Art Attack: The Dirty South and Other Delights This Weekend in Denver

George Kozmon layers photographs and tops maps for Environmental Reflections.
George Kozmon layers photographs and tops maps for Environmental Reflections. George Kozman, courtesy of Walker Fine Art
It’s a fine weekend for worthwhile shows, beginning with The Dirty South, a mammoth blockbuster about the roots of Black arts and culture, which opens Friday, September 16, with a big hullabaloo at MCA Denver. Contemporary Indigenous art is well represented by new exhibitions in Colorado Springs, DU’s Myhren Gallery and the Dairy Center for the Arts, and the Arvada Center debuts a multi-disciplinary affair that’s all about the ingenuity of process and widening the boundaries of art. A Colorado-centric biennial opening at Grasslands looks like a winner, too, with promising plans for an opening party.

Get out your calendars, art lovers. You have a lot to see!
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El Franco Lee II, “DJ Screw in Heaven 2,” 2016, acrylic on black canvas with cassette tape.
Courtesy of ©El Franco Lee II
The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse
MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street
Through February 5
Opening Celebration: Friday, September 16, 7:30 to 10 p.m., $20 to $25 ($70 to $75 VIP) in advance
The Dirty South Curator Conversation With Valerie Cassel Oliver @ The Holiday Theater, 3 p.m. Saturday, September 17, $10 MCA Denver at the Holiday Theater, 2644 West 32nd Avenue

MCA Denver brings The Dirty South, one of the nation’s most important exhibitions of 2022, to Colorado this fall. Originating at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and curated by VMFA’s Valerie Cassel Oliver, the sprawling show addresses the unrecognized Southern roots of contemporary Black culture and how they rose out of repression on the wings of music (from minstrel shows to hip-hop), the church, folk art, the landscape and the shadow of slavery and lynchings. That’s a lot to ask of one exhibition, but The Dirty South delivers — visually, aurally and viscerally, in what might be a perception-changing experience. Several events are planned during the show’s run, beginning with a curator’s talk but also including a lowrider show and a concert with the Charles Lloyd Ocean Trio.

Biome: A Queen City Biennial
Grasslands, 100 Santa Fe Drive
Biennial Grand Opening: Friday, September 16, 7 p.m.

Pot marketing and public-relations organization throws a biennial art exhibition? Why the heck not? Grasslands chose to address what it calls the Queen City’s Biome, a separate place in time and history where the mountains meet the plains, and that land has been stolen from Natives. Biome: The Queen City Biennial — juried by Lares Feliciano, Tony Ortega and Kalyn Rose Heffernan — aims to channel these truths through art. Let’s see how they do.
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Zelda Zinn rethinks the frozen Arctic for Environmental Reflections.
Zelda Zinn. courtesy of Walker Fine Art
Environmental Reflections
Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, Unit A
Friday, September 16, through November 12
Opening Reception: Friday, September 16, 5 to 8 p.m.

Walker Fine Arts' latest sextet of exhibiting artists are examining the environmental world in the usual variety of mediums and styles. For instance, photographer George Kozmon appreciates the immediacy and shapes of the landscape by layering photography and topo maps on acrylic sheets for a sense of depth, while Zelda Zinn, also a photographer, treated layers in another way, by collaging natural imagery in various materials over her stark photos of the frozen landscape of Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. Going one step beyond, Bryan Leister engages science, visuals, sound and augmented reality in his video work for the show. As you can see, this is a show about layering, landscape, looking at changes in the environments, charting weather patterns, sounds and other occurrences in the atmosphere. You’ll want to have all your senses switched on at WFA.

Creative Nations Sacred Space Opening and Homelands Native Artists Exhibition
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Homelands Opening: Friday, September 16, 6 to 8 p.m.

The Dairy Arts Center will officially open its free, permanent Creative Nations Sacred Space for Indigenous artists on Friday, when Harvey Spoonhunter, chairman of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, will present a traditional blessing at 6 p.m. Opening along with the space is an exhibition curated by Robert Martinez and Bruce Cook, showcasing works by Colorado’s Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute artists; the pair will also give a live-art demonstration during the evening.
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Ira Sherman, "Headdress."
Courtesy of Ira Sherman
Up Close and Personal With Ira Sherman
Bitfactory, 851 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, September 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $30 at Eventbrite

An exhibition of metalsmith and sculptor Ira Sherman’s fantasy contraptions and chastity belts opened at Bitfactory in August and runs through the middle of October, but if you’ve ever wanted to see how these things work, here’s your chance. Sherman will activate and demonstrate some of his wild works on Friday night, but there is a $30 price tag, and space is extremely limited.
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Make a grab for Tony Ortega's "Un Charro Muerto" at Access Gallery's 99 Pieces of Art.
Courtesy of Tony Ortega
99 Pieces of Art
Access Gallery, 909 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, September 16, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission: $9.99 at Eventbrite

Access Gallery is a wonderful place where artists of all abilities, from the differently abled to neurotypical mentors, make art year-round. The work made by Access students is seen as a gateway to becoming self-sufficient, a mission that benefits every year in September at the 99 Pieces of Art fundraiser. Presenting a trove of 10-by-10-inch works from 99 artists from Access, Denver and across the country that sell for $99 each. The benefit is a major money-maker for the nonprofit.

ArtMix 2022
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder
Friday, September 16, 6 to 9 p.m.
$125 to $300; register in advance

The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is throwing its own big benefit Friday — the annual ArtMix, a fancy party and art auction of works by more than 100 artists. Eat, drink, be merry and silently bid (or, if you opt for the VIP tickets, preview and buy a work right off the wall before the crowd is let in); the quality selection will have some art collectors foaming at the mouth.

On Edge: 2022 Annual Juried Exhibition
Edge Gallery, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, September 16, through October 2
Opening Reception: Friday, September 16, 6 to 9 p.m
The Hub at 40 West in Lakewood will be hopping on Friday, with new co-op shows galore, including Edge’s annual juried On Edge show, which is a challenge to artists to submit their very best work. Haley Richardson, director of the Dikeou Collection, juried this year’s show, which shines a lot on more than thirty Colorado artists.
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Josh Davy brings photographs of industrial sites back from the Midwest.
Courtesy of Josh Davy
Josh Davy, The Crossing Place
Natalie Smith, Lilia Todd and Tuesday Nyx, In Her Image
Next Gallery, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, September 16, through Sunday, October 2
Opening Reception: Friday, September 16, 6 to 10 p.m.

Next Gallery member Josh Davy continues his love affair with empty habitats with a series of spooky, lonely and well-composed photographs taken at industrial sites throughout the Midwest, and the sister/cousin trio of Natalie Smith, Lilia Todd and Tuesday Nyx explores that thing known as the Divine Feminine. In the Community Gallery, Next members share art inspired by the idea of contemplation.
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A portrait by Danid Karim for his show at Core New Art Space.
Courtesy of David Karim
Susie Biehl, Material World
Danid Karim, Third Time's a Charm

Core New Art Space, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, September 16, through October 2
Opening Reception: Friday, September 16, 6 to 10 p.m.
Core members Susie Biehl and Danid Karim take over at Core for the rest of September, with shows that respectively explore the wonders of creating assemblages out of found junk and the realm of traditional oil painting.

Jude Barton, John Kjos, Tom Mazzullo and Tim McKay, Point Line Plane: Works on Paper
931 Gallery, 931 Santa Fe Drive, Suite 150
Friday, September 16, through October 16
Opening Reception: Friday, September 16, 5 to 9 p.m.

Jude Barton, John Kjos, Tom Mazzullo and Tim McKay — names you may recognize from the co-op universe — join together for a group show of works on paper at 931 Gallery in the Art District on Santa Fe, where they all share an affinity for cues from architectural and graphic design.
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Valerie Savarie, "Run Rabbit Run,” altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, thread.
Courtesy of Valerie Savarie
Valerie Savarie, Miki Harder and Nicole Grosjean, Modern Mythos
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Through October 9
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
The trio of Valerie Savarie, Miki Harder and Nicole Grosjean share their love of fantasy, animals and stories for Modern Mythos, showcasing Savarie’s beautiful hand-cut book sculptures; Harder’s beloved ravens, owls and other birds and creatures; and Grosjean’s nature-inspired, wall-hung shadowboxes and sculptures.

Art on the Green
Curtis Center for the Arts, 2349 East Orchard Road
Greenwood Village
Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Take advantage of fall’s sunny September days and go art browsing at Art on the Green, the Curtis Center’s annual all-Colorado art fair, with live music, food trucks and cool drinks. If you’re there on Saturday, duck into the center to see the new show Recombobulation, a fun exhibition of found-object assemblage works.

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Mami Ikeda interprets music for the Arvada Center's One Sheet exhibition.
Courtesy of Mami Ikeda
One Sheet: Wood, Paper, Music
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Through November 13
The Arvada Center showcases the variety of art made in Colorado in a new way with One Sheet: Wood, Paper, Music, an exhibition with a simple but intriguing concept. More than sixty artists were issued a choice of three different surfaces to work with: a sheet of ¾-inch, 4-by-8-foot unfinished baltic birch veneer plywood; a sheet of 50-by-50-inch Stonehenge acid-free white 90-pound paper; or a sheet of large-format, 16-by-26-inch, fifty-stave staff paper. Each artist was free to use that surface as they pleased, working in one of three thematic categories: wood, paper or music, the last a wild-card genre that made room for musicians — including composer Nathan Hall, guitarist Janet Feder, reed-man Mark Harris and others — to join the fray. Further insights in each work will be available through an online audio tour for each section. This show promises to be 100 percent pure fun for everyone!
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Cara Romero, ”3 SISTERS,” limited-edition archival fine-art photograph. Printed by the artist on Legacy Platine paper.
Courtesy of Cara Romero
Transformative Power: Indigenous Feminisms
Vicki Myhren Gallery, 2121 East Asbury Avenue
Through November 27
Rebecca Belmore Artist Talk: Monday, October 3, 6 to 7 p.m.
Rebecca Belmore Performance: Thursday, October 6, 5 p.m.

Indigenous art exhibitions continue to fill the Front Range, this time at the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery, where Transformative Power: Indigenous Feminisms takes the politics of marginalized communities into feminist territory through art by female-identifying Indigenous artists. The result is an edifying and empowering vision of society unchained by white ideology, as the artist re-evaluate views of native politics, economics, land-based values, language loss, the body and sexuality, historical narratives and popular culture.
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Sage Deal and Gregg Deal, “Invisible Loss Movement” (performed in the summer of 2008).
Courtesy of Gregg Deal
Gregg Deal, Esoo Tubewade Nummetu (This Land Is Ours)
Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs
Through December 11
Take Back the Power Concert: downtown Colorado Springs, Friday, September 23, 5:30 to 8 p.m.,  Peak Avenue and Tejon Street, free
Visiting Artists & Critics Lecture: Gregg Deal, Tuesday, October 11, 6 to 7 p.m., Chapman Recital Hall, Ent Center, free, register here
Gregg Deal, who’s become Colorado’s Native artist ambassador as his searing, eloquent and satirical exhibitions travel the Front Range, resurfaces this week at the Ent Center at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, with Esoo Tubewade Nummetu (This Land Is Ours). The show hinges on Deal’s prevailing distaste for romantic stereotypes and perceived Native invisibility. The Indigenous community hasn’t faded away. They live wholly in the modern world, yet they also haven’t let go of key traditions that still center their lives. Deal will also host a politically charged concert in downtown Colorado Springs later this month and expound further on his points during a lecture in October.

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