By Raymundo Muñoz

Continental Divide 30x40

“Continental Divide” by Drew Sarka


Art-making is a hard gig. When it’s flowing out of you and you’re selling, it’s thrilling and life-affirming, but shut those valves, and it’s gut-wrenching and bleak. Some artists manage to survive off those highs and lows, but many of us HAVE to have day jobs (that mean little to us) to support our creative drive (and feed our kids and pay the rent). Others give up altogether, though, and choose to float down the lazy river of a good, steady career.

A mythical breed of artists, though, exists: imagine having a good, steady, meaningful career but still finding time to make and show and hustle.

One such artist is local painter Drew Sarka.

Sarka is a family doctor by day, painter by night. Exceptional? Art-wise, no — standard Colorado fair of landscapes, figure studies, and some Western. Nice stuff, though — good brushwork, honest depictions, shown plenty. What is exceptional, however, is his hustle.


“The Art Doctor” Drew Sarka

Imagine spending all day dealing with the infirmed and their respective insurance companies — the emotional, mental, and physical drain of healing people from dawn to dusk. And being with those that can’t be healed. Most people would be happy ending the day with a stiff drink or two. Or three.

For Drew Sarka, that’s not enough.

Art heals in its own way, and Sarka uses his artwork to heal people in ways that his medical work cannot. Whether that involves bucolic scenery, children playing, or people working, Sarka’s depictions are genuine and unpretentious. Pure observation — which is probably at least half of what his job entails.

Blue (and orange) River

“Blue (and orange) River” by Drew Sarka

Why not just hobby along and fill his house with his art work? (We all end up doing that anyway.) Why show nationally and deal with all the headaches that entails? To what degree does the work heal the artist (considering his profession)?

Those are good questions to ask the artist, and you’ll be able to September 10 at the Dos Chappell Bathhouse in Denver’s beautiful Washington Park. Drew Sarka is having a solo exhibition based on Colorado’s colorful scenery called “Colorado Through the Seasons.” 5.30 – 9.00 PM. Open to the public. Looks to be a lovely event with WIP’s, artist talks, live music, and gustatory treats.