Art Attack: Twelve of the Best Things for Gallery Lovers to Do in Denver This Week

Jean Smith, "Wall Relief Number 14."
Jean Smith, "Wall Relief Number 14." Jean Smith, D'art Gallery
In addition to the opening of the Empathy Museum’s temporary installation A Mile in My Shoes, the return of the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, RedLine’s 24 Hours Block Party and a Frida Kahlo tribute in Westwood (see this week’s 21 Best Things to Do in Denver for details), it’s another stellar weekend to explore art in the metro area: Here are twelve options to get you started:

Drop City trailer from Joan Grossman on Vimeo.

Drop City Screening
MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street
Thursday, August 8, 7 to 9 p.m.
$5 members and students, $10 nonmembers (free for teens)
Maybe you’ve seen the Clark Richert retrospectives at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Maybe you’re still intrigued. To fill in the holes in Richert’s story, go back to the beginning, to Drop City, the artist commune in southern Colorado he helped found, where science and art collided in geodesic domes and pattern paintings. The documentary Drop City is your opportunity to see the birth of a movement, with director Joan Grossman in the house for a post-film discussion.

Zooscovery Maker Day With Meow Wolf
Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele Street
Thursday, August 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Free with gate admission $14 to $20 (members free)

Meow Wolf is bringing a healthy dose of DIY to the Denver Zoo with a day of making for all ages held right in the middle of the most family-friendly place in town. Pay at the gate and make your way to the Zoo Garden and get your hands dirty making masks, egg-carton animals or soda-bottle bubble art from recycled materials — or lend your own two cents of creativity to a group sculpture of a papier-mâché lion.

click to enlarge Firehouse hosts artists Robin Hextrum, Kathryn Jill Johnson and Samantha Simpson. - COURTESY OF FIREHOUSE ART CENTER
Firehouse hosts artists Robin Hextrum, Kathryn Jill Johnson and Samantha Simpson.
Courtesy of Firehouse Art Center
Robin Hextrum, Kathryn Jill Johnson and Samantha Simpson: Interesting Times
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
August 7 through September 1
Artist Talk: Interesting Times, Thursday, August 8, 6 to 8 p.m.
Second Friday Opening Reception: Friday, August 9, 6 to 9 p.m.

Robin Hextrum, Kathryn Jill Johnson and Samantha Simpson team up at Firehouse to offer respite in challenging times from the hard realities of life. Enjoy Hextrum’s pop-surreal sensibilities, Kathryn Johnson’s dreamy portraits and Samantha Simpson’s large-scale watercolor tales from nature. Hextrum and Johnson will elaborate Thursday with an artist talk, or meet them Friday at the reception.
click to enlarge Suzanne Frazier, "Sky-Raga." - SUZANNE FRAZIER,  D'ART GALLERY
Suzanne Frazier, "Sky-Raga."
Suzanne Frazier, D'art Gallery
D'art Gallery Grand Opening and Members Exhibition
D'art Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
Through September 13
Grand Opening Reception: Friday, August 9, 6 to 9 p.m.

D’art Gallery is up and rolling. Denver’s newest co-op is ready to meet the public and show off its space at 900 Santa Fe Drive, the building it shares with Spark Gallery. D’art kicks off with a visual introduction of work by gallery members to give you an inkling of what’s to come.

click to enlarge Josh Davy's robots wander among clay houses at Next Gallery. - JOSH DAVY
Josh Davy's robots wander among clay houses at Next Gallery.
Josh Davy
Josh Davy: Lost in Civilization
Next Gallery, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
August 9 through 28
Opening Reception: Friday, August 9, 6 to 10 p.m.

Josh Davy combines his nuts-and-bolts robot sculptures with another obsession — clay structures — for his member solo at Next Gallery. Uncover a parallel world where buildings lie intact and empty but for the presence of artificial intelligence. Something to ponder!

click to enlarge Explore self-care with Diego Florez. - DIEGO FLOREZ
Explore self-care with Diego Florez.
Diego Florez
Diego Florez, The Politics of Self-Love
Rochelle Johnson Studio, 1229 West Tenth Avenue
Opening Reception: Friday, August 9

When he’s not poetizing, wielding the bass in Los Mocochetes or mentoring young musicians at Youth on Record, Diego Florez makes art. See his paintings, collages and ink drawings, which riff on a theme of taking care of yourself when the daily news is bringing you down. Celebrate life with Florez at the reception.

click to enlarge Ben Ridgway, "Key to Innerspace." - MIRUS GALLERY
Ben Ridgway, "Key to Innerspace."
Mirus Gallery
Mirus Gallery Denver, 1144 Broadway
August 9 through 30
Opening Reception: Friday, August 9, 7 to 10 p.m.

Mirus Gallery owner Paul Hemming curated this huge group show of visionary artwork with an eye on the inner self, the psychedelic experience and a better future. Sound trippy? Enjoy this journey to the center of the mind drug-free, from dozens of points of view.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY TOD KOPKE @TKOPIX
Photo by Tod Kopke @tkopix
Andrew Novick: Photography Retrospective
Hooked on Colfax, 3213 East Colfax Avenue
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 10, 6 to 10 p.m.

Ramen slinger, pop-culture lover, obsessive collector, Casa Bonita booster, JonBenét Ramsey historian and photographer Andrew Novick pulled together a retrospective of his lens work from over the years, including recent lenticular prints and examples from past shows, ranging from the bloodstained faces of Blood Lustre to the food-slung models of Food Face. Do you really need to know more?

Was It Worth It
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
August 10 through September 8
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 10, 6 to 9 p.m.

RedLine's sixth annual juried exhibition, curated by Ivar Zeile of Denver Digerati and the Supernova Digital Animation Festival, opens this year as a piece of the 24 Hours Block Party, an abbreviated 2019 version of its usual 48-hour arts summit. That means there’s a lot going on the same day at the art center, so you might want to come early and leave late to take advantage of adjacent happenings. It’s going to be grand.

click to enlarge Karen Roehl, "Untitled 175008," mixed media on canvas. - KAREN ROEHL, K CONTEMPORARY
Karen Roehl, "Untitled 175008," mixed media on canvas.
Karen Roehl, K Contemporary
Karen Roehl, Unfolding
K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street
August 10 through 31
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 10, 6 to 9 p.m.

A new batch of Denver painter Karen Roehl’s expressionistic abstracts take on a quality of artistic retrospection on the gallery walls of K Contemporary in August, revealing traces of Roehl’s influences and creative leaps along the way. “This show builds on what I’ve done in the past and tries to expand it,” she explains. “I’m bringing everything to the table, unpacking and unfolding my accumulated past.”

click to enlarge Shelli Langdale, ”Introspection,” oil. - SHELLI LANGDALE, ABEND GALLERY
Shelli Langdale, ”Introspection,” oil.
Shelli Langdale, Abend Gallery
Abend Gallery, 1412 Wazee Street
August 10 through 31
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 10, 6 to 8 p.m.

K Contemporary’s building-mate, Abend Gallery, brings back Animalia, an annual representational tribute to the animal world. A couple dozen artists take on the challenge for this crowd-pleaser in a variety of mediums and approaches from whimsical to scientific in scope.

Fiber Fest 2019
Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder
Saturday, August 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Here’s another event where you make the art, this one courtesy of the main branch of the Boulder Public Library, which will host some friendly sheep, as well as a bunch of fiber-specific hands-on experiences and demos showcasing the arts of crochet, weaving, knitting, indigo dyeing and more, outdoors in the adjacent park area. Everyone from kids to grannies is invited to participate. Get there early, and dress according to your expected mess level: The whole thing kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with a pre-fest drop-spindle flash mob (BYO spindle  if you have one).
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