Gallery Sketches: Six New Shows in Denver for the Weekend of May 15-17

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From documentary photography to explorations in abstraction, innovative techniques and unexpected collaborations, new shows in Denver galleries will provoke thought while also pleasing the eye. You don’t have to wait until First Friday for first-class gallery-going experiences.

Mixed Bag: Marijuana in the Highlands 
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
Through June 27
Closing reception: 2 p.m. June 27

CPAC lights up with commentary on the contemporary pot trade for Mixed Bag: Marijuana in the Highlands, a three-person exhibition of photography by H. Lee (a pseudonym), Benjamin Rasmussen and Theo Stroomer. Two of the photographers are from Colorado — Rasmussen, who documents the industry’s business side from the growhouse to the retail store, and Stroomer, who personifies the shared weed experience with GIFs shot at marijuana gatherings; for his project GraGrassland, Lee explores underground pot-grow operations in the shadow of the redwoods of Humboldt County, California.  "This exhibition visualizes our culture’s tentative embrace of marijuana use, the legalization, and the commercialization of its trade,” says CPAC director Rupert Jenkins. “As Denver residents know all too well, the benefits of that trade are a mixed bag.” Meet all three at the closing reception on June 27, where they’ll answer questions during an artist talk.

Deborah Zlotsky, Don Voisine, Jason Karolak and Ted Larsen
Robischon Gallery 

Through July 3

Robischon Gallery heads into summer with a quartet of solo shows by artists whose works are all about the beautiful mechanics of making art and creating spatial illusions on canvas or in the three dimensions of sculpture. Color, shapes, textures and composition come together in variety of ways in the shows, which are complemented by the works of Derrick Velasquez, Kate Petley and Jae Ko in the Viewing Room.

Hypnagogia, New Work by Pard Morrison
Rule Gallery 
May 15 through June 27
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday May 15

Colorado native Pard Morrison creates wall constructions that that explore hypnogogia, defined as the mind’s transition from wakefulness to sleep. Hard-edged on first look, these are works that lead viewers over the edge into a dream state where things are not always what they seem. If you miss the May 15 reception, Rule will be hosting a second opening on First Friday in June.

Something Borrowed, Something New 
Point Gallery
May 15 through 29
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 15

Antiques and art mingle in Something Borrowed, Something New, for which twelve artists riffed on items from the collection of Denver antiques dealer Eron Johnson in a variety of ways: Some reinterpret their chosen object, while others incorporate the actual piece into the artwork.

Act of Drawing: Artwork by Etsuko Ichikawa
Michael Warren Contemporary
Through June 20
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 15

The rare techniques of creating artwork with fire and water will be showcased in this unusual show of pyrographs and aquagraphs from Etsuko Ichikawa. She employs gestural movements to spread molten glass on a surface and capture a fleeting moment in time in the process: Call it the art of smoke and mirrors. Ichikawa returns to the gallery from 10 a.m. to noon on May 16 to give an artist talk on her unusual practice.

Selections from the Collection, 1981-2015 
Museum of Outdoor Arts
May 16 through July 11
Opening reception: 6 p.m. Saturday May 16

MOA struts out prized pieces from its extensive collection of art by national and local artists, from Joseph Raffael's monumental painting "Black Spring” to works by a who’s who of Colorado artists, including Patricia Aaron, Tsehai Johnson, Robert Mangold, Chandler Romeo, Daniel Sprick and Craig Marshall Smith. Enjoy live music, food and drinks at the May 16 opening.

Want more? See the Westword art event listings to learn more about current gallery and art museum exhibitions and openings in the metro area. 

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.