Visual Arts

First Friday: Co-ops celebrate milestones and art is in the air

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Art District on Santa Fe

Mark Penner Howell's solo show at Space Gallery, 765 Santa Fe Drive, opened last night, but if you missed the reception, no worries: In addition to tonight's First Friday gallery open house, The New Normal: Recent paintings by Mark Penner Howell remains on view through January 29. Call 720-904-1088.

Several galleries are following a Denver tradition by hosting member shows this January; that would include a a CORE member show as well as a 30th anniversary exhibit showcasing works by selected past members at CORE New Art Space, 900 Santa Fe Drive, and a group show at Kanon Collective, 766 Santa Fe Drive.

The Center for Visual Art/MSCD, 965 Santa Fe Drive, follows a similar tack in presenting Collective Nouns: MSCD Art Faculty Exhibition, which opens with a reception tonight, along with one part of E.C. Cunningham: From Wichita to Nighthawk -- a Retrospective in Two Parts, featuring Cunningham's works from 2008 to 2010 (Part I opens later this month at the Emmanuel Gallery on the Auraria campus). Abecedarian Gallery, 910 Santa Fe Drive, starts fresh with a mixed media installation from Elizabeth M. Claffey, recipient of the book-art gallery's exhibition grant for students and emerging artists. Also opening tonight: Rock, Paper, Stories, featuring works by Denver students Jonathon Wiley and Liz Greene.

There's plenty more up and down the drive: Take your time; enjoy the vibe.

River North Art District

In RiNo, Ice Cube Gallery @ the Dry Ice Factory, 3320 Walnut Street, races into 2011 with Icebreaker 2.0, a bold juried show that's expanded from last year's gamut of RiNo-centric artists to a roster of artists from all over Colorado.

Jonathan Kaplan's ceramic show Modern Moche continues through the end of January at Plinth Gallery, 3520 Brighton Boulevard; Plinth celebrates tonight with salon-style concert by Primal Mates (admission is $12 and reservations are recommended) and a private showing of works by Mata Ortiz; tomorrow night, the gallery will join in a new Second Saturday tradition kickstarted by neighboring Wazee Union with an open house of its own.

Check the RiNo website for other worthwhile stops, including excellent shows at Plus Gallery and RedLine Renegade, a group show by resident artists at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd