Bravo! Vail inspires modern musical still life paintings |

Bravo! Vail inspires modern musical still life paintings

Daily staff report
"Autumn Strings," by Dan Chen.
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: Dan Chen Art Show.

When: Friday and Saturday.

Where: Cogswell Gallery, 223 Gore Creek Dr., Vail Village.

More information: 970-476-1769 or

VAIL — It is a rare artist who can be called a master of sculpture as well as painting in oil, watercolor, pastel and drawing. The well-known art of Dan Chen is a marriage of the finest qualities of eastern and western art style and technique. Born in China, his love affair with art began at age 3, while watching his father paint. While the elder Chen was self taught, the younger was introduced to master artists who helped him hone his skills of observation. For years, he worked under the critical eye of his mentors before he was allowed to display his art at a state show. More than 20 years have passed since that first showing.

Unlike most artists, Chen chooses the medium for a piece based on what he is trying to express at the time.

“I don’t like to limit myself to just one or two mediums because different subjects seem to require different mediums to do them justice,” Chen said. “Whether the medium is drawing, painting or sculpture, it allows me to express my art in a new way. The mediums and techniques are merely vehicles to achieve my goal, which is to express personal feelings toward the essence of the subject and to convey its energy and message. I use my own personal experiences, knowledge and technical ability combined with descriptive forms, lines and surfaces to engage and communicate with the viewer.”

For this particular series, Chen used Bravo! Vail as inspiration for musical instrument sill life oil paintings. With a mix of bright bold colors, traditional instruments and unexpected items, the paintings are as dynamic as the concerts themselves. Also on display throughout the show are his bronze sculptures and mixed media paintings.

See the exhibit at Cogswell Gallery Friday and Saturday for an artist reception with the multi-talented artist.