Gallery Sketches: Five shows for First Friday

First Friday comes but once a month, with an embarrassment of gallery riches: fresh exhibitions, pop-up parties, people-watching, performances and great art. Organized navigation isn't always necessary to have a good time on First Friday; still, it doesn't hurt to have some direction -- especially since there are some don't-miss shows and workshops that feel as spontaneous as they are inspiring.

See also: Muertos in May

Tobias Fike: Then and now and then, in the main gallery. Souther Salazar: Today is the Day, in the project room. David B. Smith Gallery May 2 through May 31 Opening reception: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 2

Tobias Fike works in personal realms, using whatever materials best suit his visual goals. The centerpiece of Then and now and then is a pyramid of cardboard boxes, starlit from within and held together by an autobiographical framework. Elaborate in concept but simple as an experience, the installation and accompanying photographic works will have your mind swirling in the night sky. In counterpoint, Souther Salazar's site-specific installation brings color and whimsy into the spotlight. Continue reading for more First Friday shows.

A Baker's Dozen Mai Wyn Fine Art May 2 through June 14 Opening reception: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 2

Mai Wyn brightens up May with a group show juried by Denver public-art honcho Michael Chavez. The thirteen artists represent art-scene veterans and newer faces alike in a variety of mediums, and to up the ante for this juicy group, the gallery is promising a solo exhibition in 2015 to the winner of Best in Show. To size up the competition, Chavez will give a gallery talk at 6 p.m. on May 8.

Industrial Project Wonderbound Studio/Junction Box  7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3 $10 suggested donation

Dancing in your head: First Friday isn't always about art on a wall. Sometimes the art moves, as it will at Wonderbound, where the modern ballet company's dancers will perform original work in the relaxed atmosphere of the studio. It's also a party, with mingling and beer, wine and munchies; there will be two encore performances tomorrow, as well. The $10 donation benefits the Artist Resource Fund. 
 Continue reading for more First Friday shows. EvB Studio Mini-Shops: Clay Birds EvB Studio 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 2 Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 3

Hands-on activity is another aspect of gallery-going on First Friday, especially at EvB Studio at 44th Avenue and Tennyson Street, where clay artist Marie Gibbons leads her monthly drop-in mini-shops. For May, her guests will be making clay birds in an ode to spring; Gibbons provides tools and materials, and fires and black-washes each piece for pickup at a later date, all for a $10 fee. Can't make it tonight? There's an encore tomorrow afternoon.

J. Diane Martonis: Justamere Sandy and Terry Lane and David Reed: The Butterfly Effect Ice Cube Gallery May 1 through May 24 Opening reception: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 2

Ice Cube's spacious rooms fill up tonight with two shows. Diane Mortonis's delicate pastiche of shadows and cut paper recalls summers at her family's summer cottage in western New York State, while a joint multimedia installation by Sandy and Terry Lane, with David Reed, injects a shot of science into a study of genetic disorders.

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