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Spark 2004. Spark has two dozen members, but only two small exhibition rooms, meaning that it's pretty packed for this year's annual members' show, in which everyone is represented. As with any show that brings together disparate work, Spark 2004 is more than a little uneven, with some good things and others that are downright awful. Among the highlights are a couple of those thoughtful Annalee Schorr pieces that lampoon the mass media. Nearby is Sue Simon's "Point of View," an abstract based on mathematics, and just beyond that is a tray full of edible-looking plastic cupcakes by Elaine Ricklin, who sensibly accompanied them with a sign warning people not to eat them. Across the room are three tiny abstractions by Barbara Carpenter that look like paintings but are actually Fujichrome Supergloss photographs. Around the corner, in the backspace, is a marvelous expressionistic monotype with chine collé panels by John Matlack. Patricia Aaron's piece, "Ball Buster II," is an installation of colored bowling balls hung from the ceiling, an absurd idea, but pretty attractive. Through February 15 at Spark Gallery, 1535 Platte Street, 303-455-4435. Reviewed January 22.

Superhighway and Director's Choice. Ivar Zeile and Ron Judish have launched the city's newest art hot spot, (+) Zeile/Judish Gallery, in the old Cordell Taylor location, and the venue's two inaugural exhibits are knockouts. In the front space is the elegant Superhighway, featuring photo-based works by R. Scott Davis, an artist who divides his time between New York City and Denver. Several of these pieces are about Denver's T-Rex project, and although they're photo-based, they resemble geometric abstracts with dynamic diagonals running across the middle. In the back is a group show called Director's Choice. First up are neo-pop constructions by Glenwood Springs artist Jon Rietfors, which incorporate mass-produced food packages. Next are luminescent abstractions in mixed media by Aspenite Hunt Rettig and intriguing C-print photos by Longmont's Patti Hallock that depict suburban scenes at dusk. Superhighway and Director's Choice prove that the partnership between Zeile and Judish will benefit us all. Through February 19 at (+) Zeile/Judish Gallery, 2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927. Reviewed February 5.

The Vessel: Voyage & Contain. For its first effort of 2004, the William Havu Gallery in the Golden Triangle is presenting a theme outing. Included in the show are ceramics, sculptures and even paintings. Gallery director William Havu organized it and interpreted the word "vessel" to include not only containers such as vases and bowls, but also boats. The grand dame of Denver ceramics, Martha Daniels, is represented by signature examples of her idiosyncratic style, such as her theatrical sculptural urns in rich flambé finishes that simultaneously parody and pay homage to the forms of classical antiquity. Also respecting tradition while being contemporary are the truly monumental vases by boy wonder Anthony Sarenpa that eloquently display his breathtaking skill at the wheel. Compelling abstract sculptures by Michael Clapper, Margaret Haydon, Margaret Josey-Parker, Darlene Nguyen-Ely and Bernice Strawn and lyrical abstract paintings by Joanne Kerrihard are part of the festivities as well. Through February 21 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360. Reviewed February 5.

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