Eye to Eye

Curatorial partners put their heads together for the Colorado Art Open 2009.

Michael Chavez curates shows at Foothills Art Center in Golden, where he must cater to a specific suburban constituency; Christoph Heinrich, new modern-art curator at the Denver Art Museum, came to Denver over a year ago with a continental sensibility and the high-heeled shoes of the departing Dianne Vanderlip to fill. But together they created a many-eyed creature when they agreed to collaborate on the FAC’s Colorado Art Open 2009, a resurrected all-Colorado showcase that hasn’t graced Foothills for a few years.

So, did the hometown boy and the worldly one come to blows during the impossible task of whittling nearly 1,500 entries down to about 100? Not really. Outside of a modicum of what Chavez calls “polite friction,” joint enthusiasm won out. “We tried to be as inclusive and diverse as possible in terms of approaches and media,” Chavez explains. “There’s truly something for everybody, from traditional to contemporary works, in just about every medium you can think of: painting, video, machines, steel, ceramics, fiber, colored pencil, embroidery...” Plus, both curators got the opportunity to see work by artists new to them, as well as a rare chance to include work by previously passed-over favorites. The result is a big show — so big that Chavez says they’re building an extra wall in the galleries to help contain it all — that bends over backward to pay tribute to the diversity of artists working in our state.

Colorado Art Open opened in April; the show is open daily through May 31. For information, go to www.foothillsartcenter.org or call 303-279-3922.
April 4-May 31, 2009

 
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