Art Attack: Mopping Up at MoP, and Other New Shows

Bonny Lhotka, "Dusk," pigment on frosted acrylic.
Bonny Lhotka, "Dusk," pigment on frosted acrylic. Bonny Lhotka, Walker Fine Art
Along with a last-minute rush of Month of Photography exhibitions, new shows in Denver this weekend include an immersion into modern Colombia opening at the Museo de las Americas, new shows at Rule Gallery, PlatteForum, Bell Projects, D’art Gallery, and Walker Fine Art and William Havu Gallery, which conveniently face one another across Cherokee Street. Go for it.
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Tabitha Soren, ",”  2018, archival pigment print.
Tabitha Soren, Rule Gallery
Month of Photography Denver March 16-19
Month of Photography devotees won’t be dissatisfied with the new rash of openings this weekend, but don’t miss the sideshows, including artist and/or curator talks by Bill Adams at Emmanuel Gallery; Alicia Bailey at Spark Gallery; Ron Davis, Andre Rodriguez and Julia Vandenoever at Access Gallery; Todd Pierson at the History Colorado Center; and Renluka Maharaj at the Denver Art Museum. Check the MoP calendar for details. Find Westword’s MoP best-show picks here, and additional shows of interest below.

Marfa-based photographer Britland Tracy has a hand in both Month of Photography exhibitions opening Friday, March 17, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and running through May 6 at Rule Gallery, 808 Santa Fe Drive: She curated the group show, and the second is her own solo in the upstairs Viewing Room. Soft Mirror showcases Kei Ito, Dionne Lee, Rafael Soldi and Tabitha Soren, a quartet of artists who process images of violence using alternative photographic techniques and a personal emotional lens. The inclusion of Kei Ito, whose larger solo show at the Allicar Museum (see Westword picks) at CSU is a distance away, offers a much closer look at his images repurposing found imagery from the bombing of Hiroshima, an event his grandfather lived through only to die years later of cancer. Lee includes collage and video in her toolbox, while Soldi references his own experience as a queer student during a brand of hazing at a Catholic boys' school and Soren digitally erases found photos of violence both natural and human-caused with the fingerprints and smeared dust covering her iPad screen. Tracy, on the other hand, uses long-exposure shots of moving imagery from television and movies to obscure the visuals while monitoring the passage of time and erasure of common sense as violence erupts. The result is both visceral and blindly numbing.

After working with ArtLab students for six weeks at PlatteForum, mentor Anthony Maes, a Denver photojournalist and street photographer, and said teens will show off Generations, an exhibition of imagery depicting life and places in the community. The show opens Friday, March 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at PlatteForum’s Savoy Denver location, 2700 Arapahoe Street, and runs through March 31.
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Seth Mayer gets the concept at D'art Gallery's Conceptual Photography show.
Seth Mayer
The D’art co-op, 900 Santa Fe Drive, opens its doors to a Month of Photography exhibition juried by MoP founder Mark Sink. For Conceptual Photography, Sink pulled his favorites from a staggering 400 imaginative submissions meant to exact a “wow” reaction from the viewing audience. An unrelated show, Maria Pacca: Entanglement: A Collection of Unusual Drawings and Collages, opens simultaneously in the East Gallery.
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Photographer Kevin Hoth joins the group for Transient Presence at Walker Fine Art.
Kevin Hoth, Walker Fine Art
A fine group photography show that really should be a pick, Transient Presence opens on Friday, March 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, #A, showcasing a wide swath of photo-based artists including Jane Fulton Alt, Kevin Hoth, Katie Kindle, Bonny Lhotka, Joo Yeon Woo and Melanie Walker. Alternative practices and techniques, as well as installation work, will prevail in this show.
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Kaitlyn Jo Smith, “Westinghouse.”
Kaitlyn Jo Smith, Bell Projects
Bell Projects, 2822 East 17th Avenue, glides into a second-round show for MoP 2023 with Kaitlyn Jo Smith: Mass Production, opening on Sunday March 19, from 4 to 8 p.m., and running through April 30. Smith observes the automation of factories as it shapes the working class by comparing it to the ritualistic, mind-conditioning aspects of a Catholic mass. Viewers are asked to kneel as if to pray while viewing artifacts of mass production. It’s not a stretch to see capitalism and religion as similar constructs, is it?
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Wilmer Useche, “Río Catatumbo.”
Wilmer Useche, Museo de las Americas
Colombia: The Corn, The River and The Grave
Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive

Thursday, March 16, through August 20
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 16, 6 to 9 p.m.
The Museo de las Americas' new exhibition, Colombia: The Corn, The River and The Grave, more than four years in the making, explores modern Colombia’s struggle to juggle progress and tradition. Curated by Alex Brahim, who compares the plight of Colombia, where natural resources are being pillaged, to Colorado’s own conflicts between developers and preservationists, the show represents artists from diverse regions, working in mediums ranging from ancient to contemporary.
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Taylor Coble, “Tangled Up in Blue,” mixed media.
Taylor Coble
Lois R. Lupica and Taylor Coble, Elsewhere
Sync Gallery, 931 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, March 17, through April 17
Opening Reception: Friday, March 17, 6 to 9 p.m.
Sunday Art Walk on Santa Fe: Sunday, March 26, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sync Gallery presents Elsewhere, a pair of member solos, including works evoking the landscape by encaustic painter Lois Lupica and photo-based mixed media by Taylor Coble.
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Richard Carter, "Fossil Variation."
Richard Carter, William Havu Gallery
John Gibson: New Paintings
Richard Carter: Anomalies
William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street
Friday, March 17, through May 8
Opening Friday, March 17, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Havu Gallery premieres a pair of solos including still-life paintings of striped or polka-dotted ball-like shapes in different conformations by John Gibson, and evocative geometric paintings scattered with landscape, architectural and symbolic imagery from Richard Carter, a Herbert Bayer colleague.The shows open on Friday, March 17.
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Ice, Ice baby: Meet ice sculptor Lizzie Bougatsos at two Dikeou Collection locations.
Lizzie Bougatsos, Dikeou Collection
Lizzi Bougatsos: The State of Amerikkka
Dikeou Collection, 1615 California Street, fifth floor
Friday, March 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
Lizzi Bougatsos: Black is the color of my true love’s hair
Dikeou Pop-up: Colfax, 312 East Colfax Avenue
Monday, March 20, 6 to 8 p.m.

Ice carver and cultural polymath Lizzi Bougatsos graces the Dikeou Collection Friday with her 2021 ephemeral artwork The State of Amerikkka, a comment on the effects of colonialization on American Indigenous people using tobacco as a symbolic marker. Bougatsos, who is also a vocalist and drummer in the New York bands Gang Gang Dance, Angelblood and IUD, pops up again on Monday, March 20, at Dikeou’s pop-up location on Colfax Avenue to perform noise music inspired by avant-garde ’60s vocalist Patty Waters. A second ice sculpture, this one a self-portrait, will be on view for the evening.

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Contact: Susan Froyd

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