Indoor Activities

The 2003-2004 art season has only just begun.

The Robischon Gallery (1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788) is presenting an exhibit opening on September 13; it will be dedicated to another significant contemporary Colorado artist, Scott Chamberlin. The show focuses on the Boulder/Denver artist's organic ceramics. Also on view is Gary Komarin, a solo show by a New York painter. In November and December, it's Anne Connell, highlighting the Oregon artist's Renaissance-based representational paintings.

Amy Metier & Bethany Kriegsman, a duet of abstractions by two of the area's most respected painters, opens September 12 at the William Havu Gallery (1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360), which is also introducing Joanne Kerrihard in a small show on the mezzanine. In November, it's another pair of major local painting talents in an exhibition built for two, Luis Eades & Margaretta Gilboy.

The Rule Gallery (111 Broadway, 303-777-9473) started the season last week with Richard Hull: Recent Paintings and Michael Eastman: Cuba, photographs. Hull, from Chicago, does paintings that are abstract and expressionist without being abstract-expressionist, and Eastman, from St. Louis, gets a creepy surrealist effect with unaltered color photos of ruined rooms, among other things. In December, Mary Obering examines the hard-edged paintings by this onetime Denver artist who now lives in New York.

"Nordic Rescue," by Frank Sampson, acrylic on 
canvas, at Sandy Carson Gallery.
"Nordic Rescue," by Frank Sampson, acrylic on canvas, at Sandy Carson Gallery.
"Fountain," by Amy Metier, oil on canvas, at William 
Havu Gallery.
"Fountain," by Amy Metier, oil on canvas, at William Havu Gallery.

One downer this season is the fact that Ron Judish closed his gallery, making the big five the big four: Sandy Carson, Robischon, William Havu and Rule. But Judish is still around, even if his gallery isn't. He's associated with Luscious, at the Andenken Gallery (2110 Market Street, 303-292-3281). The exhibit, which opens September 12, includes abstract plastic sculptures by Kate Petley, organic-fiber sculptures by Gail Wagner and color-field paintings by Sharon Smolinski. In October and November, Andenken hosts the third edition of Force Future, an invitational group show of new talent.

Studio Aiello (3563 Walnut Street, 303-297-8166) is doing Best of Show, which opened last week. The large exhibit is the work of three artists: New York videographer Leon Grodski, Denver photo-realist painter Frank O'Neill and Denver sculptor Patricia Aaron. Judish is also involved here with Heads, set for October and November, which brings together Ft. Collins painter Marius Lehene and New York photographer Kevin Cooley, both from Aiello, with Denver painter John Hull and New York photographer Ron Katz from Judish.

At Cordell Taylor Gallery (2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927), the fall opener Synesthesia: New Paintings by Karen McClanahan features the minimalist abstractions by a former Denver artist who recently moved to New York. The title of the show refers to the idea that colors produce sounds. In October, Bryan Andrews takes the gallery with The Legend of the Seven Calendar Diner, a show combining his totemic sculptures and drawings. In November, Kelly & Kelley pairs landscape-based abstractions by New Mexico's Warren Kelly with the pattern and text paintings of Louisiana's Kelli Scott Kelley.

Fresh Art Gallery (900 Santa Fe Drive, 303-623-2200) will open Memory believes before knowing remembers on September 19; the group show will include a video installation by Anne Angyal, photo-emulsion paintings by Steven Starsas, paintings on metal by Madeleine Dodge and mechanized sculptures by Joe Riché; all are from Colorado. In November, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy's mixed-media paintings will be seen in depth at Fresh, in a show that's still in the planning stages.

And the list of worthy art pursuits goes on and on. There's Soft Sensations, a group show of abstract paintings that opened last week at Space Gallery (765 Santa Fe Drive, 720-904-1088), which will be followed by back-to-back shows, the first including Tyler Aiello, the second Monica Aiello. And there's Alchemy at Walker Fine Art (300 West 11th Avenue, 303-355-8955), opening on September 12, which puts together abstract mixed-media paintings by Ben Strawn from Salida with mixed-materials sculptures by Denver's Norman Epp.

This is not to forget the many solos at the alternative spaces -- Spark, Pirate, Edge and Core -- with a new selection of exhibits showing up every three or four weeks. Plus, there are the photo galleries, notably Camera Obscura, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and Gallery Sink, which will have new shows every month. There are also campus-based galleries, like the CU Art Museum, the Victoria H. Myhren Gallery at the University of Denver, and the Steele Gallery at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design; the art centers in the hinterlands, including the Foothills Art Center, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; and dozens of other, smaller venues.

Denver may be home to a gang of sports nuts, but in town and up and down the Front Range, there are more than enough diversions for those whose be-all and end-all is art. And you know what? Unlike everyone else, we couldn't care less how well some guy kicks, hits or bounces a ball.

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