Denver’s citywide biennial March Month of Printmaking showcase Mo’Print keeps growing. That's both a great thing — and a big challenge. What to see? Where to go? Trust us, the deliberations are difficult, but we tried to pare it down to a few key shows and events.
528.O Regional Juried Printmaking Exhibition
Imprint: Print Educators of Colorado
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Through March 29
Print Madness Demo Day, Saturday, March 21, noon to 4 p.m.
The Arvada Center opened its spacious galleries to a pair of key printmaking shows in January in conjunction with Mo’Print, beginning with the 528.0 Regional, a big group show by artists living within a 528-mile radius of Denver. Seventy-five printmakers were culled from 422 entries for the juried exhibition, while Imprint, on the upper floors of the center, pays due tribute to Colorado’s invaluable teaching printmakers — and Westword art critic Michael Paglia approves. The exhibition schedule includes a free Print Madness community celebration, with workshops and demos for all ages, on March 21 from noon to 4 p.m.; RSVP in advance.
Spirit Resonance: The Vitality of Printmaking
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue
Through April 5
The group show Spirit Resonance, another of Mo’Print 2020’s earliest official entries, opened in January at the McNichols Building. It looks at the inner vitality expressed by contemporary printmakers. Taiko Chandler, Catherine Chauvin, Marie-Dolma Chophel, Angela Craven, Jade Hoyer and Sangeeta Reddy share the spark of creativity in a balance of imagery and techniques.
Prints From the Kwiatkowski Press
Pablo’s Coffee, 630 East Sixth Avenue
Through April 30
Mo’Print 2020 boasts many worthy little shows, hole-in-the-wall and otherwise, but the Denver street artist Frank Kwiatkowski is a talent from the city’s printmaking underground. A pioneer in the art of cone-cutting, he carves his imagery — often about life as a diabetic — into the surfaces of stretched-out orange traffic cones. He prints them and sells them to people on the streets, where he works as a pedicab driver. Check out Kwiatkowski's maverick creativity, and while you're at it, get a great cup of coffee.
Rauschenberg: Reflections and Ruminations
Museum of Outdoor Arts, 1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood
Through June 13
A major show of works by luminary pop-art precursor Robert Rauschenberg should be on every modern-art lover’s list, but this one has the added charm of fitting right into the groove of Mo’Print, thanks to the artist’s free blending of media, including photographic and print processes, in two-dimensional and sculptural works. More than fifty of those artworks will be on display at MOA through June.
In Process: Printmaking Studio and Exhibition
Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive
Through March 21
Instead of slapping more prints on the wall for Mo’Print, CVA director Cecily Cullen has decided to let gallery-goers really explore the art of printmaking, nuts, bolts and all. The exhibition itself comprises a trove of process proofs, notes, sketches and tools that go into creating works using various print media, but the hands-on element — a series of public workshops where people can make and take their own prints — is the real star here, beginning with free printmaking opportunities for all at the reception. Register in advance for fee-based workshops priced from $10 to $25 that follow in March.
Black Ink: A Mo'Print Fundraiser
TRVE Brewing, 227 Broadway
Friday, March 6, 7 p.m. to midnight
$10, all prints, cash/card and carry
Here’s a Mo’Print fundraiser that couldn’t be more painless: Raise a brew, chat with artists, buy a black-and-white linocut for only $10 and help keep Mo’Print rolling in 2022.
Estampas Corrientes y Comunes (Current and Common Prints)
CHAC Gallery, 222 Santa Fe Drive
Through March 31
Opening Reception: Friday, March 6, 6 to 9 p.m.
CHAC’s big entry for Mo’Print 2020 explores the sociopolitical roots of Latino and Chicano printmaking practices with fresh work from a national pool of artists, including several Denver-based luminaries brought together by artist/curator Tony Ortega. Expect an exhibition rich in technique and cultural subject matter. It’s a bold move for CHAC; the attention is well deserved.
Process and Print
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, 1201 Bannock Street
Through April 5
Print demos with Art Gym: Sunday, March 8, noon to 5 p.m., free with museum admission.
Kirkland Museum deputy curator Christopher Herron pulled out a selection of prints by Colorado artists Lawrence Barrett, Gustave Baumann, Mark Lunning and Edward Marecak from the museum’s collection, along with some tools of the trade they used. As a bonus, the Kirkland will host Gregory Santos and other printmakers from the Art Gym for an afternoon of artist demonstrations on March 8.
Mo'Print 2020 Open Portfolio Day
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
Saturday, March 14, 1 to 4 p.m.
One of Mo’Print’s highlights, Open Portfolio brings you face-to-face with Colorado printmaking artists young and old, in various points of their careers — and the list of artists participating is fifty strong. Buy direct from the artist and learn about techniques from the horse’s mouths during an afternoon filled with art and conversation.
Art Gym Printmaking Member Exhibit, through March 13
Separation Proofs, through March 13
imPressed, March 19 though April 10
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
imPressed Reception: Thursday, March 19, 5 to 8 p.m.
Art Gym houses one of the city’s most active printmaking studios, where member artists from all walks can use communal equipment to create work under the direction of master printer Gregory Santos. The gallery’s printmaking member show and Separation Prints, a display of print-process tools used by Art Gym artists Leon Loughridge and Tony Ortega, are up until March 19, when imPressed, a national exhibition, takes over the walls.
Mo’Print Studio + Print Tour 2020
Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
See where and how print art is made, all over the city and beyond, and for every purpose, from poster graphics and letterpress to fine etchings and lithographs. Part of the fun is in the hunt itself: Find a list of participating studios and tour maps for both days online, and prepare for an exhilarating art experience.
Steamroller Cone Zone Printmaking Event
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design Campus, 1600 Pierce Street, Lakewood
April 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Another Mo’Print favorite tradition involves making prints using a steamroller for a press, allowing wood-block printmakers to produce work as large as three by eight feet. More impressive than an ordinary demo, the event is a hoot to watch, and you can participate if you choose by registering in advance no later than April 4. If you do go DIY to make a print, you also have the option of hanging your oversized work for a Cone Zone show at RMCAD that will be up through May 22. Get your hands dirty!
Denver Small Press Fest 2020
Center for Visual Art, MSU Denver, 965 Santa Fe Drive
Saturday, March 21, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Printmaking is more than making art: There’s also a functional element to printing impressions on paper. The Denver Small Press Fest, revived after a hiatus of a few years, homes in on the world of print media, from zines and chapbooks to comics and small-press books. Vendors will man sixty tables at CVA for a fitting end to the gallery’s DIY Mo’Print exhibition and workshop series, once again bringing you in contact with printers of every stripe. Update: This event has been canceled.
That’s a start. While this list points out Mo’Print 2020 high points, it also only scratches the surface of what’s out there to see and do through March and beyond, from exhibits and workshops to parties and demos.
Additional stellar shows include Kevin Grances at Leon Gallery, Hard Pressed at Space Gallery, Prints From Shark’s Ink at Michael Warren Contemporary and even some as far afield as Sterling, where Mo'Print co-founder Mark Lunning’s seminal Open Press LTD is working with artists and printing away after its move from Denver a few years ago. And for a look at some really big woodcuts, drop by Red Delicious Press to view work printed on the studio’s candy-apple-red oversized “Red Delicious” press, through March 31.
Some of the hands-on workshops require registration and fees; participants are encouraged to register early to ensure a spot. And do some research on your own: Make sure you don’t miss a thing by visiting Mo’Print online for more details.
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