Arts and Culture

Gallery Sketches: Five New Shows in Denver for September 18-20

It’s a banner week for art in Denver, headlined by the September 18 opening of Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty at MCA Denver. But there’s so much more — layers and layers of it — as galleries and local artists celebrate image and process with challenging installations and variations of mixed media. Here’s a sampler of what’s going on — and up — this weekend.
Stratum: New Works by Naomi Scheck and Peter Yumi
Helikon Gallery & Studios 
September 18 through October 17
Opening reception: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, September 18

At Helikon, Denver artists Naomi Scheck and Peter Yumi juxtapose individual bodies of densely layered mixed-media work. While Scheck’s are contemplative, Yumi’s are explosive. His installations of large-scale, confetti-scattered rectangular collage paintings are inspired by Brazil’s working-class samba culture and the music of Bezerra da Silva who, Yumi explains in his statement, “sings about the Brazilian anti-hero the Malandro…a recurring figure in Brazilian culture, an anti-hero who lives by his wits, on the edge of the law. I use the Malandro in my work to explore many of the same issues that Bezerra da Silva sings about in his songs: his struggles with poverty and recording samba music (art) with limited means (handheld tape recorders).” Also on view: Works by Justin Ankenbauer.

Regina V. Benson: Water Marks
Ray Tomasso: Memories of an Ancient Sea
Ice Cube Gallery 
Through October 10
Opening reception: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 18

Regina Benson and Ray Tomasso share the spacious galleries at Ice Cube for what will be one of the last exhibitions to grace that co-op space, since artists are being pushed out by rising rents. Benson, who set Ice Cube on fire last fall with an installation of flame-evoking fabric panels, now turns to the subject of water, creating a new installation around a textile-based centerpiece of floating jellyfish. Yes, wow. Tomasso also references the ocean in large-scale cast-paper works.
Jennifer Pettus: Second Acts
Dania Pettus: Chemigrams and a Printer
Edge Gallery
September 18 through October 4
Opening reception: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, September 18

Jennifer Pettus tells new stories by bringing together a collection of both fresh and previously-shown fiber-based works, while Dania Pettus explores the possibilities of the chemigram: a cameraless photographic image created by painting on light-sensitive paper in the darkroom. In Pettus's case, she then scans and prints the final images.
Carbon: Group Art Show
Sally Centigrade Art Gallery
September 18 through November 14
Opening reception: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, September 18

Sally Centrigrade has fun this fall with artists both local and global, each of whom decorated the same base — a small-scale wooden diamond shape — with pop, surreal and street imagery. Meet some of the artists at the reception; also on view are prints by Eric Joyner, Camilla d’Errico and Tara McPherson, among others.

Solace: New Works By Amber Cobb
Gildar Gallery 
September 19 through October 24
Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, September 19

Amber Cobb gets a solo at Gildar Gallery that’s designed to show how far the artist has come from casting mattresses in concrete, already a formidable process in itself. In Cobb’s visual realm, things are getting rubbery, gooey and more grotesque — and we can’t wait to see more.

Want more? See the Westword events listings for current gallery and art museum exhibitions and openings in the metro area. 
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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