewelry.
How would you describe your store?
It’s hard to say how they’re different, we show up to work wearing the same things all the time.”
“Moody, sexy, and a little weird.” What sparked starting your own business? Was this always a mother/ daughter concept?
What are some ways that you have found to get involved in the community?
“We were sick of working for other people, and had strong visions of something Denver was lacking. It’s basically been a mother/ daughter concept from the beginning.”
“Trying to educate the general public on sustainability and seasonality of flowers and their impact on the environment. We also have done several events where we donate a portion of our sales to charitable organizations.”
What is your and your company’s connection to nature? What inspires you?
How does the style/ creative scene in Denver affect your purchasing and what you sell in the store?
“Nature is key to us because it’s a major point of inspiration. Spring through Fall we’ll hike in the mountains and have our jaws dropped the whole time admiring nature, even when we’ve seen it for decades. It never gets old, and only gets better. We get inspired by those walks, and various arts, recently being more abstract and minimalism.”
“Honestly, we buy what we like and hope other people will like it, too. It works, and we think it makes a difference to sell what you love versus catering to what other people want. We also source ethically, and work directly with makers on almost all our product. It’s also important to try not to overlap with other stores in Denver, so if someone picks up something we carry, we usually drop that product and find something that excites us even more.” //
“Nature is key to us because it’s a major point of inspiration.”
Vcome elveteers to denver the
Intervie w b y C a r l e e H e n d e r s o n Photogra p h y b y J o r d y n T i m p s o n Text by Demi Demitro @thevelveteers
release show at hi-dive We catch brother and sister duo John
and Demi as they kick off a Spring tour celebrating the release of their new self-titled album.
Having only played music for 3 years,
we peak inside the mind of the lead singer and guitarist, a badass babe who possesses incredible talent at the ripe old age of
What kind of music is The Velveteers? “Rock N Roll.” How did the band come about? “I started playing guitar when I was 17 after my brother gave me Jack White’s album Blunderbuss and Rose Hill Drive’s album Americana for Christmas. After listening to those records, my whole life changed and a few months later I was looking to start a band. I was completely infatuated by art and music; I still am!” What was the inspiration for your first self-titled EP? “Being deceived by something, yet becoming even stronger in the process. It’s very much inspired by a gothic Victorian era.” 73
How did the idea for two drummers at live shows come about? “It was an idea we were just messing around with for a while. A way to switch things up and see what would happen and how our audience would react.” (Editor’s note: The crowd chanted for an encore.) 75
What is your relationship with nature and incorporating it into your songwriting? “The woods are my home. I find myself constantly being attracted to the woods. I often go alone and sit within the trees or by the stream to get inspiration, and reflect upon my thoughts and ideas. Something about the woods always brings me back down to Earth, giving me clarity and supporting inspiration for whatever my imagination can come up with. It pulls on my heart strings just listening to the birds chirp in the distance, and the water flowing in the stream. I believe nature in itself is one of the purest forms of art.” What do you think of the Denver music scene since you started playing shows? Where do you see it going? “There are some good parts, some bad parts. A lot of crummy people, a lot of amazing people. It’s always funny to see the trends in the music scene though... A couple years ago there was a whole wave of bands that wanted to be just like Tame Impala... not much original creativity. Now, however, it seems like there is a really strong country/folk scene which I love as our roots are buried in the blues and folk music. I think Denver can be really pretentious at times, but I find places like DIY venues and the Hi-Dive really genuine and wanting to foster a music scene based purely on passion. Which is how it should be.” Which bands are you listening to while touring this Spring?
“We’ve been listening to lots of Led Zeppelin, Brendan Benson, Karen Elson, Rose Hill Drive, and The Raconteurs.” What’s one thing you both do to connect with nature? “Hiking! We go almost everyday... when we’re home that is. Also, looking up at the stars every night never ceases to take my breath away. It’s a wonderful reminder of how vast and beautiful the universe is, how everything is infinite and anything is possible. As The Beatles say,
‘I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together’. ” What are your plans for 2018? “Lots of music, followed by lots of touring! Who knows where the universe will take us!” // 76
1886 S Pearl St Denver CO 80210 www.pearlwinecompany.com
PALOMA FLOWER 2 oz
Suerte Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Quality Elderflower Liqueur 1 1/2 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice Large Pinch of Salt Soda Water Shake ingredients and strain
into a collins glass with ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with an edible flower and a long grapefruit peel.
‘ P O P P I E S ’ , J o h n H a s t i n g s R U M T U M C r e a t i o n s , 2 017
“Created as a symbol of potential energy between two souls. Let go and immerse in growth like poppies that produce natural feelings, sweeping and freely moving. Summer shades represent favorite colors of a lover.” W W W. F LO R A FAU N A Z I N E . C O M