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Owner of shuttered Colorado restaurant auctions off art for family in need

12@Madison closed in March, and the owner is auctioning off its art to help the family of Brandon Foster.

DENVER — Weeks after the sudden death of a well-known and well-respected Denver chef, the news is still tough for people like Owen Ryan to accept.

“This is still really hard to talk about,” said the President and CEO of Project Angel Heart. “Brandon really set the tone for this place.”

Brandon Foster came to Project Angel Heart four years ago to help head the nonprofit’s goal to provide meals to more than a thousand people with life-threatening illnesses every week.

“He saw that we had an open executive chef position and said this is what he wanted. This is what he needed,” Ryan said.

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On July 5, while hiking with his family, Foster passed away.

“It’s tough to imagine that he’s not coming back to work for us,” Ryan said.

Across town, at the now-shuttered 12@Madison, owner Jeff Osaka felt the loss acutely as well. 

“We really couldn’t believe this was true,” he said.

As Osaka considered ways to help Foster’s family, he decided to auction off the artwork that adorned the walls of 12@Madison. The restaurant closed when every other restaurant had to close in mid-March and, in May, Osaka decided he would not reopen.

The artwork, created by noted Denver artist Jonathan Saiz, ended up going up for auction of the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Proceeds benefit Foster's family. 

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