Private Viewing of “Jordan Casteel. Returning the Gaze” with Artist Jordan Casteel MFA ’14 and Curator Becky Hart

20 MARCH 2019 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM

CYA is excited to announce a private alumni viewing of Jordan Casteel. Returning the Gaze at the Denver Art Museum with the artist and Vicki and Kent Logan Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Becky Hart, on Wednesday, March 20th, 5:30-7:30 pm (doors open at 5:00). A Denver native, Jordan received her Yale MFA in 2014, and DAM is the first museum to honor her with a one-person show, which has received national attention and praise. So let’s give a rousing homecoming to a fellow Yalie, who has been “deemed one of the rising stars of her generation.” At this special event, attendees can see the exhibit with the artist and curator available for questions, and at 6:30 there will be an informal discussion.

Comprising nearly thirty works, it showcases the New York–based artist’s large-scale oil-on-canvas portraits of friends, family, and neighbors. Often translated from photographs taken by Casteel, these portraits evoke a sense of casual, familial intimacy. They are almost self-consciously plainspoken. As the exhibition’s title suggests, Casteel’s subjects frequently look directly at the viewer, as if beckoning us to join them. But—more intriguing—many of Casteel’s sitters look past us, as if lost in a worry that we are not invited to share.

Jordan says it was her mother who showed her “how to use your voice actively in the world.” [Jordan’s mother Lauren, who is president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Her maternal grandfather is Whitney Young, president of the National Urban League during the 60s.] It was her mother who encouraged her to apply to the best art graduate program, telling Jordan she would reimburse the $100 application fee if she didn’t get accepted. As painter in the humanist tradition, Jordan uses portraiture to lend presence and dignity to the overlooked, coming to know her subjects and serving as their advocate.

The shop will be closed. You can purchase the catalog online. In the comments section, add : “Please hold for Yale tour on 3.20”  They will be distributed at the viewing. If you order online and don’t add the comment, it will be shipped to your address.

After the viewing, those interested can gathering at a nearby establishment to-be-determined. The event and admission are free, but you must RSVP:  Jordan is looking forward to meeting with alumni, and turnout is expected to be high. So don’t miss this major art show with the opportunity of meeting the artist.

Jordan Casteel, Charles (2016); Photographs courtesy of the Denver Art Museum


Discussion with Artist John Boak ’70 at His 808 Projects One-Person Show

24 MARCH 2019 | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

The oil and digital paintings of past CYA president John Boak are available for viewing in a one-person show at 808 Projects, Denver, beginning First Friday, March 1st. The official opening is the following Friday, March 8th, from 5 to 8 pm.  Yalies will certainly want to celebrate with John that evening. If you plan to attend you might let him know: On Sunday, March 24th, starting at 3:00 pm, you can join fellow alumni and John for a discussion, a Colorado Yale Association and a Yale Alumni Art League event. Please RSVP to Stephanie Grilli:

John brings forth the flux of life by freezing movement with his camera. By moving his camera, he creates indistinct imagery in which light effects form otherworldly spaces and abstract designs. “His recent oil paintings explore the position of the photograph in our perception of ‘real’ images. His use of paint to render his blurred source photos creates a realism of the unconscious.” Working over a period of time, John moves away from the captured moment, when he makes his initial drawing on a surface. Adherence to the photograph or what it depicts slips away, as he applies pigment and develops the painterly relationships that emerge. His digital paintings “use photographic focus, along with brushwork to join disparate imagery and to release the viewer from the photographic sense of a specific place in the world of things.”

John Boak, Shimokitazawa (2018)



Reception with New Colorado Public Radio President, Stewart Vanderwilt

14 MARCH 2019 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Yale alum and Colorado Public Radio board member, Michael Dowling ’74 MFS ’82 MPPM ’82, invites CYA members to a private reception to meet Stewart Vanderwilt, CPR’s dynamic new CEO, on Thursday March 14th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  Vanderwilt is a national public media leader who joined Colorado Public Radio in July 2018 after a successful 18-year tenure as the head of award-winning news and music stations in Austin, Texas. At a time when news outlets are slashing staff, Vanderwilt has a vision for CPR that Yalies will want to know about, and there will be an opportunity for Q&A.

Michael says, “I served on the search committee that hired Stewart from among a very strong group of national candidates.  He is CPR’s first new leader in 40 years and is making many forward-looking changes to our programming line-up and to increase news reporting and production capabilities.  Stewart is deeply committed to community engagement and is reaching out to many listeners and leaders during his first year in Colorado.  He is a thoughtful and dynamic executive with a passionate commitment to public media–you will enjoy meeting him!”

The event is free, but attendance is limited to 35 CYA members and guests (up to one guest per member).  Please RSVP to Stephanie Grilli:  Shortly before the event, Michael’s address will be shared with those on the final attendance list. Drinks and light bites will be served.


Meet Jordan Wolfson MFA ’91, “Song Cycle with Blue Cloth” at 808 Projects

21 February 2019 | 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Internationally-exhibited artist Jordan Wolfson MFA ’91 (seen above in his studio) has his first solo show in Colorado since 2009, which has been deemed by Westword critic Michael Paglia as “must see.” An abridged version of Song Cycle with Blue Cloth will open at 808 Projects, 808 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, on Thursday, January 31st. There will be a special event for Yale alumni and their guests Thursday, February 21st, starting at 6:00 pm. The show includes 27 paintings an 11 drawings that develop from a single still life, which Jordan refers to as “an extended polyptych.”

Working on the series for over three years, the installation presents a single motif moving through multiple iterations, as Wolfson explores, on the surface, attitudes of inquiry from the visual and tonal to the tactile and felt. This exploration of ways of working, “painterly play”, moves into an investigation of the relationship between form and awareness.


CYA art events will be co-listed with the Yale Alumni Art League, which is a national alumni special-interest group (SIG). The logo seen here was designed by past CYA President John Boak ’70, who has started a local group with a Facebook page. Please RSVP to the event with Jordan Wolfson with Stephanie Grilli:


CYA Hut Trip to Section House at Boreas Pass

15-17 MARCH 2019

This year’s hut trip is to a single destination: Section House at Boreas Pass. This refurbished structure built in 1882 once housed the men and their families who maintained the narrow-gauge railway that ran from Como to Breckenridge, one of the most popular railroads in the days of active mining. Yalies can either cross-country ski or snowshoe a little under 6 miles on a gradual grade from the west side of the pass.  Stay the nights of March 15th and 16th at the cozy cabin with warm beds and a wood stove.

The 10th Mountain Division huts are in high demand, and we have a precious 10 slots available. Organizer Tom Creighton ’76 will work out meal planning, including potluck and self-provided food, with those who sign-up, and he’ll also arrange car-pooling with a meet-up point.  Cost for the trip:  $80 per person. For questions, contact Tom:, 720-320-5805.

The hut trip is full. Please contact Stephanie Grilli, to be placed on the wait list. The button will remain on the website, in case there is an opening.