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June 03, 2004 - Swallow Hill Strums in 25 Years with 25 Artists and Instruments

What: Artists in Resonance Exhibit and Online Auction

Where: Park Central Building lobby

When: June 3, 2004 - Opening Night

Time: June 4-30, Exhibit and Online Auction

Beneficiary: Swallow Hill Music Association

Co-Chair(s): Katy Shaw and Saul Rosenthal

Executive Director: Jim Williams

Catering: Palomino Restaurant

Of note: Mayor Hickenlooper auctioned off his personal guitar that was donated and painted by a local artist

Sponsors: Gorsuch Kirgis, LLP, Grimshaw & Harring, KCUV AM 1510, The Denver Post, SCFD

Auctioneer: Mayor Hickenlooper

Attendance: 200

Special Thanks: Park Central and Mary Williams

Information: To bid online, visit or please call 303.777.1003

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes

 Mayor John Hickenlooper poses with Veronica Solis, the artist who painted Hickenlooper's personal guitar, and Board Member Ted Bright who was the high bidder on the guitar
Mayor John Hickenlooper poses with Veronica Solis, the artist who painted Hickenlooper's personal guitar, and Board Member Ted Bright who was the high bidder on the guitar

Elizabeth Byrnes

In an exciting new fundraising effort, Swallow Hill Music Association opened its “Artists in Resonance” exhibit on June 4th, in downtown Denver, as part of their 25th anniversary celebration. Local artists and patrons gathered for the opening night event and special live auction. This not-to-be missed display is filled with 24 guitars (and one mandolin), creatively transformed by local artists and celebrities. These one-of-a-kind creations bring together Swallow Hill’s commitment to folk, acoustic, and roots music with a wide variety of artistic expressions.

The exhibit is presented in the lobby of the Park Central building, located at 1515 Arapahoe Street and will be on display from June 4 – June 30. The instruments are available for purchase through an online auction at All proceeds from Artists in Resonance will benefit the extensive music programs offered by Swallow Hill.

Swallow Hill is a local nonprofit music organization that serves more than 90,000 people with an outstanding concert series and the award-winning Julie Davis Music School. Founded in 1979, Swallow Hill’s mission is to preserve and foster folk and traditional music from around the world. “The “Artists in Resonance” project underlines the idea of putting fun in fundraising,” says Swallow Hill Executive Director Jim Williams. “This collaborative effort between musical and visual artists exemplifies the mission of Swallow Hill: to preserve, educate and present music not only from the core of America but also from the rest of the world. In this exhibit and online auction, we see this idea illustrated through each artists’ own eyes.”

Mayor John Hickenlooper was on hand at the opening night to play the role of auctioneer. He donated his personal guitar to Arts Street, an arts-based job-training program for adolescents that is set up through the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. The organization relies on hands-on experiences, core academics, studio art processes and up-to-date technology to engage youth in acquiring life and workplace skills. Students see their natural skills can grown into arts careers, expand into careers that support the arts or contribute to other endeavors with their creative abilities.

Veronica Solis, a student at Florence Crittenden High School, has developed her talent as an artist through Arts Street. A novice artist, her guitar project was only her third attempt at painting. She was chosen to paint Hickenlooper’s donated guitar and her theme was “Fantasy Escape.”

"This plays as well as it did before being painted," mused Mayor Hickenlooper, as he strummed a few bars of his old guitar before he started the live auction. "If I can carry a tune on this," Hickenlooper told the gathered guests, "then think of the beautiful music that you (the bidder) can play on it!" The bidding went quickly and was sold to Swallow Hill Board Member Ted Bright, for $500.

Katy Shaw and Saul Rosenthal were the co-chairs of this one-of-a-kind art project. Artists include Patty Miller ("Guitar Arranged as a Poem"), Frank Hantschel ("Blacklight Special"), Joseph Pahl ("Piece"), Kevin D. Scott ("Tandem Guitar"), Ray Tomasso ("Relic from a foreign ocean partially restored"), Reed Weimer ("Resonance”), Mary Williams (“Holy Smokes”), Janet Woelfle ("Lady Sings the Blues"), Marina Spada ("New Orleans Funeral and Parade”), Reggie Barrett ("Music Makes Life Dance: The Opalescence of Music”), Kyme Vincent ("Landscape"), Vicki Teague-Cooper ("Tree Pieces"), André Paul Mouton (“Die Blaue Gitarre"), Kevin Singleton ("Rebuild”), Charles Kessler ("Take the A Train"), Evan Siegel ("Emmanations”), John Davenport ("Honey I'm in Love with You"), Sandy Toland ("Acoustic Tile Guitar"), The Aqua family: Hal, Risa, Zoë and Annie ("Travel Guitar"), Shaun Armour ("Bird Singtuary"), Kathleen Lopata ("Wing Strings"), Diane Ritche ("Homesteading"), Veronica Solis (“Fantasy Escape”), Aimee Fink (“genesis”), and Elaine Ricklin (“Listening to music and praising it to the stars”).

To bid on these creative instruments, please go to for the live auction.

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