I’ve always been an artist. I started drawing when I was real little. My grandfather was a professional artist. So, I was raised in a family where that was a legitimate career, not just a hobby. He did pin-up girls during World War II and commercial art like ads for Miller Beer and Coca-Cola. When I was in high school, I took art, and when he would come to visit he would look at all my things and critique them. My dad was really artistic, too. I remember when I wanted to draw stuff my dad sitting with me showing me how.
A few years after my husband passed away, I thought, “Well, I always did want to own a gallery.” I had heard Westminster would be developing this part of town into an art district, and I bought these buildings in 2008 and opened Aar River Gallery in May of 2009.
The next fall, we started the Historic Westminster Art District. It is something I’ve worked hard on, and it’s very close to my heart. It’s really cool that we have this historic area. A lot of the other suburbs around here don’t have the history like Westminster does. This street (73rd Avenue) where the gallery is was the original main street. This building the gallery is in is a historic building; it was originally a bicycle shop. I’ve had elderly people come in, and they remember buying their first bicycle here.
Rocky Mountain girl
I like to spend time with my little granddaughter. She’s talking and all that stuff. She likes to do art. I’m kind of impressed. She colors, but she actually knows about coloring the thing now. She’s only 2½ years old! She likes to come (to the gallery) because I have all this stuff — brushes and art stuff.
My mom’s dad’s family homesteaded in Wyoming, and they were ranchers. I have a lot of really good memories there. I always say I’m a Rocky Mountain girl, from Wyoming to Colorado. It would be hard for me to leave this area because it’s always been part of my life, being able to be in the mountains.
A good place to eat in Westminster...
I love Big Mac and Little Lu’s. It’s a really good seafood place.
If I could meet any artist...
Picasso because he had a big span of work, and his work changed a lot. And Winslow Homer; he was an American watercolorist.