Linda Fleming, "Careen," 2017, powder-coated steel.EXPAND
Linda Fleming, "Careen," 2017, powder-coated steel.
Linda Fleming, UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art

Fifteen Things for Art Lovers to Do and See on First Friday Weekend

September revitalizes the gallery scene, as this week’s First Friday weekend lineup proves. In the same town where Crush Walls is currently raging in RiNo, we’ve also got exhibits big and small — some with rich historical background, some that open a window to the future of art-making, some that take on social issues and some just for fun — breaking out everywhere. Here are fifteen of our favorites.

Interior of Tony and Marilyn's Dome, Libre, 1968.EXPAND
Interior of Tony and Marilyn's Dome, Libre, 1968.
Image courtesy Roberta Price

Linda Fleming: Confluence
Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery, Ent Center, 5225 North Nevada Avenue, UCCS campus, Colorado Springs
September 7 through December 9
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 6, 5 to 9 p.m.

Radical: 50 Years of Libre Intentional Artist Community
GOCA Downtown, 121 South Tejon Street, Suite 100, Colorado Springs
September 7 through November 3
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5 to 9 p.m.

The UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art host two related fall shows in different locations, beginning with a major solo by large-scale sculptor Linda Fleming, an original member of the Libre artist commune in Gardner, Colorado, where she still maintains a studio in a geodesic dome she constructed herself back in the ’60s. The Ent Center was made to house exhibits like this one, and what won’t fit inside will be displayed on the center’s sculpture green. Fleming will give an artist talk at 5 p.m. Thursday in the center’s Chapman Foundations Recital Hall. For historical background, the show Radical dovetails with Fleming’s, opening Friday at GOCA’s downtown outpost with a survey of two generations of artists with ties to the Libre community.

Robert Mangold's PTTSAAES series.
Robert Mangold's PTTSAAES series.
Robert Mangold, Michael Warren Contemporary

PTTSAAES (Point Traveling Through Space at an Erratic Speed): Works by Robert Mangold
Schumpeter’s Capriccio: New Works by Margaret Lawless
Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive
September 4 through October 11, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 6, 6 to 8 p.m.

Veteran Colorado sculptor and local pioneer Robert Mangold might be best known for his beautiful wind-driven kinetic works, but sculptures in his ongoing PTTSAAES series offer a static expression of atoms crashing through space in zigzagging metal wall pieces that sometimes appear to pass through solid surfaces. That’s what you’ll see at Michael Warren, along with Margaret Lawless’s architectural building-scapes. If you can’t make the opening, additional receptions are scheduled for September 21 and October 5.

Ben Gocker, "This Is the Siberian Husky," 2018, mixed media.
Ben Gocker, "This Is the Siberian Husky," 2018, mixed media.
Ben Gocker, David B. Smith Gallery

Ben Gocker, A Bright Big Picture in Some Future Machine
New Genres Collective in the Project Room
David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 Wazee Street
September 7 through October 6
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 to 8 p.m.

You wouldn’t normally connect art and air conditioning, but these strange bedfellows are united by the unexpected conceit behind New York artist Ben Gocker’s new exhibit at David B. Smith Gallery. Every work in the show is constructed with paintings and ephemera left behind by the previous owner of his family’s home, a painter named Helen Macro, who died at the age of 94. Macro left 100 paintings depicting everything from life in the small town to the local library, where they’re slowly being sold off to help pay for new air-conditioning. There’s a full circle of some sort happening here, which will become more apparent in the DBS space; in addition, expect a live work at the opening by performative artists of the New Genres Collective.

Artist Andrew Cannon loves the mushroom world.
Artist Andrew Cannon loves the mushroom world.
Andrew Cannon

A Harmless Exercise in Boundlessness...or
"So Far I Haven't Killed Myself or Killed Any Other Person"

Gildar Gallery, 82 South Broadway
September 7 to October 13, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
Artist Lecture: "Loving Mushrooms," with Andrew Cannon, Sunday, September 9, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Gildar Gallery opens the fall season with a threesome of artists — Andrew Cannon, Jasmine Little and Emily Ludwig Shaffer — whose works might or might not have something to do with mushrooms, at least in some metaphorical sense. In fact, each artist introduces a lush, textured personal style reflecting life through a super-wide, sensual lens, bringing to mind the massive spread of underground mycelium that lurks beneath a single mushroom head. In lieu of the usual artist talk, Cannon — who it turns out, is a mycology hobbyist, will give a lecture on mushrooms at the gallery on Sunday, September 9, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Kevin Sloan, “The Field,” 2018, acrylic on canvas.
Kevin Sloan, “The Field,” 2018, acrylic on canvas.
Kevin Sloan

We Are Back
Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse, 3636 Chestnut Place
September 7 through October 7
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

In truth, these Ironton Studio artists never really went away. Though the main space was taken over by the Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse, there are still studios on the premises, and in celebration of First Friday and Crush Walls crossing paths this weekend, the distillery is reopening the gallery space to show off seven artists with Ironton ties: Stephanie Hartshorn, Laura Krudener, Jeanne Liotta, Yoshitomo Saito, Annalee Schorr, Kevin Sloan and Elsa Sroka. Along with the group show, see Koko Bayer’s freshly painted Crush mural at Ironton, groove to live music and enjoy cocktails made with housemade booze.

Find the World Where You Are Opening
ReCreative Denver, 765 Santa Fe Drive
September 7 through 28
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 to 10 p.m.

Frankie Toan uses soft sculpture and fiber works to comment on the increasing visibility of queer and trans communities in the public eye. The artist isn’t exactly convinced that visibility brings true social change; let Toan set you straight in one of three outspoken queer-themed shows opening simultaneously on First Friday in the Art District on Santa Fe.

Kenzie Sitterud, The Bedroom
808 Projects, 808 Santa Fe Drive
September 7 through 28
Opening Reception, Friday, September 7, 6 to 10 p.m.

Kenzie Sitterud also conjures questions of identity politics with The Bedroom, another room in the artist’s installation series of living spaces where an overarching binarily defined society triggers queer discomfort. To support the exhibit, Sitterud has added programming throughout its run, including a Third Friday Queer Art Crawl connecting the dots between three related shows in the neighborhood on September 21, and a performance night with dancers Kate Speer, Ondine Geary and Laura Ann Samuelson on September 27.

Katy Zimmerman goes over the rainbow.
Katy Zimmerman goes over the rainbow.
Katy Zimmerman

Katy Zimmerman, Form in Flux
Boxcar Gallery, 554 Santa Fe Drive
September 7 through 28
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 to 10 p.m.

Katy Zimmerman’s glitterscape Form in Flux explores a favorite theme: the rainbow, which in turn represents other portals both earthbound and magical. Will you travel under the rainbow or over it? Explore all the open doors to new worlds with Zimmerman, to the tune of original soundscapes by Johnny Wohlfahrt, and while you’re deciding, get a tintype selfie in a photo booth manned by Brass & Bellows.

A portrait from Peter Yumi's Culture Vultures series.EXPAND
A portrait from Peter Yumi's Culture Vultures series.
Peter Yumi

Peter S. Yumi
Balefire Goods, 7417 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
September 7 through 30
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 to 8 p.m.

Peter Yumi drops a set of elaborately collaged mixed-media fractured portraits at artisan jeweler Jamie Hollier’s shop in Olde Town Arvada. If you like what you see, Yumi is taking portrait commissions in the same vein.

Wood sculpture by Charles Counter.
Wood sculpture by Charles Counter.
Charles Counter, Pattern Shop Studio

Charles Counter: Split Sticks
Pattern Shop Studio, 3349 Blake Street
September 7 through October 5
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 to 9 p.m.

Pattern Shop welcomes fall with sculpture and prints by Charles Counter, who works in wood to create stylishly design-savvy constructions that play games with smooth and rough surfaces. If you miss the opening, catch a second reception on the First Friday of October from 6 to 9 p.m., or sit in on an artist’s salon with Counter on October 13 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Take home a Susan Wechsler heart mosaic.
Take home a Susan Wechsler heart mosaic.
Susan Wechsler

Susan Wechsler, Circles
Modern Nomad, 2936 Larimer Street
September 7 through 30
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5 to 8 p.m.

Mosaic artist Susan Wechsler, known for her signature mosaic dress sculptures, as well as intricate shrines and totems, turns to circular concoctions for a new series of works studded with beads and other materials going on view in September at the RiNo home-decor collective Modern Nomad.

Spellbound
Foolproof Contemporary Art, 3240 Larimer Street
September 7 through November 24
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Laura Phelps Rogers continues her experiment in gallery entrepreneurship at Foolproof Contemporary Art, with Spellbound, a group exhibition by more than 25 local artists (including Phelps) in every medium under the sun.

Inside Out: Art and Reflection
40 West Gallery, 1560 Teller Street, Lakewood
September 7 through 29
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5 to 8 p.m.

The Athena Project continues its mission to support women working in the arts with Inside Out: Art and Reflection, an intergenerational all-woman exhibit curated by painter Michele Brower.

Art by Diana Sudyka, from (inhabit) at Helikon Gallery.
Art by Diana Sudyka, from (inhabit) at Helikon Gallery.
Diana Sudyka

(inhabit) and Andrés del Valle: Little Stories
Helikon Gallery & Studios, 3675 Wynkoop Street
September 7 through October 6
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 to 10 p.m.

Women also figure into the new exhibit (inhabit), opening this weekend at Helikon Gallery, a mixed bag of work by women inspired by the dust-to-dust natural cycles that define life and death on Earth. John Vogl curates. Little Stories, a solo by Helikon studio artist Andrés del Valle, features breezy small-format illustrations, each defining a single word.

A sample artbox.
A sample artbox.
Collectors ArtBox

Collectors ArtBox Launch Party
RiNo Made, Zeppelin Station, 3501 Wazee Street
Saturday, September 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

ArtBox does for artworks what Community Supported Agriculture shares do for locally sourced meats and produce, spreading a wealth of works by a selected group of six artists among intrepid collectors willing to take a chance on a $500 surprise box of four to six small-scale, limited-edition works. What’s inside might include anything artful, from paintings and prints to handmade jewelry, all highly giftable to a friend or to yourself. At the launch party, you’ll meet the artists and get a sneak peek at the boxes; stick around for a special performing arts guest who, it’s rumored, might also arrive in a box.

Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to editorial@westword.com. For more events this weekend, see our 21 Best Things to Do in Denver.

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