Eight Arty Things to Do on First Friday Weekend in Denver

Ryan Rice is back with a new solo show in RiNo.
Ryan Rice is back with a new solo show in RiNo. Ryan Rice
When First Friday and December collide, expect to get some holiday shopping done for your artiest friends as you graze the galleries. But you'll also find more than small, affordable works in the mix, including big experiments and deep musings. Try these on for size:

Poster concept by Kevin Netz
[For Lease]
Former Hollywood Video space, 6759 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, December 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

The now-vacant Hollywood Video space in the magical shadow of Casa Bonita is, for the moment, a temporary 40 West Arts District exhibit venue, where [For Lease], a pop-up, site-specific performance by the team of Tobias Fike and Jeff Page, with installations by Carin Rodenborn, Marsha Mack and Shayna Cohn, will take over on the First Friday in December. See what artists can do in a malleable space, free from the strictures of gallery walls.

click to enlarge 40 WEST GALLERY
40 West Gallery
Crash: Crazy, Radical, Awesome, Show
Under $100 Wall
40 West Gallery
December 1 through 30
Opening Reception: Friday, December 1, 5 to 8 p.m.

As Lakewood’s 40 West picks up speed as the fastest-growing gallery enclave in metro Denver, First Friday is becoming an event that could soon rival the monthly hubbub on Santa Fe Drive. Check out [For Lease] (as mentioned above), then make your way west to the arts-district hub, 40 West Gallery, 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood, for the open-entry Crash: Crazy, Radical, Awesome, Show and a holiday-friendly Under $100 Wall for gift shopping. Allison Cohn, the $1 Poet, will also be in the house, typing up off-the-cuff poems for all takers. Looking for some holiday sparkle? Decorative-arts wizard Lonnie Hanzon has crafted a gorgeous sixteen-foot Christmas tree that will light up officially between 6 and 8 p.m. on the Lamar Station Plaza, 6501 to 6791 West Colfax Avenue, to the tune of merry carolers.

click to enlarge MELON GALLERY
Melon Gallery
Melon Gallery, 200 Galapago Street
Friday, December 1, 6 to 11 p.m.

Galleries in homes, basements and apartments? It’s a growing thing in Denver. Add Melon to the list. Artist couple Annie Carlson and Victor Machado, newcomers to Denver, invite folks into their Baker neighborhood gallery/hideaway for Isolate, a contemporary photography exhibit curated by Kaleigh Coleman of the Pollux art zine and showcasing work by David Clay Bridges, Sarah Fukami, Chris Moody, Alex Norelli and George P. Perez. Let’s get this revolution going!

From the Mud
Tenn Street Coffee & Books, 4418 Tennyson Street
December 1 through January 28
Opening Reception: Friday, December 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

EvB Studio's Mud Club, a loose aggregation of experimenting artists who gather and work together every Wednesday night at the studio of clay-artist extraordinaire Marie Gibbons, go public with their creations once a year in an annual exhibit at Tenn Street Coffee. This year’s Mud Club offering, From the Mud, makes for a stunning holiday sale, with fresh ceramic treasures from nine distinct points of view.

High Fives and Handshakes: F. E. Toan
Lowbrow Denver, 38 Broadway
December 1 through 11
Opening Reception: Friday, December 1, 5 to 9 p.m
Leading up to its holiday Pintastic show, Lowbrow’s throwing a series of artist pop-ups this month, including this delightful takeover by inventive fiber artist F. E. Toan, who will paper the walls with squeezably plush hands and plucky woven digits. Fist bump for Lowbrow!

click to enlarge ZIP 37 GALLERY
Zip 37 Gallery
Zip 37 Holiday Show
Zip 37 Gallery, 3644 Navajo Street
December 1 through 17
Opening Reception: Friday, December 1, 6 to 10 p.m.

Hang out with the Zip 37 gang for the opening of the co-op’s grassroots holiday sale — a Navajo Street artists’ old home week, always packed with affordable works by some of Denver’s long-lived favorites. The show runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for three weeks, but hit opening night for the best selection.

Ryan Rice: Double Entendre
West and Main Homes, 2632 Blake Street
Friday, December 1, 6 to 9 p.m.
December 1 through January 28

Denver fixture Ryan Rice wields a paintbrush with a sense of humor and a pop-art eye, throwing down visual jokes on canvas in a style unmistakably his own. After shutting down his Tennyson Street storefront studio last summer, Rice is back for a rare show, with a fresh batch of new portrait work, as well as a selection of the pop stuff we all know and love, at the West and Main Homes downtown office in RiNo.

click to enlarge LANE MEYER PROJECTS
Lane Meyer Projects
Born to Run
Lane Meyer Projects, 2528 Walnut Street
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 2, 6 to 10 p.m.

Driven in spirit by Bruce Springsteen’s classic anthem “Born to Run,” this exhibit muses on how artists continue to explore and move forward with their work in locked-down times like these. Curated by Brooke Tomiello and jam-packed with an international cast of artists doing their thing in the face of political adversity, the exhibit is a breath of fresh air that might help get us all through the winter: Tramps like us? Baby, we were born to run….

See Westword’s calendar listings for more art events and openings.
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Contact: Susan Froyd