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Michael Charron Biography

MICHAEL CHARRON – “A Conceptual Realist” Travels with Llamas
(1957-     )

Michael Charon accesses remote wilderness areas and spends up to 50 days working on a project in a given season. His four llamas carry nearly 300 pounds of camping gear, food and art supplies. Enough gear is taken in to allow two different styles of camps; a base camp which features a Eureka Three Seasons tent, very stout and spacious, which equates to comfort; and a spike camp which utilizes a sheep tent for shelter, not so comfortable. The spike camps are set up for a few days of painting then he’ll return to the base camp. In a given syndication season he’ll set four base camps and as many as eight spike camps. The varying camps allow for a variety of views to chronicle.

The Realist  -  “I consider myself a “conceptual realist” working in the honored tradition of "plein air", which simply means that I work outdoors, on an easel, from direct observation. A primary focus has been Colorado wilderness areas. I access these remote wilderness areas with my four llamas which pack all of the gear I require for many days in the backcountry. During these pack trips I make dozens of oil sketched vignettes. I also develop ink/pencil drawings that feature notations of colorways, value systems and events. In addition to the handmade references I take photographs to reference during the winter months; which is when I create large studio works of alla prima plein air vignettes.”  

The Conceptualist  -  Charron believes that art of enduring value reflect the culture from which it comes. The culture that Charron chooses to explore is one that suggests that there is a worldwide spiritual awakening currently underway.  Although it is frequently referred to as "New Age" consciousness, its foundation is in ancient wisdom, an empowering wisdom being revisited by contemporary quantum metaphysicians. Specifically, Charron's traditionally approached landscape paintings are imbued with symbolic drawings and subliminal affirmations, or prayers, cursively written then masked by the organic nature of the paint application. Charron’s paintings, or “Sensory Communions” as he refers to them, are vehicles for his participation into the cultural value of enlightenment.

Although my process of painting is, in itself, a type of conceptualism, there is an intentional conceptual undercurrent of more significance. The thumbnail sketches become the place where journaling occurs. In the evenings, by the fire or in my tent, I write about a variety of events and thoughts which I’ll draw upon for my larger canvases. Heading into the wilderness is my forty days and forty nights. It is in these times that connectivity, mysticism and inner exploration occur. It is in the wilderness that Source or Divine Nature powerfully manifest. It is here that epiphanies are brought forth both as a painter and an observer. I consider myself a Conceptual Realist which is code for Practical Mystic.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Western Michigan University:
Minor art history 1980

Ford Foundation Grant for research in bronze casting
Ford Foundation Grant for research and project completion
Walter Enz Memorial Award (outstanding academic achievement in the field of art)

Steers Street Gallery, Kalamazoo, Michigan; “Color Show” 1978
Western Michigan University Art Department Gallery; Group Show 1978
Knollwood Building: Kalamazoo, Michigan “Three Sculptors” BFA Show: 1980
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Kalamazoo, Michigan “Group Show” 1981
1981 – 2003 MIAI
Remmi Fine Art, Denver, CO. “The Eternal Landscape” July 7 - 28, 2006
Red Stallion Gallery; Glen Haven, CO. “Estes Park Plein Air – Painting the Parks” 8/26/06 – 9/30/06  
Square Deal Framing & Gallery; Denver, CO. “Four Painters” 11/17/06 – 12/21/06  
Remmi Fine Art, Denver, CO. “The Eternal Landscape” July 6 - 27, 2007
Center for Visual Art, Denver, CO.  “Landscapes of Colorado” August 4 – 25, 2007
Byers Evans House Museum, Denver, CO. “High Plein Air Art Exhibit”   Fall 2007
Fort Collins, CO. Lincoln Center, “17th National Art Exhibition and Sale” 4/5/08 – 5/9/08
Enso Gallery, Denver, CO. Syndication Presentation September 30, 2008
Square Deal Gallery; Denver, CO. “Small Works” 11/14/08 – 12/20/08
Gallery 1261, Denver, CO. “Salon du Musee” November 3 – 14, 2008
Denver Public Library “Denver Plein Air Arts Festival Exhibition” 11/14/08 - 12/31/08
Wings Over the Rockies Museum, 27th Annual Antique and Art Show 4/17/09 – 4/19/09
Gilmore Art Center, “Pictorial Essays of Wilderness Journeys 2009” Solo Exhibition Oct. 2009
Square Deal Gallery; Denver, CO. “Small Works” 11/13/09 – 12/19/09
Gilmore Art Center, “Artists brushes Lend a Helping Hand” Group Show June 2010
C.M. Russell Museum,  MT. “The Russell: Sale to Benefit the Russell Museum” exhibition 3-19-10
Gilmore Art Center, “Pictorial Essays from Wilderness Journeys 2010” Solo Exhibition October 11 - 15, 2010
C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, MT. “The Russell: Sale to Benefit the Russell Museum” exhibition 3-18-11
Artistica Art Gallery, Denver, CO “Opening Exhibit” Group show November 5, 2011 – December 5, 2011
Artistica Art Gallery, Denver, CO “Polareyes: One Vision Two Perspectives” Solo Exhibition June 5 -30, 2012
Mary Williams Fine Art, Boulder, CO “Christmas Miniatures” December 13 – January 15, 2013
Mary Williams Fine Art, Boulder, CO “Through Polar – Eyes. The Multiple Perspectives of Michael Charron 2013
Gilmore Art Center, “Pictorial Essays from Wilderness Journeys 2013”  Solo Exhibition Nov 15 -  Dec 10, 2013

Landscapes of Colorado – Mountains and Plains Fresco Fine Art Publications 2006
Southwest Art Values section June 2008
Southwest Art  Collector’s Corner October 2011
Southwest Art  Feature Article:  Inspiration en Plein Air June 2012
Steamboat Magazine   The Arts Summer issue 2012
Plein Air Magazine Extreme Painter feature August September 2012 issue

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum; Colorado Springs, CO
Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo, MI
Crimson Midstream, Denver, CO
Holland & Hart; Denver, CO
Darling, Bergstrom & Milligan; Denver, CO
Colorado Business Bankshares, Inc.; Denver, CO
Payroll Inc.; Denver, CO
Stripling, Shaw & Stripling; Norcross, GA
Coppola & Marlin, LLC Denver, CO
TCI Wealth Advisors, Inc.; Denver, CO
Wood & Company, Denver, CO
Brownlie, Wallace, Armstrong & Bander, Denver, CO
Castle Rock Adventist Health Campus, Castle Rock, CO