Art Attack: Where to Find Art in Denver on First Friday and Beyond

Judy Sanchez, “Eagle Hopi Dance.”
Judy Sanchez, “Eagle Hopi Dance.” Courtesy of CHAC
First Friday crash-bangs into April Fools' Day in 2022, but there’s nothing foolish about this gallery-opening roster: The Malinche/Malinalli/Malintzin question mark is answered again at the CU Denver Experience Gallery, ecologically oriented artist Kalliopi Monoyios gets the community involved at the Littleton Museum, Seidel City unleashes a monster, CHAC pops up everywhere and 40 West co-ops prepare for a move.

That’s just a taste — what else might be in store? Let us help you get ready for the marathon that is First Friday in April 2022.
click to enlarge Leslie Tillett, “The Conquest of Mexico,” tapestry, with "Cenote," a tapestry n the background inspired by sinkholes found on the Yucatán Peninsula. - PHOTO: STEVE BERNINI
Leslie Tillett, “The Conquest of Mexico,” tapestry, with "Cenote," a tapestry n the background inspired by sinkholes found on the Yucatán Peninsula.
Photo: Steve Bernini
Malintzin: Unraveled and Rewoven
CU Denver Experience Gallery, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Thursday, March 31 through May 1

Malintzin: Unraveled and Rewoven, the third iteration and interpretation of the Malinche story broached by the Denver Art Museum and the Museo de las Americas takes yet another approach in framing the historic but misunderstood character in her rightful place as a bridge between cultures at odds. A collaboration by students of Bryan Leister’s CU Denver College of Arts & Media students with designer Norbeto Mojardin, who created a couture gown as a tribute to powerful women, and artist/curator Lilian Lara, whose work using upcycled materials plays up the underdog character of Chicano art, Malintzin doesn’t hedge at calling its subject a hero. With Leister, the student contingent reinterpreted the 100-foot Tillett Tapestry of the Conquest of Mexico, on view at the Denver Art Museum, as a free app making sense of Hernán Cortés’s onslaught of the Aztecs along a three-year timeline between 1519 and 1521. See how it all weaves together at the opening on Thursday.
Union Hall
Gems 2022 #3: Made Known
Union Hall, The Coloradan, Suite 144, 1750 Wewatta Street
Thursday, March 31 through April 24
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 31, 6 to 8 p.m.

Made Known ends Union Hall’s Gems 2022 curators series on a crafty note, with maker-made works by five talented women creating beadwork garments and accessories (Salihah Moore), embroidery performance series on hand-dyed linen (Selena Loomis), out-of-the-box ceramic art (Lily Lund and Anna Valenti), and weavings and tapestries (Amy Young). Curated by Denver design student and aficionado and retail artisan homewares buyer Nate Craig, whose interest in handcrafted work lands high above the functional baseline between craft and art — as does the art in this exhibition.
Kalliopi Monoyios, “Gyre,” 2019, single-use plastic packaging. - KALLIOPI MONOYIOS
Kalliopi Monoyios, “Gyre,” 2019, single-use plastic packaging.
Kalliopi Monoyios
Kalliopi Monoyios, Patterns of Consumption
Littleton Museum, 6028 South Gallup Street, Littleton
Friday, April 1 through June 26
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 31, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 2, 2 p.m.
Community Art Project: Through April 15

Artist Kalliopi Monoyios, who spent some time last year with curating and realizing the Landmark project in Arvada and Lakewood parks with collaborator Anna Kaye, recycles non-sustainable materials in her own work, including "Knot," a sculpture she created for Landmark. Created from Tyvek, single-use plastic packaging and polypropylene landscaping fabric, the piece left a barren scar in the grass when it was removed after six months.

Monoyios continues in this line of work for her solo Patterns of Consumption at the Littleton Museum, building sculptures, quilts, installations and framed works out of the indestructible stuff we unthinkingly throw away every day. She’s also woven a community angle into the show by inviting people to join her in a group project by collecting their own single-use plastic trash and creating banners for a large-scale public art piece to be unveiled in June (the deadline is April 15; to participate, find all the information you need here or email museum curator Moira Casey.
click to enlarge Christopher Makos, “Andy Warhol with Glasses,” NYC, 1986, silver gelatin print. - CHRISTOPHER MAKOS, SEIDEL CITY
Christopher Makos, “Andy Warhol with Glasses,” NYC, 1986, silver gelatin print.
Christopher Makos, Seidel City
Seidel City, 3205 Longhorn Road, Boulder
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 6 to 10 p.m.

Art-collecting titan Terry Seidel will quietly open a group exhibition rightly called Museum this weekend at his newly renovated Seidel City gallery space in north Boulder. Boasting a jaw-dropping list of works by famous artists hailing from Colorado and across the nation, many no longer with us, Museum is a name-brand joint for art-viewers looking for a thrill. Be there at the reception, or ask for an appointment here. Find the artist list here.
click to enlarge Lynn Fresquez, “Guadalupe,” retablo. - COURTESY OF CHAC
Lynn Fresquez, “Guadalupe,” retablo.
Courtesy of CHAC
Arte y Cultura: Hispanic Folk Arts of the Southwest
CHAC at Armory Performing Arts Center, 300 Strong Street, Brighton
Friday, April 1 through May 31
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 6 to 9 p.m.; RSVP here

With the good news that the wandering Chicano Humanities and Arts Council has ended its search for a new home and will be moving into 40 West’s 1560 Teller Street building in Lakewood, an onslaught of shows opening now at host galleries will keep work by CHAC members in the public while they are still carving out their new space. This one, happening up the road in Brighton focuses on the fantastic modern-day santos, retablos and religious folk art presently being made by hand in Colorado and New Mexico by artists carrying on centuries-old traditions.
click to enlarge Daniel Salazar, "Westside Dream." - COURTESY OF CHAC
Daniel Salazar, "Westside Dream."
Courtesy of CHAC
Looking at the World Through the Lens of a Photographer
CHAC at Northglenn Arts, 1 East Memorial Parkway, Northglenn
Friday, April 1 through June 24
Opening Celebration: Friday, April 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

Also to the north, but closer to Denver, CHAC photographers get their turn in the spotlight with Looking at the World Through the Lens of a Photographer, hosted by Northglenn Arts. Some of them have been in the CHAC fold for decades, others joined far more recently, but they all speak for Denver’s distinctive Latinx community through imagery caught by the lens.
click to enlarge Esther Hz, from the installation Tired Iron Slump Dump at the Storeroom. - COURTESY OF THE STOREROOM
Esther Hz, from the installation Tired Iron Slump Dump at the Storeroom.
Courtesy of the Storeroom
Esther Hz, Tired Iron Slump Dump
The Storeroom, 700 Vine Street
Friday, April 1, through May 31
Art Opening Party: Friday, April 1, 6 to 8 p.m.

The Storeroom’s spring window display debuts Friday, with a diorama by artist Esther Hz, who blends fine art with the performative, and does it very well. Tired Iron Slump Dump refers linguistically to the aviation industry’s secret code for airplanes past their prime (“tired iron”), while the installation itself is a coda to the collective fatigue of many months spent in pandemic mode. We’ll leave it up to you to see how she does it, just because it’s so easy at the Storeroom. All you have to do is walk by and peer inside the windows. For good measure on opening night, Esther Hz will give a live performance from within the diorama.
Daniel Granitto, “Right Down the Center (Hedge),” 2021, watercolor on paper. - COURTESY OF BELL PROJECTS
Daniel Granitto, “Right Down the Center (Hedge),” 2021, watercolor on paper.
Courtesy of Bell Projects
Daniel Granitto, The Darkening Light of Day
Bell Projects, 2822 East 17th Avenue
Friday, April 1, through April 17
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 6 to 10 p.m
Painter Daniel Granitto has a way of dealing with light that’s subtle and preternatural, enveloping ordinary scenes of houses and yards with an otherworldly aura. Based on his own photos of domestic serenity, his sylvan oils and watercolors eventually reveal a landscape lacking something important—could it be human intervention? Bell Projects hits the ball out of the park again with Granitto’s beautiful mysteries.

Spring 2022 MSU Denver BFA Thesis Exhibition
Center for Visual Art MSUD, 965 Santa Fe Drive
April 1 through May 6
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 6 to 8 p.m.

MSU Denver’s art department has a hands-on working person’s vibe that prepares young artists by encouraging both technical acuity and unbound creativity. How students utilize that sleeves-rolled-up philosophy as they prepare to matriculate is the scale by which others judge their chances at longevity as artists, and that’s why thesis shows command our attention. Twenty-five graduating students give viewers a clue at CVA, and we’re guessing the prognosis is good.
click to enlarge Colleen Tully, "The Way Back,” oil on aluminum. - COLLEEN TULLY, VALKARIE GALLERY
Colleen Tully, "The Way Back,” oil on aluminum.
Colleen Tully, Valkarie Gallery
Coleen Tully, Numinus Imaginings, through April 24
Guest Artists: Emily Lamb, through May 1; Penny Bidwell, though May 29
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Opening Receptions: Friday, April 1, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Guest Artist Receptions: Friday, May 6, 5:30 p.m.

Valkarie fetes resident member Colleen Tully’s fantasy canvases that often go dark with gothic themes and shadowy landscapes as spring busts out, while guest artists Emily Lamb and Penny Bidwell contribute, respectively, signature mixed-media and porcelain wall works and sculptures, and fanciful ceramic female busts bedecked with flowers, birds, bees and butterflies, and other symbols of abundance.

Blank Slate Program Student-Run Exhibitions: RMCAD Professional Practices and Repertory Ensemble of MSU Denver
BRDG Project, 1553 Platte Street
Friday, April 1, through April 8
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 5 to 9 p.m.; MSU Denver Repertory Ensemble performance at 5 p.m., with smaller impromptu performances throughout the evening

A new round of Blank Slate Program Student-Run Exhibitions from local art and performance schools arrive in April at the BRDG Project, including This is Not a Hoax from Tobias Fike’s art students at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and Why Dance by the Repertory Ensemble of MSU Denver, directed by Jacob Mora and Nicole Predki.
click to enlarge JAVIER FLORES
Javier Flores
Javier Flores, Simbolos Vulgares
The People’s Building, 9995 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
Friday, April 1, through April 15
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 4:30 through 7:30 p.m.
Artist Talk: Sunday, April 10, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Wonderful printmaker and educator Javier Flores mounts a solo exhibition, Símbolos Vulgares, at the People’s Building, with signature screen prints, woodcuts of what he calls “Simbolos Vulgares,” or symbols of expression for the mestizo community. Expect beautifully rendered snarling wolves and fierce eagles, jaguars and hawks, among other subject matter.

Selena Art Show and Selena Dance Party
Rise Westwood, 3738 Morrison Road
D3 Arts Building, 3632 Morrison Road
Friday, April 1, 5 to 9 p.m

The Westwood community hasn’t forgotten the revered Tejano songstress Selena, who was shot to death by an obsessed fan and acquaintance in 1995. To commemorate the anniversary of Selena’s passing,
Westwood Creative District nonprofit D3 Arts and the community collective Hecho en Westwood are throwing another love-infused Selena-themed art show after last year’s success, and adding a dance party, and extending the reach of the fiesta to two locations. At Rise Westwood, enjoy the art, live music and a Selena Look-Alike Contest; down the street at D3 Arts, it’s dancing to tunes from DJ Polyphoni and the main event, a TikTok-inspired Washing Machine Dance Contest. A Selena mercadito and local food vendors will be split between the two party spaces. Register here if you think you can out-Selena Selena. May the best impostor win!
click to enlarge NEXT GALLERY
Next Gallery
Barbara Gal, Captured and Released
Gwen Hill-Pollara, Biophilia
Mixed Emotions
Next Gallery, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, April 1, through April 17
First Friday Opening Reception, April 1, 6 to 9 p.m.
Hill-Pollara Opening Reception: Friday, April 8, 5 to 10 p.m.

As Next and its fellow co-ops at the soon-to-be-demolished Art Hub prepare to pick up and move a block or so to the new multiple-gallery 40 West headquarters, they are all throwing what might be the last shows at the hub. Next packs the gallery with solos by photographer Barbara Gal and clay sculpture by Gwen Hill-Pollara, as well as Mixed Emotions, an all-member show.
click to enlarge Sam Smith, “Algae Bloom.” - SAM SMITH
Sam Smith, “Algae Bloom.”
Sam Smith
Friends Like These 
Core New Art Space, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, 
Friday, April 1, through April 17

Core ostensibly wraps up its run at the Art Hub with Friends Like These, a members and non-member friends group mashup to bid farewell to the hub, which proved a life-saver for galleries leaving behind the pricy Navajo Art District and Art District on Santa Fe. As a result, 40 West has become a thriving art district with promise for co-ops and small artist-run galleries.
click to enlarge Photographer Barb Pullin creates effects using a toy camera. - BARB PULLIN
Photographer Barb Pullin creates effects using a toy camera.
Barb Pullin
Barb Pullin and Gary Reed, The Toy Camera Analog Photo Show
Mint & Serif, 7310 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, April 1, through April 30

Also in 40 West, photographers Barb Pullin and Gary Reed land a show at the coffee cafe Mint & Serif, where they’ll exhibit photos taken the old-fashioned way, with film. To raise the bar a little higher, they used Holga and Diana toy cameras, which are perfectly operable, with plastic lenses.
click to enlarge Craig Rouse collected his ALPHAKU series in a booklet for sale at the studio. - CRAIG ROUSE
Craig Rouse collected his ALPHAKU series in a booklet for sale at the studio.
Craig Rouse
ALPHAKU, a collection of original haiku poems and illustrations of the English alphabet
Arts Carrie MaKenna Gallery, 1528 Teller Street, Lakewood
First Friday Reception: Friday, April 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, graphic designer Craig Rouse gives a nod to Mo’Print by showing his complete ALPHAKU series of original haiku poems and hand-printed alphabet illustrations, at the 40 West studios he shares with his wife, fine artist Carrie Makenna. Buy an initial or your full monogram, or pick up a booklet with the complete ABCs while you’re there.
click to enlarge Brian Fouhy captures a urinal at McSorley's Old Ale House in New York City for his book Occupied. - BRIAN FOUHY, NEW HEROES & PIONEERS
Brian Fouhy captures a urinal at McSorley's Old Ale House in New York City for his book Occupied.
Brian Fouhy, New Heroes & Pioneers
Brian Fouhy, No Fooling Only Flushing
1615 Gallery, 1615 West 33rd Avenue
Friday, April 1, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, noon to 5 p.m.

Denver creative and artist Brian Fouhy wields his camera in the strangest places, including men’s rooms in bars and restaurants both here and afar. Over the years, Fouhy collected a loaded documentation and diary of urinals he’s encountered, now collected in Occupied, a book from the Swedish publishing house New Heroes & Pioneers. Flush away those early-spring blues: Fouhy will host an extended April Fool’s weekend book-release party at 1615 Gallery, if you’d like to meet him and nab a signed copy direct from the source; if you can’t make it, find the book (selling for $25 unsigned or $40 signed), here.
click to enlarge Max Kauffman, “Yo, whatever happened to Peace?” - MAX KAUFFMAN
Max Kauffman, “Yo, whatever happened to Peace?”
Max Kauffman
Liz Whitney Quisgard, Patterns
Max Kauffman, Mined Resonance
Museum of Friends, 109 East Sixth Street, Walsenburg
Friday, April 1, through June 30
Opening Reception, Friday April 1, 5 to 7 p.m.
Liz Whitney Quisgard Gallery Tour With Maria Cocchiarelli: Sat May 7, 2 p.m.
Max Kauffman Artist Talk: Friday April 15, 2 p.m.

If you fancy a drive south — perhaps for an overnight in Trinidad or La Veta?—you might consider traveling to Walsenburg, where the Museum of Friends has been cheerleading for fine art from the community-at-large since 2006. Two shows open there on April Fools Day, if that even matters, including solos by Max Kauffman, who has a following in the Denver area, and nationally known painter, sculptor and fiber artist Liz Whitney Quisgard, who is based in New York City. Both artists will wow you. Community museums like this one are hardly quaint, and if you visit, you might learn that Walsenburg isn’t, either.
click to enlarge Alexander Richard Wilson, "Kruger Rock Fire 2, in Phthalo," 2022,  acrylic and flashe on yupo. - ALEXANDER RICHARD WILSON
Alexander Richard Wilson, "Kruger Rock Fire 2, in Phthalo," 2022, acrylic and flashe on yupo.
Alexander Richard Wilson
Alexander Richard Wilson, Fire
Friend of a Friend Gallery, Suite 321, Evans School Building, 1115 Acoma Street
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 2, 7 to 9 p.m.
Open by Appointment: Sunday, April 3, through May 1;
email FOAF to reserve your viewing appointment here
For April, Friend of a Friend Gallery hosts Fire, a new show by Alexander Richard Wilson, a St. Louis native now living in Denver, whose work scrutinizes a black hole that looms in Colorado consciousness: the sparking of Colorado climate disasters in the form of wildfires. It’s a painful warning, but a beautiful show with gestural landscapes rendered in broad brushstrokes.
click to enlarge Robert S. Hunter, “Down the Rabbit Hole and Back.” - ROBERT S. HUNTER, BOSTON PRINTMAKERS
Robert S. Hunter, “Down the Rabbit Hole and Back.”
Robert S. Hunter, Boston Printmakers
Connect: Small Prints by Members of the Boston Printmakers
Curtis Center for the Arts, 2349 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village
Saturday, April 2, through April 30
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 2, 6 to 8 p.m.

A late Mo’print 2022 entry, this exhibition of work by the Boston Printmakers gives an inkling of what’s happening in other parts of the country from a group or more than 300 print artists that’s been around since 1947. Learn more here about live artist presentations via Zoom, scheduled at 6 p.m. April 6 and April 26.

Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to [email protected]
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