Aric Wheeler stands in front of the museum entrance

Aric Wheeler, Visitor Services Coordinator & Poet

Do you have a creative practice outside the museum? How would you describe it?

Well, besides living theatrically, I write poems (scroll down to read one), make collages, and recently participated in a printmaking show at Pablo’s Coffee.

What led to you this practice?

I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world because art has always been in my life. I grew up on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, NM, where art galleries and sculptures literally line the streets. As a kid, my grandma would take me to plays and museums, and my parents would buy me books, and I always felt the inspiration to be creative.

When I moved to Denver for my undergraduate studies, one of the first places I visited was the Denver Art Museum, and that day I decided that one day I would work here. I’ve felt so fortunate to have art in my life, and because of that, I really wanted to help make art as accessible as possible. What better way to do that than by welcoming people at the front desk of the art museum?

Grandma Lessons

by Aric Wheeler


“You are always my precious,
always because long after my spirit has left this body
I will still be here, looking after you”

***

Adam and Eve left paradise
They packed up their naked bodies
their forbidden fruit
mortality, and pain
packed it all up
watched the gates shut behind them
forgot what they once were

Humans are forgetful beings
forgetting we’re animals
forgetting we’re small
forgetting that life goes on
forgetting about the universe that we hurl around
forgetting that the universe does not hurl around us
forgetting the car keys and why they walked into the kitchen and are staring at the refrigerator

Does the Divine forget?
Does the mind forget?
Is God forgetful?
What did he forget to tell us on the seventh day?
that our minds are just connected to these bodies for a short period of time
or that our bodies are just thoughts our mind created
or that we are god, and he/she is god, that the world is god

Do we stand in awe of the mountain
because we see ourselves
because we see ourselves in relation to the mountain
because we see ourselves inside of the mountain
because we know things have lived and died
on that mountain
and that we are living and dying and that mountain is not

***

Grandma keeps dyeing her hair
aware, that she is getting older and that one day I won’t see her around me anymore
Grandma wants to look good while I do see her