This April 5th First Friday, Lapis Gallery/Design and Build celebrates their 15th year at their Tennyson Street location, offering a little something for everyone.
While the purpose and business direction has seemed clear from the beginning, it took time to metamorphosis into the business they are today.
During the mid to late 1980’s Erik Rieger and brother, Jon began to develop and manufacture a line of artist oil paints and materials along with designing nightclubs. In the early 1990’s Erik and other brother Michael created Lapis Rose Studio Gallery in lower downtown. “I don’t ever really recall actually starting in this business, it is something that we have always done and it has just evolved.” states Erik “My family is very creative, each of us brings something different to the table”.
In 1998 a new location was found and roots were set in the Northwest Denver neighborhood of Berkley on Tennyson Street. Also in the late 1990’s Erik and David Aulik met at a Woodworkers Association workshop. At that time David was working at a bank, finding that his true passion did not lie in banking. “After working seven years in a tie for a bank, I decided I wanted to work for myself, doing something that was creative and functional” David states. Together, all four of the Lapis Gallery/Design and Build team bring their own talents and flare to what they create.
When asked what keeps them sane, their answers did not surprise me. Looking at each other to see who would answer first, Michael stepped up saying “What keeps me sane is making good art.” Then David “My kids and the local bar” he said with a smile. Jon nods and chimes in “Sane? Beer. My wife, Lani and the kids, plus I love what we do. Helping to design and build people’s dreams. Whether it be a new kitchen or the perfect bar stool, I love the folks we work with and the projects they bring to us.” Erik simply states “Music” then adds “When it comes to work, I am a craftsman before I am an artist.”
It would be true to say that Lapis Gallery/Design and Build has more to offer than meets the eye. I also met this team of artists and craftsman back in 1999. What surprised me was their effortless approach to not only their projects but to life in general. Over the years I have watched Lapis continue to grow as a business and as a team, approaching each and every project with a personal touch and attention to detail. Looking at their list of projects over the years, Jon states, “I am thinking we have created between 400-500 custom kitchens, home offices, built-ins and furniture”. Their restaurant/bar list is just as impressive, just to name a few: Red Room, Swing Thai on Tennyson, Adrift Lounge on South Broadway, and Lapis Design and Build won the Mayor’s Award for Design for Z-Cuisine in the Highlands. “We cover all the bases. Design, build, project management and installation. You have us all the way through your project” Jon states. “Besides, the creation of artistic products for others is way more fulfilling than sitting in a cubical” David adds with a smile.
So why should you plan to make Tennyson Street a stop on your First Friday Art Walk and make it a point to visit Lapis? “Great art, great music, great people” states Michael. “Being founders of the art walk on Tennyson Street, that has helped bring our great community together to the projects we build for the community. We participate fully in our community. All of this has enriched our shop’s local spirit” adds Jon.
Their list of Artists in Attendance is exceptional, here is the short list: Chris Krieg, Darrel Anderson, Mario Acvedo, Bill Amundson, Erik Rieger, Jennifer Collins, Donovan Rieger, Bryan Dalberg, Michael Rieger, Jan Eitel, Sydney Eitel, Ted Fons, Jon Rieger, Stefan Geissbuhler, Jennifer Gudgel Getson, Tadd Moskal, Jennifer Mosquera, Sen Nguyen, Jack Price, Chris Schranck, Randy Segura, Ed Slack, Ryan Wilcox, Gene Youngman, Jon & Valerie Sandra Devos, Ann Thornton and Ramona Lapsley.
Also in attendance performing for the evening is World Renowned Flamenco Guitarist Rene Heredia. First Friday at Lapis Gallery is proving to be a definite place to stop.
Lapis Gallery/Design and Build will hit the 180 Art Walk mark April 5th, untold amounts of artwork that has been sold and creating dream kitchens, bars and restaurants for hundreds of clients are under their belt. What has been the fire in their belly that has caused them to experience such humble success? Community, dedication, attention to detail and the enjoyment of the satisfied clients. Keep up the good work Lapis Gallery/Design and Build.
First Friday April 5th, the festivities begin at 6pm – 10pm.
Lapis Gallery/Design and Build is located at 3971 Tennyson Street, Denver CO 80212. 303.480.5126. Feel free to contact Erik Rieger, Jon Rieger, David Aulik or Michael Rieger to discuss your next project big or small, and be sure to visit www.LapisArts.com.
Join the Lapis Team on Saturday, April 6th, from 10am to 5pm for their Kitchen Expo as they host a Free Day of Kitchen Remodeling Consultation and Design.
Artists looking for exceptional oil paints and products can find Lapis Arts Artist Products at Meiningers.
Wendy L. Pitton R. is a culture writer for 303 Magazine and the owner of WENDO Productions. WENDO Productions is an artistic production and artist representative company. WENDOProductions.com