Brasuell, Franco, and Robb at Spark Gallery
Spark Gallery is one of the crown jewels of the Santa Fe Art District. Since 1979, thfraey’ve hosted diverse exhibitions from local, national, and international artists. Their shows cover a wide range of styles and media, including sculpture, drawing, painting, installation, found objects, ceramics, and photography. Spark is Denver’s oldest cooperative gallery, and through the decades they’ve built a deep pool of artists to draw from. Now on display thru October 7th are three separate shows from remarkably talented local artists.
Mark Brasuell is a conceptual abstractionist originally from West Texas. He holds a BFA from Texas Tech and an MFA from the University of Denver. He’s a founding member of EDGE Gallery and currently teaches at MSU Denver. Brasuell’s paintings include swirling backgrounds, elaborate color schemes, flurried shapes, and imaginative patterns. His creativity doesn’t fit into a single form of media. While he’s most well-known for painting, Brasuell also creates notable drawings and sculptures. His works are fueled by emotion and personal insight. His latest series is called “Schöne Bilder” and utilizes both primary and tertiary colors painted with a veneration for shape and form. Brasuell draws on the works of Stuart Davis and seeks to create “beautiful pictures” with a unique presence.
Leo Franco is a non-objective sculptor based in Denver. He originated in Detroit but has been an active member of the local art community for more than 30 years. He’s also the former Co-Director of Spark Gallery. Franco’s works are definitive in an ocean of abstraction. The majority of his work consists of wall sculptures and indoor pedestal structures. They’re constructed from a combination of sustainably sourced exotic hardwoods, metal, and Plexiglas. For this series titled “In Relief,” Franco created compositional constructs based on arrangements of balance and design.
Craig Robb is a Denver based sculptor and professor. He holds a BFA from the University of Colorado Denver and graduated summa cum laude. He has a somewhat conflicted history with being an artist. Despite years of resisting, he eventually gave in to his creative nature and decided to pursue art professionally. His latest series, Remnants of a Thought, is an interesting contrast to Franco’s “In Relief”. While both use similar materials, Franco’s sculptures are bold and defined, while Robb’s are more ambiguous and relative. These selected works are a return to Robb’s contextual side and were created using steel and wood. He incorporates deeply symbolic objects into his sculptures, meant to develop thoughtful statements and questions. His works are largely metaphorical and shine light on Robb’s perspective of the world that surrounds him.
Spark Gallery has long been a place to find expertly curated shows from a wide range of disciplines. They have space to show multiple exhibitions simultaneously, adding an element of variety unseen at many other galleries. They’ve become a crucial part of the Santa Fe Art District, and celebrated their fortieth anniversary earlier this year. You can see these three stunning exhibitions thru October 20th. Spark is located at 900 Santa Fe Drive in Denver and is open to the public Thursday thru Sunday. You can find more info on upcoming shows and featured artists at sparkgallery.org.