Month of Photography: Nine shows to see

The city's Month of Photography has gone from a blip to a major event over the last few years; credit photographer Mark Sink for choreographing this year's liftoff into the stratosphere. MOP has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, but how do you navigate through all the shows on view this month at as many as 100 galleries, museums and venues around town? Well, first, you can refer to the convenient Denver Month of Photography Google Map. Or you can take our advice and hit some of these shows mentioned below; then, see where the wind blows you.

Discoveries of the Houston FotoFest Meeting Place, Thought Objects and Modern Uses of Alternative Processes. RedLine Gallery, 2350 Arapahoe Street, 303-296-4448.

RedLine, MOP's hub, is hosting several events during March, including everything from informal lectures to rare professional portfolio reviews, as well as these three shows. The first is one of two traveling exhibitions in the nation generated by Houston's FotoFest photography biennial (the other opens this month in New York City).

Thought Objects, curated by MOP-meister Sink, is a group show that includes, but isn't exclusive to, several local artists, all hand-picked by Sink for their craft, humor and imagination. And Modern Uses of Alternative Processes explores a backward trend in photography that Sink himself is part of: a return to such antiquated and process-heavy techniques, including photo-montage, daguerreotypes, wet plate collodion tintypes, ambrotypes, cyanotype, bromoil and platinum prints. The shows open tonight during First Friday and continue through April 26; a reception will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on March 11.

The Big Picture: Images Inside, Out the Door and Around the World Illiterate Gallery, 82 South Broadway, 303-993-4474

The Big Picture begins within the narrow confines of Illiterate, but takes off from there to walls, windows and billboards all around town...and the world. Featuring large-scale Xerox copies of work by a local and global community of contemporary photographers, The Big Picture serves both as an act of high-brow street art and an international exchange. Start at Illiterate as an introduction, then hit the GPS trail with this Google Map which pinpoints the locations of the wheat-pasted works (all have been pre-approved) wherever they are displayed.

Random Big Picture images will also be displayed on the Downtown Denver Theatre District's new Jumbotron screen on the corner of the Denver Performing Arts Complex at 14th and Arapahoe streets; an eventual book and film documenting the project will be released in the future.

The Big Picture opens tonight at Illiterate with a reception from 6 to 11 p.m., and continues through March 25.

Exuberant Absurdity / Intimate Immensity, photo montage by David Tippit. Byers-Evans House Gallery, 1310 Bannock Street, 303-620-4933.

Bask in the Dada and have a beautiful laugh at this photo-montage exhibition featuring Tippit's modern tribute to collage works typified in the early twentieth century by Man Ray and friends. Tippit juxtaposes images from old issues of LIFE Magazine; visit the gallery during First Friday receptions from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight and April 1 or hear Tippit speak at a gallery talk from 1 to 3 p.m. March 19. Tippit's work will be on view through April 30.

Jim River, Roddy MacInnes. Penrose Library, 2150 East Evans Avenue, 303 871-3707.

University of Denver professor Roddy MacInnes joins the fray with this series at DU's Penrose Library, which is inspired by photos taken in 1917 by a North Dakota woman named Nina Weist from two albums MacInnes found at an antique mall. MacInnes eventually revisited the land where Weist lived and shot her pictures, photographing its modern-day people and landscape in juxtaposition to her original images. Jim River opens on March 22 with a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; see the show through June 3. Traditionally Unconventional, group show curated by Jessica Ellis and John Davenport. Edge Gallery, 3658 Navajo Street, 303-477-7173.

This local group show, curated from the co-op point of view, opens tonight and continues through March 27; an artist talk takes place at 3 p.m. March 19 and a closing reception from 6 to 10 p.m. March 25. It's All Here in Black and White: A Woman Photographers Small Works Show. tbellphotographic studio/gallery, CORE New Art Space, 900 Santa Fe Drive.

Juried by Loretta Young-Gautier of the renowned and soon-to-shut Camera Obscura Gallery, this show celebrates the crossroads of MOP and International Women's Day with an all-woman roster of artists. Attend receptions tonight or on March 19.

Figureworks, Allen Birnbach. Denver Photo Art Gallery, 833 Santa Fe 
Drive, 303-744-7979.

Photographer Allen Birnbach tosses beautiful nudes into the wild in his Figureworks photographs, and that's really all you need to know: basic humanity meets nature head-on with pristine exuberance. See Birnbach's work at receptions tonight and March 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. or visit the gallery through April 30.

The West is Here | Photography by Patti Hallock. Plus Gallery, 2501 Larimer Street, 303-296-0927.

Plus Gallery photography artist Patti Hallock embodies both the pure landscapes of the West and its darker shadows in her elegant and starkly direct work. The show opens tonight with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and continues through April 9.

Hakim Alkarim, Bill Armstrong and Eric Schwartz. Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788.

Robischon Gallery's MOP entry features strong work from three artists, all hovered over by Halim Alkarim's floaty, frightening aura-mask portraits and Eric Schwartz's spooky retrospective of black-and-gray tattoos. The shows, which opened a month ago, continue through March 26.

Call it a Pandora's Box Camera, but there is oh, so much more to explore during the Month of Photography. And while this is meant to pique your interest, it's all worth seeking out, if you have the time and inclination. Check out the MOP website for all the shows and information.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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