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Where Art and Nature Meet




Feeling inspired?Here’s where to turn:
Chevo Studios, Denver, (303) 455-9656, chevostudios.com
Design Workshop, Aspen, (970) 920-1387, designworkshop.com
DTJ Design, Boulder, (303) 443-7533, dtjdesign.com

Feeling inspired?Here’s where to turn:
Chevo Studios, Denver, (303) 455-9656, chevostudios.com
Design Workshop, Aspen, (970) 920-1387, designworkshop.com
DTJ Design, Boulder, (303) 443-7533, dtjdesign.com
Russell + Mills Studios, Fort Collins, (970) 484-8855, russellmillsstudios.comTastefully taking art outdoors is about working in harmony with the character of the land—creating something that honors what already exists. We spoke with some of the state’s landscape visionaries to get their ideas about what makes an inspired marriage of art and nature.

Mike Albert, landscape designer with Design Workshop in Aspen, practices “bringing in the natural elements as art features and art gestures, such as pools of water that might reflect sculpture, architecture or the beautiful scenery,” he explains. His colleague, Richard Shaw, agrees. For the Woody Creek garden project (shown in picture), Shaw was inspired by a simple concept: how water moves through the garden.

His vision resulted in an ambitiously artistic landscape, where water flows throughout the space in varied rhythm—from a serene rooftop reflection pool to this falling stream that connects a walled courtyard with the framed view of Mount Sopris and welcomes visitors with its gentle cadence.

When considering your own space, Greg White with DTJ Design recommends that you find your garden’s “sweet spot”—the point in your landscape that, “relative to the mountain view or a certain topographical feature or how something is viewed from inside the home,” becomes an ordained place for artwork. By striking this spot, you highlight the natural flow of the land while preventing art from looking plopped-down.

Early on, consider a concept for your space, says Craig Russell of Russell + Mills Studios. For a theme of sustainability, you might choose a structure that captures roof run-off or a water chain that flows down from a gutter. A kinetic sculpture that interacts with the wind can express motion, he says. Or allow the environment itself to inspire your theme by selecting a design that repeats the contours of the land.

So whether your backyard is a blank canvas or simply in need of a fresh vision, keep in mind the words of designer Andy Dufford of Chevo Studios: “There’s a real tendency to buy objects and plunk them down. And that’s not to say that there aren’t beautiful objects, but it can be so much richer when there’s that tuning. You tune the art that you create to the place that’s already been created.”

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