Love Is Love Blends Art and Activism at Emmanuel Gallery, Opening Today

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An art exhibit about love doesn’t always have to be heart-shaped Valentine’s Day fodder — though hearts might still be part of the equation. Tasked with developing a group show that celebrates the entire spectrum of love, Emmanuel Gallery curator Jacquelyn Connolly crafted Love Is Love, working with an eye-opening, multi-generational blend of emerging and established artists who represent the new boundaries of that thing that makes the world go ‘round in thought-provoking, conceptual and contemporary terms.

Love Is Love opens today in advance of the Auraria campus’s Day of Art in Action National Coming Out Day celebration on Tuesday, October 13; the gallery will also host a series of show-related events throughout the month, with performance-art works, readings and just plain partying over champagne with the artists.

“I wanted to host an exhibit that was celebratory,” Connolly explains. “I might be depressed by the world, but I'm a happy person. I want to see a show celebrating all the things we love about love, so I focused on artists wanting to show work about that side of themselves: their own love experiences and failures.”

And that side is wide. From Sarah Scott Wallace, there’s a life-sized diorama with a “love swing,” where viewers can pose for photographs, while Michael Brohman’s sculptural installation — with its centerpiece of cast feet in bronze and glass — ponders the entry of a beloved daughter into his longterm gay relationship. And at the gallery's October 23 Love Party, transgender Israeli artist Oree Holban will perform, lip-synching doo-wop tunes on a broken heart-shaped stage. No, this is not your typical love-themed art show. Here's a photo preview of what you’ll see when the show opens today.

Attend the opening reception for Love Is Love, which includes a performance by Dylan Scholinski, from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, October 8, at Emmanuel Gallery on the Auraria campus. Scholinski will also facilitate a workshop, “Nobody Knows I'm Trans,” from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 13, as part of the campus-wide Day of Art and Action.

On October 23, the gallery will host the Love Party from 7 to 10 p.m., with performances by participating artists Esther Hernandez, Oree Holban and Sur Ellz, and from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on November 3, Love is Love: A Micro-Salon will close out the show with a themed afternoon of love-inspired flash fiction and poetry, courtesy of the MSU Denver English Department. Visit the Emmanuel Gallery website for information; learn more about Day of Art and Action online.

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