Staying in town over Memorial Day weekend? If an outdoor arts fest sounds tempting as a reason to step outdoors in the city, drop by the Denver Arts Festival, setting up shop on Saturday and Sunday at Stapleton’s Conservatory Green, East 49th Place and Valentia Street. Not your cup of tea? Take an art tour or welcome a new piece of public art — there’s plenty more to do in town over the holiday. Mix some gallery trips into that staycation at these five openings and art events.
Dedication Ceremony for "Woven Light,” by Catherine Widgery
Uplands Park, 5007 Willow Street in Stapleton
Thursday, May 24, 3 to 4 p.m.
Charged with creating a work of public art, artist Catherine Widgery built a beautiful, airy round room constructed with slats of pale accoya wood and dichroic glass elements to catch the interplay of light and shadows at different times of day. It’s an installation that takes advantage of the Colorado sunshine and is suitable for anyone and everyone to explore. Meet the artist and learn more about the installation; following the dedication, attendees are welcome to visit “Phantom Pavilion,” a new artwork by Volkan Alkanoglu commissioned by the Park Creek Metropolitan District at Stapleton, in nearby Prairie Basin Park.
Burns Park Public Art Tours
Burns Park, Alameda Avenue and Colorado Boulevard
Thursday, May 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 14, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Free, registration required
The story of the minimalist sculptures in Denver’s Burns Park is a fascinating piece of midcentury-modern Denver art history, though only a few of the original works remain of what was meant to be a temporary installation. They are a familiar sight to anyone driving up and down busy Colorado Boulevard at Alameda Avenue, and if you’ve wondered how they got there, Denver Public Art is hosting two space-limited tours this spring and summer, where public-art docent Rosalie Martin will tell all. Registration in advance is a must; meet at the southeast corner of the park, by the black and red sculpture.
Fruit, Flowers and Pits
Sandra Phillips Gallery, 420 West 12th Avenue
May 25 through July 1
Opening Reception: Friday, May 25, 6 to 8 p.m.
Sandra Phillips Gallery turns into a garden this summer with Fruit, Flowers and Pits, an easy-on-the-eyes group show of works depicting the botanic world by Anna Kaye, Sandra Kaplan, Susan Rubin and Sue Simon. Expect an exhibit that brings the outdoors indoors in detailed glory.
Paul Weiner, Scrawling & Mauling
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
May 25 and 26
Opening Reception: Friday, May 25, 6 to 10 p.m.
Artist Paul Weiner’s work is all about expression and process, represented by canvases layered with what he calls “a cacophony of marks,” and by assemblage work using American flags. Alto Gallery’s Raymundo Munoz says Weiner works long hours in his space at Zuni49 Studios: “He's been a studio tenant [there] for about a year now, and his studio is...well used. Virtually every surface is covered in a layer of charcoal and paint, working almost as an extension of his paintings and drawings.” Catch a look at this two-day pop-up.
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Of the Moment Performance Series: Tobias Fike and
Matthew Harris, "Pop"
Leon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue
Saturday, May 26, 7 to 10 p.m.
Leon Gallery’s ambitious five-week performance-art series Of the Moment comes to an end this Saturday with “Pop,” an absurdist grand finale by the seasoned performance team of Tobias Fike and Matthew Harris. Fike and Harris will be dueling with needle-tipped swords and inflated body parts; if loud, popping noises frighten you, you might want to wear earplugs!