This week I interviewed @littlehalien :
- Tell me a little about yourself:
“My name is Hayley Richardson and I have lived in Denver, CO for 11 years. I grew up in San Francisco and the South Bay area of Los Angeles, and lived in New Mexico for my high school and college years (plus a few extra). I came to Denver to pursue a masters degree in art history and museum studies, and because I fell in love with the amazing art and music scenes here. Art is my big passion in life – I am especially fond of American counterculture art of the 1950s-1970s and Mesoamerican art. I’ve worked in galleries and museums since I was 15 and I have been Director of The Dikeou Collection in Denver for 6 years.
Aside from my job, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, collage/drawing/painting/photo and video editing, cooking (especially New Mexican cuisine. . . green chile on everything!), going to concerts and clubs when I can though I can’t hang like I used to (veteran raver kid), exploring second-hand shops/antique malls/thrift stores/flea markets, and attempting to re-work research papers for publication (not going well lol). Big nature and animal lover, too.”
2. How did you come up with your Instagram name?
“The name Halien was bestowed upon me by my 4th grade teacher. I had just moved to LA and was the “weirdo from San Francisco” who insisted on reading ridiculous stories I had written about the class getting abducted by aliens, complete with chalkboard illustrations. I resurrected the name as my username for New Mexico rave message boards and it has stuck ever since, both online and IRL.”
3. Can you talk a little about the museum you work for?
“The Dikeou Collection is a private collection of contemporary art that is free and open to the public. The collection is comprised of about 40 international artists (and growing), and was founded by brother and sister Denver-natives Pany and Devon Dikeou. The collection is located on the 5th floor of a historic building, and is a winding sprawl of office suites that we converted into exhibition spaces. The artwork spans all genres and media, from painting and photography, to video and interactive sculpture. Devon Dikeou is the curator of the collection, and she is also an artist and the founder/editor/publisher of NYC-based art publication zingmagazine. Most of the artists represented in the collection have had their work published in zingmagazine, and Devon’s artwork is exhibited in the collection, so the intersections between collecting, publishing, and art practice is the conceptual foundation of the collection as an exhibition.”
People frequently ask how often we change exhibitions and the answer is never. . . we don’t rotate, we expand. So not only do we have the main location downtown, we also have a pop-up gallery in a former record shop on Colfax Ave by the capitol. However, in March 2019 we closed for one year to de-install the collection for Devon Dikeou’s retrospective exhibition “Mid-Career Smear,” which opened in February 2020. We had to temporarily close again due to Covid, but the exhibition has re-opened and will be on view at The Dikeou Collection until February 2023. The original Dikeou Collection artwork/exhibition (plus new acquisitions), will come back on view sometime in 2024.
We have a very active programming/events calendar with a literary series, film screenings, family art workshops, artist talks, tours, an internship program, a jazz concert series, and DJ events. (Currently working to rebuild the events calendar in a Covid-world). In addition to the art collection, I also oversee an extensive vinyl archive of 15,000+ LPs, 45s, and 10”, an in-office library, film, and article archive, and a large collection of vintage fashion.”
4. What made you want to become a museum director?
“I actually wanted to be a curator more than a director. In addition to my love of art, I developed a passion for collecting at a young age. My room was always full of treasures on display, but things got serious when I discovered Beanie Babies in 1995 (yes, I was one of those people). I closely followed the market trends, filled binders and notebooks with handwritten checklists and variant spec sheets, subscribed and wrote to all the collectors magazines, made friends with the shop owners I liked, and got a little competitive about it sometimes. “
“These habits transferred to other things I collected like prints, magazines, art books, vinyl toys, and music as I got older. I didn’t even know what a curator was until I was about 14 and my dad suggested combining my art knowledge and collecting skills into a curatorial career. After college someone told me I needed to work for a private collector, and all I could think was, “Yeah right, that could never happen in a million years.” Now I am director of one of the strongest private contemporary art collections in the country. . .wild!”
5. What has been your favorite movie you have watched this summer and why?
“Sadly I am out of touch with movies right now so I don’t really have a favorite for the summer. I’ve watched a lot of documentaries and docu-series, though. I’ve watched all of the “Dark Side” series on Vice, “This is Pop” on Netflix, “Icon: Music Through the Lens” on PBS, and “In Search of Darkness” and “Crystal Lake Memories” on Shudder. “The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story” on Hulu was very well done. “Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage” left me bothered in a lot of ways, but it led me to look up videos of the performances and those have been fun to revisit. I grew up watching documentaries about my parents’ generation, and now that we are 2 decades into the 21st century, the 1980s and 1990s are prime for documentary retrospective analysis. I’m a sucker for nostalgia and since that’s my generation, it’s interesting to look back at the world that shaped me. I haven’t been to a movie theater yet since they’ve reopened, but I would really like to see “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.”
If you would like to learn more about Hayley. The following contact information is below:
Dikeou Collection Website: https://dikeoucollection.org/
Dikeou Collection Instagram: @dikeoucollection