Meet the Bookstabers!

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

When an artist does a residency here at ART342 they cannot go very long before they hear the names Dennis and Mickey Bookstaber. The Bookstabers are an integral part of studio visits and all other ART342 events. Their support of the artists and of the arts in general is evident upon meeting them. We wanted to find out the story of their arrival in Fort Collins and how they became a part of ART342.

Dennis and Mickey (the two people wearing black in front) looking intently at an artist’s work during a studio visit

How were you introduced to the Jim and Wendy Franzen, founders of ART342?

We had the good fortune of connecting with Jim and Wendy Franzen during our first exploratory visit to Ft. Collins which we made in 2002 as we followed up on a suggestion to “check out this town” by a former high school art student of Mickey’s who was doing graduate work at CSU. As it turned out their advice and suggestions proved invaluable to us as we made our plans to move to town. After we arrived we soon realized how important they were to the vibrancy of the art and music communities. If you had the opportunity to attend any of the events in which they had any involvement you were guaranteed a memorable experience filled with exposure to some of the most interesting and talented folks around.

So it was that when they founded ART342 we naturally had a great interest in the project, the artists and all the people associated this operation.

Besides your connection at ART342 how else are you involved in the arts in Fort Collins?

In our early years in Fort Collins we were very involved with the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art. When the new University Art Museum opened a few years ago in the University Center for the Arts and Keith became their Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator we talked him into letting us help them when they needed assistance in installing and de-installing exhibitions there.

Mickey had a wonderful and rewarding career as an art educator in a Northern New Jersey high school but she is also an active, practicing artist. She has experienced success in having her work accepted into various local exhibitions and is currently showing a few of her pieces in the Art and Science show at the Poudre Studio Artist & Galleries in Old Town (July 5-28, 2012)

What is the most interesting thing about getting to know the Artists-in-Residence at ART342?

Where could one find a better way to have a finger on the pulse of what is happening in contemporary art, music and literature? In our current relationship we get to meet and interact with the next generation of the people with whom we have so enjoyed throughout our lives. They provide us with a direct connection to the real-time world of contemporary art and most are such interesting folks to be with.

We consider ourselves very lucky and are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program.

Be sure to check out Mickey’s work at the Art and Science show before it comes down on July 28!


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