It’s holiday ground zero from now until the end of the year, but not before a few new and notable gallery shows and events slip through the cracks late in the season. Think of it as a gift in disguise, and a moment away from the relentless haze of ho-ho-ho that we call Christmas cheer. Be challenged, and in return, support your local artists at these six art events.
PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street
December 14 through January 26
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
Brooklyn-based artist Alex Branch arrived at PlatteForum earlier this fall ready to get down to the hammer-and-nails basics of building sound sculptures with the nonprofit’s ArtLab interns and armed with information about the power of music therapy. Branch’s work with the students culminated in a variety of “instruments” held together by a common building block — old metal crutches and found medical supplies — and the metaphor of rehabilitation. She’ll lead them in a concert and show off a few of her own sculptures, keeping to that theme, at the opening reception for Calibration.
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
Thursday, December 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
In conjunction with Joshua Ware’s December installation Urban Aggregate at Understudy, a gang of five women artists — Moe Gram, Robyn Frances, Susan Sahab, Kaitlyn Tucek and Eriko Tsogo — will bounce off the exhibition’s general theme of creative societies within the larger societal structure for Tedious, a performance about the steps we take in engendering self-awareness and creativity. It’s a one-night-only event, but the show remains on view through December 31.
This Is Spark!
Spark Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
December 13 through January 13
Opening Reception: Friday, December 14, 6 to 9 p.m.
Spark co-op artists end the year — and start a new one — on a high note with their annual members’ show, with a wild variety of styles and mediums on view. You’ll see sculpture, paintings, art books, photography, botanical illustration and more, all of it ready and giftable for the holiday season.
Laura Ball, Chimera
David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 Wazee Street
December 14 through January 26
Opening Reception: Friday December 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
Longtime David B. Smith artist Laura Ball brings another round of her fantastical flora and fauna in subtle pastel watercolors to the gallery on a dreamy theme of the double-sided beast. There’s an under-theme of modern and folkloric contexts in the works, and they’re fascinating to look at.
As of Now
K Contemporary,1412 Wazee Street
December 15 through 29
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
K Contemporary celebrates its first anniversary with a group show from the gallery’s outstanding stable of artists. It’s a look back over a year of top-notch exhibitions and a peek forward at what’s to come from a young gallery with great artists.
Lisa Luree and Kim Anderson, Fool’s Journey
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Through January 6
Opening Reception, Saturday, January 15, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Fantasy and the tarot intertwine in Fool’s Journey, a pairing of Kim Anderson’s ceramic and mixed-media wall sculptures and Lisa Luree’s Tarot Major Arcana, a series of embellished giclée prints. Take a side trip through wonderland at the opening, where Danny Masters will entertain on Spanish guitar and Kris Rosenblum will offer tarot readings.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.