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James Balog, “Ilulissat Isfjord, Greenland,” 2007.
James Balog, “Ilulissat Isfjord, Greenland,” 2007.
Courtesy of James Balog and the Earth Vision Institute

Ten Things for Art Lovers to See and Do This Weekend in Denver

Valentine hearts and flowers are in your stars this weekend, as are pigs, shows about the environment, artist networking opportunities, immigrant issues and the transformative power of documentary photography. Here’s where to find something for absolutely everyone.

Frederic Church, “The Iceberg,” oil on canvas.
Frederic Church, “The Iceberg,” oil on canvas.
Photo courtesy of the Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection

Documenting Change: Our Climate (Past, Present, Future)
CU Art Museum
1085 18th Street, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder
February 7 through July 20
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 7, 5 to 7 p.m.

Countless art exhibits tackling climate change are on the rise, and the CU Art Museum chimes in with Documenting Change: Our Climate (Past, Present, Future), which frames changing weather patterns and landscapes in a context of art history. It's the second installment in the two-part exhibition series. Beginning with historical representations of nature, from Renaissance-era botanicals and moving on to Romantic landscapes and the modern photography of climate-change documentarians like James Balog, the show is a visual breakdown of how we’ve looked at the natural world over centuries. Compare and contrast with a similar view of our own regional terrain: The first exhibit, Documenting Change: Our Climate, the Rockies, remains on view at the museum through May.

Jessica Forrestal, "Kaboom."EXPAND
Jessica Forrestal, "Kaboom."
Jessica Forrestal

Jessica Forrestal: ConStructs & ConFines
Campus Commons Gallery, UNC Campus Commons, UNC campus, Greeley
February 7 through March 30
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 7, 4 to 7 p.m.

Jessica Forrestal, known for her hand-drawn black-and-white large-scale schematic murals, now turns UNC’s new Campus Commons Gallery into a playful and scientific illustrated laboratory that comments on consumerism, mass production and product disposability. Forrestal has been creating the site-specific Constructs & ConFines installation as an artist-in-residence at UNC since mid-December.

ACAD 1st Thursday Mixer
Aurora Cultural Arts District, 1400 Dallas Street, Aurora
Thursday, February 7, 6 to 8 p.m.

Aurora artists and creatives wanting to meet, network and cross-pollinate with others of their own kind now have a place to start: The Aurora Cultural Arts District is establishing the ongoing monthly ACAD 1st Thursday Mixer, beginning, obviously, on the first Thursday in February. Fine arts is the main focus of this inaugural venture, and artists are invited to bring a piece of their own — or by someone they like — to share and discuss in a group. This could be the start of something beautiful. Keep up with future mixers at the ACAD website.

Artists and archivists discuss the documentary qualities of photo collage at the McNichols Building.
Artists and archivists discuss the documentary qualities of photo collage at the McNichols Building.
Courtesy of CPAC

Developing Dialogues Panel
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue
Thursday, February 7, 6 to 8 p.m.
Free, RSVP in advance

The Colorado Photographic Art Center and ArtHyve, a nonprofit bent on helping local artists document their work and creative lives, will join up to present a panel discussion fired by the photo-collage works now on view in Elements, an exhibition mounted by CPAC in conjunction with the 2019 Month of Photography. Participating artists Susan Goldstein, Heather Oelklaus and George P. Perez will lock minds with ArtHyve crew members Jessie de la Cruz, Rick Griffith and Sigri Strand to explore how pieced-together photos record moments in time.

Resident artist Roberta Restaino takes over the South Gallery at Firehouse Art Center for Giardino Surreale.EXPAND
Resident artist Roberta Restaino takes over the South Gallery at Firehouse Art Center for Giardino Surreale.
Roberta Restaino

Roberta Restaino, Giardino Surreale: Recoding Natural History
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
Through March 2
Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

An accomplished mixed-media installationist, printmaker and ceramic artist born in Rome, artist Roberta Restaino spent three months in residence at Firehouse creating the installation Giardino Surreale, now ready for its close-up in the South Gallery at this weekend’s opening. Bring a camera: This is one walkthrough you won’t want to forget.

Arturo Garcia, "Diego."
Arturo Garcia, "Diego."
Arturo Garcia

Arturo Garcia: Identidad: An Art Exhibit About Raices Latinas, Hispanas, Mexicanas y Humanas
BuCu West Development Association, 4200 Morrison Road
Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Mexican artist Arturo Garcia, now a fixture in the metro area, paints a storyteller’s view of everyday Latino/a people in rich colors and a deep understanding of the culture. That’s the main focus of his exhibition Identidad, a strong offering from the Westwood Creative District. Meet Garcia, learn about his practice and enjoy refreshments at the reception.

Photographer Dona Laurita documents the undocumented for The Silhouette Project.
Photographer Dona Laurita documents the undocumented for The Silhouette Project.
Courtesy of ©Dona Laurita and the Museum of Boulder

The Silhouette Project: Stories of Immigrants, Refugees & Dreamers
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder
Through February 27
Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 6 to 8 p.m.

Louisville photographer Dona Laurita’s latest, The Silhouette Project, documents the dreams and true stories of immigrant and refugee populations in beautiful shadowed portraits designed to protect anonymity while offering a sympathetic view of their plight. A sidebar to the museum’s Becoming American film series, which ends on February 26, the exhibit brings the viewer up close and personal to immigration issues.

Jay Michael Jaramillo, “Heart & Sol,” 2019, acrylic and aerosol on wood.
Jay Michael Jaramillo, “Heart & Sol,” 2019, acrylic and aerosol on wood.
Jay Michael Jaramillo, CHAC

Heart & Sol of CHAC
CHAC Gallery, 222 Santa Fe Drive
Saturday, February 9, 5 to 10 p.m.
Admission: $15, $20 couple

The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council’s longtime Milagros de Corazón fundraiser has morphed into a new look as Heart & Sol of CHAC, but the purpose remains the same: Artist-decorated wooden hearts will go up for bidding in a silent auction to benefit CHAC programming throughout the year.

Artists muse on the Year of the Pig at Valkarie Gallery.EXPAND
Artists muse on the Year of the Pig at Valkarie Gallery.
Valkarie Gallery

When Pigs Fly: Chinese New Year Invitational
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
February 9 through March 3
Saturday, February 9, 5 to 9:30 p.m.

It’s the Year of the Pig, ending the twelve-year Chinese zodiac cycle with the promise of wealth, successes and joy. Maybe. It’s a crap shoot, really. But pigs are smart, cute animals that often threaten to crash the Internet with their antics, making them the perfect subject for Valkarie Gallery’s fourth annual invitational Chinese New Year show, When Pigs Fly. Cute, popular and affordable art! How can you go wrong?

Andrew Swiatkowski brings floral paintings to Hooked on Colfax, just in time for Valentine's Day.
Andrew Swiatkowski brings floral paintings to Hooked on Colfax, just in time for Valentine's Day.
Andrew Swiatkowski

Art by Andrew Swiatkowski
Valentine Absurdist Art Market
Hooked on Colfax, 3213 East Colfax Avenue
Saturday, February 9, 5 to 9 p.m.

Hooked on Colfax throws a Saturday evening double-header by opening a new show of florals by artist Andrew Swiatkowski and throwing a pop-up Valentine Absurdist Art Market with local vendors, where you can find something weird and perfect for your quirky significant other or eccentric BFF. Grab some coffee and a bite and have some artful fun. The Far Stairs will provide music.

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

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