Dear TRENDS Diary -

I love to make surreal pieces that mess with people’s minds, and create art that gets the viewer to think.

I made a bench for Colorado Chautauqua and Cal-Wood’s “Art in the Park”. The bench is based on legends early civilizations would tell about how the days happened. The moon is in love with the sun and they’re chasing each other, or the sun needs to die every day for the moon to be born at night. Painting the bench reminded me of my previous relationship. We could both either be the moon or the sun. The title of the bench is “The Love that Separates Us.” You know you love someone, but at the same time, it just can't happen.

When I was growing up, my mother had figures of the Santa Muerte all around my house. The Santa Muerte is a Mexican folk religious deity, who kind of looks like the Grim Reaper. So I incorporate skeletons into my art. But there’s another reason for the skull and the heart in my art. They represent the fourth and seventh chakra, and I love the number 47. I always use desert landscapes to portray emptiness and loneliness inside the painting.


Dear TRENDS Diary - 

My name is David Breña (he/him) and I work for Boulder County Public Health’s OASOS program, which offers positive support and fun for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) youth. I also co-facilitate the Saint Vrain Valley Safe Schools Coalition with Mandy Blumreich. Saint Vrain Valley Safe Schools Coalition (SVVSSC) is important to me because it’s a space in which community members come together to seek solutions to the issues impacting LGBTQIA+ youth in our area.

As a transgender immigrant man, I’ve experienced prejudice, discrimination, and violence in my communities. I’ve also experienced the healing power of community support and community organizing. When I can navigate systems that already have figured out strategies to support transgender people, I feel supported because I know that those changes were made by people who advocated to make them happen. I want LGBTQIA+ youth in our school district to also experience that community support.


Dear TRENDS Diary - 

The current gender-based violence prevention curriculum taught in schools is outdated. Even when health teachers know that there are queer, trans, and nonbinary students in their classrooms, some are not willing or don’t know how to talk about queer topics. Young queer people end up in abusive situations because the system fails us and doesn’t teach us what gender based violence is or how to be safe.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

We've never been business partners before, or even colleagues within a similar field. When we realized that starting our own farm was finally becoming a reality last fall, we brainstormed possible names. 

Brett suggested "Switch Gears Farm" while we were walking Puck (our pup) one night and we each took a turn to describe what it could mean. 

Brett said that the name is based on an idea that we never stay complacent with the current trends in agriculture, including whatever practices we are currently utilizing. There is always something new to explore in the world of food and we should be open to trying new things. 

Vanita joked that the name reflects our conversations sometimes - all over the place and constantly switching gears.

Brett's grandfather, who was a dairy farmer, was a big influence for starting this farm. As a kid, Brett was always asked to help with "just one more task" and hours would go by with his grandfather.