I first met Sandra Renteria when she ran Indigena Gallery, a socially conscious moving feast of folk and outsider art that last hung out on Santa Fe Drive before its owner packed it in to pursue other concerns. A rare free spirit whose feet are firmly planted on the earth, Renteria has always cared for the poor and suffering: From the politically disenfranchised people of Haiti to those left behind on the tsunami-ravaged beaches of Thailand, she's been there to help by raising money, offering hands-on relief and bringing uplifting art experiences to remote places. She's now mulling a trip to Peru, where earthquakes have left her a new constituency to champion.
It's hard to believe that in the midst of all this good work, Renteria is also a fine folk artist in her own right, an aspect of her personality that doesn't seem so important to her at the moment. Yet the show must go on: She's taken a series of paintings inspired by her young daughter Serena's close relationship with a tsunami victim they bonded with in Thailand and wove them into A Wave of Inspiration, a beautiful children's book. The paintings and the book will be featured during grand-opening festivities this weekend at the relocated boutique Oilily, now at 3000 East Third Avenue, which Renteria touts as carrying "the quintessential folk-art line for clothing."
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See Renteria's work through October 7; call 303-322-8869.
Sept. 7-Oct. 7, 2007