Denver Illustration Salon
Jon Schindehette explains how he took the seed of Seattle’s art scene and grew a sturdy art oak in the heart of Colorado
When ImagineFX hero Jon Schindehette relocated from Seattle to Denver, he was shocked to find that despite a vibrant art scene, there was nowhere for artists to gather, share techniques and make friends. His solution was to create the Denver Illustration Salon with local artists Jeremy Aaron Moore, Crystal Sully, Dylan Pierpont and Angela Schmer.
Based on the 16th-century Italian intellectual gatherings, this particular salon was established in November 2013. It’s already included a number of events such as drink and draws, costume life drawing, plein air painting and zoo
March 2015 sketches – all of which Jon has enjoyed as much as his fellow artists.
“I love to attend the events, both as an organiser and an attendee,” he says. “The energy is almost palatable. I get recharged every time. I’m able to try out new stuff, knowing that there’s never any pressure. I'm not worrying about grades, costs or anything else that usually comes along with organised schools or workshops. We just share, learn and enjoy.”
An egalitarian approach extends throughout, with Jon describing his role as “cheerleader, rally point, networker, big picture guy.” Each new member brings something fresh to the events, and expert talks have included lawyers offering copyright advice and ImagineFX contributor Dave Rapoza giving a painting demo. Jon’s “big picture” for the coming year is an expansion of the salon into a permanent space, rather than just borrowing local premises.
“We want to offer workshops with visiting artists, low-cost studios with community-based infrastructure, and a gallery and store space,” says Jon. “We know this is a very aspirational goal. But if you’d asked us a year ago if we could have created the community that we have growing here in Denver, we would have called that a very aspirational goal.”