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Patina.During the time she's been in business, Bobbi Walker has built a good reputation for her gallery by presenting intelligent shows featuring the work of both top Colorado artists and notables from across the country. This is precisely the formula she used to put together the excellent Patina — her year-ender — which is dedicated to Denver painter Don Quade and Oklahoma sculptor Brandon Reese. The Quade paintings continue the artist's interest in creating abstract compositions that incorporate realistic details and even real things. He begins with a color field done in a single predominant shade, but with lots of variations to it. Scattered throughout the picture plane are small elements done in hues that strongly contrast with the overriding tone of the field behind them. The Reese sculptures, in salt-glazed ceramics, work beautifully with the Quade paintings. These sculptures fall into two categories — multi-part wheels and single-form stiles or totems — with both types showing off Reese's technical mastery in ceramic engineering and glazing. Through January 5 at Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, #A, 303-355-8955, walkerfineart.com. Reviewed November 6.

Toy Stories II. Bill Havu has decided to get us into the lighthearted aspect of the holidays by mounting Toy Stories II, a sprawling group show at his namesake William Havu Gallery. The exhibit highlights artists who somehow engage toys as a topic in their otherwise individually distinctive works. Phillip Maberry and Scott Walker have created Murakami-esque creatures in the guise of inflatable pool toys. These sculptures are surrounded by sophisticated conceptual-realist paintings by Michael Brennan, one of which is a haunting depiction of Pinocchio. Arguably among the strangest things in the show are the weird hybrids of cartoons and Meso-American imagery seen in the sculptures by New Mexico's Max Lehman. Florida's Esteban Blanco also does small sculptures, reliving his pre-adolescent love of guns, trains and torturing Barbie dolls. Carrying the torch for idiosyncrasy are the somewhat creepy wood carvings by Michael Stevens. There are also small displays dedicated to Lawrence Argent, Michael Brangoccio, Suzanne Adan and Laurel Swab. Through January 5 at William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com. Reviewed November 28.

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