Ten Arty Things to Do and See on First Friday Weekend in April

Suchitra Mattai. "Castaway."
Suchitra Mattai. "Castaway." Suchitra Mattai, K Contemporary
The First Friday weekend of April 2018 is daunting, it’s true. Seems like every gallery in town on both ends of the art spectrum is having an opening or a party or a lecture. A couple of great shows — Imagine: Recent Paintings by Xi Zhang at ATC Den and Peter Yumi’s Disappearing Room at Alto Gallery — are already written up in Westword’s 21 Best Events in Denver post for April 3 through 9. Beyond those, just so you won’t have to pull your hair out setting an agenda, we've compiled ten more ways to celebrate the arts in Denver this weekend, in chronological order.

click to enlarge Tony Ortega, "A las Siete de la Tarde." - TONY ORTEGA
Tony Ortega, "A las Siete de la Tarde."
Tony Ortega
Teaching/Artist — Think 360 Arts
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through April 14; times vary

The Denver Theatre District’s tiny artist incubator Understudy is starting the month of April with a ten-day nod to local teaching artists who are placed in school and community programs by the nonprofit Think 360 Arts. A divergent selection of artists working with the organization that includes clay artist Marie EvB Gibbons, inflatable-installationist Nicole Banowetz, painter/printmaker Tony Ortega and the tech-centric team from Denver Arts + Technology Advancement (DATA) will be showing off their own work during limited public hours through April 14, with Saturdays reserved for walk-in workshops from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with printmaker Jennifer Ghormley (April 7) and poet Molina Speaks (April 14). See the full schedule online at Think 360 Arts.

click to enlarge Marie Conigliaro, "Mushoom Man." - MARIE CONIGLIARO
Marie Conigliaro, "Mushoom Man."
Marie Conigliaro
Inside Us
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, 1419 Florence Street, Aurora
April 5 through June 8
Opening reception: Thursday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.

DAVA gets under your skin for Inside Us, an exhibit by youth artists alongside grownup guests Marie Conigliaro and Eileen Roscina Richardson that highlights the importance of good lifestyle choices and nutrition in maintaining healthy innards and positive thinking. Both mentoring artists make work relevant to the theme, and students follow suit in a variety of arts-based installations.

click to enlarge OLIVER HERRING
Oliver Herring
Artist Lecture: Oliver Herring
Emmanuel Gallery, Tenth and Lawrence streets, Auraria campus
Thursday, April 5, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Brooklyn-based artist Oliver Herring brings new dimensions — and a lot of color — to the imprecise field of performance art, patched together by the use of video, woven Mylar sculptures, set design, duct tape, random interactions, collaborative trust and more than a little fearlessness. You could say he’s a leader in a little-understood discipline that’s making a welcome comeback, but Herring’s in town to help local students and artists make sense of it all as a lecturing guest at the Emmanuel Gallery on the Auraria campus.
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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