This week, MCA Denver turns over a spring leaf with new shows by Indigenous artists, while the nearby Emmanuel Gallery has Gregg Deal’s hard-hitting Tutse Nakoekwu (Minor Threat)
. There are shows hailing the Black experience, too, as well as Casa Bonita.
Here are the high points at local galleries this weekend:
Melanie Issaka, “Locating the Personal Contact,” photogram.
Friend of a Friend Gallery, 1115 Acoma Street, Suite 234
Through March 20
Open by appointment thereafter; email request to [email protected]
is a new group show of work by Ben Coleman, Rose Dickson, Tobias Fike, Staci Helms, Melanie Issaka and Mia Mulvey, who approach the idea of the void in singular ways. It’s a deep exhibition that will leave you feeling empty yet full, thanks to such thoughtful content as Fike’s remembrance of a deceased friend built with materials from the gravesite, Mulvey’s sculptures capturing scenes from disappearing arctic lands and Isaaka’s startling photograms of her own form. Your best bet is to come to the reception; all other showings are by appointment only.
Mi Casa Es Su Casa: Casa Bonita Art Show
Artist Liz Cooper captures the Casa Bonita gorilla for the Casa Bonita Art Show.
Next Gallery, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Through March 20
Casa Bonita is coming back, and so is Next Gallery’s Casa Bonita Art Show
, now in its fifth and possibly most important year. For 2022, the kitsch capital of West Colfax has been interpreted by more than sixty artists of all ages from Colorado and the rest of the nation, selected by jurors Dolla B, founder of the Casa Bonita Art Show
, and Casa Bonita booster and aficionado Andrew Novick.
Artist Curtis Wallace is bringing his portrait of Erykah Badu to ILA Gallery.
ILA Gallery, 209 Kalamath Street, Suite 12
Through March 6
ILA Gallery, a proudly Black-owned space, pulls together thirteen artists of color (including ILA owner Fa'al Ali) for Real Black
, a Black History Month exhibition that examines the diversity and breadth of the contemporary Black experience.
A Delicate Balance
Dylan Mortimer, “Scars to Stars.”
The Waiting Room, 3258 Larimer Street
Through March 17
The group show A Delicate Balance
goes back in time to 2006, when the School of Visual Art MFA Class in New York hung an exhibition put together by noted curator Dan Cameron at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea. One of those long-ago students happens to be Waiting Room curator Dan Drossman. What happened to the others? You might learn more at the reception: Drossman is one of fifteen artists showing recent work in a show that follows their progression as artists.
Chuck McCoy, As I See It
Jude Barton, Order & Entropy
Core New Art Space, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Through March 6
It’s a busy week at the Art Hub in Lakewood, where co-ops Core and Edge are both joining Next Gallery to launch shows that will catch some First Friday airtime in March during 40 West’s first Art Crawl of the year. Core members Chuck McCoy, a mixed-media printmaker who is pulling out some older works inspired by clouds, and Jude Barton, known for her orderly formalist canvases of geometric and architectural shapes, are feted with solo shows.
Candace Shepard, Embrace
John Horner's double whale portrait at Edge Gallery.
John Horner, Leviathan
Guest Artist Terry Decker, Gems of the West: Glimpses of Reality
Edge Gallery, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Through March 6
Edge Gallery members Candace Shepard and John Horner chip in, respectively, with abstracted paintings combining “intuitive conversations between shapes and patterns” from nature and new print works about how very different life forms develop similar organic survival strategies without any genetic connection. Guest artist Terry Decker’s pigment transfer prints demonstrate his own evolution as an artist who switched from photography to chemical-free printmaking during the pandemic.
Syncopation, a Contributing Artists Exhibition
Liz Lautrup, "With the Flow Depth of Love,” collaged paper, cold wax and oil on canvas.
Sync Gallery, 931 Santa Fe Drive
Through March 13
Sync members hand over the gallery to a group of twenty contributing artists whose work runs the gamut, in terms of style and medium. Expect landscapes, figurative compositions, abstracts and even a bit of handcrafted jewelry.
Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing With Lightning/Rivalizando con el Relámpago
Eamon Ore-Giron, "Cookin' 2," 2002, latex acrylic on canvas.
Collection of Daniel Sakaquchi and Jennifer Kapczynski, photo: Glen Cheriton, Impart Photography
Dyani White Hawk: Speaking to Relatives
MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street
Through May 22
MCA Denver just unveiled its spring exhibitions, including individual shows by Indigenous artists Eamon Ore-Giron and Dyani White Hawk. A member of the Sičáŋu Lakota who was raised outside of the culture and did not investigate her Indigenous roots until her teens, White Hawk juggles mediums — painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation — in her ten-year survey Speaking to Relatives
, addressing her personal dichotomies and conundrums with a style informed by both mid-century abstract easel painting and Indigenous handwork. Alternately, Ore-Giron’s Competing With Lightning
covers two decades of work, concluding with a splendid section of six new, large-scale geometric abstract canvases shimmering with gold mineral paint.
Gregg Deal: Tutse Nakoekwu (Minor Threat)
Emmanuel Gallery, 1205 10th Street Plaza, Auraria Campus
Through March 1
Denver-based Indigenous artist Gregg Deal
, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe
, wields his venom against white colonialists who ravaged the culture and traditions of his ancestors with a punk attitude that won’t back down. The Emmanuel Gallery offers a wide view of his tactics and personal brand of critical race theory, starting with a series of oversized comic-book panels, clothing and skate decks showing Native people laughing and flaunting power over their stereotyped white oppressors. Along with those, new works make up much of the exhibition.
Activist Deal often displays the same attitude through staged protest/performances. But in lieu of those, here he's built a pointed installation for the show: a topsy-turvy stack of wooden school chairs on a tattered stars-and-stripes rug, with their legs akimbo and sharpened like pencils with a knife, called “The Space Where Spirits Get Eaten.” It references the saga of government Indian boarding schools, where Indigenous children were forced to unlearn their culture, beginning with the cutting of their hair — a sacred reminder of one’s true identity. Hidden within the chair assemblage is a row of neatly arranged braids belonging to Deal and his twelve-year-old son. Way to drive the truth home.
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