Five Questions: Alyson Kinkade, a lifetime in the arts
Columbine Gallery closing June 1
By PAMELA JOHNSON
May 7, 2023 at 8:00 p.m.
Alyson Kinkade has been creating art for, as she said, “as long as I can remember.”
The painter, who runs Columbine Gallery in Loveland with her dad, John Kinkade, is one of 62 artists with pieces in the Governor’s Art Show underway at the Loveland Museum, and dips her paintbrush into many different colors of the art world.
With the National Sculptor’s Guild, she helps place large sculptures in public art collections.
With the gallery, which is closing in June and transitioning to online only, she has provided a place for artists to display and sell their work, and for people to view a variety of different types of art.
With her paints, she creates a unique world for people to enjoy.
1. How did you first start as an artist? What is your specialty?
I have enjoyed creating art for as long as I can remember, with great art teachers throughout my primary schools in Greeley and Loveland, and a supportive family with creative friends even before my family started the art gallery. I grew up with encouragement to try all methods and materials that art can take form in, going to the Creative Arts Center all through elementary school. … My (junior high) art teacher was Dan Augenstein — we called him Auggie — who I later got to represent as an artist in our gallery. He’s also in the Governor’s Art Show. He specialized in ceramics at the time, so I created a series of ceramic animals that I then sold at Arts Picnic. Connie Einfalt and Laurie White were my art teachers at Loveland High and they were wonderful for exploring photography, sculpture and jewelry making, rare mediums to find at public schools. An enthusiastic art teacher makes a huge impact for a young creative and I’ve remained in contact with them. My junior year of high school I was fortunate enough to spend a summer at Interlochen Arts Camp, which helped me develop a portfolio to get a scholarship to attend the Kansas City Art Institute where I honed in on painting as my primary medium. Following graduation, I lived in Santa Fe where we had a second gallery at the time that I managed for a few years while also creating artwork; then returned to Loveland where I currently live, work and create.
My specialty is oil painting. I have a couple series right now, abstract landscapes and representational custom pet portraits. It’s nice to have the freeing intuitive work of the landscapes balanced by the tighter animal paintings. I love doing both.
2. What is your inspiration, in life and in art?
I am inspired by nature. I love to visually take in the expansive plains of Colorado with ever changing skies. I’m equally inspired by animals and helping groups who advocate for them. Proceeds from my ‘Happiness Is’ pet portrait series help me contribute to animal welfare organizations. I love to give back through my art.
The use of stacked colors in my landscape paintings represent one’s goals and ambitions laid out before them; and the sky is the space to contemplate new ideas. The horizon is where dreams and aspirations meet.
3. Describe the Governor’s Art Show. What makes it special? What is the draw for residents?
I am very proud to be juried in for my 10th time. It is wonderful to be part of such a unique show that gives back to the community through its sales. The 32nd Colorado Governor’s Art Show and Sale is one of the largest juried fine art shows in the state. It runs through June 11th at the Loveland Museum. …
What makes it so special is that it is truly is an “Art with Heart” exhibit, the show benefits Loveland and Thompson Valley Rotary Clubs’ charitable projects and causes. One-third of the proceeds go to the Thompson Education Foundation’s Homeless Assistance Fund and additional funds go toward scholarships for local art students. Scholarship winners have a piece displayed in the show on the back wall. I have met them, and they are impressive young people with bright futures.
Since 2016, the Governor’s Art Show has had different jurors every year, and that makes each show so distinctive and shows off new artists purely by the aesthetic value of who juried. This makes the show fresh, diverse, and full of what Colorado artists are currently expressing. There are 62 artists on display. You will discover artists from all corners of the state, and there is something for everyone. … The caliber of artists in the show is unmatched. (https://governorsartshow.org)
4. What is the history of Columbine Gallery? I understand that the physical gallery will be closing. Why and what are the plans for transitioning online? What will become of the building?
Yes, this is our final month of being open to the public as Columbine Gallery. …
My father (John Kinkade) founded the National Sculptors’ Guild in 1992 with a dozen sculptors who wished to find thoughtful public applications for their work. JK Designs is the design team that promotes and provides consultation for the Guild. Columbine Gallery was opened as a space to show the artwork by members of the National Sculptors’ Guild when cities and companies would come out to meet on large-scale commissions. We started out in a small space at 1032 Lincoln Ave. The gallery walls were used to showcase regional painters, and after moving to our current location 2683 N. Taft Ave., Columbine grew into one of Northern Colorado’s largest fine art galleries housing over 50 artists at one time, and the adjacent National Sculptors’ Guild Sculpture Garden filled with 85-100 sculptures year-round.
After 30 years, we have elected to refocus our time and energy on the National Sculptors’ Guild and placing large-scale artwork in commercial and public spaces. Many Lovelanders may be unaware that we have a full-scale public art business, placing over 550 significant monuments across the nation over the years. While we have thoroughly enjoyed working with art appreciators of all levels, the true passion has always been in the design team approach it takes to place great public art. That is how we started, and we are feeling it is time to devote ourselves to the Guild once again.
We will continue to sell much of the artwork online, (nationalsculptorsguild.com), which has become a popular choice among art collectors. …
This transition to less show space also allows me to pursue more opportunities for my own artwork, and my father can continue to work on his philanthropic projects that often combine the arts and helping community. It has been a privilege to serve the community of Loveland and our amazing stable of artists over the years. We look forward to continuing to do so in a different capacity.
We are thrilled to see someone new take the space with new energy and ideas to make their own mark on this special art-filled city. The Taft Avenue gallery and garden will continue to showcase art as the new owner is currently working to open ‘par-a-dox fine arts’ this summer. There will be different artists and events that will renew the space with creative energy. It feels good that our legacy will continue in this way.
5. What are your favorite places to enjoy art in Loveland?
Columbine Gallery and Garden (through May), Benson Sculpture Garden, Loveland Museum, Artworks, Artspace, Downtown Loveland (rotating sculptures and the growing mural collection) some of the local restaurants have fun rotating artwork (Muse, Verboten, Henry’s, West End) and occasionally I grab a blizzard at the Dairy Queen and enjoy seeing sculptures on loan there too. Loveland is full of great art and artists everywhere you go.
Bonus: What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Dream big, put in the hours, seek out those who support your efforts, and give back when you can.
Years in Loveland: 26
Occupation: Artist, Director at Columbine Gallery and the National Sculptors' Guild
Pamela Johnson | Assistant Editor
Pamela Johnson is an award-winning journalist with two decades invested in the community of Loveland. She covers education, county government, environmental issues, outdoor recreation and whatever else she finds along the way. firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Pamela Johnson @RHPamelaJ