Denver native’s art grabs attention

Painter’s works are often displayed in Littleton gallery

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Denver native and skilled painter Jeff Velarde’s images tend to stand out in a gallery — and they tell stories about cities and the people who live in them, with precise lines and angles, dense colors ...

Appealing beings inhabit many, though not all, of his scenarios. I especially enjoy “Dumb O’ Brooklyn,” a look at Manhattan Bridge from a street in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood below — the bridge, sandwiched between ordinary-looking city buildings, along a pedestrian street.

Velarde grew up in Denver’s Westside, graduated from Denver West High School and attended Colorado Institute of Arts. He currently works in parallel careers. He is art director for Z-Axis Corporation, a litigation graphics company, and pursues a fine arts profession as well.

His “Jackson Square” reflects the joy musicians feel when performing those outdoor summer concerts we love. Sunshine, blue skies, colorful clothing, happy chatter, polished instruments. Each musician an individual and a shiny tuba front and center.

His website is also filled with assorted Anime types — some called “Creepypasta” characters.

He is an active member of the Littleton Fine Arts Guild and one can usually see a Velarde painting in the Depot Art Gallery in downtown Littleton — now closed along with half the immediate world. He has also exhibited at Curtis Center for the Arts, in Littleton’s annual “Own an Original” show, at CORE New Art Space and in a solo show at Town Hall Arts Center’s Stanton Art Gallery in 1995.

He describes his work as “telling the story of everyday life in urban settings,” taking the viewer into that environment. “When I am painting figures in these settings I try to imagine what these characters are and what their story is. I try to come to my own conclusions about these people and try to convey what I think they are feeling. The end result that I shoot for is pleasing to the eye for its use of color, composition and subject matter, but also something that transports the viewer into another environment and an interesting view into the human condition.”

Velarde credits his wife and kids with providing inspiration and his work somehow seems like that of a happy, energetic artist. We will look forward to a reopened Depot Art Gallery in the New Year and new paintings by Velarde, as well as other talented Littleton Fine Arts Guild members. If only ...

Sonya Ellingboe

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