Scott Bailey and Myah Mazcara of the defiantly lowbrow gallery Sally Centigrade recruited their friend and Colorado Public Radio OpenAir host Alicia "Bruce" Trujillo to curate a show matching visual artists with acts across genres — from hip-hop, rock and Americana bands to a marching outfit — to create a series of faux concert posters promoting the exhibit itself, Mile High Mixtape: Vol. 1.
The show, which opens tonight, Thursday, July 19, was timed to launch in the middle of Denver's music festival season, between the Westword Music Showcase and the Underground Music Showcase.
The hope is that by bringing artists from these two often isolated creative disciplines together, future collaborations might emerge, says Trujillo.
To launch the project, she drew up a list of fifty bands and pared it down to twenty. The gallery provided a roster of visual artists, mostly screen printers, but also painters and illustrators, and Trujillo reviewed their work, mixing and matching them with the bands based on shared aesthetics.
Once everybody had signed on, she gave the visual artists links to albums and encouraged them to check out the musicians' concerts.
Other matchings looked a little further afield. For example, the noisy, post-apocalyptic marching band Itchy-O and the pop artist David Palmer, who took the masked musicians' shadowy work and set it to a white backdrop, taking the horror out of the act but also interpreting the music in a fresh, funny light.
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Lindsey Kuhn named her Nuns of Brixtons poster after the Clash cover band's late drummer, Johnny Bender, who died on July 17.
Mile High Mixtape: Vol. 1 opens tonight, Thursday, July 19, from 5 to 10 p.m. at a free event that will include an acoustic performance by Denver rocker Tammy Shine, aka Tammy Ealom from Dressy Bessy.
The show runs through August 18 at Sally Centigrade Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street in Lakewood.