New Horizons

Colorado Black Arts Festival
February 4 - 27, 2022

New Horizons presented by Colorado Black Arts Festival

February 4th – February 27th

Leading up to its annual festival, the Colorado Black Arts Festival is presenting a curated show to showcase the work of six talented artists at Understudy from February 4th to February 28th.  This show is a preview of what to expect at the 36th annual Colorado Black Arts Festival later this year.  The festival takes place in Denver’s historic City Park from July 8th to July 10th.  For more information about  this exhibit and the summer festival, visit

The Colorado Black Arts Festival (CBAF) mission is to seek to involve the total community in helping to establish self-reliance, believing that pride in one’s culture is the foundation for long-term stability and prosperity. The Colorado Black Arts Festival strives to develop, promote and celebrate African arts and culture in Colorado


MAE born Morgan Alexandria English is a new artist in the Denver art scene. MAE combines color and modern line art to create portraits. The outlines create a portrait that is simple but recognizable and familiar with references to black music, hair, and colors.

Speaks (Devin Urioste)
Devin “Speaks” Urioste is a born and raised Denver artist whose priority is to bring knowledge, truth, community, and culture to those who view his artwork. With work that expands from canvas on gallery walls to murals on the streets’ walls, he hopes to facilitate a conversation between community members through his work about what it means to be themselves and why being yourself is important. Devin is a full time educator in which his work extends through his teaching style as well.

Kaylee Bender (NoKaylee)
Raised on the east coast, NoKaylee is a self taught artist who has allowed art to serve as an immersive lifestyle from childhood. With each piece she create she learns more about her relationship with art and its ability to be a tool and cause motion. Creation is powerful; it is unifying. To be able to create at all is profound, as she believes uninhibited expression is the purest form of liberation. NoKaylee Focuses on portraiture as a way to connect to the people around her, and surrealism to express her own intentions and dreams. As she grows, she is shifting her focus to more community-oriented and mentorship-based projects.

James A. Dixon
Artist James A Dixon has often been described as “The Real Deal”. Dixon was born in 1958 to Clarence and Betty Dixon. His father was a U S Air Force serviceman and his mother a devoted homemaker. Both parents were themselves aspiring artists who encouraged young Dixon’s talent for drawing. Recognizing his immense gift for making art, Dixon would make ‘becoming an artist”, his life. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1981 and Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1986 from Colorado State University. Over forty years of art making has added to his vast repertoire and as a business owner of his own LLC, JAD ARTS and CB Dixon African American Fine Art Gallery. Dixon remains a well-established artist beyond his local coteries. His artistic oeuvre has grown into a nationally recognized phenomenon, from his illustrations, major sculptures, and his socially relevant commissioned artwork.

Rob Hill
Rob Hill is a geometric abstract painter born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Hill is currently living in Denver, Colorado and is attending California College of the Arts where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts Painting.

Precise line work is present throughout many of his creative works and the color inspiration is drawn from sports teams, 90’s television programs such as Martin, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and In Living Color, etc. Hill’s work is reminiscent of abstract expressionist pioneers like Frank Stella, Jackson Pollock, Mark Bradford, and Carmen Herrera. Hill’s methodical approach to art is heavily influenced by the 8 years of military service with the U.S. Coast Guard. While in the Coast Guard, Hill traveled around the world which gave him an affinity for patterns and color. Over time, Hill has applied his geometric aesthetic off the canvas and onto fashion such as denim, and leather, but also glass, wood, marble, and metal. Hill has also been creating public art projects for the past 7 years and they have been painted on basketball courts, buildings, stores, youth centers, and canvases. Hill considers himself as an artist with deep roots in his community and one who aims to unify people from diverse backgrounds through the power of art.

Zaida Sever
Born and raised in Colorado, Sever was welcomed into Denver’s art scene in high school and had been eagerly expanding my creativity and passion ever since. Be it larger or smaller scale projects, Sever loves all the challenges and opportunities a career in art has granted her, even though she’s still a the beginning of her career. Sever’s medium of choice has always been 2D, visual art, digital, or traditionally made. Self described as “Impressionist Comic Book”: Sever’s work is recognizable by its boldly saturated and black-outlined imagery, colored with unblended, chaotic brush strokes. Sever’s artwork celebrates identity and interpersonal connections while invoking relatability in those who view it; inciting reflection on how a fictional, artistic study of emotion can illicit a deeper reflection on their own lives.


Public hours: This is a fishbowl-style event, and in-person viewing will be open by appointment only. You can still see the art through the windows anytime, but please reach out to Understudy or CBAF for an appointment.

Understudy is free-to-visit and open to all. We are located at the Colorado Convention Center / Theatre District light rail stop near 14th and Stout. Look for the Shantell Martin art bench.

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