Artbeat

Brief sketches of what's happening in the Denver art scene.

It's unusual for a juried show to have a coherent theme, because there's no controlling what artists will submit. Yet Interior Spaces, a sculpture show in the North Gallery of the Lakewood Cultural Center (470 South Allison Parkway, Lakewood, 303-987-7844), was juried and is coherent. So how did artist-jurors Patricia Aaron and Marie E.v.B. Gibbons pull it off?

The answer is simple: They used their power as jurors to pick only the things that fit their preconceived idea of what kind of show they wanted to do. There's really nothing wrong with this sort of approach, because even arbitrary decisions are within the prerogative of art jurors -- even if it seems unfair to the rejected. (There are plenty of those out there: Aaron and Gibbons looked over the work of nearly a hundred sculptors to come up with the mere fourteen who were chosen for the exhibit.)

And you can't argue with success. There's no denying that Interior Spaces is elegant and provocative, perfectly fitting the modest North Gallery in which it was handsomely installed.

Many of the artists in the show are well known and have exhibited widely for years. In this group is Carol Sharpe, whose sculpture "Aria" is a symmetrical assemblage of clear glass parts held together by an almost invisible armature. Victoria Hansen, another artist who's often shown in the region, submitted a stoneware vessel from her "Kaga Series" (above) that takes the idea of an interior space to its anthropomorphic conclusion in vaginal imagery.

There are a number of references to women's bodies in the show, which reveals another decision that Aaron and Gibbons apparently made -- that Interior would have a feminist theme. Therefore, predictably, the the work of women artists predominates. (Together with the Ladyfest Out West Art Exhibition at Andenken Gallery downtown, there's practically a survey of the region's most significant women artists on exhibit right now; it's just that half of it is being presented out in the hinterlands.)

Interior Spaces closes on June 27. Oh, come on, it's not that far.

 
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