Art is a univeral language. Nobody knows that better than Birgit Whitelaw, who speaks three—German, French and English—but knows that creativity supersedes them all. Whitelaw grew up in Germany, worked at her uncle’s hotel and earned her bachelor’s degree in hotel management. She worked at a number of European hotels, exploring other countries in the process.
She came to Colorado to visit a friend and ended up meeting her future husband. Eventually, she took a job as director of sales and catering at Denver’s Burnsley All Suite Hotel. But she craved a way to also use her lifelong passion for art. She had studied under a number of art professors in Europe, eventually completing her studies at The Art Institute of Colorado.
Whitelaw and her business partner, Renata Dolz, started The Art Connection in 2003. Drawing upon combined experiences in hotel management and marketing and a shared passion for art, their business has blossomed into one of the most creative experiences a company can buy. T-Mobile, Vectra Bank, Star Foundation and others have tapped their creative energy to provide branding, team-building and other enhancements to their business cultures. “Basically, we use art and other creative methods to connect people with each other,” Whitelaw says. “And we very much customize each experience to [each] client.”
People in general enjoy being creative and find The Art Connection’s projects release a side they might not ordinarily show. Art becomes a catalyst to creativity and human connection. Whitelaw says, “It brings me much joy.”
Her mantra?: “In a desert, there’s always sunshine; but for growth you need rain and for creativity, you need a thunderstorm.” Art Connection brings the thunderstorm.
When she’s not working, Whitelaw loves skiing and hiking in Colorado’s mountains with her 13-year-old daughter and husband, who she’s been married to for 21 years.