Le Muse du Musee
I met Natalie Rekstad-Lynn in 2005, she was sitting along the wall of my acting class with the rest of the students at the Denver Center Theatre Academy. She’d only made it to a few classes but did not go unnoticed. Her eyes were clear blue and clearly focused, her ballerina’s body and the intensity she brought to her work lifted her above the rest. One night she stayed behind a bit to apologize for her absence, let me know she enjoyed the class and something about driving from Boulder and having a new baby. We chatted for a while in “mom speak” about babes and shifts they made to careers and hips. She offhandedly mentioned an ‘ annual fundraiser’ she did to benefit the arts. I, in my rush and snobbery, thought she was speaking of a hobby; a little like Mommy and Me with Degas. Ha! I had no idea who I was talking to for Natalie Rekstad- Lynn plays on a role far bigger than those I was coaching.
Inspired by the great European art salons of the late nineteenth century, Ms. Lynn founded Salon d’ Arts in 2001 and by 2006 she had built a nationally recognized arts event featuring museum held artists from around the country. The goal has always been to spotlight Colorado as a world-class fine arts destination, promote artistic integrity and education through visual and performing arts and to strengthen the cultural ties between Colorado non-profits. She has reached and exceeded this, expanding herself, her life and the artistic community in the process.
Through the years the Salon d’ Arts has been held in local galleries and benefited more than one non-profit. Working in collaboration with DAM’s outgoing and incoming Chief Curators, Lewis Sharp and Christoph Heinrich, Lynn narrowed Salon’s focus as a funder for the Denver Art Museum, moving the 2009 gala into the Fredrick Hamilton Building with the Embrace exhibit and Salon du Musee was born. On Saturday night la tradition jeunes continued with a beautiful soiree and a major tweak. This year marks the first museum-wide collaboration to form one exhibition.
Denver Art Museum curators selected works from significant artists from each department. The result is a sublime exhibition of more than eighty works ranging in value from $250 up to $100,000. This year’s event and art auction is a unique opportunity to understand the breadth of the museum’s collections represented through new objects from each genre, while giving collectors an opportunity to add vetted curator selections to their personal art collections.
The selections were a spectacular smorgasbord of sensory delight. The VIP reception began with champagne and artist Daniel Sprick speaking of his hauntingly elegant oil paintings. The whimsical irony in Bill Amundson pencil drawings, the graceful graphite of Marc Brandenburg, Bill Starke‘s sculptural rock climbers, and others provided nourishment for every aesthetic palette. And the event was a work of art in itself raising funds through silent and live auctions.
Who knew the modest, self-described “Boulder mom” would be hostess extraordinaire? In the five years since our meeting I have learned that with Natalie Rekstad-Lynn that there will always be a great surprise. She is a force of benevolent nature, bursting with passion for a life of beauty, a deep connection to friends and family and a guiding mantra “The impossible just takes longer”.