Current and Past Exhibitions and Events

Dorothy Tanner ~ The Light Fantastic

Exhibition Dates: 22 September–13 November 2010

Reception with the Artist: Third Friday, 15 October 2010, 6p–10p


“Light has the power to create, define, and solidify; or leave in shadow that which we believe to be real.”   —Dorothy Tanner

About the Artist

Dorothy Tanner exhibits a lot of optical nerve. While experimenting with a vast array of media in her career as an artist, she has found acrylic to be the most rewarding. It is a material that she may sculpt, paint, sandblast, or bake and shape. Some are wall sculptures, some free-standing or hang from the ceiling, while others are water sculptures. Light is an intrinsic element of the art form. LEDs have been the primary source of lighting the works in recent years.

While each sculpture stands alone as an art expression, Dorothy's interest is to integrate the works into a total environment — installations that express a powerful visual and emotional sensibility. Her collaboration with Marc Billard creating electronic music and video adds another element to an otherworldly experience.

Artist's Statement: “The major challenge for me in art is to keep under control the tyranny of a logical mind. The spirit that moves me is capricious, unruly, and irreverent. Most of my work grows out of intuitive impulse — the rest gets underway by just playing.”

Visit the artist's site for more information and photos.

Press Coverage

VERTIGO Art Space is excited to present this exhibition as part of Denver Arts Week. Read a review of the exhibition by Ben Dayton of Westword.


One Point Twenty-One Jiggawats

Exhibition Dates: 4 August–17 September 2010

Closing Reception with the Artists: Third Friday, 17 September 2010, 6p–10p

Mountain Piece / Jason Sheppard
Like Sands Through the Hourglass So Are the Days of Our Lives / Scott Raby

Artists Jason Sheppard and Scott Raby use materials and imagery which are egalitarian, favoring the shapes, textures, and forms found in a pedestrian landscape. Despite this, both artists have drastically different approaches to this working style; one clean, one dirty, one shiny, one rusted, one baroque, one understated.

While their work differs in outcome, it arises from a singular point of a disciplined energy which reshapes their everyday experiences into alarmingly opaque art. Despite using a lexicon of the daily, they transform signs and signifiers until they weave in and out of recognition, changing the familiar into the obscure.

In One Point Twenty-One Jiggawats, both artists will actively create and alter VERTIGO Art Space as a site to not only to reexamine the phenomena of the culturally banal but the unknowns and uncertainties in its collapse.


Ralph Wolfe Cowan: Selections from a Blue Chip Master Painter

Exhibition Dates: 7 May–30 July 2010

Opening Reception: Third Friday, 21 May 2010, 6p–10p

Live Podcast Interview on The Untitled Art Show: Wednesday, 21 July 2010, 8p

Artist Reception: Fourth Friday, 23 July 2010, 6p–10p

Special Engagement: Let's celebrate with a rare engagement from master painter Ralph Wolfe Cowan of West Palm Beach, Florida. Often called a "Blue Chip" master painter, Cowan began his painting career in childhood and has well-known accolades as a "Celebrity Portrait Painter" who has had an extensive career painting on private commission from true Royals and celebrities from around the world. Cowan is recognized by The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery as the only painter Elvis ever commissioned for a portrait. Cowan states, "My aim is to reflect contemporary man's ultimate desire for self-expression and living on the edge."


In the selection of paintings on display, VERTIGO shows the variety of trademark styles Ralph Wolfe Cowan has created throughout the decades of his illustrious painting career.

More About Ralph Wolfe Cowan

  • Many people have seen Cowan's work in some form or another, but few have realized it. Just after Michael Jackson's passing, his painting of Michael went ballistic through the worldwide media: Newsweek, "Oprah," "Forbes Profile of Michael Jackson", and more.
  • Cowan has been featured on numerous international news and talk shows including "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," "To Tell the Truth," "Entertainment Tonight," "Texas Today," and several Japanese programs and Middle-Eastern shows.
  • Cowan was the only painter that Elvis ever commissioned for a portrait, and millions of people have seen his full-length painting of Elvis in the white jumpsuit hanging in Graceland, which is also the only portrait Elvis ever allowed to hang in Graceland.
  • One of Cowan's paintings of Elvis is the featured painting for the "One Life: Echoes of Elvis" exhibition currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. During Elvis' 75th birthday, that painting was published worldwide, even in China, Kuwait, and the Czech Republic. Visit the facetoface blog of the National Portrait Gallery where you can listen to an interview of Cowan by “One Life: Echoes of Elvis” curator Warren Perry.
  • Cowan was named the number one portrait painter in the world in a 2009 lecture by one of the curators at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
  • He has painted six portraits of Johnny Mathis which were all used for album covers.
  • Even Nancy Sinatra used the one her father Frank commissioned in 1967 on her recent album cover.
  • Nearly every article published on Monaco since 1956 has shown his now legendary portrait of H.S.H. Princess Grace. Anyone touring the Monaco Palace will see his 1981 portrait of the entire family hanging in the Throne Room.

See more of Ralph Wolfe Cowan's work at his personal Web site.

Press Coverage

Read an interview with Ralph by Nicole Pasulka of The Morning News. Read a commentary on the exhibition by Gene Davis of The Denver Daily News.


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