Denise Allen is a local artist, art advocate, event planner, city school employee, spreader of joy and an all ’round good person. If you know Denise, you love her. And incase you didn’t know, Denise is not only a participating lotto artist but she just-so-happens to be the cofounder of Art Lotto, too! I couldn’t have dreamed up a better partner in event planning. Together we have planned three years of Art Lotto, soon-to-be two years of Wonderkitten, a Photographer Expo and some other things in the works that you’ll just have to wait for! Denise recently met with Chesapeake based artist Cameron Twiford, the artist she will be portraying in this year’s Art Lotto. At the same time, Cameron also met with the artist he will be portraying: Sharon Skates of Broadway, Virginia. This trio enjoyed lunch, conversation and photo taking at the Blue Nile in Downtown, Harrisonburg.
Sharon, Denise & Cameron’s joint Art Lotto meeting at the Blue Nile in Harrisonburg, VA.
“It’s been fun getting involved in the arts in Harrisonburg! I’ve been living here for almost 10 years and I’ve had over 50 art shows. I’ve gotten to collaborate with several artists and continue to do so with Artery and Art Lotto. In Art Lotto 2012, I partnered with Teal Davies, Teal Davies partnered with Lynda Bostrom, and Lynda Bostrom had me! (Side Note: This year, Derek Niver gets to portray me, and Lynda Bostrom is going to portray Derek! How cool is that!?!?)
This year, we had another art-tri-fecta on Thursday, May 8! I sped out the door at lunch time to meet my Art Lotto pARTner, Cameron Twiford, and HIS pARTner, Sharon Skates, at Blue Nile downtown. As I ate my lunch in front of Sharon and Cameron, we swapped stories and got to know each other a little bit. I learned that Cameron is a firefighter and traveling to Las Vegas for a training with ‘five other knuckleheads’ this week. He grew up in Chesapeake with Paul Somers and visits Harrisonburg often to hang out and go skateboarding and see events like Skatan Worshippers. For his art making, he usually does pen drawings, his favorite color is green, and he’s stepping outside of his comfort zone to make Sharon’s portrait! And OF COURSE Sharon ‘uses both sides of her brain on a daily basis’, she changes her hair color often, and she’s a cancer survivor. She shared with us that Harrisonburg Relay for Life is #19 in the nation and #1 in Virginia! Her weekend would be spent making 7,200 cupcakes for a fundraiser for a 5th grader with Leukemia! WOW! Sharon says she’s going to try and paint her pARTner, Laura Thompson, on a cake, and then make a 2nd fondant cake—and I’m secretly hoping she lets us eat one!” ~Denise