CHARLES (Chuck) PARSON studied at the A.E. Backus Studio in Florida from 1962-66; he received his BFA in 1970 from the Kansas City Art Institute with a major in Painting and Drawing and a minor in Printmaking. He was awarded a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1972 with a major in Painting and a minor in Materials Technology.  He has over 80 One-person exhibits throughout the U.S., along with an extensive participation in group exhibits ,as well as large-scale installations and monumental public sculptures which have been seen in places such as New York City, Chicago, Kansas City to name a few. His art work has been extensively reviewed and feature profiles in local, regional and national newspapers, magazines, books, radio and television. 

Parson has a history of presenting many independent alternative public art projects throughout the past 40 years. These include temporary events such as the lowering of the flow of the Platte River for his 400 ft. long ice installation, ICE FLOE; the 10 mural independent project located in downtown Denver on 15th street, ART IN THE STREETS, including the rear advertising panels of the Yellow Cabs in the metropolitan area; the alternative gallery 1235 WAZEE STREET; and the current on-going private 35 acre art retreat SISU in rural southern Colorado. He additionally worked for 25 years as a contract illustrator and graphic muralist for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He still teaches as a Professor of Art at an urban college in the Denver area. He is also a musician, performing on the guitar and bass and author of the book, “The Sanctuary of the Moment”.

Charles Parson’s multi-faceted work includes drawings, prints, paintings, sculptures, installations, stage designs and performance art. His work has been viewed in galleries, art centers and museums throughout the U.S. He has 50 one-person exhibitions, as well as numerous regional and national group shows. Additionally, he has produced many alternative public art events and large-scale temporary installations.

Parson studied traditional landscape painting at the A.E. Backus Studio in Florida from 1962 - 1966.   This was during the same time and place as the emergence of the group the The Highwaymen.  He received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1970, and his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1972. He did supplemental studies at Western States Film Institute and the Munt-Brooks Dance Studio, Denver.

Parson’s work has been extensively reviewed, and has been the subject of many feature articles. He has appeared numerous times on television and radio, discussing both his art and the state of the arts. Reviews, features, and articles on Parson have appeared in many publications, such as The Chicago New Art Examiner, Artspace, Art Express, American Artist, Plano-Star Courier, Dallas Morning News, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Westword, Straight Creek Arts Journal, Artweek, Upper Larimer Arts and Times, Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald, Pontiac Press, Icon Arts Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, Sculptural Pursuit Magazine and the New York New Times, to name a few.  The most current national article is a feature interview on his works in the Literary/Arts magazine Porcupine, published in Wisconsin.

Awards are the Denver Art Museum’s Alliance for Contemporary Art 1999 AFKEY Award. In the mid-90’s the Innovation in the Arts award from the Colorado Federation the Arts, a Co-Visions Recognition award from the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities, and was one of the 1995 recipients of the Museum Art Educators of the Year award from the Colorado

Art Education Association.  In the late 70’s throughout the 80’s he received several Best of Westword Awards from the Denver based Arts and Entertainment publication, Westword.  Most recently he was named as Top Sculptor in the state of Colorado by Rocky Mountain News Top of the Rockies, 2006 and awarded Faculty of the Year 2007 at The Community College of Denver.

Parson has taught for many years.  In August 2005 he joined the staff of the urban-based Community College of Denver, on the Auraria Campus in downton Denver.  There he is the Senior Chair of the Arts Departments and teaches various visual classes.  He is also Affiliate faculty in the Graduate program at Regis University, Denver, Colorado.  Additionally, Parson has done a large range of diverse art-related activities, including designing and producing exhibits and graphics at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where he still is a contract muralist/illustrator. 

Upcoming Exhibition highlights include a nationally based group show of large-scale exterior sculptures at the University of Wyoming Art Museum in spring 2008.  In the Colorado region new works are being developed as part of at three-tiered series of one-person exhibits scheduled for fall 2009.  These will be at the Museum of Outdoor Arts, Lakewood Cultural Arts Center, and tentatively The Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  These concurrent exhibitions will be blending the process of landscape observational drawings developed into abstract wall constructions, sculptures and interactive sound installations. Parson is continuing development of additional exhibitions in galleries and museums both nationally and in Europe in the spring of 2008.  The presentation of the fully developed work Dissolve, a monumental graphic excerpt of a poem by Keats, placed in alternative temporary locations throughout the west continues.  The resulting photographic documentation will be placed in his new book, From the Ground Up, currently in the editing process which is scheduled for release in 2009.  As well he is continuing his development of the Sisu Art Retreat in remote southern Colorado where he currently has 30 sculptures and site-specific works on display over the 35 acre location. 

Representative large-scale works can be seen in such places as the two-and-a-half story tall sculpture, Steeple at Northshore Sculpture Park, in the Chicago suburb of Skokie; Subtended Connection, II, originally seen in Brooklyn, now on display at Stetson University, Florida.  In Colorado a three-story tall sculpture, Earthgate, as well as the 14’ Structural Underbelly are on display at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.  Additionally the 16’ tall sculpture, Monument to a Wyoming Rancher is on display throughout the year in Greeley, ColoradoThe 15’ tall work, The Frame for a Caret, previously on display at the Purdue University campus is currently being installed at the Sisu Art Retreat.  More of Parson’s exterior works can be seen on display in front of the Kirkland Museum as part of their recent acquisitions.

Parson released a reprint of his 2002 book, The Sanctuary of the Moment in 2006.  His next book From the Ground Up is slated for release in late 2009.  His website can be viewed at www.charlesparson.com.


Mai Wyn Fine Art-Denver, CO. 

Education 1970-72 MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Major, Painting; Minor, Materials Technology 1966-1970 BFA Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, Painting/Drawing; Minor, Printmaking 1962-1968 A.E. Backus Studio, Ft. Pierce, Florida; Traditional Landscape Painting  

Individual Exhibitions  

2009 Personal Echoes on the Horizon, Foothills Art Center, Golden, Colorado; interior /exterior works

2006 Balanced Dissolution, Artyard Gallery, Denver Colorado; interior/exterior works

2005 Dahl Art Center, Rapid City, South Dakota; interior /exterior works

2004, Landscapes Sonnet, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, CO; Sculpture, Sound Installation, Wall Constructions, Drawings

2003, Moments of Being, Leedy Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Mo; Sculptures, Sound Installation, Wall Constructions, Drawings

2002, Framed Choices, Stewart Gallery, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Sound/Interactive Installation, Wall Constructions and Drawings

2002, Time Eventually Comes Up Green, Again, Artyard Gallery, Denver; Sculptures/Drawings 2002, The Vertical Moment, II. Duncan Gallery, Stetson University, DeLand, Florida; - Sound Installation and suite of Drawings - Exterior Sculpture, Subtended Connection

2001, Still Poem, Western Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO; Interactive Installation and Working Drawings

2000- 01, The Vertical Garden Series, 3 concurrent One-person Exhibits;

- Museum of Contemporary Art, Ft.Collins, CO; Sound Installation, Wall Constructions, Drawings

- Only Contemporary Art Gallery, Ft Collins, CO; Wall Constructions, Sculptures and Drawings

- Loveland Art Museum. Drawings

1999, A Sense of Place, Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, Wyoming 60’ x 70’ Installation; Sculptures, Wall Constructions, Dimensional Drawings

1999, New Works, Changing Scene Theater Gallery Denver, CO; Wall Constructions, Sculptures, full length performance program

1996-95, The Fragility of Permanence, Artyard Gallery Denver, CO; Exterior/Interior Sculptures, Drawings, Wall Constructions

1994, Twilight of the Individual Space, Loveland Art Museum, CO; Sculptures, Wall Constructions, Interactive Installations, Drawings

1993, Working Drawings, Artyard Gallery, Denver; proposal Drawings for realized and unrealized projects

1992, Connections, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, MO; Sculptures, Wall Constructions, wall installations, Drawings

1991, Memorials to the Living Series, 2 concurrent exhibits as well as full length Performance program - Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO; Large-scale exterior Sculptures; interior Sculptures, constructions - Changing Scene Theater Gallery; Drawings, Wall Constructions

1989, Earth on a Pedestal, Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO; Drawings, Exterior/Interior Sculptures; concurrent with exterior. Installation at Aspen Art Museum 78’ x 15’

1989, One-man Exhibit, F. C. I., New York City, NY; Art and Cuisine Series Wall Constructions, Dimensional Drawings

1988, Ocean Gate Series, Edge Art Gallery, Denver, CO; Wall Constructions, Drawings, Interior Sculptures

1987, One Person Exhibits, 2 concurrent exhibits;- Colorado Governor’s Office - Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex

1987, One-person Exhibit, Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO; Exterior/Interior Sculptures, Wall Constructions

1987, In Sequence, Grant St. Art Center, Denver, CO; Wall Constructions, Sculptures, Drawings 1987, Last 10 years of Sculpture, Republic Plaza, Denver, CO; Large-scale Interior Sculptures

1986, One-Man Show and Installation, Slash, Lincoln Arts Center, Ft. Collins, CO; 60’ x 15’ installation plus Wall Constructions and Sculptures

1985, Recent Works, Atwell Art Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO; Constructions, Sculptures, Drawings

1985, New Dimensional Prints, Grover Art Gallery, Denver

1985, Low Tide on the High Plains, Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO; 50’ x 50’ interior installation plus Wall Constructions, Drawings and performance

1984, Between the Lines, 55 Mercer Gallery, New York, NY; Wall installations, Sculptures, Drawings and Wall Constructions

1983, Art in the Streets, Alternative Exhibit, Denver, CO; 2 concurrent facets of Public Art; - 10 billboard size dimensional Drawings; - 40 Drawings on rear advertising panels on metro taxi cabs 1983, Four Conversations/Landscapes Series, Inkfish Gallery, Denver, CO, Drawings, Sculpture 1983, Individual Exhibit, Nimbus Art Gallery, Dallas, TX; Sculptures, Wall Constructions, Drawings 1981, Continuance, Schwayder Art Gallery, Univ. of Denver; Large-scale Sculptures, Wall Constructions, exterior Sculpture 110’x15’; performance in gallery

1981, Continuance, Inkfish Art Gallery, Denver, CO; Mixed-Media, Sculpture Wall Constructions 1979, Drift, St. Charles on Wazee Gallery, Denver, CO; Interior installation 72’; ext. installation, 52’ x 15’

1978, Echo Series; Three concurrent activities, - Sebastian-Moore Gallery, Denver, Sculpture, Drawings, Wall Constructions

- Changing Scene Theater Gallery, Sculpture, Drawings

- Full-length Performance Program

1977, Corridors, 1235 Wazee Alternative Space, Denver, 2 facets; - Wall Constructions, Sculptures - Full-Length performance installation programs

1976, M-Blue, End to End, Changing Scene Theater, Denver; Installation

1976, Seven Elements, Joseph Magnin Gallery, Denver; Environment, Wall Constructions and Drawings

1975, Environment, Changing Scene Theater Gallery, Denver; Installation/Interactive

1974, Spring Canyon, #2, Changing Scene Theater Gallery, Denver; Mixed-media, Sculptures, Drawings

1973, Spring Canyon, Saginaw Valley College Gallery, Michigan; Mixed works, installation

1971, Installation, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan

1970, One-man Exhibit, Fort Pierce Art Museum, Florida;Paintings, Drawings  

Selected Art Events/Performance/Temporary Installations  

2004, 3 of 3 Performance Gate Theater, University of Denver

2003- Present Earthgate, 28’x64’, Exterior Public Sculpture, Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO 2002- Present Subtended Connection, Stetson University, Deland, FL, Exterior Sculpture 14’x20’x10’

2001, Frame for a Caret, Purdue University, IN; Exterior Sculpture, 14’x12’x12’

2001, Three Works, EDAW Architecture, Ft. Collins, CO

2001, 3 of 3 Performance, St. Barnabus Artist Series, Denver, CO; Full length Collaborative Trio 2001 - 03 Earthgate, 28’x64’, Exterior Public Sculpture, Lowery Complex, Denver, CO

2000 - 01 Earthgate, 28’x64’, Exterior Public Sculpture, Hudson Park, Englewood, CO

2000, Monument to a Wyoming Rancher 14' x 8' x 12', Chicago Navy Pier

1999- Present, Earthgate, 28’x64’, Exterior Public Sculpture, Museum of Public Art, Fiddlers Green, Englewood, CO

1999, Steeple, 28’x20’, Exterior Public Sculpture, Chicago Navy-Pier Exhibit, Chicago, IL

1999, Steeple, 28’x20’, Exterior Public Sculpture, Northshore Sculpture Park, Skokie, IL

1999, Night Vision, Changing Scene Theater, Denver Full length Performance Art Program 3/3 1998, 3/3 Performance Works, Collaborative performances in conjunction with Columbine Chamber Music Series, Boulder, CO

1996, Frame for a Caret, CAEA Convention, Breckenridge, CO; Temporary PA event; 14’ Steel, Ice, Stone

1993, Earth Line, Museum of Outdoor Art, CO; Temporary Sculpture, 900’; 19 Panels, Sod, Steel, Polyrope

1992, Home Ground, Kansas City Art Institute; 125’ x 125’ Installation of Sod, Steel, Rope; Temporary

1992, 11 Framed Landscapes, Connemera Conservancy, Plano, TX; Collaborative Installation w/Bruce Taylor, 1000’ long

1991, Memorials to the Living, Changing Scene Theater, Denver, CO; Full Length Performance program

1991, Pearl’s Pond, Private Memorial Performance Work, Hazard, KY; 100’ x 100’ waterwork

1989, Earth Shadows, APEX Corporation, New York, NY; Wall Construction

1989, Transitions in Time and Space. Changing Scene Theater, Full-length Performance Work

1986, Ice Floe, Denver Art Museum, 30’x60’ 5 ton Ice/Steel 1985 Performance Works, Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO. Performance in conjunction with Low Tide on the High Plains Installation

1983, Performance Works, Denver Art Museum with musician, Dr. Mary Jungerman

1981- 1983, Musical/Visual Performance Programs, Tours of Denver Metro Schools; Young Audience Series

1982, Score, Performance Art Lectures and Performances, Denver Metro Schools, Young Audience Series

1981, Lineage, Installation; Platte River, Downtown Denver, CO; 2 ½ T Ice, 400’ long, 10 performers

1981, Continuance, Schwayder Art Gallery, University of Denver; Performance in conjunction w/visual artworks on display

1980, High Plains Drift, Schwayder Art Building, University of Denver; 110’ long Steel Exterior Temporary Sculpture

1979, Art and Architecture, Larimer Square, Denver, CO; Commissioned Temporary Sculptural Installation

1979, Installation, Atlas Metal and Iron Corp., Denver, CO; Wall Construction, 25’ x 100’

1977, Corridors, 1235 Wazee Alternative Space, Denver, CO; Performance Installations with original dance and music

1976, Phrasing, (from 5 new Dances), Changing Scene Theater, Denver, CO; Performance Work

Selected Stage Design/Consultation (Fine Arts) 

1983, Verdi’s Requiem, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver, CO; Consultant, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company

1981, The Love Song of Hillary Sparrow, Telluride Dance Festival and University of Colorado; Barbara Gardner, Choreographer

1979, Nancy Mangus Dance Program, Changing Scene Theater, Denver, CO; Special Effects and Props

1977, More Than Yesterday, Changing Scene Theater, Denver, CO; Stage Design for Janet Locketz Multi-media Dance Program

1976, Cowgirl Ecstacy, Changing Scene Theater; Set Design for play by playwright Michael Smith 1976, Coupling, Changing Scene Theater; Set Design and Musical Instrument design/ construction for modern dance. Choreography by Al Brooks; Munt-brooks dancers

1976, Quanna Powit Quartet, Changing Scene Theater Denver; Set Design for plays by Israel Horovitz

1975, Together and Apart, Tour of Colorado and New Mexico with Munt-Brooks Dance Company, Set Design, Lighting and Costumes for Multi-media Play by choreography, Al Brooks, music, Joe Kasinskas, Writing, Gary Paulsenvr  


1999, AFKEY Award, Alliance for Contemporary Art, Denver Art Museum

1995, Innovation in the Arts Award, Colorado Federation for the Arts

1995, Museum Art Educator of the Year Award (one of five recipients from DMNH team); Colorado Art Education Association

1995, Co-Visions Artist Recognition Grant, Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities

1987, Commissioned Awards, Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts  

Selected Group Exhibits  

2009 Colorado Abstraction, Center for the Visual Arts, Denver

2009 Southern Colorado Sculptors, Steamplant Art Center, Salida, Colorado

2008-10 Sculpture Invitational, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Larimie, Wyom.

2008 Anniversary Celebration, Foothills Art Center, Golden, Colorado

2008 Figurative Sculptural Works, Emmanuel Gallery, Denver

2008 & 2009; Design After Dark, Kjos/Parson Collaboration; Redline Gallery, Denver

2006 O’Kane and Parson Colorado Mountain College Gallery, Glenwood Springs, Co.

2005 Two –person Exhibit Schantz and Parson, Artpost Gallery, Milwaukee region  

*On-going; Sites; development of 35 acre Art retreat in Southern Colorado, currently with 30 exterior sculptures on display and special temporary art events.  

2004, Sculpture, Art Students League, Denver, CO

2004, Purdue 25th Anniversary Show, Purdue University Galleries, IN

2003, Expansions, Lakewood Cultural Arts Center, CO: Curator, -Interior, Process -Exterior, Sculptures

2003, 5 Movements, Ft. Hills Art Center, Golden, CO

2003, Kansas City Sculpture Garden, Stretch Studios, Kansas City , MO. 12’x6’x6’

2002, 15 years, Mangold & Parson, 2 person Exhibit, Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO

2002, Frame for a Caret, Stetson University, Deland, FL. Exterior Public Scuplture, 14’x20’

2001, 5 Views, Holter Museum, Helena, MT

2000- 05, Monument to a Wyoming Rancher, Peoria Riverwalk, IL; 13’x10’x8’ Exterior Sculpture 2001-03, Earth Gate, Lowery Complex, Denver, CO; Public Art Exhibit, The Elements; 28’ x 64’ 2000, Bridging the Gap, BWAC Empire-Fulton and Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY; 14’ x 20’ x 10’ Public Sculpture

2000, Pier-Walk International Sculpture Exhibit, Chicago, IL

2000, The Invisible Museum, Guireys Gallery Denver, CO

1998-2006 Northshore Sculpture Park, Skokie, IL

1999, Earth, Air Fire, Water, The Elements, Museum of Outdoor Art, Englewood, CO; EG, 28’ x 110’

1999, 3D Chicago, Vedanta Gallery, Chicago, IL; Model Exhibit

1999, Western Vernacular, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; 45’x45’

1999-00 Society for the Preservation of Humanity, Englewood Parks, CO

1999, New Works. Only Contemporary Art Gallery, Ft. Collins, CO

1999, Gallery Artists, Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO

1999, 25 Years of Abstract Art, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, CO

1999, All-Colorado Exhibition, Juror, Western Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO

1998, Pier-Walk International Sculpture Exhibit, Chicago, IL; 2 ½ story tall sculpture

1998, Three sculptors (Mangold, Beardsley, Parson); Vail Public Arts Program

1998, Blu Gallery, Palm Springs, CA

1998, Only Contemporary Art Gallery, Ft. Collins, CO

1998, 3D Chicago, Models, Woodstreet Gallery, Chicago

1997-98, 8 Colorado Artists, Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, Wyoming; One West Art Center, Ft. Collins, CO

1997-98, Burns Park Finalists, Models, 1/1 Gallery, Denver

1997-98, Harmony Gallery Artists, Ft. Collins, CO

1996, Lumina Gallery, Taos, New Mexico

1996, 20/20 Vision, Arvada Center for the Arts, CO

1996, Steam Plant Arts Center, Sculpture Garden, Sailda, CO

1995, Arts Innovation Awards Exhibit, Temple Buell Theater, Denver, CO

1992, AFCA Exhibit, Denver Art Museum, CO

1992, Connemera Artists, Plano Center for the Arts, Plano, TX

1991, Diverse Works, One West Arts Center, Ft. Collins, CO

1991, 60 Sq. Inches, Purdue University (Purchase Award)

1991, Installations, One West Arts Center, Ft. Collins, CO

1991, Prints, Leedy-Voulkus Arts Center, Kansas City, MO

1991, Screens, Invitational, YMCA Gallery, Denver, CO

1991, Atmospheres, Edge Gallery, Denver, CO; 2-Person exhibit with Steve Steele

1990, Value is Value, Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO

1990, 6 Installation Artists, Phillip J. Steele Gallery, Denver. CO

1990, Orders, Pyramid Arts Center, Rochester, NY

1989, Colorado Sculpture, Aspen Art Museum, CO; 20’ x 72’ ext. installation

1989, Group Exhibit, Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO

1988, Fountains, Artyard Gallery, Denver, CO

1988, Five Regional Artists, Denver Chamber of Commerce

1988, New Acquisitions, City of Westminster, CO;

1987, Colorado Drawing Show, Arvada Center for the Arts, CO; 4 works including 10’ x 18’ x 2’ 1987, Form, Public Sculpture, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO; 6’ x 110’ x 2’ Installation, Site-work

1986, Wall Construction, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

1986, Arne Hansen Art gallery, Vail, CO; Construction/Drawing

1985, Colorado Artists, Arvada Center for the Arts, CO

1984, The Denver/Boulder Exhibit, Seven Artists at the Claremont Arts Galleries, Los Angeles, CA: 14 works by Parson

1984, Inkfish Sculptors, Rickey, Bertoia, Parson, Day, Waters; Inkfish Gallery, Denver, CO

1984, Three Large Sculptures, Arvada Center for the Arts

1984, Sculpture in the Park, Boulder, CO; 15’ x 36’ x 4’

1983, New Acquisitions, Denver Art Museum

1983, Other Than 2-dimensional, Emmanuel Gallery

1982, State of the Arts, Denver Art Museum; 5 person Invitational; Exterior Sculpture, 6’ x 24’ x 3’ 1981, Third Annual Sculpture in the Park, Boulder, CO; 7’ x 36’ x 10’

1980, Second Annual Sculpture in the Park Exhibit, Boulder, CO; 20’ x 110’ x 8’

1979, First Annual Vail Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, Vail, CO

1979, Twelve in the Park, Boulder, CO; 9’ x 50’ x 15’

1978, New Directions in Media, Three person Exhibit, Foster Art Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

1978, Connelly and Parson, Two person Exhibit, Maggie Kress Art Gallery, Taos, New Mexico  




Photo by University of Wyoming

Photo by University of Wyoming