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Collin Parson, gallery manager and curator at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, can’t wait for Art of the State to open, particularly because he can already imagine the energy in the room when a huge crowd gathers to see nearly 200 paintings, sculptures, prints, jewelry pieces and two- and three-dimensional works both traditional and contemporary by a mind-numbing 160 Colorado artists. That’s an immense overview, but Parson and guest juror Dean Sobel of the Clyfford Still Museum actually narrowed it down from more than 1,600 entries.

“I wanted to show as many artists and styles as we could, to really look at the breadth of the community, and I think this is the largest snapshot of what is going on,” Parson says. “In the recent past, I don’t know of another show that has reached this scale and diversity of Colorado artists in this manner.”

Parson was amazed by the number of submissions coming from artists he knew nothing about, and says he’s thankful for the chance not only to work with new faces in the future, but also for the viewing opportunities that a show of this scope — it fills all three gallery spaces at the Arvada Center, including the main viewing area downstairs, which sports a brand-new high-sheen concrete floor — offers the public. “We’ve started upstairs in the Theater Gallery with something more comfortable for the theater-going audience, but hope that will encourage them to work their way downstairs,” he explains.

Art of the State opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight and continues through March 31 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada; gallery admission is free. Go to or call 720-898-7200.
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 27, 12-5 p.m. Starts: Jan. 24. Continues through March 31, 2013


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