For Dercums, art runs in family, through rivers |

For Dercums, art runs in family, through rivers

summit daily news

The Dercum family is best known in Summit County for looking up at mountains and imagining ski areas. Perhaps less well known is the family’s facility for channeling its imaginations into works of art.

Rolf Dercum, the 67-year-old son of Arapahoe Basin and Keystone founders Max and Edna Dercum, will showcase several works tonight at the grand opening of Boom Gallery in Denver. And the show, entitled “River Series,” will be a family affair: The new gallery is owned by Max and Edna Dercum’s grandson, Erik Tieze.

Tieze, an accomplished Denver-based stage actor, sees Boom Gallery as an outgrowth of the Dercum artistic spirit.

“It’s a natural progression of a family tradition that’s in the blood, or maybe the water,” Tieze said. “It’s not a ski mountain – it’s a little storefront gallery. But it’s still about honoring imagination and pursuing a dream in spite of common sense to the contrary.”

Tieze, who grew up on Montezuma Road just east of Keystone, hopes Boom will be a space that promotes “expressions and voices unique to Colorado.”

“River Series” comprises a collection of abstract expressionist oil paintings that examine Western rivers, including some in Summit County. Most of the pieces depict close-ups of river water, rather than portraying a river within a larger landscape.

“The fascinating thing to me is that water gives you reflected images, as well as the things you see on the bottom,” Dercum said. “You’re seeing canyon walls, the river bottom, the sky, the circulation and movement of the water.”

Dercum said the opportunity to show his work in his nephew’s gallery has given him more freedom and fun than he might normally have in a retail setting. And he sees potential for future Dercum collaborations.

“The next show Erik does might be our daughter’s work. She was an attorney, but she paints full-time now,” he said. “I think this will grow very nicely into a gallery that shows interesting and innovative work. This is a great, exciting time.”

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