It's hard to believe that Walker Fine Art (300 West 11th Avenue, 303-355-8955) has been around for five years already, but the gallery is enjoying its 5 Year Anniversary Celebration. According to owner Bobbi Walker, she didn't have a clue as to what she was doing when she started. In the intervening time, however, she's traveled and read and put together a string of exhibits. And in the process, she's emerged as a professional.
The large show installed throughout the gallery is meant to be something of a preview of exhibits scheduled for the coming year. Walker plans to take the same approach she has for a while: pairing a three-dimensional artist with one who works in two dimensions in the front spaces, then showing three artists from the gallery's stable in the flexible space opposite the open office.
Walker always features sculpture, and there's plenty of room for it. In the 5 Year show, there are sculptures by Kim Ferrer made from bundles of found materials held together by rope, a group of Tyler Aiello's hemisphere sculptures made of joined worked steel, and two tree-like steles made of cherry wood and steel by Norman Epp. Off in the back is a totemic spike by Bill Burgess, made of steel that has as its surface an even coat of rust.
Abstraction is a Walker specialty, and 5 Year has some nice things in this category, notably several glossy Monica Aiellos, two creamy compositions by Eric Corrigan, a mural-sized painting of looping colors by Ben Strawn, and a nature-derived piece by Don Quade.
The two Bonny Lhotka lightboxes (pictured) are unlike anything else in the show, and I think they're the finest pieces here. In them, Boulder artist Lhotka has back-lit lenticular photos of fish in aquariums. Because of the lenticular process, the fish seem to be swimming as the viewer walks by. In these matching works, the fish are garishly colored, making them really stand out against the vivid blue of the water.
Walker Fine Art's 5 Year Anniversary Celebration runs through February 17.