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Rising Stars of Lakewood

The heart of our mission at VoyageDenver is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of Denver’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Lakewood’s rising stars below.

Annette Coleman

Through my art I hope to help lift the spirits and give each public art project that I install mesmerizing visual elements for the public to enjoy.  My work is rooted in nature and all of the biodiversity of our planet and those imagined beyond our own. Looking into the sky for inspiration and looking down into a tide pool for unique forms all come into play when working in stained-glass installations. Often featured in my glass are; fire, water, wind, and air, in abstracted forms. Public engagement has always been part of my art practice and helps form the connection to community that is so important to creating a unique sense of place at each of my installations.  I place quite a few of my sculptures in the rental programs that are part of the culture of mid to small size towns. Grand Junction, Alamosa, Fort Collins, Aurora, Avon, and Lafayette are a few of the locations where you can see sculptures from myself and other Colorado sculptures.  Read more>>

Holli Gibson

I always wanted to be a fashion designer, from when I was very little – my mom was very chic and had a very generous spirit, she cared about everyone. I went to college for fashion design and went straight to work in the industry. I spent 15 years on the design side and was very fortunate to have a very successful career as a designer and design director.  I got interested in sustainability just over 15 years ago. My parents instilled in me that we should be good stewards of this beautiful planet we call home and we should treat everyone with honor and respect. The apparel industry is historically messy and not particularly great to most of the people that work in it. After 15 years of doing things “the way we always do them in this industry”, I decided I wanted to do things differently. I went over to the “dark side” – the production side, and I decided to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Read more>>

Breanna Markwell

I grew up with my mom being a single mother, with not much support from my dad and other family. So, with that came a hard life of growing up and finding out who I wanted to be and who I didn’t want to be. Since I was younger, I remember always being a hard worker and wanting to help in any way. I loved caring for others and making people feel beautiful inside and out and that’s why I do what I do today! I’ve followed not only my dreams but my feelings on this journey of what felt right and didn’t and learning about what do I want or need? After deciding what I wanted to do as my career I took the risk to go back to school after not even getting my high school diploma at first. I went back several years later to finish one of the classes I had failed since finding my passion for esthetics. That helped push me to become who I am today.   Read more>>

Dina Baker

I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2009 with my BFA degree in Studio Art, BA in Spanish, and minor in Art History. All the while I was working at a nature center in Glenview, IL called The Grove. I had been visiting The Grove since I was around 3 years old, fell in love with nature, and after high school began working there as an environmental educator. I spent years trying to figure out whether or not I should be pursuing art as a career or environmental education and bounced back and forth a lot in my jobs.  Since moving to Colorado in 2012, I have mostly worked in the field of Environmental Education for organizations like the Denver Zoo, Butterfly Pavilion, Denver Botanic Gardens and Evergreen Audubon. The more experience I obtained and more freedom I was given in my position(s), the more I ended up integrating art into the programs that I developed. During my studies for my Master’s degree in Teaching Biological Science, I had a teacher who answered my lingered question of “what direction I should go in?” by saying, “why don’t you just do both art and environmental education?” This was such a simple and almost obvious suggestion that I (embarrassingly) had never even considered previously.  Read more>>

Rose Groves

I bought my first Canon when I was in high school right before a camping trip to Yellowstone with my family. Along for the ride was a good family friend, who just so happens to be *really* into astronomy and landscape photography. For a solid four days, I was his constant shadow, asking all the questions and was quite curious about the wonder of this incredible (and slightly overwhelming) tool I had just acquired.  After college I spent some time teaching English in Korea, and as a side gig would work with both locals and fellow ex-pats as their photographer. From capturing traditional Korean weddings, to working long weekends as a photojournalist for a local tourism agency, I got to use my camera to experience the world in a whole new way. Documenting travel and culture ignited a passion in me for storytelling.   Read more>>

David Weaver

Grew up in Indiana, both parents were business owners, Dad-manufacturing Mom-interior designer-Herman Miller Dealer. IU business school – Kone Elevator Company out of school, sales engineer. Realized that corp America was not my bag – politics over performance. Moved to smaller company and worked directly for the President, that was better. Dad called and need my help – moved from Denver to Detroit to and from sales to running the shop – operations. big change, big challenge – loved and hated that move. Back to Denver – Landmark – privately held direct lender learned franchising, banking, and small business growth all at the same time. This was a great gig until the financial meltdown of 2009. I bought a bar on DU’s campus and started FranChoice at the end of 2010. I have been helping people follow their dream of business ownership ever since. Today, my wife and I invest in franchise assets, real estate alongside the franchise consulting practice. This year we empty nested for first time, bought a house in the Roaring Fork Valley, and love trying on the pace of Mountain living from time to time.   Read more>>

Jennifer Ghormley

My background is in photography, and I stumbled into printmaking early in my college years. I went on to pursue my Master’s Degree in Fine Art, and have been living the dream balancing between teaching college-level art classes, community workshops, running my own small business, and finding time to make fine art for traditional gallery shows as well. Oh, and I also get paid to make site-specific art installations as well. Hard work, discipline, and rigorous goal-setting, sprinkled with a little bit of luck got me to where I am today. I always tell my students, “You gotta make a lot of crap before something good comes out.” I have taught for numerous higher education institutions and art centers around the Denver/Boulder area. For a few years, I lived and worked in Snowmass at Anderson Ranch Art Center – that was a lot of fun, but not much art was being made. Back in Denver, I have enjoyed artist residencies at RedLine Contemporary Art Center, The Children’s Museum, and Museum of Outdoor Arts. Read more>>

Dennis Armstrong

For as long as I can remember, I was always a bit of a collector/hoarder, lol. I was obsessed with Pokemon, baseball cards, Nintendo 64, Playstation 2, Xbox 360, and watching/playing sports. It was a good escape from the home life and mental health struggles I was trying to distract myself from. I grew up on Long Island, New York in a town called Garden City where I played lacrosse, football, basketball, soccer, and wrestling mostly up until high school. It is a pretty white-washed town that encouraged college and the traditional way of life, and I never felt like I fit in. I feel like I can really be myself in Colorado. I put all my energy into my first hustles which were selling trading cards on the playground, collecting cans to cash in for 5 cents apiece, and lemonade/kool-aid stands outside of my house until dark. I remember my first $10 dollar bill and I felt rich! My hero growing up was Derek Jeter because he was such a stand-up guy and an amazing baseball player. Read more>>

Cassie Lopez and Mallory

Our story started at the school where we both currently teach at. Mallory is the art teacher and Cassie teaches Spanish. One day, we both happened to be in the copy room at the same time and struck up a conversation. Cassie was sharing her mobile bartending company, The Wandering Wagon, and we started discussing weddings and how stressful and expensive they can be. Mallory had recently planned her own wedding and was venting about the high costs and how It had delayed her and her husband from purchasing their first home. We both agreed that there was a need for something different! We wanted to create something that offered more than an elopement but less extensive than a traditional wedding. Read more>>

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