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Dateline Gallery hosts artist George Bangs.EXPAND
Dateline Gallery hosts artist George Bangs.
George Bangs

Art Attack: 25 Best Things for Gallery Lovers to Do on First Friday Weekend

There's no dearth of arty things to do in the Denver area this weekend and beyond, as you'll find below, including a raft of prime holiday-shopping opportunities and a blast of new fine art, as well. Give some of these a try:

Inez Sanchez, "Bright Future."EXPAND
Inez Sanchez, "Bright Future."
Inez Sanchez, RE:Vision

Symbols and Miracles of The Lady of the Stars: A Tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Re:Vision, 3738 Morrison Road
Through January 3

Re:Vision in Westwood rounded up a band of local artists to celebrate a cultural icon, the Virgen de Guadalupe, for the holiday season by decorating the gallery space with her image, rendered in paintings, mixed media and sculpture. While you’re there, order up some fresh, homemade tamales to brighten your holiday table. They’ll be ready to pick up on December 18, 19 and 20.

Buy new pieces from dark artists Ellie Rusinova and Brandan Styles, aka Mad Tatters.EXPAND
Buy new pieces from dark artists Ellie Rusinova and Brandan Styles, aka Mad Tatters.
Mad Tatters

December Featured Artist: Mad Tatters
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
December 4 through January 5
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6 at 5 to 9 p.m.

This month’s Featured Artist slot at Valkarie goes to the inimitable art partners Ellie Rusinova and Brandan Styles, aka Mad Tatters, known for their assemblages and collages depicting circus/side-show/grotesque-themed imagery. If you’re looking to gift art to your favorite goth or devil-worshipper, this show is your pot of gold.

Sharon Feder, "Building-No-30, oil on panel.
Sharon Feder, "Building-No-30, oil on panel.
Sharon Feder, Michael Warren Contemporary

Sharon Feder and Dallas Parkins, Life Cycles
Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive
December 3 through January 11
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 5, 5 to 8 p.m.
Artist Talk: Saturday, December 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Painter Sharon Feder and photographer Dallas Parkins both share a passion for the spare shapes and shadows of architecture. There’s an emphasis on buildings that have outlived their usefulness in Life Cycles, a perfect duo focused on the lonely existence of abandonment. Can’t make the reception? Photographer, curator and all-around expert in the field Rupert Jenkins will moderate an artist talk with Feder and Parkins on Saturday morning.

Tenn Street hosts ceramic artist Cora Bracho in December.EXPAND
Tenn Street hosts ceramic artist Cora Bracho in December.
Cora Bracho

Cora Bracho, Influences and Connections
Tenn Street Coffee & Books, 4418 Tennyson Street
Through February 1
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 9 p.m.

Clay artist Cora Bracho pays tribute to a key mentor and friend, the late Marie Gibbons, along with other influencers in her artistic development — Diego Velásquez (“Las Meninas”) and Niki de Saint Phalle (“Les Nanas”) — in her solo at Tenn Street. But you’ll find that in spite of her devotion to these heroes, Bracho has a style all her own.

DAVA youth artists show off their Bauhaus-inspired works.EXPAND
DAVA youth artists show off their Bauhaus-inspired works.
Courtesy of DAVA

Unity
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA), 1405 Florence Street, Aurora
December 5 through January 10
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 5, 4 to 7 p.m.

DAVA’s annual holiday show blends youth and mentor artists by tradition; this year’s version, Unity, is an art-gift jamboree, anchored by student works inspired by the artists of the Bauhaus, in partnership with the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. Guest artists Matthew Jorgensen and Liz Quan contribute functional containers and porcelain jewelry to the mix and, under the tutelage of Kate Woodliff O’Donnell, DAVA kids and drawing students from the Community College of Aurora also contribute festive drawings of candies. Gift-buying was never so fulfilling.

William Matthews, "Bethlehem Skyway," 2018, watercolor on paper.
William Matthews, "Bethlehem Skyway," 2018, watercolor on paper.
William Matthews

William Matthews | Steel
William Matthews Studio, 2540 Walnut Street
December 5 through February 6
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 5, 5 to 8 p.m.

Denver painter William Matthews, known for his watercolor renditions of cowboys and scenes from the ranch life, wanders farther afield for Steel, tackling imagery from the steel mills of Ohio and Pennsylvania, rife with smoke, fire, molten metal and the sharp industrial angles of factory infrastructure. It’s a different look for Matthews, straight from the Rust Belt.

Small Wonders
Edge Gallery, Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue
December 6 through 22
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 10 p.m.

Edge artists and guests celebrate the holiday season with an affordable small-works show that reminds us that art is a beautiful gift, now and any other time of the year. Support your local artists and load up on handmade ornaments, ceramic dogs, tiny paintings and beautiful experiments. If you miss the opening, all of the co-ops at the Art Hub will host a holiday party on the afternoon of December 14.

Pirate member Tsogo Mijid celebrates twenty years at the co-op with a retrospective exhibition.EXPAND
Pirate member Tsogo Mijid celebrates twenty years at the co-op with a retrospective exhibition.
Tsogo Mijid

Tsogo Mijid: Retrospective 1999-2019
Leah Swenson, Fetal Dreams
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
December 6 through 15
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 10 p.m.

A Pirate member for two decades, Tsogo Mijid is not only an important figure in the metro area’s Mongolian community, but has also garnered international acclaim for modern work, from abstract canvases to public art installations, that embraces both traditional roots and contemporary nomadic globalism. In keeping with his reputation, Mijid’s member slot this year is a full twenty-year retrospective, curated by his artist daughter, Eriko Tsogo, in partnership with the Mongolian Culture and Heritage Center of Colorado, and also a release party for an accompanying art book. In the associate space, Leah Swenson maps her personal “meander line” in an exhibition of new mixed-media works.

Rule’s Merry Little Art Bazaar
Rule Gallery, 808 Santa Fe Drive
Fridays, December 6 and 13, noon to 6 p.m.
Saturdays, December 7 and 14, noon to 5 p.m.
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 9 p.m.

At Rule, the main exhibition, Grounded, continues through December 21, but the Rule girls have cleared some space for a companion group show of affordable small works — ceramics, collage, drawings, prints, paintings and sculptures — running over the next two weekends. This week’s mantra repeats: Art makes a beautiful gift.

Anna Grevenitis, “Regard, 06-02-2018” (detail).
Anna Grevenitis, “Regard, 06-02-2018” (detail).
© Anna Grevenitis

Who Are You?
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock Street
November 29 through January 4
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 9 p.m.

CPAC handed the adjudication reins over to Roula Seikaly, an independent writer and curator based in Berkeley, California, to select 34 photographers out of 400 entries for Who Are You?, an exhibition that captures stories of personal identity from every point of view. Hear Seikaly speak at the reception before enjoying a one-night performance by Hayden Dansky and Megan Newton, who blend poetry, music and photography into a living memoir about queer life.

Peggy Turchette reimagines the ballet costumes of Anna Pavlova.EXPAND
Peggy Turchette reimagines the ballet costumes of Anna Pavlova.
Peggy Turchette, The Pavlova Project

We Are What We Wear
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
December 6 through January 12
Opening reception: December 6, 5 to 8 p.m.

The Dairy ends the year with four shows about clothing and identity, with a special inter-arts nod combining an exhibition of Peggy Turchette’s The Pavlova Project, a collection of dolls costumed Pavlova-style in handmade dance couture, that will inspire a series of wine-and-wander tours and, on December 29, a live multimedia performance of Pavlova’s signature piece, The Dying Swan. A duo by Noah Pica and Winnie van der Rijn and solos from Erika Diamond and Jim Arendt fill out the rest of the Dairy’s gallery spaces. Learn more online.

See modern takes on pop art at the Dairy Block.
See modern takes on pop art at the Dairy Block.
Courtesy of Scott Young

Knockout: An international art exhibition by Scott Young Studio
Dairy Block, 1800 Wazee Street
December 5 through January 3
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 5 p.m

Neon artist Scott Young fashioned an international pop-group art show inspired by these words from Andy Warhol: “Art is anything you can get away with.” See how more than 35 artists get away with art at Young’s studio within the Dairy Block at the reception, or attend any of three special events happening in conjunction with the exhibition: A NUE Holiday Soiree & Fashion Show on December 12, the Knockout Cancer benefit dinner for First Descents on December 13, or a two-day Artist Rumble on December 14 and 15. Find more info online.

Dateline Gallery hosts artist George Bangs.EXPAND
Dateline Gallery hosts artist George Bangs.
George Bangs

Heat Death: New Works by George Bangs
Dateline, 3004 Larimer Street
December 6 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 11 p.m.

Boulder artist George Bangs frets over the inevitability of consequences from climate change with bold, melty imagery hewn from industrial materials. In his world, smiley faces have a dark side and human survival is in dire jeopardy.

Our Lady de Guadalupe and Sacred Women
Saints: A Connection Between Heaven and Earth
Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, 222 Santa Fe Drive
December 6 through January 25
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 9 p.m.

CHAC chimes in for the season with a split-personality tribute to Hispanic tradition, teeming with imagery of the Virgen de Guadalupe and other sacred women and, across the gender divide, the divine santos. The local community chips in for this beautiful folk-art exhibition, which will be the scene for a last-minute holiday market on December 21 and 22.

Foolproof artists celebrate the big skies of the West for Blue Skies Forever.
Foolproof artists celebrate the big skies of the West for Blue Skies Forever.
Laura Phelps Rogers

Blue Skies Forever
Foolproof Contemporary Art, 3240 Larimer Street
December 6 through January 18
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 8 to 10 p.m.
Closing Reception: Friday, January 10, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

Foolproof turns over a new group show with interpretations of the spread-out West, where big skies and monumental landscapes are part of everyday life. Looking to buy something magnificent for a loved one? Whisper the words "Stock Show" for a discount on your art purchase. RSVP in advance at eventbrite.com.

Gina Smith Caswell debuts new portraits at Core New Art Space.EXPAND
Gina Smith Caswell debuts new portraits at Core New Art Space.
Gina Smith Caswell

Gina Smith Caswell, Portraiture
Johnny Plastini, Post-Digital Haruspex
Core New Art Space, Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
December 6 through 22
Opening Reception: Friday December 6, 5 to 10 p.m.
Closing Reception: Friday December 20, 5 to 10 p.m.

Core members Gina Smith Caswell and Johnny Plastini weigh in, respectively, with handsome portraits rendered with a personalized touch and works combining appropriated imagery and modern technologies to jazz up traditional intaglio printmaking. Visit this show, and you’ll still have three more co-ops to discover, all in the same building — useful to know when the weather is bleak.

Melinda Laz's ceramic portrait of her great-grandparents, circa 1930.
Melinda Laz's ceramic portrait of her great-grandparents, circa 1930.
Melinda Laz

Melinda Laz, Suspended in Time
Balefire Goods, 7417 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
December 6 through 29
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 8 p.m.

Another local artist in debt to clay artist Marie Gibbons, who passed away suddenly in September, fellow ceramicist Melinda Laz remembers her friend with a small show of sculpted tiles at Balefire in Olde Town Arvada. Laz says Gibbons even fired some of these new works for her; that’s how intimate the show really is.

Cash and carry art is ready for holiday shoppers at Abstract.EXPAND
Cash and carry art is ready for holiday shoppers at Abstract.
Courtesy of Indyink/Abstract

Gift of Getting Cash and Carry Art Exhibit
Abstract, 742 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, December 6, 7 to 10:30 p.m.

The annual Gift of Getting show mounted by the screen-printing concern Indyink and its retail branch, Abstract, is not only a great place to find gift-worthy affordable works by local urban artists, but it also gives back to said artists, who will receive 100 percent of the profits from works sold. Be forewarned: These pieces sell like hotcakes.

Carol Walker, "Andalusian Stallion, White Mane."
Carol Walker, "Andalusian Stallion, White Mane."
Carol Walker, R Gallery

Showcase: Fine Art Photography
R Gallery, 2027 Broadway, Boulder
Through December 29
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 5 to 9 p.m.

R Gallery, a relatively new face in Boulder located just off the Pearl Street Mall, hosts a holiday group photography show. Meet and hear from the artists at the reception.

Love Letters
40 West Art District, 1560 Teller Street, Lakewood
December 6 through January 4
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 6 to 9 p.m.

40 West artists tackle love, a theme that gets lost in the holiday shuffle all too often, for the gallery’s final exhibition of the year. Heal your heart and take advantage of a hopping First Friday in the 40 West Arts District.

Holiday Open Studio
Blue Silo Art Studios, 4701 National Western Drive
Saturday, December 7, noon to 6 p.m.

Blue Silo Art Studios endure in a former turn-of-the-century dairy in RiNo in a time when the immediate vicinity all around it is in transition, housing a whole enclave of fine artists and a recording studio, to boot. Here’s your chance to have a look inside, chat with Blue Silo denizens and maybe pick up a work of art or two.

Tenth Anniversary Party & Holiday Celebration
Mirada Fine Art Gallery, 5490 South Parmalee Gulch Road, Indian Hills
Saturday, December 7, 6 to 9 p.m.

Tucked away off the beaten path in Indian Hills, the commercial contemporary art gallery Mirada Fine Art has been successfully peddling art for ten years now, and that’s good reason for a party. New works will be on the walls, and all of the party necessities — wine, nibbles and live music — will keep the house lively all evening long. Find out why Mirada was named one of the top 25 fine-art galleries in the U.S. by the American Art Awards earlier this year.

Help craft a crèche with piñata artist Justin Favela.EXPAND
Help craft a crèche with piñata artist Justin Favela.
Justin Favela

Nacimiento Craft Nights
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
Monday and Tuesday, December 9 and 10, 5 to 7 p.m.

Get hands-on and holiday-happy with Las Vegas-based piñata artist Justin Favela, a favorite in Colorado, who’s in the process of mounting Nacimiento, a monumental crèche, at Firehouse. Favela hosts two evening craft nights for folks interested in learning the craft and contributing to the finished piece, which opens with a reception on December 13.

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

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