Readers Remember Mary Chandler, Denver Arts Icon

Readers Remember Mary Chandler, Denver Arts Icon

On Wednesday, Michael Paglia, west word‘s longtime art and architecture critic, shared the sad news: Mary Voelz Chandler, one of the most important voices in the history of Colorado’s art and architecture scene, has passed away.

Mary, a veteran journalist, got a job as a reporter at the Rocky Mountain News, who writes about architecture, construction and monument preservation,” says Paglia. “In 1990, she convinced her editors to supplement their regular duties with art reporting, and started a weekly art column.” She used this forum to cover everything from low points in city architecture, “including the senseless demolition of IM Pei’s Zeckendorf Plaza in the 1990s years,” to peaks, “none more sublime than the Denver museum building boom of the early 21st century. … In her highly regarded art column, Mary has reviewed and critiqued hundreds of art exhibitions and reported on the unveiling of countless public art projects.

And there’s more, much more, as Paglia points out in his tribute to a colleague and friend. In their comments on the west word Facebook post of Paglia’s play, other friends and colleagues share more thoughts and memories. Chuck says:

Heartbreaking news. Together with her the newsroom in the Rocky. Loved and most importantly respected her incredibly.

Bob adds:

A wealth of knowledge… I will miss seeing them at private views.

Comments Jason:

What a loss of a Colorado icon. I had the privilege of continuing to work with Mary Public Architecture: The Art Inside. I loved her sly humor and smile. She taught me a lot and I enjoyed our discussions about art over an after-hours cocktail. Thank you Michael for this wonderful tribute to Mary. RIP my friend.

Offers Charm:

Mary will be so missed – but her work in art will be remembered and honored.

says Janet:

This is such sad news. She was so pivotal to Denver art and such a force.

Remembers Andrew:

No nonsense is right. If you were a PR person reaching out to Mary with a story/issue, you’d better get your facts straight and be prepared to answer questions. She was a jewel. Damn it. Another person I would have loved to keep in touch with, but it’s too late now. Your writing is a gift to everyone.

And Brendan concludes:

RIP, Maria. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make Denver better.

A memorial service for Mary Chandler will be held at the Denver Press Club on Friday, January 20. Read Michael Paglia’s tribute to his friend here and share your own thoughts in a comment or below [email protected]

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