Arts and Culture

Five Biennial-Inspired Exhibitions at Denver Galleries and in the Streets!

Now!, the 2015 Biennial of the Americas theme, asks the public to be present, eyes wide open, in the immediate world. And though we might all be tired of hearing "now" by the end of this week, the concept has reverberated through the arts community this summer, with galleries developing their own spin on Now! “Gildar Gallery’s show from a Mexico city curator is a wonderful spinoff, and Rule Gallery has a show that’s similarly interesting,” Biennial curator Lauren White enthuses. “Ultimately, I think that’s what the Biennial should at least partially be about: We are not the only game in town. There are people in this town doing wonderful things all the time.” Here are five of those wonderful Biennial-related things:

now what?
Gildar Gallery
Through July 19
Gildar Gallery takes on the 2015 Biennial of the Americas theme of Now! with an international group exhibition guest-curated by Brett W. Schultz, co-director of Yautepec Gallery and Material Art Fair in Mexico City. “Originally, this was a show about uh-oh,” Schultz says in his statement. “But, at the end, it’s probably much more about meh. If the present moment – now – perpetually rings of hope, outrage, exhilaration, fear, sweaty anticipation and/or collective hysteria, then this show is the moment that immediately follows, when now fails to meet the future scripted for it. The let-down, the bounce-back. Situation Normal: All Fucked Up.” Take a look and come to your own conclusions; the show is only up through the end of the week. Visit Gildar Gallery from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or by appointment.

Nothing Belongs To Us?
Rule Gallery
Through August 15(?)

Rule aligns with the Biennial of the Americas with Nothing Belongs to Us, a five-artist show that addresses the Biennial theme of Now! with a slate of in-the-moment works curated by Hayley Richardson of the Dikeou Collection. See how artists Jessica Angel, Chris Bagley, Caleb Hahne, Michael Theodore and Jenny Vogel juggle the contemporary with unavoidable inspirations from the past. Visit Rule from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment.

Continental Divide: East of L.A. / West of Tehran
Leon Gallery
July 17 through August 22
Opening reception: 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 17

Leon Gallery took a different tack in exploring the Biennial theme by focusing on the Persian-American immigrant experience. A conversation with Safa Samiezadé-Yazd — a local artist who’s worked on a national level for Aslan Media and Boomgen Studios — first opened Eric Dallimore’s eyes to the unique position of her culture-straddling compatriots in America: Iranian-American artists struggle not only with their mixed cultural identity, but also with the question of whether that’s a theme they should pursue in their work. Dallimore definitely encouraged the latter, and he and Eric Nord, his co-director at Leon Gallery, teamed up with Samiezadé-Yazd to curate Continental Divide: East of L.A. / West of Tehran, which features work by Denver media artist Laleh Mehran, three-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Justin Mashouf, photographer and video artist Arya Ghavamian, and performance/mixed-media artist Amitis Motevalli.  “For us right now, the most important thing is elevating the arts in Denver by having this caliber of artists, even though we are just a small, budding gallery,” Dallimore told us while fundraising to bring the show to fruition. The gallery is open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Agustina Woodgate, Hopscotch
Seven locations across Denver
Through July 23

An extension of RedLine’s Play Grounds, showing at the gallery through August 16, Agustina Woodgate’s Hopscotch invites the community outdoors to participate in a public playground: a series of giant hopscotch courts instigated by Woodgate, with help from volunteers, in a diverse cross-section of seven Denver neighborhoods, including Globeville, Curtis Park, Civic Center, the 16th Street Mall, Sun Valley, the Platte Valley and Confluence Park. Woodgate is rolling out the individual projects now through July 23; visit RedLine’s website for installation dates and exact locations. For more information on how you can work directly with the artist on this project, e-mail RedLine

The Life of Things (La Vie des Choses)
July 24 through October 17
Opening reception: 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 24

The member-driven artist workspace Processus will jump into the Now! game a little late, but with no less enthusiasm, with The Life of Things (La Vie des Choses), curated by Denver artist (and Processus co-founder) Viviane Le Courtois. The group show will focus on what’s important in a glib world driven by social media, through a collection of found, altered and assembled objects meant to open conversations about contemporary life. Visit Processus from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment. The space also hosts a conversational coffee social every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. 

Learn more about Biennial of the Americas exhibits, events and community partners online. 

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd