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Art of the State 2019 Puts Colorado Artists on Full Display

Robin Hextrum's "Rhino," for Art of the State 2019.
Robin Hextrum's "Rhino," for Art of the State 2019.
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Just three jurors had the monumental task of reviewing over 1,555 pieces from 566 Colorado artists for Art of the State 2019, a showcase of the best of Colorado art, which opens at the Arvada Center tonight, January 17, at 6 p.m.

Ultimately, the pool was slimmed down to 135 artists from across Colorado, everywhere from Denver to Glenwood Springs and Paonia. This is the third time that the Arvada Center has hosted the triennial event that began in 2013. This year's show covers three galleries and over 10,000 square feet.

Collin Parson, director of galleries and curator for the Arvada Center, juried the exhibit, along with Joy Armstrong, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and Daisy McGowan, director and chief curator at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

"Jurors completed a first round of jurying on their own, due to the large number of submissions," says Parson, while the final selections were made as a group. "Much thought and discussion went into making this an exhibition that exemplifies the high-quality and diverse nature of the work being created in the state."

Lara Whitley's glass installation "Home," for Art of the State 2019.
Lara Whitley's glass installation "Home," for Art of the State 2019.

Emerging and established artists from around Colorado submitted works in a wide variety of media, including wood, metal, bronze, acrylic, oil, watercolor, fiber, printmaking, photography, video and more.

"We have a video game created by artist team Bearwarp that uses everyday appliances such as an alarm clock, lamp, hair dryer and answering machine as the controller," explains Parson. "Each time you flip a switch or push a button, something different happens in the game."

Other installation artists of note include Denver's Jodi Stuart, a resident at Redline Contemporary Art Center, who uses 3-D pens to create large sculptures; Nicole Banowetz, whose inflatable sculptures are also currently on display at the Denver Art Museum; and Aspen resident Lara Whitley, who repurposed shards of antique glass to create an installation in the shape of a house.

Most of the artists will gather for the January 17 opening celebration of Art of the State 2019, which will wrap up with an awards ceremony. Additional events will run concurrently with the show through March 31.

"The purpose of the exhibition is to give a snapshot of the quality, depth and diversity of art in Colorado," says Parson. "We plan on hosting Art of the State 2022, and hope it continues to grow and evolve as much as the art and artists do in Colorado."

Art of the State opens at 6 p.m. Thursday, January 17, and runs through March 31, at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard. Find more information at arvadacenter.org, or call 720-898-7200.

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