“Unsettling,” “fantastical,” “genius,” “uncompromising,” “wacky”: The people weigh in on Dan Groth

by DGO Web Administrator

We asked fellow artists, patrons and friends of Dan Groth about what makes him a unique and invaluable artistic presence in Durango. Here’s what they said:

“I think Dan Groth is a spectacularly talented artist. His work is the sort of work you see in a museum, but it’s also the kind of work that you can’t hang in your guest room and expect to have your guests for very long. It’s not easily approachable, and it’s so well-executed, but a lot of it is unsettling and disturbing, certainly not linear. It’s the scary, possessed-clown work of Durango. But it’s absolutely stellar. He’s one of those artists appreciated by an elite.”

Adam Reeves, lawyer

“One evening Dan opened a folder, like one you may have had in sixth grade, and unearthed some poems and accompanying illustrations … Blew us all away laughing. It then occurred to me that Dan’s brain works on a fantastical level that for we mortals might only be reached via golden eagles propelled by mushrooms.”

Shannon Cruise, artist, teacher

“I think that Dan Groth just might be a genius, and that both delights and scares me.”

Tim Kaputska, Studio & artist

“Dan Groth is, to me, a true artist with an uncompromising and developed style. It’s his vision, some way of seeing the landscapes around and within us melting together and coming to life. His masterful rendering of subject matter comes straight out of his imagination and sucks us in because he sees something we can all relate to, but might not be able to define.”

Crystal Hartman, artist

“If Scott Bakula were a fine artist, his name would be Dan Groth.”

Ted Holteen, quiz master/man about town

“Dan has created a world of wacky characters, from angry suns and moons to moustached monsters and animated misfits. There’s an identifiable quality to his work, a stamp that may as well read GROTH. It looks like a fun world, kind of like Ronald McDonald land but a bit more jubilant, and slightly mischievous. I wish the seven characters represented in the four pieces of art in my home would come to life, and we could pal around the Southside and light off bottle rockets, then maybe we’d all show up at Erik Nordstrom’s house and eat Cheez-Its and drink cheap beer. It sure as hell would be way more interesting than talking about television, football or the movies.”

Bryant Liggett, KDUR station manager

“Dan Groth has been a good friend and an inspiration to me. I appreciate his wit and his taste in music, art and theater. Dan has a keen ability to derive spiritual meaning from the profane, and he has a knack for expressing profound emotions through his vistas of the surreal.”

Erik Nordstrom, singer/guitarist, Lawn Chair Kings

“Having known Dan from the third grade, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Dan is not only a very natural artist, inhabiting the realm of creativity as an honest way of life, but is one who shows an incredible uniqueness both in what he has to say, as well as how he says it. Notions of “success,” fad or fashions aside, if I know Dan right, he will continue to dig into his own rich inner world with everything he has, because, that is, bluntly put, Dan at his best. Dan is a true artist. Always has been and always will be. And it’s an honor to call him a friend!”

Aaron Shipps, lithographer


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