Art Attack: Holiday Shopping, Tony Ortega and One Man's Search for Stuff

Tony Ortega, “El Acordeonista,” “El Jarabe Tapatio” and “El Danzante Mexica con Tambor,” both acrylic and collage on panel.
Tony Ortega, “El Acordeonista,” “El Jarabe Tapatio” and “El Danzante Mexica con Tambor,” both acrylic and collage on panel. Tony Ortega, courtesy of William Havu Gallery
Denver gallery openings have yet to slow in December, with fascinating new shows like Joel Haertling’s To Have and to Hoard at Canyon Gallery in Boulder and such landmarks as Tony Ortega’s anniversary exhibit at William Havu Gallery, where he’s been part of the stable for an incredible forty years. Add in holiday shopping and gallery hopping at co-ops, rock music-related shows in Loveland and a multi-arts mashup at the Evans School, and this is one arty-party weekend.

We’ve got the details, if you’ve got the time.

Critical Commons: The State of Art Criticism in the Southwest
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
Friday, December 9, 6 to 8 p.m.
Free, RSVP at Eventbrite

Art critics can be harsh, yet artists clamor to hear their voices. That’s because the best art criticism recognizes trends, foresees the future and puts artists in their place in positive and negative ways, offering both a measuring stick and historical context. For that reason, RedLine and Southwest Contemporary magazine are presenting a panel comprising critics, curators, writers and artists working in the Southwest to size up regional criticism. Expect it to be lively.
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Joel Haertling, the collector's collector, gets a show at Canyon Gallery.
Photo: Sarah Chesnutt
Joel Haertling, To Have and to Hoard
Canyon Gallery, Boulder Public Library, 1056 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder
Friday, December 9, through February 5
Walkabout with Joel Haertling: Thursday, January 19, noon to 1 p.m.
Maybe you know Joel Haertling as the son of late Boulder architect Charles Haertling. Maybe you remember this cohort of filmmaker Stan Brakhage from his long stint as the director and curator of the Boulder Public Library’s film program. Or perhaps you simply spotted him at a garage sale and wondered what he did with all that stuff he bought there. That question is at least partially answered by the BPL’s new exhibit To Have and to Hoard, a small cross-section of Haertling’s immense collection of objects that he’s obtained and studiously catalogued in a variety of Boulder storage spaces. Andrew Novick, a collector of stuff himself, worked with Haertling over the summer to curate the condensed showcase, and is also fundraising to make a film about Haertling (learn more at Meet at the gallery for a personal walkabout with the collector on January 19.
Lola Montejo, “The Sweetness and Sharpness in the Air,” oil on canvas.
Lola Montejo, care of William Havu Gallery
Tony Ortega, Chicanarte de Aztlán
Lola Montejo, New Paintings

William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street
Friday, December 9, through January 21
Opening Reception: Friday, December 9, 5 to 8 p.m.
Havu Gallery lights up for the holiday season by celebrating artist Tony Ortega’s fortieth year of representation by William Havu, with new works that show off his instantly recognizable, ever-evolving visuals inspired by everyday people and Chicano roots and culture. On the mezzanine, Spanish painter Lola Montejo, who’s had a busy year with a solo exhibition at the Arvada Center, shows a new set of her stylish gestural abstract paintings that could’ve blown in on a breeze from a seaside village in Spain.
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Rocker John Mellencamp's 1979 self-portrait.
John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp: Painting and Assemblages
Through February 12
The Lost Rock and Roll Negatives of Michael Friedman
Friday, December 9, through January 29
Loveland Museum, 503 North Lincoln Avenue, Loveland
Opening Receptions: Friday, December 9, 6 to 8 p.m.

The Loveland Museum goes with a pop-music theme with an exhibition of artwork by Midwestern Americana rocker John Mellencamp, which opened quietly in November, and a brand-new show of vintage rock-and-roll photography by former music publicist Michael Friedman. In conjunction with Loveland’s monthly Night on the Town event, the museum will waive admission at an opening reception for both shows, showing off Mellencamp’s portraits inspired by German Expressionists like Otto Dix and Max Beckmann, and Friedman’s photos, retrieved from a recently rediscovered lost stash of negatives dating back to the late ’60s and ’70s. Mellencamp will not be present, but you can hear Friedman speak about his work before the reception at 5 p.m., followed by a talk about Mellencamp’s oeuvre by Randy Hoffman of Hoffman Entertainment Inc. Learn more about Night on the Town here.

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A sampling of work from Edge's Blue Light Special holiday show.
Courtesy of Edge Gallery
Blue Light Special: Edge Members Show
Edge Gallery, 40 West Art Hub, 6501 West Colfax, Lakewood
Friday, December 9, through December 18
Opening Reception: Friday, December 9, 6 to 9 p.m.
Edge members go small and affordable for this art-shopping show of cash-and-carry work mainly priced under $200 that, as Edge proclaims, “won’t break the bank.” Art makes a wonderful gift.
Steve Morrell, "Study of a Water Gun,"oil on walnut burl veneer.
Courtesy of Core New Art Space
Kandy Kultur
Core New Art Space, 40 West Hub, 6501 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, December 9, through December 23
Opening Reception: Friday, December 9, 5 to 10 p.m.
Core hosts the open juried show Kandy Kultur, an exhibition ruled by pop culture and the underground art world, where subgenres like anime and manga, lowbrow, pop-surreal, street art, graffiti art, comic art and all kinds of sub-sub-divisions lurk. It’s a grab bag of art by all sorts of artists, from young ones dreaming of seeing their work on a gallery wall to more well-known ones working in the local and co-op communities. Because after all, it’s a free country, isn’t it? (Full disclosure: I was the juror for this show.)
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See Melody Epperson's encaustic artworks at Next Gallery's Winter Art Market.
Melody Epperson
Winter Art Market
Next Gallery, 40 West Hub, 6051 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, December 9, through January 1
Opening Reception: Friday, December 9, 6 to 10 p.m.

Next joins some of its neighbors in the Hub at 40 West in hosting a holiday show with affordable works by twenty artists for gift-giving. With any luck, you can finish your holiday shopping right there at the Hub.
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Art by Janice McCullough for Holy Moly.
Janice McCullough
Holy Moly, What’s Next?
Niza Knoll Gallery, 915 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, December 9, through January 14
Artist Reception: Friday, December 16, 5 to 8 p.m.

Knoll’s annual Holy Moly show delves into events of the year with artist renditions addressing the future and what it might look like. The results, juried by Susan Aplin Pogue and Florence Blackwell of Magpie Arts Collection, are all over the board — positive, negative and in between — but they might give viewers an idea of what kinds of issues we’ll all be experiencing in the year to come.
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A consideration of the circle of life by Suzanne Savoy.
Suzanne Savoy
Suzanne Savoy, This Fragile Existence
Medusa Collective, 7140 Hooker Street, Westminster
Friday, December 9, 6 to midnight

Savoy’s exhibition This Fragile Existence is tied up in her memories of growing up with a mother who collected roadkill and had it taxidermied to display in their house. It was a lesson in the cycle of life for Savoy, enabling her to better understand the workings of nature, which sometimes seem cruel, yet beautiful at other times. For this show, Savoy created several mixed-media collaborations with other artists, and the one-night affair will be a party with live music and a painting raffle.

Multi-Disciplinary Evening of Art and Literature
Evans School Building, first floor, 1115 Acoma Street (use 11th Street door)
Saturday, December 10, 8 p.m.

Get a taste for the avant-garde when artist Joshua Ware gathers together poet Tony Mancus, who will launch his new book All the Ordinariness; CU-Boulder experimental filmmaker and new-media artist Jeanne Liotta and video artist Jim Supanik, who are collaborating on a projection performance; and Adán De La Garza, who will contribute a sound performance, at the Evans School on Saturday night.
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Chris Hoehle, “Ripples Ensayos no. 4,” claro walnut, curly maple, stainless steel; and Christi Palitto, “Interwoven,” acrylic on wood.
Chris Hoehle and Christi Palitto
Radiant Grain: Chris Hoehle and Christi Palitto
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Friday, December 9, Through January 8
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 10, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Closing Reception: Friday, January 6, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Wood-turner Chris Hoehle and Christi Palitto, who paints patterns on wood, pair up for the show Radiant Grain, opening Friday at Valkarie Gallery. Shows by mixed-media painter David Perrea and ceramics artist Mike Keene continue, and there's also an ongoing gallery artists’ show.
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David Walker, "Yuli (Pose 3)."
David Walker
Black Book Gallery, 3878 South Jason Street, Englewood
Saturday, December 10, 7 to 11 p.m.

Expect a landfall of art by big names in the urban art world at the one-night IRL party for Work at Black Book. Besides the art, the free evening includes live music by FaceMan.
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David Stallings, “Missouri Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness,” oil on canvas.
David Stallings
Holiday Fine Arts Festival and Open House
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
Saturday, December 10, through December 24
Open House: Saturday, December 10, 4 to 8 p.m.
Art Gym member artists will be all in for the annual holiday-ready Fine Arts Festival, with an art market set up throughout the building. Beyond the open house, a members' show continues through Christmas Eve.

Holiday Mercado
CHAC Gallery, 1560 Teller Street, Lakewood
Saturday, December 10, noon to 4 p.m.
Find gifts and have a look at CHAC’s beautiful Santos exhibition during an afternoon Holiday Mercado, showing off handiwork and religious art by member artists.
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Celebrate the holidays at Bonacquisti with Chicano painter Daniel Luna.
Daniel Luna
Daniel Luna Art Show
Bonacquisti Wine, 4640 Pecos Street, Unit 1
Saturday, December 10, noon to 4 p.m.
Free, RSVP at Eventbrite

Denver's Daniel Luna, who is known for his whimsical paintings telling stories of regional Chicano life, food and traditions, also happens to be the artist whose work appears on the labels of locally made Bonacquisti wines. A couple of times a year, Luna has a show of paintings (and in the spring, his hand-painted flowerpots) at the winery. Check out the holiday edition this weekend at the welcoming winery; admission is free, but food and drink are not.

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