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What will pop up next at the Special Guest installation?
What will pop up next at the Special Guest installation?
Meow Wolf

Ten Things for Art Lovers to Do and See on First Friday Weekend in Denver

High summer is here, but the galleries aren’t on vacation — though some of them do get through the dog days with lighter fare, such as affordable miniatures shows and artist-decorated skate-deck extravaganzas. But there are always enough serious shows to balance the equation, and that’s how Denver’s First Friday (and Saturday) in July hashes out. Here are ten shows worth viewing this weekend.

Corey John Horne, “Green,” 2018, acrylic and mixed media.
Corey John Horne, “Green,” 2018, acrylic and mixed media.
Corey John Horne

New Artwork by Corey John Horne
Gallery 1505, 1505 South Pearl Street
July 5 through 29
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

In 2016, self-taught Denver painter Corey John Horne returned to Colorado after a ten-year sojourn in New Mexico; he now works out of Neo Art Studios in the Art District on Santa Fe. But he’ll be unveiling a small solo show of his meditative, nature-inspired mixed-media paintings on Old South Pearl Street on First Friday, away from the big summer crowds. He’s also designed a new jewelry series, with help from jeweler and Gallery 1505 owner Katherine Spar, based on subject matter from his artworks; get a first look at the reception.

New media and more at The Unseen a new group exhibit at ReCreative Denver.
New media and more at The Unseen a new group exhibit at ReCreative Denver.
Mari Crespin

The Unseen
ReCreative Denver, 765 Santa Fe Drive
July 6 through 28
Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 6 to 10 p.m.

The Unseen Collective, a group of young women artists concerned with the problem of unconsidered experiences, will look behind the curtain of sublimation for their debut exhibition. Expect a gallery space set free by new media and think pieces when The Unseen opens at ReCreative Denver.

The artists behind Special Guest.EXPAND
The artists behind Special Guest.
Photo courtesy of CU Denver College of Arts & Media

Special Guest
Next Stage Gallery, 1025 13th Street
July 6 through December 31
Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 5 to 10 p.m.

Developed by Meow Wolf in partnership with CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media and Denver Arts & Venues, Special Guest was created by Denver artists Molly Bounds, Dmitri Obergfell, Diego Rodriguez-Warner, Laura Shill and Derrick Velasquez — a talented group that one member of the crew calls a “dream team” — to fill up an unusual space: a former storefront under a stairwell in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The resulting collaborative installation, a trippy stage and talk-show nook where cultural events from poetry readings to dance performances will eventually be scheduled, is visually surreal and armed with performance props, as well as a live street-camera feed. At this official grand opening, the sponsors will put the creative environment to the test with pop-up variety-show performances throughout the evening. Visit the Next Stage home page for additional events TBA.

Light sculpture by Zoe Stiler at Rosehouse.
Light sculpture by Zoe Stiler at Rosehouse.
Zoe Stiler

Born With a Light: Ethereal Works of Zoe Stiler
Rosehouse, 14 South Broadway
Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 7 to 9 p.m.

The moody and insanely beautiful South Broadway plant and botanicals shop Rosehouse is also a gallery, though one sometimes wonders how the staff manages to fit everything in. First Friday in July finds a new show of paintings and illuminated sculptural pieces by Zoe Stiler, inspired by stories of animals experiencing first light in a primordial forest. It’s a perfect fit for Rosehouse, so crowd in and grab a beverage for one sweet night on Broadway.

Mark Bueno, “Send Me Your Money,” 2018, vinyl sticker on wood panel.
Mark Bueno, “Send Me Your Money,” 2018, vinyl sticker on wood panel.
Mark Bueno

Mark Bueno, Sticky Bomb
Urban Space Unlimited, 864 Santa Fe Drive
Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 3 to 10 p.m.

Mark Bueno’s street-collage stickers on wood panels mash up images, symbols and text from pop culture with a sense of modern urban chaos that’s both fun and little bit overwhelming. But don’t let that stop you from stepping inside off the seething stretch of Santa Fe Drive on First Friday to have a look. As Marshall McLuhan used to say, the medium is the message.

Sarah Winkler, ”South Park, Placer Valley,” acrylic with metallic gold on panel.
Sarah Winkler, ”South Park, Placer Valley,” acrylic with metallic gold on panel.
Artwork by Bzurk

Skate Deck Art Show
Abstract, 742 Santa Fe Drive
July 6 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 6 to 10 p.m.

IndyInk’s annual skate-deck show has always been one of its most popular with the street community that frequents the screen-printing business’s retail store, Abstract. If that designation includes you, get in there to see the fly display of decks that have been, well, decked out by dozens of your favorite artists. Beer, skate videos and gaming with PlayStation's Skate & Destroy will round out the evening, as will live printing of limited-edition T-shirts sporting a “Skate Your Fate” design by Bzurk, aka Mad Tatters artist Brandan Styles.

Sarah Winkler, ”South Park, Placer Valley,” acrylic with metallic gold on panel.
Sarah Winkler, ”South Park, Placer Valley,” acrylic with metallic gold on panel.
Sarah Winkler, K Contemporary

Abend Gallery: 5X5 Project, July 7 through 31
Gallery 1261: Ways of Seeing: Mia Bergeron, Hollis
Dunlap and Zoey Frank
, July 7 through 28
K Contemporary: Sarah Winkler: Luminous Mountainous, July 7 through 28
1412 Wazee Street
Opening Receptions: Saturday, July 7, 6 to 9 p.m.

Kill three birds with one stone this weekend without stepping out of the building at 1412 Wazee Street, the shared home of Abend, 1261 and K Contemporary galleries, which are all hosting exhibit openings in LoDo on Saturday. Abend gives in to summer with a project-space exhibition of affordable paintings on five-by-five-inch wood panels, and 1261 weighs in with a trio of figurative painters; at K Contemporary, gallery artist Sarah Winkler hangs a show of new mixed-media relief (Winkler often adds materials like marble dust, gold mica flake, lava granules and pink granite to her palette) and acrylic landscapes exploring the play of light across the Rockies during such recent heavenly phenomena as super moons and the Great American Eclipse.

A work by Jaybo Monk for Analogous.
A work by Jaybo Monk for Analogous.
Jaybo Monk, Mirus Gallery

Jaybo Monk: Analogous
Mirus Gallery Denver, 1144 Broadway
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 7, 7 to 10 p.m.
Free, $10 VIP, RSVP at Eventbrite

After a couple of grand-opening group exhibits showing off the San Francisco export Mirus Gallery’s international scope, the clubby Denver newbie is now settling in with its first solo show, Analogous, featuring Berliner Jaybo Monk. Monk’s personal deconstruction as an artist is the basis for the mixture of paintings, sculpture and photography he’s rolled into an installation, bridging fine art and the street.

Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to editorial@westword.com. For more events this weekend, see our 21 Best Things to Do in Denver.

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