In Her Element: Bobbi Walker
Get to know the owner of Walker Fine Art
Photography by Julia Vandenoever
One all-expenses-paid ski vacation to Colorado and Bobbi Walker was smitten. “I knew I had to make my way out here,” she says. Born, raised and educated in Kentucky (MBA, U of K), she spent eight years working in tech sales in Atlanta before she made her move—sending out a storm of résumés and landing a promising position in Denver.
But all the while that she was building her professional CV, a dream was percolating in the background. A deep love of art—infused at an early age by her mother and grandmother, both artists and poets—inspired her to start her own collection in college, and her passion for curating art continued as her career thrived.
She always paired business trips with visits to local galleries, which were more than just a pastime—she was doing research, scoping out the vibe of every gallery she entered, asking the central question: “How can I make this my life?” Finally, it was time.
“I spent my 20s climbing the corporate ladder and my 30s establishing myself professionally,” Walker says, in her standard, straight-ahead delivery, infused with a trace of bluegrass twang. “In my 40s, I made the decision to shift gears into something I was more passionate about—something that would feed my creative side but at the same time would allow me to give back to my community.”
She started Walker Fine Art in 1999 as an arts consulting firm, and in 2002, she opened her gallery on the first floor of the Prado building, smack-dab in the center of Denver’s Golden Triangle. Standing 5 feet, 2 inches and “feisty in the way only a Southern girl can be,” Walker has been a strong influence in the evolution of Denver’s thriving art scene, serving as an industry leader and a passionate advocate for arts patronage.
“I’m in this business because I believe art is healing and inspiring,” she says. “I love when an artist finds a way to communicate their story in a unique and surprising way, and that magic moment when a visitor’s eyes light up because they’ve seen a work that is representative of their own personal journey.”