Not for the Faint of Art | A Conversation with Cayce Goldberg

Written by Corianne Wells |  


(Denver CO)

Cayce Goldberg is hell-bent on having fun and making art accessible! An illustrator, curator, football fan and self-professed medieval nerd, Cayce wears many hats in the Denver community; perhaps best known as the Director at Helikon Gallery and Studios.  

Since 2013 Helikon Gallery & Studios has bloomed into a unique and multifaceted arts community. Currently standing in the midst of RiNo’s recent onslaught of construction, detour signs, and potholes, Helikon is an oasis for artists of all kinds. With two art galleries on the ground floor, 14 artists’ studios upstairs, a coffee bar, project space & retail shop, this re-purposed RiNo warehouse has quickly made a name for itself, exhibiting contemporary Illustrative and Fine Arts.

One of the many things that continue to set Helikon apart from the rest is its holistic approach to art and creativity. The artists are accessible, inspiring conversations are plentiful.... and the art? well, there's a little something for everyone in just about every price range. No matter where you might find yourself in the maze of art to explore, you can always expect a welcoming smile and good chat with Cayce, Helikon's joyful and fearless leader.

Curating and directing this hidden slice of white wall in RiNo wasn’t the creative path Cayce originally saw for himself after he graduated from RMCAD with a degree in illustration. As a talented digital painter, it seemed that illustration, alone, was the natural progression he would follow. But when this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity presented itself, Cayce never looked back.

“If it was a pool, I was like NOOOOOO I don’t want to swim. I don’t like to swim.

...Then I jumped in the deep end and started paddling for dear life.”

 Why do you think so many people struggle to find value and meaning in contemporary art?

"Every space and artist is like a different flavor and no one can possibly tell you that you need to like something. . . that’s kinda the struggle we've run into in the contemporary art world. For the last two centuries, maybe longer we have entrenched the art world behind these walls, barriers and ivory towers. Then people come into it saying 'I don’t get it, and I can’t get it, and nobody is helping me get it, so it tastes bad to me.'

 The average person doesn't 'get it' and that is such a problem for me because I believe art is the heritage of humanity. It’s such a human thing."

When newbies ask about purchasing art, what's your advice?

"Dude, just buy the shit you like, I mean it is that simple you don’t need to overthink this. You don’t have to ask is it going to be worth a lot, is it going to be this or that; it’s more about can you live with it?, do you like it?, do you want it?... People try to follow trends too much. They worry and think too much... Stop thinking and just feel what you are looking at, and then you can start collecting art at any price bracket."

What is the role of the gallery?

"The one thing I am sure of is that the role of the gallery is to give dignity to the art, and put art in it’s best possible presentation. You put the art on the wall and it suddenly transforms because it’s got good lighting, its on a nice wall, it’s straight on the wall. You elevate it a bit and you can appreciate it more... There is still a power in presenting art well."

What do you wish more people knew about artists?

"Artists are just normal people, and they aren’t as special as people think. They are just people doing their thing because they find it fun or engaging or enriching or something,...That is what I love, and that is what I want to promote."

What do you want people to know about Helikon and being a gallery director?

"It’s that it takes a lot of sacrifice to do the best job possible for other artists. As a gallery you represent an opportunity for hundreds of artists who need this, who want this, who are thankful and benefit from this. So you have to kill it! 'Do it right if it takes all night', that's what I say."

Check out A Modern Baroque at Helikon Gallery, up until July 22nd. The show brings together artists from across the United States who are working along themes of the baroque era: lavishness, complexity and adornment, exaggerated emotion– all with a 21st century twist. 

Cayce Goldberg received his BFA in Illustration from RMCAD and currently lives and works in Denver. Learn more about his work here.

Helikon Gallery is a family owned and operated contemporary art venue, stop by Tuesday - Saturday 12-6 PM. Learn more about the awesome things happening at Helikon here.