Denver’s art scene never really sleeps, and this weekend is no exception: It’s a rough-and-tumble, between-seasons melee of this and that, from cowboys and the mystique of the Southwest to a lesson in international relations and a digital-art grand tour through the Denver Art Museum’s atrium. Catch up on everything and look to the future at these ten events and exhibitions.
Helen Zughaib: Stories My Father Told Me
BMoCA at Macky Auditorium, 1595 Pleasant Street, University of Colorado Boulder
August 21 through November 24
Artist Talk with Helen Zughaib: Wednesday, September 18, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The story behind the stories in this show is a poignant one, and the title tells it well: Renowned Arab-American artist Helen Zughaib translated her father’s boyhood story and migration to the United States into 25 gouache paintings, which have become the impetus for her larger Syrian migration series, now touring the nation. Zughaib will stop in Boulder in conjunction with the Jaipur Literature Festival in September, when she’ll also speak at the gallery.
Bad Lands: Cody Kuehl and Claudia Roulier
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
August 21 through September 15
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 23, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
The Wild West and the animal kingdom collide in Bad Lands, which brings together works by Valkarie members Cody Kuehl, who shares the untamed world of unfettered horsemen wielding six-shooters, and Claudia Roulier, who will debut an altered artist book alongside her fanciful mixed media renderings of creatures making their way through the onslaught of human civilization.
Stripped Surfaces: John Wood, Paul Ecke and Bill Snider
Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 22, 6 to 9 p.m.
Space groups three solo shows by process-heavy abstractionists Paul Ecke, Bill Snider and John Wood as fall approaches. Learn more about each artist’s techniques and intentions during a talk and Q&A at the reception. In addition, Ecke will sign copies of his notable Book Excellence Awards-nominated memoir, Boy Dreamer.
Coloradan Speaker Series: Joshua Wheeler
Union Hall Denver, The Coloradan, 1750 Wewatta Street, Suite 144
Thursday, August 22, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Admission: $15 in advance
You’ll get both a literary reading and an art talk on Thursday night at Union Hall, the gallery and event space tucked into the ground floor of the Coloradan residences near Union Station, where author Joshua Wheeler will introduce his essay collection Acid West, which roams in subject from cowboys to space explorers. Artist Carissa Samaniego, whose work in the space’s current show The Spirit in the Flame explores the landscape and milieu of southern New Mexico, will chime in for a discussion about the exploratory nature of the American West. Copies of Acid West will be available for $17, courtesy of the Tattered Cover; The Spirit in the Flame is on view through August 24.
Joe N. Martinez, Fotos del Corazón
BuCu West Development Association, 4200 Morrison Road, Unit 3
August 23 through mid-October
Opening Reception: Friday, August 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Self-taught Denver photographer Joe Martinez has a natural eye for capturing the cultural, from rugged land- and skyscapes to the adobe walls and chile ristras of New Mexico. There are no bells and whistles here — Martinez’s work is as down-to-earth as his subject matter. Join the artist over snacks and beverages at the opening.
Monumental Zine Launch and Immortalize Public Reception
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
Saturday, August 24, 4 to 6 p.m.
Black Cube’s Monumental project continues this weekend at Understudy by melding two participatory side trips: The debut of the Monumental Zine, created by a chorus of community voices with help from Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and a reception for Immortalize, an installation of plaster-cast hands created during two community workshops facilitated by sculptor Rian Kerrane. Both reflect on monuments and how they intertwine with our everyday lives.
Cool Store Award Shindig
Balefire Goods, 7417 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
Saturday, August 24, 4 to 8 p.m.
RSVP at eventbrite.com
Jewelry maker Jamie Hollier is walking a little taller these days, ever since her Arvada boutique Balefire Goods was named one of America’s Coolest Jewelry Stores by the trade magazine INSTORE. It’s as good a reason as any to throw a party, so she’s holding an open house with treats and drinks — and an opportunity to try your hand at gemstone cutting with Brett Kosnar of Kosnar Gems. Here’s a chance to see why Balefire won that award.
Erica Green, Passage
AKA Gallery, Boulder Creative Collective Space, 2500 47th Street, Unit 10, Boulder
August 24 through September 22
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 24, 6 to 8 p.m.
AKA Gallery is part of the East Boulder incubator enclave of studios that is the Boulder Creative Collective Space. Collective artist Erica Green is mounting Passage, a womb-like interactive curtain of knotted fibers, in the space for a monthlong show that invites viewers to leave their mark by altering the work. Drop in and braid, knot, rip and tear away to leave your own artistic “Kilroy was here” message.
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Phantom Canyon: A Digital Circuit
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
August 25 through October 16
Play a game of hide and seek at the Denver Art Museum to find the pieces of Phantom Canyon: A Digital Circuit, a new installation of fifteen digital artworks creating a circuit around the nooks and crannies of the Hamilton Building’s soaring atrium; included is video by Oliver Herring, who is currently in residence at Emmanuel Gallery. Based on the principle of ghost images encountered as moving pictures flow across a screen, it’s both a trick of the eye and a grand tour through a new frontier.
Closing Reception and Films by Eileen Roscina Richardson
Georgia Art Space, 952 Mariposa Street
Sunday, August 25, 6 to 9 p.m. (films at 8 p.m.)
Georgia bids farewell to its summer group show, a swell open-call grab bag curated by George P. Perez, with a final reception and a screening of 16mm short films by environmental artist Eileen Roscina Richardson, who casts her eye on the subjective using experimental techniques. Park yourself in Sommer Browning’s garage gallery and enjoy the scenery.