Places and things — an artist's vision

“Blue Roses” watercolor by Ralph Nagel, will be included in his solo show in the Commissioner’s Choice Series, at Lone Tree Arts Center through March 2. Courtesy photo

“Painting is about having the courage to take risks toward an outcome that is unknown,” says artist Ralph Nagel.

Nagel, who began painting in 1991 while he was still a businessman — founder and owner of the Meridian Retirement Communities — paints in classic plein air style, in locations near and far.

He has been invited to display his work at the Lone Tree Arts Center through March 2 as part of the Commissioners' Choice 2014 program and will be on hand to meet art lovers at a public reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

His solo exhibit is called “Places and Things — An Artist's Vision” and it will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in addition to before Lone Tree Arts Center performances.

Nagel's watercolors and oils are characterized by powerful brushstrokes, complex, subtle palettes of color and strong contrasts in dark and light.

His onsite sketches in the American Southwest, Thailand and France have been developed into large watercolors and canvases in his Denver studio, retaining the spontaneity of those sketches.

The artist has degrees in architecture and city planning and he co-founded Studio 208, a group of Colorado artists who painted and exhibited together from 2004 to 2008. From 2007 to 2011, he hosted a collaborative teaching space in the River North Arts District, RINO.

The installation of this exhibit was designed by Lone Tree's curator, Sally Perisho, who is recognized in the Denver arts community as a curator, writer and photographer.

Nagel was the 2012 winner of Littleton's Own an Original Exhibit and held a solo show at the Littleton Museum in 2013. His paintings have been exhibited throughout Colorado and are in collections worldwide.

A philanthropist, he is responsible for Nagel Art Studios, Nagel Residence Hall and a collection of paintings by Colorado artists at the University of Denver, where he serves on the Board of Trustees.

If you go:

“Places and Things…An Artist's Vision, paintings by Ralph Nagel, will be on display through March 2 at the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., Lone Tree. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and prior to performances. Visit for more information.