Ten Arty Things to Do on First Friday in Denver

Helikon journeys to Koreatown with Fly Okay's  Phree Town.
Helikon journeys to Koreatown with Fly Okay's Phree Town. Fly Okay
The First Friday of August brings new sights and sounds to art districts all over Denver and beyond. Where will you end up? We have some suggestions.

click to enlarge What will your Munny look like? - COURTESY OF LAURI LYNNXE MURPHY
What will your Munny look like?
Courtesy of Lauri Lynnxe Murphy
Show Me the Munny
Rule Gallery
Leisure Gallery
August 4 through 19
Friday, August 4, 6 to 9 p.m.
Free, RSVP online

Kidrobot’s vinyl Munny toy is a blank palette, and that’s the beauty of it — it’s an invitation to do it yourself that’s especially enticing for artists and wannabes looking for a new surface. Munny shows, where a wealth of tiny, one-of-a-kind mysteries get unveiled to the public, tend to be big crowd-pleasers, too, and that’s one good reason to show up for Show Me the Munny at Rule Gallery, an exhibition and silent auction featuring Munnys done up by more than twenty local artists selected by the team at Rule, alongside Kidrobot’s own contribution of celebrity-altered versions. The other reason? Proceeds will benefit Denver’s burgeoning Arthyve artist archive project. And besides that, you can also join in the Munny fun across the street from Rule at Leisure, where blank Munnys you can customize yourself will be available for purchase and markers provided for on-the-spot designing. Go on — find your inner creative.

click to enlarge Hasan Elahi, “Alert v2,” 2017, detail. - COURTESY OF CPAC
Hasan Elahi, “Alert v2,” 2017, detail.
Courtesy of CPAC
Keeping Watch
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
August 4 through September 16
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 6 to 9 p.m.

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Chances are it’s true. In modern times, we live under constant surveillance, caught unawares by secret cameras and unseen strangers on the Internet, a point not unnoticed by people who actually wield cameras in the name of art or social documentation. Keeping Watch examines the pros and cons of society’s pervasive eye through the lenses of three different photographers: Sheri Lynn Behr, Hasan Elahi and Lauren Grabelle. Go to the opening and hear Behr and Grabelle elaborate during a mid-reception artist talk at 7 p.m.

click to enlarge Mr. Mars airbrushes up a storm at Lowbrow. - LOWBROW
Mr. Mars airbrushes up a storm at Lowbrow.
Beneath the Ink: New Works From Mr. Mars
Lowbrow Denver
August 4 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 7 to 10 p.m.

It’s a big night for street-culture junkies out on the town: While Munnys are being bought and sold in the Art District on Santa Fe, Denver vinyl-toy artist Mr. Mars will be holding forth not far away, on the Broadway strip in Baker, with a slew of new fantastical street-art-themed airbrushed works. Make it a trifecta: Dea Webb, former collectible-toy dealer at Plastic Chapel, will unveil new paintings of her own, just down the street at Indyink’s Abstract, 84 South Broadway, from 6 to 9 p.m.

click to enlarge DANIEL SHAFFER
Daniel Shaffer
Peopled Places and Phree Town
Helikon Gallery
August 2 through September 2
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 6 to 9 p.m.
Helikon keeps things lively in RiNo with a pair of new shows: Peopled Places, a group exhibition, in the main gallery, and another lowbrow treat, Phree Town, spotlighting works by Fly Okay, aka Sara Wilson, in the annex. Wilson muses on life in L.A.’s Koreatown with a dreamy pastiche of cartoony denizens in this collection. While you’re in the neighborhood and maybe need a cuddle, head over to RiNo Art District Headquarters, 2901 Blake Street, between 6 and 9 p.m. for Kitten Therapy, a cat-in with adoptable furry felines from Divine Feline and the Cat Care Society. What else is going on in RiNo on First Friday? Head to the RiNo website for deets.

click to enlarge DREW AUSTIN
Drew Austin
Summer 2017 Graduation Exhibition
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
August 4 through 18
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 4 to 8 p.m.

See off another group of graduating RMCAD artists in a variety of disciplines across eight departments at a culminating group exhibition in the venerable Philip J. Steele Gallery. Grab a bite and a beverage and enjoy everything from animation and game art to fine arts and illustration from the freshest crop in town. While you’re in Lakewood, you might want to mosey down Colfax for a First-Friday journey through the 40 West Art District.

click to enlarge SEAN O'MEALLIE
Sean O'Meallie
Sean O'Meallie at the Modbo
The Modbo
17C East Bijou Street, Colorado Springs
August 4 through 17
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 5 p.m. to midnight

Sean O’Meallie’s lacquered-wood work is cool and smooth and brightly colored, but if you look at it right, you’ll see the twinkle in its eye. The master of the visual joke — whose more monumental works can be seen in Denver (“Balloon Man Running," at RTD’s Central Park Station in Stapleton) and his home town of Colorado Springs (“Poly Poly”), among other places — has a new solo show at the downtown Springs gallery the Modbo, that’s subtly topical and bound to make you laugh out loud. Drive south.

click to enlarge Susan Dillon, "Growth & Regrowth,” detail. - SUSAN DILLON
Susan Dillon, "Growth & Regrowth,” detail.
Susan Dillon
August First Friday at GRACe
Globeville Riverfront Art Center
Friday, August 4, 6 to 9 p.m.

If you’re hankering for the kind of artist community you used to find at the defunct Wazee Union, head on over to Globeville and track down the Globeville Riverfront Art Center this First Friday, where you can artwalk from studio to studio, meeting indie artists and micro-entrepreneurs — just as you used to do at Wazee Union. Hobnob with GRACe’s resident creatives, and find out what’s going on in Denver’s artist underground.

40 West Gallery
August 4 through 26
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 5 to 8 p.m.

40 West heads into August with a group show inspired by the mechanics, science and psychic hiccups of time. Pass some time of your own mulling over the art of the temporal, then head down West Colfax for First Friday gallery-hopping.

click to enlarge Chris Krieg, "Time-Twister." - LAPIS GALLERY
Chris Krieg, "Time-Twister."
Lapis Gallery
New works by Chris Krieg/Summer Art Bash
Lapis Gallery
3971 Tennyson Street
Reception: Friday, August 4, 6 to 10 p.m.

Lapis Gallery, in the Tennyson Street Cultural District, gets into the First Friday act with an exhibit of new wall-sized paintings by the Evergreen-based monumental-mural painter Chris Krieg, who’s as comfortable painting twenty-foot-tall Marlboro men as he is a simple canvas. See Krieg's works and catch a live-art performance by Erik Rieger at 8 p.m.

click to enlarge CHRISTINE ALBERTSON
Christine Albertson
It's Been Done
Boxcar Gallery
554 Santa Fe Drive
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 6 to 10 p.m.

Photographers Christine Albertson and Jeremiah Ellis make light of what’s probably the oldest inside joke among shutterbugs for It's Been Done. See how they take what’s old and make it new again at Boxcar, a springboard gallery for emerging artists.

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