It isn’t uncommon to hear of someone’s passion driving them to do great things. From a young age, Janene DiRico-Cable chased the dream of being an artist. Her dreams were nearly crushed when a school instructor told her she wasn’t good enough to pursue art at as a profession. “Then, you believed everything your teachers told you,” DiRico-Cable sighed, “So I decided to move to New York City and I became a model.”
DiRico-Cable quickly found modeling to be unfulfilling and instead the job found her wanting to design clothes. Making the decision to leave the industry and try her hand in something else, she thought she’d try dental school. Once she finished school, she worked for a dentist for a few years, but again, felt the urge to seek out whatever it was that would quench her thirst.
It was at that time that a friend, turned country singer, asked DiRico-Cable to come work with her and take over her media marketing; designing all of her T-shirts and album covers. Though it was a blast to tour with her, again she knew in her heart that it wasn’t where she needed to be. “In each of my lives it would come back to the arts, in some way,” recalled DiRico-Cable.
Fast forward a few years, and she picked up to move with her husband to colorful Colorado. But as before, her love for the arts kept calling. On a whim, DiRico-Cable scheduled a visit to the ‘Leaning Tree Museum’ in Boulder. After walking into their gallery, her soul knew it was home.
“The curator, Sarah Seldon, who didn’t know me from Adam, talked with me and listened to my love of art,” said DiRico-Cable, “She encouraged me, with the help of the owner (Ed Trumble) to go do it -so I did.” That encouragement, that she needed years ago, finally made her take the plunge to pursue art. “That instructor was wrong.”
Though she had used many mediums to express her art over the years, she thought she’d be adventurous and try something new. “We are so lucky to have the major foundries right in Loveland, Colorado…It sounded fun so I started to make bronze.” Three years later, she was chosen to become the United States Equestrian Federation trophy artist.
That’s when her phone rang – it was the Castle Rock Police. “The police department called me and said, ‘We had a dog pass, can you help us with a project.'” ‘Jax’, one of the department dogs, passed in the spring and they wanted to do the dedication at Octoberfest 2010 in Castle Rock. DiRico-Cable knew with the tight schedule, time was of the essence.
“Right after I got the call, I started working on the clay,” DiRico-Cable remembered. Once the mold was finished, she met the handler, Officer Todd Thompson, and his fellow officers a week later at a restaurant. “I walked in, put it down and I pulled the cover off – and there wasn’t anything, total silence,” she said. “I thought, ‘oh man, I missed this bad.'”
From across the table – full of emotion – Thompson said, “You hit it, nail on the head. Were gonna go with this.” The bronze of the police dog ‘Jax’ took a six months to finish and DiRico-Cable met her deadline. He sits proudly in front of the Castle Rock Police Department as a reminder of the hard work the K-9 unit has and still does today.
Like her bronze work, DiRico’s talent is a staple in Castle Rock. Several of the murals that color the underpasses around town were done by her as well – a job she was again commissioned for by Police Department and the Town. And it doesn’t stop there; more of her work can be seen at nearby Butterfield Park where residents and their families can enjoy taking pictures inside the heart cutout in the middle of a giant bronze hand – a piece she calls ‘Stop In the Name of Love.” It is part of ‘Art Encounters,’ a program that promotes art by putting sculptures around Douglas County.
With no end in sight, residents can expect to see more of Janene DiRico-Cable’s artistry beautifying Castle Rock and beyond. It’s lucky for us that her former teacher missed the target.