As it’s your last-minute opportunity to enjoy art before the holiday season starts in earnest, here’s where to go (possibly virtually) to clear your mind with holiday group shows, a feel-good photographic exhibition of beautiful Black faces at the Arvada Center and even a Santa-palooza of photographs and stories at Gallery MFC.
Jean Herman, Lois Lupica and Helene Strebel, Explorations
Sync Gallery, 931 Santa Fe Drive
Through December 12
Sync presents three interlinked member shows, including Jean Herman’s mixed-media works incorporating collage and fiber arts, Lois Lupica’s bold encaustics and Helene Strebel’s acrylic abstract paintings. While Sync isn't hosting a reception, you can see a virtual show walk-through on Friday, November 21, on the Art District of Santa Fe's Facebook page. Or visit Sync Gallery's website for a virtual view of each artist's work. In the meantime, Sync will still be keeping regular hours with protocols.
Narkita Gold, Black in Denver
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Through December 26
Free, reservations for timed-entry slots required in advance
Photographer Narkita Gold brings her ongoing portrait series Black in Denver to the Arvada Center for the holiday season, presenting work that gently smashes racial stereotypes by focusing on diversity and individuality within the Black community — showing, not telling, just how much Black lives really do matter. Reservations for gallery visits are currently suspended while the Arvada Center works to comply with new state health restrictions. Check back for news online.
Pastel Society of Colorado, Taking Chances
Bitfactory Gallery, 851 Santa Fe Drive
Through January 14
Members of the Pastel Society of Colorado have a tendency to blur the edges of their works, simply because of the creamy nature of a medium that’s gently rubbed onto the surface in thickly drawn opaque patches. See what members of the society have been up to in 2020, but check with Bitfactory for changes because of changing health regulations.
Winter Art Market
Next Gallery, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Through January 3, Fridays, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.
This is the time of year when artist co-op members band together for group art sales usually focused on small and affordable works. Next Gallery follows suit, for in-person visits, with an option to buy work remotely. The gallery will be closed on Christmas and New Year's days. Next Gallery is remaining open with strict compliance to new health guidelines.
Tony Ortega, Raíces y Ramas | Roots and Branches
Freyer-Newman Center, Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street
Through February 28
If you happened to catch his artist talk for History Colorado, you might want to get a closer look at the work of Tony Ortega, which runs the gamut from colorful groupings of everyday figures to satirical cross-cultural posters making fun of Chicano stereotypes. Unfortunately, the Freyer-Newman Center galleries are currently closed due to COVID health restrictions, but here’s a good place to start learning about Ortega: Tune in for a virtual studio tour and talk with the artist on Thursday, December 3, at 6:30 p.m. Register in advance online.
Trine Bumiller, Allison Gildersleeve, Claire Sherman and David Zimmer, Root + Branch
Ian Fisher, Cloud Study
Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street
Opened Saturday, November 21
Robischon Gallery finishes the year with a pair of beautiful shows: A display grouping textural, abstracted views from the natural world by Trine Bumiller, Allison Gildersleeve and Claire Sherman, with David Zimmer’s futuristic, three-dimensional video sculptures of tweeting birds, and a solo by painter Ian Fisher, whose sensitive views of clouds are always astonishing. Check with the gallery first before dropping by.
Sasha Alexandra, Laura Arteaga Charlton, Tara Donovan, Trey Duvall and Darby Hillman, One by One
Rule Gallery, 808 Santa Fe Drive
Through December 26
Rule also closes 2020 with a group show, this one including video by Sasha Alexandra and Trey Duvall, fine black-and-white prints by Laura Arteaga Charlton, mixed media by Darby Hillman and small works by Tara Donovan — just plain good art that might make a lovely gift for someone special. Expect to wear a mask and comply with public-health rules when you visit.
Ron Cooper, We Are Santa: Portraits and Profiles
Gallery MFC, 424 Broadway
November 23 through December 31
Meet the Artist: Monday, November 23, noon to 6 p.m.
Until you page through Colorado photographer Ron Cooper’s new book, We Are Santa: Portraits and Profiles, reserve your opinion: Cooper, an already excellent portrait-taker, traveled the country interviewing and snapping Santas in every setting for the project, which really does give insight into what it means to actually become Santa every holiday season. Meet Cooper on November 23 at Metropolitan Frame Company, where he’ll introduce an exhibition of large-print images from the books. Start your holiday with a huge ho-ho-ho. Proceeds from all book sales benefit Colorado Children’s Hospital.
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