Art By Numbers

In the early ’90s, Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist first orchestrated the recurring exhibit do it, for which local participants choose a project from a manual of instructions created by a roster of internationally known artists. The local artists then interpret the projects, filtering them through their own sensibilities. Since then, do it has been reinterpreted many times over, with more than 200 realizations in galleries and museums around the world; you can even participate from home, using an online version at

This open-ended study on human interpretation comes to the metro area tonight when a distinguished group of 33 artists, most of them from Colorado, exhibit the results of their own do it experiments at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design’s Philip J. Steele Gallery. Artist Nick Silici, for instance, plans to cover his body with graphite and leave his impressions on the wall for an installation suggested by instruction from Bruce Nauman; other contributions will range from strange contraptions and wall murals to musical performances and video projections. According to gallery director Cortney Stell, the only rules each artist must adhere to are these: “They must install the work by May 6, 2011, and they have to dismantle or destroy artwork at the close of the exhibition.” Ashes to ashes, then — but documentation is allowed.

Attend the opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight at the gallery, 1600 Pierce Street on the RMCAD campus; do it will remain on view there through July 29. Get information at
May 6-July 29, 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd