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3 Local Collectors, highlights from the Brasch, Lehrer and Wenderski Collections featuring works selected from prominent Colorado Springs collections will open at the Gallery of Contemporary Art, the art museum at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Each collector was asked to lend 30 or more contemporary works, resulting in a visually stunning show of approximately 100 diverse works.

The local Collectors are realtors Ron Brasch and Rich Lehrer, and fiber artist and special education teacher Kathryn Wenderski. Kathryn had previously participated in a symposium on collecting at the museum in 1992.

Each of the participating collectors has distinctly different taste in their art acquisitions, and this is clearly reflected in the show. The show idea originated with Ron Brasch’s offer, in 2002, to exhibit works from his collection. In order to round the show out, it was decided to approach two other local collectors, who had extensive holdings and a similar obsession for acquiring art.

Rich Lehrer began collecting Native American and Southwest influenced art decades ago, and gradually shifted his focus to include more contemporary and regional work in a range of mediums. Ron moved here from Florida and his collecting focus was influenced by its bright sun drenched color, and pop sensibilities. His collection is primarily original graphics on paper by established modern and pop artists, but includes some paintings and sculpture. Kathryn, an artist herself, built her collection through direct relationship with regional artists. Her collection is especially strong in photography, but includes many of the best known contemporary Colorado artists working in drawing, painting and sculpture.

Well known national/ international artists included in the show are: Francis Bacon, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein, Karel Appel, David Hockney, Alden Mason and Miquel Martinez. Well known Colorado Artists include Floyd Tunson, Albert Chong, Nora Krogman, Louis Recchia, Zoa Ace, Paul Schroeder, Wes Kennedy, Scott Chamberlin, Dale Chisman, and Bethany Kreigsman.

The exhibition and the public symposium were supported by the participating collectors as well as the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts: the Bee Vradenburg Foundation; museum benefactors Al Metzger and Esther Beynon; the CU Colorado Springs Student Government Association, and the museum’s loyal patrons.

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