Denver Walls, Street Art and Watercolor Shows at Denver Galleries | Westword

Street Art Rules at Denver Walls and RedLine’s Making Our Mark

Murals and more at local galleries.
Valerie Savarie, “Scenic Route,” altered book (Standard World Atlas by Rand McNally, published 1956), acryla gouache, vintage thread, wax.
Valerie Savarie, “Scenic Route,” altered book (Standard World Atlas by Rand McNally, published 1956), acryla gouache, vintage thread, wax. © Valerie Savarie
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Street art is the big theme in Denver this week, as Denver Walls fills RiNo with a mix of local heroes and international stars in the mural game. The celebration officially opens on Saturday with a party for RedLine’s indoor street-art show before moving out onto the streets.

But there's new art all over town and beyond, with Access Gallery’s annual 99 Pieces of Art $99 art sale, the fiftieth-anniversary Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition at the Center for Arts Evergreen, and great solos by Taiko Chandler and Drew Austin.

Keep reading for our rundown of new shows:
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Work by Valerie Savarie, Miki Harder and Nicole Grosjean, side by side, at Valkarie Gallery.
Valkarie Gallery
Valerie Savarie, Miki Harder and Nicole Grosjean, Open to Interpretation
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
September 20 through October 15
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 23, 5 to 8: 30 p.m.
Valerie Savarie carves and alters old books into imaginative works of art; Miki Harder, a painter inspired by nature, specializes in birds; and Nicole Grosjean layers illustrations, paper, etched glass, LED lights and other mixed media in frames. In this show, they each took inspiration from specific words or concepts; as a trio, they’re well matched and inclined toward fantasy imagery.

Narkita Gold, Narkita: I Found Myself in the Mountains
CU Denver Experience Gallery, Denver Performing Arts Complex (see map)
September 21 through January 13
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 21, 5 to 7 p.m.
Photographer Narkita Gold, whose practice blends issues of Black identity, community and culture, gets personal with I Found Myself in the Mountains. The multimedia installation pulls together the relationships of places and providers of comfort and salvation during a time of individual change. Gold, whose evocative Black in Denver photo series made waves in 2020 and 2021, has since earned an MA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is back to explore new ground in her visual observations.
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Shadae Hunt, “Imposter,” 2023, oil on canvas.
Shadae Hunt
David Grajeda Gonzalez, Leilani Abeyta and Shadae Hunt, As You Are
Union Hall Gallery, The Coloradan, 1750 Wewatta Street, Suite 144
September 21 through October 21
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 21, 6 to 8 p.m.
Three emerging local artists — David Grajeda Gonzalez, Leilani Abeyta and Shadae Hunt — paint from life in naturalistic personal portraits that serve as visual diaries for As You Are at Union Hall. Their direct nature weaves threads of growing pains, self-doubt and the imperfect path of maturation throughout the exhibition, and is sure to touch hearts and ring bells of recognition with a modern reiteration that “no man is an island.”
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See film and photography by Bosnian artist Emir Klepo at Swoon House.
Emir Klepo
Emir Klepo: Film Screening and Photography Demo
Swoon Artist House, 4295 Broadway, Boulder
Thursday, September 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
$10 to $15 suggested donation; register at Eventbrite
BMoCA and Swoon House join forces for a shared international artist-in-residence program at Swoon, Boulder artist Rebecca DiDomenico’s creative residence and art space, where the current resident, Bosnian photographer/filmmaker Emir Klepo, will present a film screening and photography demo for Camouflage: A Photographic Exploration of War Trauma, inspired by Klepo’s recollections from the Bosnian War and the transformative effects held by objects symbolic of the time. On October 13, BMoCA and Swoon will host a public dinner with Klepo; find information and ticket prices by donation at Eventbrite.

50th Annual Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition
Center for the Arts Evergreen, 31880 Rocky Village Drive, 
September 21 through October 28
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 21, 4 to 7 p.m.
Private exhibition tours: Weekdays, September 22 through October 28, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., $5, call 303-674-0056 or email [email protected] to schedule
RMNW Public Demo Day: Saturday, October 14, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., free
The Center for the Arts Evergreen again hosts the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, marking the national competition’s impressive fiftieth anniversary. More than $20,000 in awards will be handed out to the best of the best 57 artists selected in 2023 by jurors Ken and Stephanie Goldman, a pair of watercolorists themselves. On October 14, a free public demo will offer insight into a variety of watercolor techniques.
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Muralist Chris Haven's square piece for Access Gallery's 99 Pieces of Art.
Chris Haven
99 Pieces of Art 2023
Access Gallery, 909 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, September 22, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission: $9.99; Artwork: $99
RSVP at Eventbrite
A favorite fundraiser, 99 Pieces of Art returns to Access Gallery, giving viewers a chance to buy a 10-by-10-inch work of art by one of 99 participating artists for the flat price of $99. Artists range from the nationally renowned to the students with disabilities at Access, which works with artist mentors. It’s only $9.99 to attend the event, which includes food and beverages.
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Rachel Denny, "Stargazers."
Rachel Denny
Rachel Denny, Wild and Precious
Visions West Contemporary, 2605 Walnut Street
September 22 through November 3
Opening Reception: Friday, September 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
Featured artist Rachel Denny channels poet Mary Oliver — in particular, Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day,” which asks, “Tell, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — in Wild and Precious, her new solo show at Visions West that answers the question with a collection of mixed-media and fiber works.
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Taiko Chandler, “Practice Makes Perfect,” 2023, site-specific installation: Tyvek monotype, calligraphy by the artist’s mother.
Courtesy of Taiko Chandler
Taiko Chandler, Thoughtful Intuition
Littleton Museum, 6028 South Gallup Street, Littleton
September 22 through January 7
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 21, 5:30 p.m.
Denver artist Taiko Chandler gets the full treatment with a new show at the Littleton Museum, which offers a wide view of work perfectly described in the exhibition title of Thoughtful Intuition. The show includes Chandler’s monoprints and paintings of colorful organic shapes in space, as well as her signature work of marbled dimensional printed imagery on crumpled Tyvek sheets. In the site-specific installation "Practice Makes Perfect," Chandler spreads clouds of organic Tyvek shapes over a grid of sheets decorated by her mother’s calligraphy.
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Robin Hextrum, "Nature’s Bounty," 2023, oil on linen mounted to wood panel.
Robin Hextrum, courtesy of Abend Gallery
Robin Hextrum, Animal Kingdom
Abend Gallery Golden Triangle, 1261 Delaware Street
September 22 through October 11
Opening Reception: Friday, September 22, 6 to 8 p.m. (artist talk at 7 p.m.)

Gina Matarazzo, Familiar Beasts
Abend Gallery Cherry Creek North, 303 Detroit Street
September 23 through October 14

Robin Hextrum’s solo at Abend’s Golden Triangle outpost showcases the artist’s crowded canvases of animals framed in a paradise of elaborate flowers, birds, platters of fruits and other embellishments, as well as paintings of floating bouquets, landscapes, portraits of individual creatures and other less frantic scenarios. Inspired by Dutch still lifes and the concept of “vanitas” — a reference to the transient nature of life — Hextrum defines the new old master.

Gina Matarazzo’s show Familiar Beasts also invokes the animal kingdom at Abend’s Cherry Creek North gallery beginning Saturday, but with a more whimsical outcome characterized by anthropomorphic critters in teacups and such.
Kelly Austin-Rolo, "Worlds Apart."
Kelly Austin-Rolo
Kelly Austin-Rolo, Renew and Regenerate
NKollectiv, 960 Santa Fe Drive
Through October 15
Opening Reception: Friday, September 22, 6 to 9 p.m.
NKollectiv celebrates its first anniversary with a solo show by member artist Kelly Austin-Rolo, who is known for her encaustic abstracts. Renew and Regenerate zeroes in on personal growth and the hurdles of change by focusing on paintings that Austin-Rolo returned to and reworked in the last eighteen months as her skills grew.
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Work by artist Bisco Smith, from Making Our Mark: An Exploration of Vandal Futurism at RedLine.
Bisco Smith
Making Our Mark: An Exploration of Vandal Futurism
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 28
September 23 through November 3
Opening Reception/Denver Walls Kickoff Party: Saturday, September 23, 6 to 9 p.m.
Denver Walls and RedLine Contemporary Art Center align over the transformation of street art from graffiti to mural art on Saturday, when RedLine’s new exhibition, Making Our Mark: An Exploration of Vandal Futurism, and the Denver Walls mural festival kick off at the same time and place. Making Our Mark, curated by Globeville native, former RedLine resident and community-building leader Anthony Garcia Sr., captures the forward-looking energy of street art in the present, where it thrives worldwide, bypassing the structure of the commercial art world. Admire the work of the show’s local-to-international artists inside before you go outside to see how it’s done live during Denver Walls, which runs through October 3 in the RiNo Art District.
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Drew Austin catches the light for In-Dwelling at Leon Gallery.
Drew Austin
Drew Austin, In-Dwelling
Leon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue
September 23 through November 4
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 23, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
It’s all about the light these days for Drew Austin, whose recent work has been obsessed with reflections, refractions, shadows, sparkling surfaces and other effects that delight the eye when light hits a surface. For In-Dwelling at Leon Gallery, Austin evokes the Japanese concept of komorebi, a word we lack in English that describes the dappled light among tree leaves and branches, and uses simple everyday objects and materials for his natural light show.

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