See Performance Art, Feminist Art, Prison Art and More in Denver and Beyond | Westword
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See Performance Art, Feminist Art, Prison Art and More in Denver and Beyond

History Colorado opens its new John Fielder Mezzanine Gallery, and the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative shows creative works made behind bars.
Laura Shill, “Still available for parties (detail), photo documentation of grief performed as humiliation and persistance.
Laura Shill, “Still available for parties (detail), photo documentation of grief performed as humiliation and persistance. Courtesy of the artist
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Art spaces of all sizes, from museums to co-op galleries, level up with new shows and interesting viewpoints this weekend, though some might require a bit of a ride to reach.

Time for a road trip? If not, head straight to your corner co-op. Or check out more choices below:
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Eriko Tsogo, “Yellow Terror BBQ Gourmet NFT Sauce Signature Da Fire’ Extra Spicy Bold & Sassy goes whoosh!” 2023, barbecue.
Courtesy of the artist
Performing Self
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
Thursday, January 25, through April 28
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25, 5 to 8 p.m. (members: 5 to 6 p.m. free; public reception: 6 to 8 p.m., Pay-From-Your-Heart donation)
Simulated Selves: Panel Discussion: Thursday, March 14, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; $10 to $15 at Eventbrite
Performance art is personal art. More often than not, it takes the form of alter-ego characters who channel information or activism, superseding societal constructs that might silence the artist otherwise. It’s about letting it all hang out, going out on a limb, telling stories and hitting home in bizarre, extreme, hilarious, ugly, ritualistic and sad human ways. Seven multi-disciplinary artists — Tobias Fike, Noa Fodrie, Laura Lee Shill, Louis Trujillo, Eriko Tsogo and the team of Sherry Wiggins and Luís Filipe Branco — were selected to help unpack the possibilities of performance art at BMoCA in Performing Self, an exhibition made possible through the mixed use of photography, video, painting and installation. For further insight, BMoCA curator Jane Burke will lead a March 14 panel discussion on the use of technology and digital media to create performative personae, something we’ll see more of as tech overtakes the art world.
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Yana Payusova, “Woman in Motion.”
Yana Payusova
Pleasure & Protest in Contemporary Figure Painting: Jackie Gendel, Lovie Olivia, Yana Payusova, Alexis Pye and Keer Tanchak
Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery, Ent Center, 5225 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs
Thursday, January 25 through March 16
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25, 5 to 8 p.m.
The Pattern and Decoration art movement rose in the mid-’70s in response to cold Minimalism and Conceptualism, interpretive styles dominated by male artists, and more specifically as a feminist retort championed by painters Joyce Kozloff and Valerie Jaudon, though there were also male artists in the fold. Inspired by the beauty and rich patterning in the decorative arts, seen in everything from quilts, embroidery and wallpaper to tile and mosaics, the movement has survived disregard by critics, reappearing now in Pleasure & Protest in Contemporary Figure Painting, opening at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery at UCCS in Colorado Springs. Jackie Gendel, Lovie Olivia, Yana Payusova, Alexis Pye and Keer Tanchak, the five artists in the exhibition, use decorative craft and patterning techniques to portray the human figure.
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Artwork by Hector Castillo
Courtesy of University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative
Sarah McKenzie and University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative, To See Inside: Art, Architecture, and Incarceration
Museum of Art Fort Collins, 201 South College Avenue, 
Fort Collins
Friday, January 26, through March 17
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25, 6 to 8 p.m.
In 2021, Boulder-based artist Sarah McKenzie, known for her large-scale studies of architectural environments, was pulled to work with the incarcerated through the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative, while also continuing to explore the lines and angles of the prison environment in her own paintings. To See Inside offers an opportunity to view the results of those intermingled projects, pairing McKenzie’s finished works with artwork and personal writings by the prisoners themselves.
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Jivan Lee: “Northeast (Happy Birthday),” 2019, oil paint.
Jivan Lee, courtesy of the William Havu Gallery
Jivan Lee: Full Circle
Margaret Kenway Haydon: New Cast Porcelain Works
Ricki Klages: New Work
William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street
Friday, January 26, through March 9
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 6 to 9 p.m.

William Havu Gallery celebrates all things natural in three new shows opening this weekend, beginning with the rich, painterly regional landscapes of feature artist Jivan Lee, who builds his scenery with thick dabs of color to create oil paintings that nearly jump off the wall in veils of blue shadows and pure light. Also in the house is Margaret Kenway Haydon, whose cast porcelain branches, bees and floating sturgeon are piled like bones and kindling, or spread across a wall, reminding viewers of the fragility of nature; and Ricki Klages, a versatile realist who captures groves of tree trunks, striking portraits, landscapes and fanciful figurative visions.

Flow: On the River With John Fielder
History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway
Friday, January 26, through January 27, 2024
The History Colorado Center cuts the ribbon for the new John Fielder Mezzanine Gallery with Flow: On the River, a selection of nine photographs hand-selected from John Fielder's Colorado Collection, a 6,000-plus gold mine of Colorado landscapes Fielder gifted to the museum a year ago, before passing away last August. The first in a planned five-year run of rotating exhibitions from the collection, the show captures the stunning canyons of the Yampa, Gunnison and Dolores rivers.

The Sketchbook Show
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA), 1405 Florence Street, Aurora
Friday, January 26, through February 26
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 4 to 7 p.m.
The Sketchbook Show, DAVA’s new winter show, diverges a little bit from the usual in that it’s a general community show for local K-12 artists, rather than one confined to fruits of the mentor-student model that defines the organization’s purpose. See what kinds of art the youngest generation of artists is producing while enjoying snacks and drinks at the opening.
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Barbara Veatch, "Ellipsoid."
Barbara Veatch
Terra / Earth / Ground
Andrew Ryan Lucero, Germinate, in the Annex
Core Art Space, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, January 26, through February 11
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 5 to 10 p.m.
Core unveils the open-entry exhibition Terra / Earth / Ground, juried by City of Greenwood Village Cultural Arts Manager Chris Stevens, in the main gallery. Driven by a wide-open Earth theme and open to any art discipline other than video, the show delivers a vast variety of ideas and mediums. In the Core Annex, see the spiritually derived work of Andrew Ryan Lucero.
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Jennifer Pettus, “Tease” (detail), mixed media.
Jennifer Pettus
David Clark: New Growth
Mark Farrell: Here Comes a Regular
Harita Patel: Stitched Into Belief
Jennifer Pettus: Nearly There

Edge Gallery, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, January 26, through February 11
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 6 to 9 p.m.

Four Edge associates claim space for new shows in the gallery. David Clark continues his mixed-media botanical still-life series, introducing oil paint to his tool box; Mark Farrell mounts a show of older works titled Here Comes a Regular, inspired by the Replacements song; Harita Patel combines needlework, printmaking and poetry in thoughtful works; and Jennifer Pettus asks questions about the uneasy connections between art and craft through sculptural improvisations in fiber and everyday materials.

Lisa Lee Adams, Trust. Release. Repeat.
Gwen Ahers, Whispers
Next Gallery, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, January 26, through February 11
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 5 to 10 p.m.
Next members Lisa Lee Adams and Gwen Ahers contribute new shows this weekend. Adams creates organic and mixed-media works derived from nature and the imagination, while Ahers's abstract portraits of animals are inspired by Native American cultural touchstones. And artists, take note: Next is reviving its annual Casa Bonita tribute show for another year, as people still evaluate the newly opened version of the kitschy Lakewood classic. Submissions are accepted through February 6; find all the info here.

Untitled: Artist Takeover: Cultivating Spaces 
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
Friday, January 26, 6 to 10 p.m.
Untitled is back with another season of quarterly art evenings at the Denver Art Museum, this time under the direction of visual artist Quána Madison and Denver musician Wes Watkins, on a theme of Cultivating Spaces. Inspired by the exhibition All Stars: American Artists From the Phillips Collection, the evening’s cultivation of spaces begins in the Martin Building with a live-art-and-music collaboration between Madison and Watkins and takes off from there, with stopovers for continued music with Watkins and singer Venus Cruz, scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Phamaly, Melissa Watkins’s radio play Denver Was Different, several one-night art installations by Madison and Zachariah White, and more. Gate admission ranges from free to $22 here.
William Henry Jackson, “Veta Pass, Colorado, 1882.”
William Henry Jackson, courtesy of Longmont Museum
Picturing the West: Masterworks of American Landscape Photography
Longmont Museum, 350 Kimbark Street, Longmont
Friday, January 26, through May 5
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 6 to 8 p.m.
Admission: $5 to $8 (members and children three and under free)
The Longmont Museum takes art viewers back to earlier days in Colorado history with an exhibition loaded with photographic imagery of the Colorado landscape by the likes of Carleton Watkins, William Henry Jackson and Eadweard Muybridge, as well as works by female photographers and photographers of color from the same era. Selected from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, the photographs are accompanied by a selection of period cameras for context.
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Jamie Stamm. "Croco Dykes."
Jamie Stamm
In Plain Sight: Queer Rural Narratives From the Water and the Land
Old Masonic Hall, 136 Main Street, Breckenridge
Saturday, January 27, through April 28
Performance and Campus Crawl: A Las Escondidas (Hide and Seek), with José Villalobos: Saturday, January 27, 5 p.m., free
In Plain Sight Opening Reception: Saturday, January 27, 5 to 8 p.m. (artist talk at 6 p.m.)
Breck Create’s winter programs are in full swing with the arrival of In Plain Sight, an exhibition that examines rural life and issues from a queer point of view. Five artists — Ben Cuevas, Lindsey Cherek Waller, Robert Martin, Janie Stamm and José Villalobos — explore aspects of family, climate change, relationships to the landscape and land management with a queer eye and personal narratives. An Arts District Campus Crawl accompanies the show’s opening reception on January 27, which includes tours of campus facilities, artist demos, family crafts and a performance by Villalobos at dusk.
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LA Samuelson performs within a sculpture.
Photo: Laura Conway
Home Dreams: The ache lives in all of us
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
Saturday, January 27, through March 10
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 27, 6 to 9 p.m.
$5 suggested donation at the door for non-members.

Besides the dedicated studio space and imperative to simply make art, RedLine offers its resident artists the gift of community, which acts as a sounding board, offering a sense of mutual empathy and positivity that can be hard to hook up with in the real world. It is an exemplary home base for artists finding direction. RedLine’s annual residents show, Home Dreams, echoes the many meanings of home while honoring resident artists from 2020-2022 and 2022-2024, a talented and diverse cross-section of creative folks now making their way in a post-pandemic art world. Curated this time by Jeff Lambson, director of the Emmanuel Art Gallery and CU Denver Experience Gallery at the University of Colorado Denver, Home Dreams is an indication of how community keeps artists all on track.

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