Gallery Sketches: Three New Shows in Denver for October 9-11

From a magnificent solo by Joel Swanson at the Museum of Outdoor Arts to a deadly beautiful tribute to plants that go bump in the night in Aurora to a celebration in a rare survivor of that dying breed, the RiNo art-studio warehouse, this weekend is shaping up as a great one for lovers of all kinds of art.
Joel Swanson: Polysemic
Museum of Outdoor Art
October 10 through February 27, 2016
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, October 10

Denver artist Joel Swanson takes the underlying messages of typography to a higher level in Polysemic, a massive solo show that takes over the Museum of Outdoor Arts. In keeping with MOA’s 2015 theme of "Altered Reality," Swanson’s show title says it all — and a little more: Polysemic means "a word or sign that has a number of meanings, interpretations or understandings.” Says Swanson: "The works in this exhibition are translations, transformations and transpositions of textual forms; they challenge us to rethink the various ways in which language permeates and shapes our daily lives.” What will you see between the lines?

The Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists, Wicked Plants
Aurora Cultural Arts District Gallery 
1400 Dallas Street, Aurora
October 10 through November 1
Opening reception: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, October 10

ACAD and the RMSBA teamed up to present something spooky for October: a botanical show dedicated to the realm of noxious and poisonous plants, from hemlock and opium poppies and the mysterious nightshade to our old favorite, the stinky Corpse Flower. ACAD will also host a two-day workshop, "Creating Botanical Illustrations with Line Etching," on October 12 and 13, as well as a closing reception/Halloween party on October 30. Think of the costume options!
Second Annual Art and Music Festival: Dreams, Visions and other Observations
Wazee Union 
October 9 through 30
Receptions: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, October 10, Saturday, October 17, and Saturday, October 30

The soon-to-be-redeveloped Wazee Union continues to live out its last days without skipping a beat by bringing back the Music and Art Festival, an art show with a party atmosphere that shows off the art-studio maze’s community spirit. The group show Dreams, Visions and Other Observations will generate three receptions during its run, all with live music, beginning this weekend with a rousing set from the Velvet Elvis, Jonny Barber. Admission is free.

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

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