Art News

Art Attack: First Friday Welcomes the Spirits of Día de los Muertos

Sean O’Meallie, “The Rainbow Balloon III,” 2022, painted wood. Kreiser Gallery, Colorado Springs.
Sean O’Meallie, “The Rainbow Balloon III,” 2022, painted wood. Kreiser Gallery, Colorado Springs. Courtesy of Sean O'Meillie
October’s First Friday is a grand harvest of every art crop imaginable. Co-ops and their arts-district allies are bustin’ out in Lakewood, and the spirits of Día de los Muertos are beginning to creep out of the underworld. Big galleries, tiny galleries and perhaps galleries you didn’t even know existed are all opening shows on this magical night.

Do yourself a favor and visit them. We’ve collected a cornucopia of places to start.
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Mosaic art in the spotlight at the PACE Center.
Courtesy of Parker Arts
Mosaics: Outside of the Box
PACE Center Art Gallery, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker
Through November 15
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 6, 6 to 8 p.m., free, RSVP here

Mosaics are art’s little puzzles, but making them is not a game. It takes precision and an eye for color and shape, as members of Colorado Mosaic Artists will agree, and their show opening this week at the PACE Center Art Gallery is proof. Mosaics: Outside the Box was a challenge to contemporize the ancient art form by using new materials, compositions and techniques. The 22-artist exhibition opens Thursday with a free reception, complete with live music and a fall-like apple nacho bar.

Quantity of Life: Nature/Supernature
Canyon Gallery, Boulder Public Library, Main, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, and Meadows branch, 4800 Baseline Road, Boulder
Thursday, October 6, through November 27
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 14, 6 to 7 p.m.

Canyon Gallery’s new exhibition, Quantity of Life, focuses on a world of imagery by seven regional artists reaching for the unseen qualities of nature. The peaceful, whimsical and spiritual vibes mingling on the gallery walls make this walk on the wild side a deeply personal journey.
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Artist Cal Duran puts finishing touches on his Día de los Muertos altar for Breckenridge Creative Arts.
Courtesy of the artist
Recuerdos: Weaving the Dream
Old Masonic Hall, 136 South Main Street, Breckenridge
Thursday, October 6, through November 13
Opening Reception: Friday, October 14, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (artist talk at 7 p.m.)

Chicano Humanities and Arts Council artists Cal Duran, Arlette Lucero and the late Stevon Lucero pay respect to — and from — the dead through their artwork for the annual Breckenridge Creatives Arts Día de los Muertos celebration next week, mixing a spectacular altar installation by Duran, Tummy Tales, illustrations by Arlette Lucero and a display of Stevon Lucero’s iconic paintings at the creative district’s Old Masonic Hall gallery. Duran, who works in clay, papier-mâché and mixed media, is in the midst of creating nine altars this year for different displays around the region — he’s that much in demand during the Día de los Muertos season.
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Anuar Maauad shares 3-D printed large-scale models of self-portraits made by community members at Black Cube.
Courtesy of Anuar Maauad and GAVLAK Gallery
Anuar Maauad, WE ARE BODIES (The Archeology Files)
Black Cube Headquarters, 2925 South Umatilla Street, Englewood
Friday, October 7, through February 10
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
Public hours by appointment after the reception

Returning Black Cube resident artist Anuar Maauad is back to be a part of the reopening of the nomadic art museum’s Englewood headquarters, which has been closed since the pandemic hit in 2020. This time the Mexican artist, who worked with Denver residents to create clay self-images in March, has blown their small works up to large-scale sizing using 3-D printing. Note that after the reception, viewing will be by appointment only; sign up for a time at the link listed above.
Get in the spirit of Día de los Muertos with CHAC at Northglenn Arts.
Courtesy of CHAC
Día de los Muertos: Celebration of Life & Death
Friday, October 7, through November 29
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6 to 9 p.m.

It would seem as though CHAC owns Día de ls Muertos in this town, with all the CHAC-sponsored shows popping up at various locations, but this Day of Dead exhibition is just part of the arts gallery and organization’s ongoing partnership with Northglenn Arts. Curated by Lucille Rivera and Angela Ramirez, the exhibition is just one example of CHAC’s wonderful outpouring of seasonal artwork.
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Sean O’Meallie, “Mr. Breezy Says Nothing,” 2022, painted wood.
Courtesy of Sean O'Meillie
Sean O’Meallie, Tree Saw Paint
Kreuser Gallery, 125 East Boulder Street, Colorado Springs
Friday, October 7, through October 28
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 5 to 9 p.m.

Any opportunity to see recent work by Colorado Springs wood sculptor Sean O’Meallie is a very good day for arts on the Front Range, given that his witty one-of-a-kind output is simply world-class, inimitably crafted and pun-tastic. Perhaps it's a good time to venture south to the Springs on First Friday in October, where O’Meillie’s show Tree Saw Paint opens at Kreuser Gallery. It will put a smile on your face. Kreiser will also be showing new works by Tanner Valant, and if you stop into G44, right next door, new shows by Karen Khoury, who creates textural abstract acrylic works, and landscapist Meghan Wilbar are also opening. Find more info on First Friday in downtown Colorado Springs online.
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Michael Ash Smith, “shrouded three,” 2022, photograph; Konica film, Rollei 2.8 camera, giclee print on Hahnemuhle 310gsm cotton rag paper.
Courtesy of the artist
Michael Ash Smith, shrouded
Bell Projects, 2822 East 17th Avenue
Friday, October 7, through October 30
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6 to 10 p.m
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Photographer Michael Ash Smith has made a whole career out of coverups: He bought a length of diaphanous cloth to drape over figures, which he photographed and exhibited in a round of themed shows addressing different aspects of the human condition. Shrouded wraps up the series with a directive to find your own feelings and secret digressions in the imagery.
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800 drawing by Terry Campbell debut at Dateline Gallery.
Courtesy of the artist
Fleeting Reverie: The Spooky Drawings of Terry Campbell
Dateline Gallery, 3004 Larimer Street
Friday, October 7, through October 31
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6 to 11 p.m.

Terry Campbell’s show Fleeting Revery is derived from weeks in pandemic lockdown, when he lost his studio space and moved into a minimal apartment where he couldn’t store his usual large figurative paintings. Some 800 drawings later, Campbell uses these as small visual clues and crime scenes to channel his anxiety as a shut-in. But can you follow the story? Bring your Sherlock caps to Dateline and solve the mystery.
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A flower blossom photographed by Merhia Wiese.
Courtesy of the artist
Disability Pride and the Arts
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
Friday, October 7, through October 30
Opening Celebration: Friday, October 7, 5 to 9 p.m.
Closing Reception and Performance by Spoke N Motion: Saturday, October 29, noon to 4 p.m.
Understudy throws an unusual curveball in October with Disability Pride and the Arts, an exhibition showcasing the artistic Wiese family — mother Merhia and children Elliott and Maggie, who all live with disabilities, as well as visually challenged artist Luanne Burke. More than an art show, Disability Pride and the Arts advocates for artists with challenges by humanizing them through their works. Don’t miss the October 29 closing performance by Spoke N Motion, a dance company that choreographs for people with and without disabilities, allowing for movements by dancers in wheelchairs.

Kevin Beatty, Denverite Presents Denverites
Leon Gallery, 1117 East 17th Avenue
Friday, October 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, October 8, noon to 6 p.m.; Sunday, October 9, noon to 5 p.m.

Prize-winning local photojournalist Kevin Beaty has been knocking the people beat out of the park for the online news outlet Denverite for the past six years (he did some work for Westword before that). Now Denverite and Colorado Public Radio have teamed up to sponsor a pop-up show of his best work at Leon Gallery. Catch the three-day show before it’s too late, or you’ll miss some beautiful views of life in Denver.
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Remember the golden age of "boom bap" hip-hop at ILA Gallery.
Courtesy of the artist
Mac M1ghty and the Bboy Factory, Sonic Shadows
ILA Gallery, 209 Kalamath Street, Suite 12
Friday, October 7, through October 23
Opening Celebration: Friday, October 7, 7 to 10 p.m.

ILA Gallery pays tribute to the early “boom bap” days of hip-hop with the debut of Sonic Shadows, a photography series by Matt McDonald (aka Mac M1ghty) and Ian Flaws of Denver’s Bboy Factory that will get folks all teary-eyed over that golden age on the cusp of high-tech music production. DJ A-What will spin the OG classics while Bboy Factory hosts a live cypher showcase.

Leo Franco and Louis Recchia
Guest Artist Lin Takeuchi

Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, October 7, through October 23
Opening Celebration: Friday, October 7, 6 to 10 p.m.

Leo Franco and Louis Recchia bring new work in their trademark styles to Pirate: Franco’s hardwood, metal and acrylic geometric sculptural compositions, and Recchia’s distinctive (and long-beloved) pop-art paintings, while invited guest Lin Takeuchi offers small process-perfect mixed-media abstract works. Expect an all-around good-looking show.
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Samual Smith, "Yearbook."
Courtesy of Samuel Smith
Earl Chuvarsky, Ghosts of Old Denver Part I
Sam Smith, A Crime Against Humanity

Core New Art Space, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, October 7, through October 23
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 5 to 10 p.m
Closing Reception: Friday, October 21, 5 to 10 p.m.

At Core, Earl Chuvarsky contributes color-splashed pop-art Colorado portraits and views, and Sam Smith kicks in some equally colorful and pointed works commenting on the school shootings in Uvalde, Texas, while adding assemblage and readymades to his visual arsenal. Let’s just say his satire is on target.

Kay D. Galvan, Mind’s Play
Heather Hauptman, Penumbra
Katherine Johnson, Inside / Outside
Nolan Tredway, Glitches and Ghosts
Edge Gallery, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, October 7, through October 23
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6 to 9 p.m

Edge also opens a new slate of shows for First Friday, with work by a quartet of associate members: Kay Galvan’s shadowy abstracts, Heather Hauptman’s pandemic art and Katherine Johnson’s mark-making, while Nolan Tredway’s Glitches and Ghosts, with a title that says it all, is about work inspired by the invasion of AI on the human touch.

Georgia Padilla, Reflections
Virginia T Coleman, Memories
Next Gallery, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, October 7, through October 23
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6 to 10 p.m

Next Gallery joins the First Friday festivities with shows by Georgia Padilla, who contemplates the meaning of things we do by rote and how much we should pay attention to them, and the sculptor Virginia T. Coleman, who says her work has changed in the last year, leading to experimentation with new mediums and materials.
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Karen Watkins, "Broaden," Acrylic on wood panel.
Courtesy of Karen Watkins
Valerie Savarie, Miki Harder and Nicole Grosjean: Modern Mythos and Magical Mystery Minis
Guest Artist, Karen Watkins, through October 30
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood,
Artist Reception: Friday, October 7, 5 to 8:30 p.m

Valkarie Gallery greets First Friday with comings and goings: Guest artist Karen Watkins introduces her new little fantasies with an opening, and the trio of Valerie Savarie, Miki Harder and Nicole Grosjean close their show, Modern Mythos, with a one-night addition of new small works for affordable last-minute purchases.

Connie Haggerty, April Mullens, Greg Carlin and Stephanie M, A Scary Cute First Friday
Mint & Serif / All Its Own, 7310 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, October 7, 6 to 10 p.m

40 West coffeehouse Mint & Serif and the in-house shop All Its Own team up to present A Scary Cute First Friday, a sweet DIY makers' show that’s exactly what it sounds like, with smiling monsters, knitted creatures and more.

Kayla Raine, Infinite boundaries: A physical language
People’s Building, 9995 East Colfax Avenue
Opening Cocktail Hour: Friday, October 7, 5 p.m

On the opposite end of Colfax from 40 West, the People’s Building’s monthly First Friday art opening showcases work by painter and photographer Kayla Raine, who currently favors experimentation with abstraction in both disciplines.

Drew Nelson, dNphoto 2.0
RPO Framing & Gallery, 1588 South Pearl Street
Friday, October 7, 6 to 9 p.m

RPO’s Robert Platz says Drew Nelson’s work is so popular that he can’t keep it in stock. Is it the handmade rustic frames that make the art so good? Decide for yourself. It’s always a party on Pearl on Friday Friday
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Jean Emmons, “Eggplants,” 2020, watercolor on vellum.
Courtesy of ©Jean Emmons
Abundant Future: Cultivating Diversity in Garden, Farm and Field
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street
Friday, October 8, through January 16

Think all botanical illustration is old-fashioned? That’s not necessarily the case. See the cutting edge of the genre in this American Society of Botanical Artists showcase from the New York Botanical Garden’s Triennial collaboration. These works deal specifically with the slow curtailment of biological diversity in crops by big agriculture, through images of the plant variety we’re in danger of losing.
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Collaborative art by the Chameleon Collective.
Courtesy of the Chameleon Collective
Chameleon Collective, Chronometry
Blue Tile Gallery, 3944 South Broadway, Englewood
Saturday, October 8, through October 29
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 8, 5 to 9 p.m

Blue Tile welcomes the eleven teaching artists who form the Chameleon Collective for this group exhibition of works created individually or collaboratively on the theme of Chronometry, or the science of time-keeping. It’s part of a larger mural project for the Blue Tile building, as well as a fundraiser, Murals and Mason Jars, that will run parallel to the show opening and provides an opportunity for kids to paint a mural, too.

Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to [email protected].
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