Article: Seeking Strength


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Denver Post, January 2002
Kyle MacMillan, Denver Post critic-at-large

Seeking strength in numbers, art dealers unite

Sixteen Denver art dealers have formed an association to establish standards of business ethics, provide information to potential collectors and help bring more attention to the area's art scene in general.

"I've only been in the business 10 years," said private dealer Elizabeth Schlosser, one of the founders, "but it's just amazing how when people stop bickering and start helping, there's just so many ideas that they can have."

The group is exclusive by design.  Membership is by invitation, and has been extended only to Denver dealers who handle original artworks and have what the founders consider to be established reputations for integrity and expertise.

"We're trying to be high quality," Schlosser said.

Discussions about forming a dealers association began in March among the group's six founders, which, besides Schlosser, included the Abend Gallery, Artworks, Robischon Gallery, William Havu Gallery and Ron Judish Fine Arts.

"They all kind of agreed," Schlosser said, "that we could be stronger together than apart.  There used to be a Denver art dealers' association, but bickering seemed to end it in 1990."

Providing particular impetus was the belief that the opening of the planned $62.5 million addition to the Denver Art Museum in 2005 will provide a boost to the local art scene and a consensus that not enough was being done to promote what was already here.

"We just miss so many opportunities to honk the horn of art in Colorado," Schlosser said.  "Living in the shadow of Santa Fe, it's not easy.  Coloradans go down to Santa Fe to buy Colorado artists, because it's fun and they're at leisure."

By May, the association was well on its way to being established, and the initial membership list was completed by the end of December.  Thirty dealers were invited to take part, and more than half accepted.

Schlosser expects the membership roster to grow.  Many of the remaining invitees, she said, are waiting to see how successful the organization proves to be before they agree to sign on.

A membership list of the Denver Art Dealers Association and an accompanying map can be found on the group's website at   Its first public event will take place Feb.2, when the 16 dealers hold an open house at their respective establishments from noon to 5 p.m.


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