Lush landscapes at Loaded Joe’s in Avon |

Lush landscapes at Loaded Joe’s in Avon

Caramie Schnell
Avon, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily"Untitled Summer," by Daniel Mai, who works are on display at Loaded Joe's in Avon, Colorado

AVON, Colorado –Last spring Daniel Mai, whose work is on display in Avon, Colorado Friday, was driving to Sylvan Lake last spring for a weekend of camping when his photographer instincts kicked in. Attracted by the lush green grass and a field of yellow dandelions, Mai pulled over and snapped a few photos.

“The light was just right,” Mai said. “I really liked the landscape right there and the colors were really playful – all the grasses were extrememly green, like it is right now.”

Mai, a West Vail resident, is displaying 12 of his photographs at Loaded Joe’s in Avon this month. All of the photographs are landscape and nature shots, most of which were taken in or around the Vail Valley, Mai said. A few were taken in Tennessee and Washington – states he visited in the past few years. Mai took some time to talk to the Vail Daily in advance of his artist reception, set for 5:30 p.m. Friday.

The artist: “I have always known that I wanted to do something creative with my life since I took my first steps. Both my parents encouraged art and music at an early age so I guess eight years of piano, traveling to various destinations, growing up in two different cultures and always having an artistic tool – pencil, scratchpad, napkin, camera phone, etc. – nearby, laid the strong foundation for me as a designer.”

The medium: “Photography has always been a preferred media for me because of its ability to capture a unique visual experience. This experience can translate and evoke a deeper meaning to the viewer.”

The style: “This show consists of landscape photography, however I do not want to limit myself to just one style or type of photography. I think that there is a certain value in diversifying how you approach the concept. I have also explored wedding, portraiture, lifestyle and architectural photography. There are just so many things going on right now and I want to be a part of it.”

The inspiration: “Everyday life and culture really inspire me to create. I can’t really wait for a certain mood to evoke my art. Rather, I try to capture that emotion and action that is currently happening around me right then and there.”

People who inspire: “Antoni Gaudi (deceased) and Santiago Calatrava (still alive). They are architects who I feel have pushed the envelope in architectural design. Two completely different styles but both evoke an empowering character to the location. I would love to spend a day picking their brains and accumulating a pile of napkin sketches.”

For questions about Mai’s work, e-mail E-mail comments about this article to

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