Denver galleries are slowly joining the band of small businesses cautiously reopening their doors, even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. But there will be some new ground rules as a result: Protective face masks will be a requirement, so don’t even think of entering your favorite temple of art without one; galleries will be following disinfecting protocols; and patron entry is likely to be limited, in order to observe proper social distancing. Different galleries are dealing with this in different ways: Some require reservations or timed tickets, while others are simply policing the number of people who can be in the space at one time.
But really, observing these guidelines is a small price to pay in order to see art as it should be seen, right in front of your eyes. And after two months of lockdown, visiting a gallery is a way to go off-screen and venture out into the world again in a safe way. Ease back into the art life at these eleven shows.
Ghost Art Installation
Sputnik, 3 South Broadway
On view indefinitely
For the time being, Sputnik is open for takeout, curbside pick-up and UberEats deliveries of your favorite dishes and cocktails. But while contemplating the restaurant’s eventual reopening under seating restrictions, Sputnik bartender and art curator Trevor Liebler came up with a creative way to ensure proper social distancing inside, with ghost art placed strategically and selectively at the bar and in the booths.
“Since restaurants aren't expected to open with more than 50 percent capacity, our art installation fills the rest of the tables with the literal ghosts of Sputnik's past,” Liebler explains. “Despite being ghosts, they really bring a lot of life back into the restaurant.” Until the doors officially open, you can peek in the windows for a scare when you pick up your grub. Call 720-570-4503 to order.
Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue
Through May 16
Inner Voyages opened way back in early March, only to be shut down by city edict as COVID-19 began to spread. Since then, gallery owner Bobbi Walker has been bolstering WFA’s presence with online tours and discussions, but now WFA is opening its doors with special care, offering patrons a last chance to see the show in person.
Six gallery artists — Aaron Morgan Brown, Malcolm Easton, Katie Kalkstein, Conor King and Angela Piehl —step into the dreamy territory of the inner dimensions with contemplative, ephemeral and surreal results. Elements of photography, digital collage, draftsmanship, painting and mixed media provide a true visual experience and a real fantastic voyage. WFA is resuming normal hours — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays — but come equipped with a mask and ready to practice proper distancing. A new exhibition, Power & Fragility, opens on May 22.
Sushe Felix, Tracy Felix, Max Lehman and Tony Ortega
William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street
Through June 13
Across the street from Walker Fine Art, William Havu Gallery is also reopening, with restrictions, giving new life to a quartet of shows that opened in early March, featuring landscape painters Sushe Felix and Tracy Felix; ceramics artist Max Lehman, who updates imagery drawn from ancient cultures; and in a nod to Mo’Print 2020, an exhibition of prints by Tony Ortega, who puts a satirical spin on old Mexican stereotypes. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and by appointment only on Sunday and Monday. Masks are required for everyone over the age of three, and socially distanced guests are limited to five at a time; you’ll have to knock on the locked door to be let in. Appointments are recommended for any visit; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you’re on the way.
Rebecca Aloisio and Paho Mann, Only Entropy Comes Easy
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
May 13 through June 7
Firehouse is quietly opening its doors for a new show, Only Entropy Comes Easy, by Rebecca Aloisio and Paho Mann, photography-based artists who are broadening the boundaries on the photographic process. See the show by appointment Wednesdays through Fridays between noon and 5 p.m. (e-mail email@example.com at least 24 hours in advance) and by limited entry on Saturdays and Sundays during the same hours. If you misplace your mask, Firehouse is selling them for $5 at the door, and only five people will be allowed in the gallery at one time. If you’re not yet ready to walk into a gallery, Firehouse’s current online group exhibition (and Firehouse fundraiser) Artists in Their Residence continues through June 30.
Danyl Cook, The Flower Lounge
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Through May 17
Closing Reception: Friday, May 15, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Free ticketed entry by reservation at eventbrite.com
Join Valkarie member artist Danyl Cook for a garden party with a mid-century vibe in a gallery full of bright florals and ’50s-inflected portraits. It’s his way of celebrating his mostly shuttered show in person before it closes. As noted above, free timed tickets are required for entry to the reception, so don’t forget to RSVP for a 25-minute spot; only eight people will be allowed entry at a time. Otherwise, entry to the gallery is by appointment only, but all works are also available to view online.
Joy Redstone, Expression of the Aftermath
Charlie Walter, Works
Details, Tiny Art Show
Next Gallery, Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue
Expression of the Aftermath, Works, Tiny Art Show, May 15 through May 31
Details, May 15 through July 10
Next Gallery and neighboring co-ops at the Art Hub are leaping into the fray to open up with all-new rules. Next will kick off its entrance into this brave new world with three shows, including work by members Joy Redstone and Charlie Walter, along with a group show of small affordable works in the community space. Masks and social distancing are required, and only ten art lovers will be allowed inside the gallery at a time. Next is foregoing formal opening receptions, but will be open the evening of May 15; visit the website for regular gallery hours.
Core Members’ Show
Core New Art Space, Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue
May 15 through May 24
Opening Reception: Friday, May 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
Core is back up and running with a member show to help its artists back on their feet. Masks and social distancing will be enforced while members will keep the space spick-and-span between visits. If you forget your mask, Core will have a store of extras on hand.
The Month of Printmaking
Kanon Collective, Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue
May 15 through June 21
Opening Reception: Friday, May 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
Kanon reopens with its own late nod to Month of Printmaking 2020, which took over the city’s galleries earlier this spring. See print works by Jill Mustoffa, Patricia Murray, Eric Jones, Gina Smith Caswell, Tess Emslie, Sue Crosby Doyle and Tressa Lillehoff at the opening; the gallery will be open Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., with tentative plans to resume regular hours in June.
Andrà Tutto Bene (Everything Will Be OK)
D’art Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
May 15 through June 13
Friday, May 15, noon to 5 p.m.
The D’art co-op looks to Italy’s battle with COVID-19 for inspiration in this member show as the gallery reopens with temporary hours of noon to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays only. The artists of D’art will enforce limited entry and social distancing with masks firmly in place, while imploring art lovers to support the small businesses of the Art District on Santa Fe.
Night & Day
Mirada Fine Art Gallery, 5490 South Parmalee Gulch Road, Indian Hills
May 15 through June 20
Mirada is swinging open its doors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday for now, with a themed group retrospective by gallery artists exploring the dark and light aspects of life. Masks are required, and only six patrons will be admitted at a time.
Life. Beauty. Hope. Edition 4
SmithKlein Gallery, 1116 Pearl Street, Boulder
Saturday, May 16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Boulder’s SmithKlein Gallery is back in business with a spanking new mural by Patrick Maxcy on the outside and new works by urban landscape artist Mark Lague and others on the inside. Don’t forget to wear your mask when you visit during limited hours on Saturday or by appointment. Call 303-444-7200.
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