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New Frontiers

Ask Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art associate curator Petra Sertic what’s special about a trio of shows opening today, and she’ll tell you straight up: “Everything.” A mixed bag of shows by two strong artists with local ties — Tony Ortega and Gary Sweeney — and a collaborative exhibition focusing on wearable art made from recycled materials, they all kick off tonight at BMoCA with a public reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Ortega takes on the issues of immigration in his Mi Frontera Es Su Frontera in a variety of drawing and print mediums, but Sertic says the show’s pièce de résistance is a site-specific (and magnificent) mural created in the galleries with help from Boulder students. And though Sweeney, best known here as the creator of DIA’s popular America, Why I Love Her two-panel tourist-trap map, now lives in San Antonio, his ties to the area are tight, and the theme of his Humor and Pathos installations at BMoCA also surreptitiously crisscross the borders of immigration topics. “His work is humorous, but it also has a dark undertone, and he often points his finger right where it hurts,” notes Sertic, referring to such works as a neon-lit installation of a motel room and an outdoor mosaic made with cups inserted into a chain link fence in nearby Boulder Central Park. Even the UPCYCLED show weighs in on the American dream, with such entries as a “wearable shelter” for use while sleeping in the streets.

All three exhibits continue at BMoCA, 1750 13th Street, Boulder, through September 5; for details, go to or call 303-443-2122.
June 11-Sept. 5, 2010


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