Whether or not the sun comes back out this weekend, you can still give in to the elements and get out to explore art. You’ll find it indoors near the steamy tropical conservatory at the Denver Botanic Gardens, at art galleries on every level, at studio open houses, and even at a literary reading. Get with it at the following events.
Naturally Artificial: Works by Jason DeMarte
Denver Botanic Gardens,1007 York Street
February 21 through May 20
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 21, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Reception RSVP requested in advance by e-mail
Jason DeMarte’s crystal-clear digital photography of birds perched among the flora is beautiful at first glance. But his romantic imagery carries a chilling message that becomes apparent when you realize that the colorful, posed still lifes contain artificial elements, reminding us that we live in a highly processed environment. Still, their beauty alone should make them look right at home in Gates Court Gallery at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The collaboration with Rule Gallery, which represents DeMarte in Denver, is a precursor to an exhibit of new work coming to Rule in May. DeMarte will give an artist talk at 6:30 p.m., during the reception.
Jay Vollmar/Anthony Camera Artist Talk
Action Figur3s at Vertigo Art Space, 960 Santa Fe Drive
Thursday, February 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
Westword Civilization, an exhibit of Westword cover art by longtime Westword art director Jay Vollmar and photographer Anthony Camera, opened about a month ago at Vertigo Gallery, which has erratic hours. But if you missed the opening, you can catch up at an artist talk with Vollmar and Camera, hosted by Katie Taft and Action Figur3s, as part of the platform’s revived artist conversation series. Admission is free, and so is the walk down Westword’s history lane.
The Temple, 2400 Curtis Street
Thursday, February 22, 7 to 10 p.m.
The artists at the Temple are swinging open their doors and throwing a party with a purpose: The Temple Bizaar is a pop-up affordable art gallery, a punk-rock concert with Redbelly and an open-studio evening rolled into one big night of fun. The adjoining Five Points Pizza will kick in with $5 slices, so dinner’s taken care of, as well.
Pop-Up Show and Release Party: In the In-Between
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
Friday, February 23, 6 to 10 p.m.
Denver photographers Risa Friedman and Justin Schaffer, collaborators on a forty-page, full-color photo book called In the In-Between, will camp out for a one-night pop-up at Alto to introduce the book and show off more of their photographic work. Beverages will be on the house, while you admire the product and the artwork.
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Insecta: Copycat Violence Art Collective
Sally Centigrade, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 24, 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Sally Centigrade welcomes members of Copycat Violence, an international collective of lowbrow and pop-surreal artists, for Insecta, which, as the title indicates, might just drive you buggy — in a good way. Eighteen artists from around the globe will be represented in the show of affordable art.
Works from Target and IKEA
Counterpath, 7935 East 14th Avenue
February 24 through March 15
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 24, 7 to 10 p.m.
Counterpath is hiding a fundraiser inside of a clever exhibit, by inviting friends of the gallery/event space to donate pieces of generic artwork bought at Target and IKEA, along with a 100-word explanation of the art and why it was chosen. The works will be priced at a 150 percent markup, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the original owner — minus a 50 percent contribution. It’s a win/win situation that also slyly makes a point about the state of the commercial art world. Donated works will be accepted right up until Saturday evening (e-mail first to make sure someone is there). Plus, bonus: Counterpath will concurrently be hosting free readings by poet Linda Norton and novelist/essayist John Cotter on the same evening.
See Westword’s calendar listings for more art events and openings.