As the year draws to a close, the co-ops are looking forward and backward with group member exhibitions, while other spots are celebrating with pre-New Year bashes surrounded by art. How will 2020 go down in local galleries? Get a clue at these new shows and events.
As of Now II: Group Exhibition
K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street
Through December 28
K Contemporary’s second-anniversary group show started last week, offering a look at what makes the gallery one of Denver’s best. There’s still time to wander through before 2020, ogling work by the whole stable, an impressive list too long to regurgitate here. A collaboration between painter Melissa Furness and sculptor Rian Kerrane tops the roster of work that must be seen.
Yayoi Kusama, “Where the Lights in My Heart Go”
Aspen Art Museum, 637 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen
December 20 through May 17, 2020
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 19, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Aspen’s got an infinity room for the next five months: Yayoi Kusama’s 2016 version, “Where the Lights in My Heart Go,” a mirrored universe of sparkling lights contained within a ten-by-ten-foot stainless-steel room. You might have had practice with this sort of experience this year at the Denver Art Museum, where Lucas Samaras’s "Corridor #2" has been on display as part of the larger exhibit The Light Show, but the chance to see a Kusama infinity room in person is compelling enough to warrant a trip to Aspen. Add another feather to your art-loving cap.
Spark Gallery Member Show
Spark Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
December 19 through January 19
Opening Reception: Friday, December 20, 5 to 9 p.m.
Spark puts on a traditional member show to end the year, and the annual review from the forty-year-old co-op ought to be impressive. Think of it as a topper for last summer’s fortieth-anniversary shows and a look toward the future for the venerable gallery.
Knockout CultureHaus Brawl Holiday Party
Dairy Block, 1821 Blake Street (enter through the alley)
Thursday, December 19, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Free, RSVP recommended in advance at eventbrite.com
The celebrations continue at neon artist Scott Young’s open studio at the Dairy Block, when he hosts the Denver Art Museum young professionals group CultureHaus right in the middle of Knockout, a pop-art show Young curated that’s up until January 3. Fancy dress encouraged. DJ Happy Endings provides the music, and FORGE will present a live screen-printing demo; the first 100 guests in the door will receive a signed, limited-edition Knockout exhibition screen print.
Pirate’s Fortieth Anniversary Show
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
December 20 through January 5
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6 to 10 p.m.
As a co-op, Pirate: Contemporary Art is a survivor. Though it’s not Denver’s oldest cooperative (Spark, which celebrated its fortieth year this summer, boasts that landmark designation), Pirate’s little gallery earns a zillion points for its rebellious reputation as a launching pad for Denver artists, even in its newest digs in Lakewood. Celebrate with the buccaneers — new and old — at Pirate’s Fortieth Anniversary Show. The show opens on December 20, and you’re welcome to visit that evening, but for authenticity’s sake, the reception will be on Friday, January 3, complete with a pour of bubbly.
Compendium: Sync’s Annual Group Show
Sync Gallery, 931 Santa Fe Drive
December 19 through January 11
Opening Reception: Friday, December 20, 6 to 9:30 p.m.
The Sync co-op joins the year-end group-show conga line with a little bit of everything, the blessed thing that keeps co-ops everywhere spinning. If you’ve never peeked into Sync before, here’s a chance to see what it’s all about.
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Drunken Glory Ecstasies: Part 1
Rhinoceropolis, 3553 Brighton Boulevard
Friday, December 20, 6 to 10 p.m.
Rhino’s got a show. We’re not sure what you’ll see, but this is a clue: “Brandon whacked drunk smashed on Jesus slurring prophetic utterance and dark sayings Ohoholol….” Spencer Lindstrom, Camille Garcia, Coleman Mummery, Blythe Feeney and Stephan Herrera handled the art, so it’s going to be interesting.
Viva la Vulva Pre-New Year Reveal and Get Down
Seidel City, 3205 Longhorn Road, Boulder
Saturday, December 28, 8:30 p.m.
Boulder-based artist Julie Maren’s Vagina China project — which involves discreetly casting volunteer women’s privates for display on china plates, started as a nod to Judy Chicago and grew into a movement that keeps on growing. Get a peek at the latest round of Vagina China at this year-end party/reception with music by Joel Davis, aka the Vibrarian, and food by Monica the Tamale Goddess.