Most galleries aren’t ready for normal First Friday crowds and festivities in these times, though many have opened their doors on a limited basis with all social distancing rules in place — or, at the very least, are countering closure with online alternatives.
The pity of it all is the plight of new shows, including Lavender Mist: Gay Men in Contemporary Art in Colorado and Queer City of the Plains: An Artistic Look at Denver’s LGBTQ History , which quietly opened on May 30 in the empty McNichols Building, which was damaged during demonstrations last week. Originally set to dovetail with June's Gay Pride Month and Denver PrideFest (which will go virtual in 2020), the displays are the realization of artist and exhibition co-curator Mark Brasuell’s longtime dream, which he finally executed with help from Westword art critic Michael Paglia. A reception is slated for August, but for now the shows are off-limits while Denver Arts & Venues works to come up with a viewing plan.
In the meantime, here are some alternative ways to take in art this weekend:
Red at Rule
Rule Gallery, 808 Santa Fe Drive
Through June 13
By appointment only, 303-800-6776, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rule Gallery is testing the waters of reopening with gallery viewing by appointment for now, offering a last chance to see Red at Rule, a smart group show that opened in February as a paean to the color red. The rules at Rule? No more than four visitors at a time, and masks and proper social distancing are required. If you’re not ready to venture out, Rule also documents the show online and has added a virtual shopping gallery, as well. Find news about other galleries reopening on Santa Fe Drive online.
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
Online only, through June 27
While cautiously waiting out the pandemic, CPAC put out a call for entries for photos on the theme of life during the crisis. The 32 images chosen from 91 entries are currently on view at the website through the end of June, including one — full disclosure — by yours truly. Images run a gamut from depictions of solitude and loneliness to the visual beauty of one’s own tiny universe.
Sarah Winkler, Land of the Glacier
Visions West Contemporary, 2605 Walnut Street
Through June 19
Visions West offers a first look at Sarah Winkler’s solo show of richly colored and layered mountain landscapes, which originally opened in May during lockdown. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; social distancing by gallery-goers is expected.
I5OLATION – A Portfolio of 50 Drawings X 50 Women Sculptors During COVID-19
Foolproof Contemporary Art, 3240 Larimer Street
June 1 through September 25
Online exhibition and sales through July 2021
Timed gallery entry by appointment, Wednesdays through Saturdays, beginning July 1
Foolproof will be supporting women artists by hosting the I5OLATION portfolio, the project of sculptors Cynthia Handel and Coral Lambert, who gathered together mixed-media works from fifty women artists over the age of fifty. Limited-edition scanned prints of each work are available for purchase; right now you can view the portfolio online at Foolproof’s website, where the virtual sale will continue through next July or until sold out. Beginning July 1, you can also view the portfolio in person by timed entry reserved in advance on the website, through September. Maximum guests per appointment will be limited to two, and masks are required.
Courtney Cotton and Gabrielle Graves, per•spec•tives
Littleton Museum, 6028 South Gallup Street, Littleton
Through July 19
Digital viewing only; visit the website for updates
Two best-in-show winners at past Littleton Museum exhibitions are paired in this show, currently viewable virtually: Painter Courtney Cotton, who took honors at Littleton’s 2019 Own an Original juried exhibition, will show abstract works in a blue, white and gold palette, while Gabrielle Graves, winner of Eye of the Camera, displays mixed-media photography-based works. While the museum is on lockdown, tune in for streaming artist talks and, at the end of June, a virtual exhibit tour; find more info listed online.
Lumonics Mind Spa: Thornton
Thornton Arts & Culture Center, 9209 Dorothy Boulevard, Thornton
Tuesdays through Fridays, 1 to 5 p.m., June 2 through September 25
The traveling Lumonics Mind Spa, a meditative extravaganza of light art by Dorothy and Mel Tanner, with video art and music by Marc Billard and Dorothy Tanner, lands in Thornton this summer at the Thornton Arts & Culture Center, which is open for business with limitations. A maximum of ten people will be allowed to contemplate the art and let their minds free in the gallery at one time, and safety protocols will be enforced. Just the thing for folks who’ve been trapped in their houses for weeks.
Cody Kuehl, Hair Trigger
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
June 3 through 28
Opening Reception: Friday, June 5, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Register at eventbrite.com for timed entry to the reception
Cody Kuehl riffs on the Wild West in his signature comic-book style for Hair Trigger. Timed-entry reservations for no more than eight people at a time are required for the reception, but masks will only be required during the first time slot, from 5 to 5:25 p.m. Entry is mask-optional thereafter. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by neighboring gallery Sally Centigrade, where you can pick up a free sticker at the door (unfortunately, the space is not yet open to the public).
Balefire Goods, 7513 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
June 5 through 21
Virtual Happy Hour and Opening: Friday, June 5, 6 to 8 p.m.
While the jewelry shop and gallery space Balefire is now open for business during regular hours, owner Jamie Hollier isn’t ready for big First Friday crowds. Instead, Balefire’s summery new show, Modern Tiki, will open with a virtual reception drenched in tiki culture and tiki-themed art, jewelry and bar accessories. Participation in the Zoom event is limited and reservations are required; find the link to sign up on Balefire’s Facebook event page. Otherwise, visit the store during regular hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Betsy Rudolph, Girl Interrupted
Pam Farris, Artest
Next Gallery, Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
June 5 through 21
Gallery hours: Fridays, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.
Next Gallery refreshes this weekend with new member shows by Betsy Rudolph, who muses on how life changes during a pandemic, and Pam Farris, who mounts a personal retrospective covering fifty years of making art. Next is enforcing a ten-person viewer limit inside the gallery and requires masks at all times.
RMCAD Spring 2020 Virtual Graduation Exhibition
June 5 through October 2
Virtual Reception by Zoom: Friday, June 5, 5 to 7 p.m.
RSVP in advance at the RMCAD website
Year-end art-school exhibitions all over town have had to go virtual this year, and the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design’s is no exception: You can join in the virtual reception by reservation via Zoom; the show will be documented by a video-format tour created in collaboration with Denver Digerati.
Katy Zimmerman, Cosmic Shift
Dateline Sidewalk Sale
Dateline Gallery, 3004 Larimer Street
Saturday, June 6, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dateline is takin’ it to the street for a sale of affordably priced zines, original artworks, prints, collectibles, books, antiques, plants and other odds and ends that will continue weekly on Saturdays through June. Take some time to step inside and get a first look at Cosmic Shift, an exhibition of works by Katy Zimmerman, which won’t officially open until next week. Only two people at a time will be allowed inside the gallery, and masks are a must. But you knew that, right?
Shawn Huckins, Fool’s Errand
K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street
June 6 through 29
Timed-entry reservations online
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m.
Shawn Huckins might be the hottest thing in town these days: His work not only made the rounds in Denver as part of K Contemporary’s mobile billboard project, but he’s also opening a solo show inside the gallery this weekend, and has more work included in Lavender Mist, at the McNichols Building. What’s all the excitement about? Huckins is an art-history metaphor mixer whose newest paintings sometimes crumple up or dribble off the wall into sculptural installations. What has the world come to? Learn more about Huckins’s take via timed entry during gallery hours.
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