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Right Brain

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Marianna Duford
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Just because an artist lives in a small county doesn’t mean her art has to stay put. Marianna M. Duford, a 22-year Summit County local, won the best of show at the Denver Metro Art Club’s recent opening held at the Littleton Town Center for her watercolor titled “The Flower Girl.”Her other entry, “Bunny Brenda 1971-73” won third place in the watercolor division. Her art will be on display until Monday in Littleton. She also displays work this weekend at the art show at Keystone.The native Coloradan and second generation artist found inspiration from her mother, who encouraged her to paint and draw from infancy and always reminded her to follow her artistic heart.Her art studio in Silverthorne looks out on Mount Royal through the Tenmile Range on one side and Buffalo Mountain through the Gore Range on the other. The views provide an endless source of visual images for her, she said.She thinks of her art as interpretive realism, and is working on a series of African wildlife and landscape paintings using the photographs she captured during a five-week expedition into the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, Africa.

DreamsI was a fine arts major 35 years ago, and after taking a side trip with life, I am finally able to pursue my dreams of painting and art-related travel. For example, I studied at the La Romita School of art in Terni, Italy, last year. Truth be known – who would have thought that life could actually get better after 50? My fantasy dream: to become a recognizable name in the art world. Why do art? I do it because I have to. There is something inside of me that can’t go without it – much like a fish needs water to survive. I have to admit that I find a huge amount of satisfaction and validation when total strangers or friends buy my art and actually want to “live” with it. In the same vein, there is even more validation when a piece gets juried into a show or wins a prize in an exhibition that has been judged by art professionals.What you convey through art?

People buy art that touches something inside of them. I think there is enough anger and suffering in the world, and if my art can bring a smile or a feeling of peace into someone’s heart then it is a successful painting.ChallengeMy biggest challenge in life was raising my son, David, and daughter, Kristen. I dealt with the challenges like every parent does, one day at a time. I think I was fortunate to have had the kind of business (and husband) that made it possible to be home and be an active part of their day to day lives. I kept art in my life by making it a part of theirs. Now that they have “fled the nest,” I finally have the time to do it my way.AccomplishmentsIn the late 1970s, I had a stained glass studio in Boston and in Denver, and in 1979, I was recognized as an outstanding entrepreneur by Colorado Business Magazine for my glass art and design.

More recently, in 2003, I had an acrylic painting juried into a national art show where it hung in a museum, and just last week I won the best of show award at the Denver Metro Arts Club exhibition. I can now say I have a painting on every continent except Antarctica, and I’m working on that! Staying freshRight now every day is a new day, so it isn’t hard. I am taking classes at the Art Students League in Denver to help sharpen forgotten skills and to learn new ones. When you’re not doing art? I have had a business at the Colorado Renaissance Festival – a juried show that lasts for eight weekends in the summer, for the past 25 years where I have won numerous awards including Best of Show. I make and sell flower garlands. This past season my paintings and African photography were also juried into the show, so I now have an art gallery there, too.


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