Reviewed : Six Denver Art Shows to See Now!

"Blue Field," by Mel Tanner.
"Blue Field," by Mel Tanner.
Photo courtesy of Lumonics.

The weather will be great this weekend, but you'll definitely want to spend some time indoors, because the Month of Photography is in full swing, and you won't want to miss Lumonics, which closes in a week. Keep reading for a capsule review of that show as well as other displays around town, in the order that they're closing.

“Rondo," by Dorothy Tanner.
“Rondo," by Dorothy Tanner.
Photo Courtesy of Lumonics

Lumonics Then & Now. The eye-dazzling yet relaxing Lumonics: Then & Now: A Retrospective of Light-Based Sculpture by Dorothy & Mel Tanner transforms the interior galleries of the Museum of Outdoor Arts into a world of their own. The spotlights have been dimmed so that the Tanners' internally lighted transparent acrylic sculptures and wall panels, along with their projected videos, can gently glow in the near-darkness. A soft electronic soundtrack composed by Dorothy Tanner and longtime collaborator Marc Billard adds another soothing aspect to the exhibit. Mel and Dorothy were already established artists when, in 1969, Mel had what Dorothy calls “an epiphany.” At the time, he was creating abstract paintings and she was doing abstract sculptures. Mel’s breakthrough was the realization that they should add light, sound and, in the early years, performance to their conjoined practices, and Dorothy readily embraced the idea. Mel worked in this way until the end of his life; Dorothy, who is 94, is, believe it or not, still at it. This show is not to be missed. Through March 24 at the Museum of Outdoor Arts, 1000 Englewood Parkway,  303-806-0444, moaonline.org. Read the full review of Lumonics: Then & Now.

Selections from the “Swell” series by Debra Sanders, digital photos.
Selections from the “Swell” series by Debra Sanders, digital photos.
Wes Magyar

Double Exposure. To put together Double Exposure: An Exhibition of Photography and Video at the Arvada Center, gallery director Collin Parson and exhibition manager Kristin Bueb put out a call for submissions from artists working in both photography and video. Some were clearly pre-selected, as their efforts were already well known to Parson and Bueb, but some were completely unknown to them, so the decision to open the show to submissions by staging what is essentially a juried process turned out well. That said, it’s also apparent that the photos included are mostly much stronger than the companion videos. Among the stars of the show are Shannon Kelly, Dave Seiler, Debra Sanders, Edie Winograde and Kari Treadwell. A real surprise — because the artist is known as a sculptor — are Yoshitomo Saito’s photos of a deformed butterfly alongside a digital animation of an idealized one that’s seen flying. Truth be told, there is no thematic or conceptual center to Double Exposure, so it’s pretty much a free-for-all, but that also gives viewers the opportunity to take in a wide array of expressions. Through March 26 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, 720-898-7200, arvadacenter.org.

"Flowers - Maui, Vail, Denver," by James Milmoe.
"Flowers - Maui, Vail, Denver," by James Milmoe.
Courtesy the Arvada Center

James Milmoe. At first glance, Stop/Look/See:Photography by James Milmoe, on the Arvada Center's upper level, looks like a group show because there’s so much in it, in so many different styles. But as indicated by the title, this staggering volume of photos is all the work of one artist, James Milmoe, and it’s just a small fraction of his output. The wide-ranging scope of the solo makes sense when you realize that the Golden-based photographer has been active for over fifty years. The show is not a retrospective; instead, work has been displayed according to theme or subject, with Milmoe returning to certain topics again and again over the past several decades. There are the black-and-white photos of gravestones from his well-known and highly regarded “Cemetery” series, which capture the ironically timeworn symbols of eternity with poetic subtlety. And the lineup of views of aspen groves — each photo showing a different dominating shade as the trees go through the four seasons — reveals Milmoe’s skill at getting unique results even with overworked subjects. Through March 26 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, 720-898-7200, arvadacenter.org.

Keep reading for three more reviews.



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