Midweek Report

The best thing about First Friday is the sheer variety of it all. So if you fell off the art bus on Friday last, you've already missed a fabulous mixed bag of hard and soft openings and more, featuring art both high and low. Among them are: The Buddy System, graphic artist Scot LeFavor's paean to camaraderie and collaboration within the local art scene, at Plastic Chapel, 3109 East Colfax Avenue; sculptural and industrial works by Joroko and Brandon Kershner at the new, unmarked and anonymous Axis Gallery, 4301 Tennyson Street; a mid-run look at the outstanding Masters in Clay exhibit at Sandra Phillips Gallery, 744 Santa Fe Drive, with standout works by Paul Soldner, Martha Daniels, Maynard Tischler and others; and at the Center for Visual Art/MSCD, Substance: Diverse Practices From the Periphery, a far-ranging international exhibition that examines the link between modern design and social awareness.

But my personal favorite is just a little show: Lisa Michot's Eek! A Mouse!, at Spark Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive, features a whimsical series of works blending digital photography with Michot's trademark sculptures — in this case, a world of mouse characters created from papier-mâché. She took the tiny mice — businessmen mice and Buddhist monk mice and kayaking mice and others — and photographed them on location, from the streets of New York City to the Denver Art Museum, with myriad stops in between. And though she says she's really a shy person, Michot even began dressing as a mouse herself — her way, perhaps, of blending into the woodwork while she posed and shot the photos.

"I thought it would be a fun and humorous way to make light of modern art and of the way people are with their cell phones and hyperactivity," Michot says. "The mouse is kind of a hyper animal that way — always running." How true, though everyone's favorite grouping will surely be the "Where's Ward" series starring an itty-bitty Ward Churchill rat proselytizing in front of pertinent area sculptures.

All is forgiven. Eek! hangs on the wall at Spark through the end of September, and there's a formal reception next Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.; for details, call 720-889-2200 or visit www.sparkgallery.com.
Sept. 6-30, 2007