November 13, 2019

Give a warm welcome to our new Octopus Initiative artist, Jaime Carrejo!

Rachel Grammes


We are over the moon excited to announce our newest Octopus Initiative artist, Jaime Carrejo! Jaime is a multi-disciplinary artist who often layers materials and imagery to examine complex personal, relational, and political environments.

We asked Jaime a few questions so you could get to know him a little bit before entering to win his artwork, which will be made available Friday, November 15th for the next lottery! Just wait till you see the work, you’ll totally freak. Trust us ;)

Portrait of Jaime Carrejo. He is wearing a plaid button up and smiles softly into the camera.


What inspired your work for the Octopus Initiative project?

Over the years I have developed a love affair with plants. I find their ability to adapt to new terrain poetic, especially when thinking about the migration of people all over the world. 

The Frontera series uses patterns, plants and flowers with connections to the southern border of the United States, Asia, and Europe. Plants often have a connection to the landscape. In these works I treat them as portraits of immigrants finding their way through the light and darkness of our political time. I was also thinking about place and laying down roots, and in some cases the inability to do so.

Fronterra No. 2. A psychedelic artwork depicting skyblue flowers against a yellow and purple zig zag background. A depiction of a white chainlink fence is torn open, almost as if we are looking through the fence.


The Tierra series is inspired by textile patterns and the color of the desert landscape from my hometown of El Paso, Texas. The line drawings are a meditative space where I work out ideas for new work. If you see these pop up in my practice something is brewing.


An abstract painting depicting many vertical lines in earth tones. It is almost representative of the layers of the Earth’s crust.


What is your favorite thing about Colorado?

It is pretty remarkable how diverse the environment, seasons, people, and cultures are here. Politically, Colorado is purple and it allows for a rich conversation regarding may topics that touch our everyday lives.

What’s the best part of being a Denver artist?

Hands down, I love our community. Denver is growing and that can yield more opportunities and visibility for the Denver art scene nationally. That’s a pretty cool when you think about it!

If you were a work of art, which would you be?

I recently saw Robert Irwin’s Sunrise Sunset at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. I would want to be this artwork. It is a reflective space filled with darkness and subtle nuances of light. It takes time to understand and each interaction is different. It is a quiet work, which invites conversation with our inner selves.

What’s your favorite pizza topping(s)?

I love, love, love, a simple arugula, parmigiano, and olive pizza with a little reduction balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. If I’m feeling meaty, I’ll add prosciutto. But…the real answer…the abomination of ham and pineapple. Come at me!

What’s one of the most exciting things about being an artist at this moment in time? 

Our access to visual material though smartphones and the web is pretty cool. You can live anywhere in the world and still have a presence within the larger art community.  Artists can leverage tools and media to share their work earlier and sell work on their own if they wish. In some ways, we can have more control in the narrative of our work.

What’s one of the more challenging things? 

More grants, opportunities, and affordable spaces are needed, especially for emerging artists. It is crucial that cities and institutions work towards grants and support. Artists build culture, culture builds community, and communities build commerce for growth. Let’s use that growth to give back to back artists that helped build the culture. 

Who is someone that inspires you?

My parents, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

What’s something totally random, weird, or amazing you want to share with the (virtual) world?

I have a tendency to trip up the stairs often. Yes, up, the stairs. Don’t ask me know it happens, it is just part of my charm.

We totally agree it adds to his charm. ;) Check out Jaime Carrejo’s work on his website and enter to win his available work in the Octopus Initiative lottery!