Artists will stage their own competition during Beaver Creek stage

Barton Gunderson

BEAVER CREEK — The Pro Art Challenge will return to Beaver Creek today as up to 15 renowned artists stage their own competition as the peloton races from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek’s mountaintop finish line. Prizes will be awarded to the top artists, with a variety of mediums represented in the Pro Art Challenge. The public will also be able to bid on the individual art pieces.

Here are profiles of the participating artists:

Brent Brewster is an artist and musician from Denver. He specializes in spray paint art such as graf and stencil work

Neil Yukimura was born in Toulouse, France. He just recently returned back from his 30th birthday celebration in Toulouse and now lives in Denver, where he has been showing paintings and sculptures at the First Friday Art Walks. He was just invited into a new gallery. He went to school at the University of Hawaii, where he studied drawing, painting, printmaking and design.

Dale Nelson is a woodworker and furniture maker based in Avon. He has been making furniture for about 20 years. Nelson plans to create a functional piece of furniture using recycled materials at Pro Art Challenge.

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Jeff Desautels has lived in Colorado for over 30 years. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he served in nuclear submarines then attended law school at Yale. Jeff specializes in landscape and sports-action paintings in oil.

Shen is a primarily a self-taught artist who paints in the style of pop-graffiti realism. Having tagged “ShenShen210” in the mid-’80s, she was the very first female graffiti artist in the San Francisco Bay area, when the graffiti art movement was just beginning on the West Coast. Her works have been exhibited through such venues as the San Jose Museum of Art, The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and The Triton Museum of Art, as well as galleries nationwide.

In the early ’90s, Shen exchanged her spray cans for the airbrush and was named one of the nation’s top 10 airbrush talents.

Shen currently lives, plays and paints in the Vail Valley with her husband and three daughters. More of Shen’s work may be viewed at:, as well as at her gallery inside Mount-n-Frame in Vail.

Chula Beauregard was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado. After graduating cum laude as a studio art major from Whitman College, she served for two years in Gabon, Central Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer. Later, she earned her master’s in education to teach fine art and is currently pursuing her painting career in her hometown of Steamboat Springs. She is represented by the Wild Horse Gallery in Steamboat Springs, the Cogswell Gallery in Vail and the Squash Blossom in Colorado Spring.

Liv Fagerholm moved to the Vail Valley from Seattle after a career in creative arts, marketing and administration. A published writer and former dancer, Liv creates to stay sane and because it is a passion and driving force in her life. Fagerholm began to explore painting, mixed media and collage in 2009. She has recently launched a line of beaded jewelry called Beautiful Disasters. You can buy her pieces at When not creating art, Liv works as the executive director of Next Step Institute of Integrative Medicine, coordinating patient care and overseeing programs.

• Originally from the rural Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, Shanna Dempsey has been fascinated from early childhood with her Native heritage, reservation life and artistic expression. As she matured as an artist, she knew that the major focus of her work would be cultural representation. Dempsey is dedicated to creating a better understanding of American Indian people and create a dialogue that will shift the focus from the past to the present. Shanna studied painting and experimental film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, obtaining a BFA in 2006. She graduated from the Vancouver Film School in 2007, where she concentrated on directing and cinematography. She is the president of American Buffalo Productions, based in Denver, and has art studios in Denver and Red Cliff. Her paintings have been exhibited nationally and her film, “The Dance of My Beating Heart” was enthusiastically received at the Santa Fe Film Festival.

Dustin Zentz is a painter and woodworker from Denver. His work covers a broad spectrum of subject matter and styles including portraits, still-life, landscape and abstract expressionism. His large scale oil painting “Chain Gang” can be viewed in the Vail Village Transportation Center and other works can be found in collections in Vail; Denver; Douglas, Mich.; New York; Sri Lanka; Sarasota, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Chicago.

Barton Gunderson attended American Academy of Art in Chicago for one semester before starting with the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper in 1983. He started drawing at five and learned mostly how to paint and draw from family members. His mother was very encouraging and instrumental for him to pursue art as a professional career. She was a professional ceramist. Working with well-known professionals in illustration and large-scale painting business helped him learn the discipline and work ethic to become a proficient professional artist.

Julian Banks was born in Queens, N.Y., and raised in the Bronx. He attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and discovered Colorado through a culinary internship from The Institute of Culinary Arts in New York. He currently lives and works in Avon.

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