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Perceptions. In a real sense, this show is a response to the Biennial of the Americas, which ran through the end of July; some exhibits, like this one, extend into September. Bobbi Walker, owner of Walker Fine Art, was disheartened that the Biennial had so little to do with art in Colorado, so she was moved to assemble this powerful group show highlighting local talent. Inside the gallery's entrance, there's an abstract sculpture by John Murphy made from found metal vessels welded together; it's a marvelous update of John Chamberlain's junk-car assemblages. Hanging from the ceiling is an exciting Sabin Aell installation referencing classic modernism that's made from billboard fragments and old -- and colorful -- telephone wires. Beyond is a multi-part floor installation that includes small aspen trees by Kim Ferrer. Around the corner are digital prints of plastic buildings, and a wall's worth of little plastic blobs on wires by Lauri Lynnxe Murphy. The tour de force in the show is the hyper-realistic figural group made of brown paper by Emma Hardy -- though I do wish the heartbeat soundtrack had been left out. Through September 4 at Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, #A, 303-355-8955,www.walkerfineart.com.

Shape & Spirit. This wonderful selection of antique bamboo articles is the first show in the newly unveiled Walter and Mona Lutz Gallery on the fifth floor of the Denver Art Museum's Ponti building. Walter and Mona Lutz, for whom the gallery is named, began collecting bamboo from throughout Japan, where they lived; in the 1960s, they expanded their collecting to include bamboo pieces from the rest of Asia. The couple collected ahead of the curve, allowing them to find exquisite things in a wide range of categories. There are baskets, of course, which is what most people might think of when the idea of objects made of bamboo comes up, but there are also sculptures and lanterns, fans and brush-pots, trays and tea-ceremony utensils, among a wide range of both decorative and utilitarian objects. For Shape & Spirit, curator Ron Otsuka selected 200 items from the Lutz collection, which have been given to the DAM. And he has intelligently and beautifully installed them in minimalist-designed showcases made especially for the new gallery. Through September 19 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-866-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org.

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