It's time to dive into Denver Arts Week, and First Friday is the perfect introduction. If you don't get out to the galleries throughout the year, this is the night to change your tune. Here's a sampler of what you'll find.
Contemporary Fiber 2016
Niza Knoll Gallery
Now through November 17
Receptions: 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays, November 4 and December 2; 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, November 18
Artist Talk: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 19
Nationally known Denver fiber artist Carol Ann Waugh juried this textile-based blockbuster for Niza Knoll, pulling together work by more than 25 regional artists who stretch the boundaries of the genre. From art quilts to expansive installation art, Contemporary Fiber 2016 tells it like it is in the fiber-art world’s new frontier.
Accessory: (A Gun Fad)
November 4 through December 4
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday November 4
Curated by RedLine alumnus George Perez, Accessory: (A Gun Fad) aims straight for the heart of American gun culture through the eyes of eight artists — Natalie Baxter, Diane Cionni, Thomas Evans, Ietef Cavem Vita, Nikki Pike, Amy Santoferraro, Matt Slaby and Nafis M. White — who make point-blank social critiques in a variety of mediums, both traditional and conceptual. Attend the opening, and get a celebrity-faced humanized shooting target free, while they last.
Temple Humans: Artist Showcase and Open Studios
The Temple, 2400 Curtis Street
Reception: 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, November 4
Steps away from RedLine, the artists of the Temple will throw the doors of their studios open for a first-hand look at the artistic beehive’s creative culture. The youth mentor art program PlatteForum will host a pop-up gallery show of works by Temple artists Regan Rosberg, Suchitra Mattai, Mario Zoots, Lewis Neeff, Mike Protzik and Nkosi Still, and for foodies, the in-house baking artisans of Five Points Pizza and Long i Pie Shop will be serving throughout the evening. There’s more: Artist couple Viviane Le Courtois and Christopher R. Perez will lead tours of their co-working studio/gallery Processus on the 24th Street side of the building. If your Denver Arts Week goal is to see how artists are making it work in a city besieged by high rents and change, the one-two punch of RedLine and the Temple will show you the way.
Ink Lounge First Friday: In Good Taste Micro Market
5 to 8 p.m. Friday, November 4
Screen-printing shop Ink Lounge continues its new First Friday micro-market series by presenting local makers riffing on a food theme (Red Camper, The Real Dill, Backyard Soda and K-Sauce). This is Ink Lounge, though — former producers of the defunct beer-soaked ManCraftival holiday sale — so you can expect some drink, as well, compliments of Bear Creek Distillery, Divino Wine and Ratio Beerworks. And the art part? Ink Lounge will throw in an array of screen-printed posters, tea towels and aprons that carry on the food theme, with a hands-on tea-towel printing station where you can make your own.
GRACe Grand Opening
Globeville Riverfront Arts Center
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 4
The artists and small businesses of Wazee Union lost their studios to the wrecking ball, but it wasn’t the end for them. They eventually moved to a new facility, the Globeville Riverfront Arts Center (aka GRACe), and while that maze of studios has been polishing its edges for several months, the artists are now ready for their closeup. The GRACe community will help kick off Denver Arts Week with open studios, a group gallery show, refreshments and every sign of a bright new future.
Continue reading for more Denver Arts Week/First Friday picks.
7 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 4
Horndribbles, a devilishly good plush-toy universe and mini-theater dreamed up by master maker Lucas Richards, is back at Lowbrow with a collectible toy show that caters to all ages. Find your inner child and be a grownup, too, at the opening.
Muses IV and Gameplay
Receptions: 6 to 10 p.m. First Fridays, November 4 and December 2
Helikon does Denver Arts Week up with two big group shows — Muses IV, the next edition of the gallery’s now-traditional invitational year-end show, and Gameplay, an artistic homage to the rise of video gaming. Muses plays on the art-studio facility’s name and its roots in Greek mythology, but it’s entirely up to the artists how they choose to interpret it; Gameplay plays right into the season by mainly featuring smaller, more affordable works perfect for gifting your favorite geek.
Best of Summer Art Market 2016
Pattern Shop Studio
November 4 through December 2
Receptions: 6 to 9 p.m. First Fridays, November 4 and December 2
Artist Salon: 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 12
The word is that the Art Students League of Denver’s decades-old Summer Art Market is the best outdoor exhibition in town — so good, in fact, that it deserves a second look. Pattern Shop connects with ASLD for an indoor tribute to the 2016 market award-winners, making for a perfect example of why Denver Arts Week is really a year-round affair.
First Friday at Bindery on Blake
Bindery on Blake Art Studios
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 4
Even in the heart of redevelopment in RiNo, artists are hanging on at Bindery on Blake’s studios, and they want you to get to know them better. Meet and greet with designer Mona Lucero; painters Tim Mooney, Karla Raines and Calvin Lee (who will give ink-wash painting demos in the lobby); digital artist Rafael Fajardo and others.
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Beer: Deconstructed, a LOCK + LAND Photography
Epic Brewing and Tap Room
Now through November 14
Closing reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, November 14
In this town, there are artists, and there are makers. Epic Brewing pays tribute to both with a gorgeous exhibit of photographs from LOCK + LAND depicting the raw ingredients used to create unusual beers from a cross-section of 21 Denver breweries. Photographers worked closely with brewers on the project, with stunning results. Drop in and celebrate the collaborations throughout Denver Arts Week, and come back for the closing reception and food truck party on November 14 to meet the artists and brewers.
Want more? See the Westword event listings for current gallery and art museum exhibitions and openings in the metro area.