The Nature of Things

No double take necessary: Although at first glance, Altered Nature: Notable Interpretations From South America, which opens today at the Metropolitan State College of Denver Center for Visual Art, seems like it might belong down the street at the Museo de las Americas, it fits right into the handsome Metro gallery space and well within the CVA's reputation for visually exciting shows coming from various cultural slants. Featuring the work of eight South American artists, including a few who now reside on the Front Range, this exhibition is based on a broad interpretation of nature in its many configurations, and, promises the gallery's Cecily Cullen, will be "filled with intense color, mystery, strange groupings and curious creations."

Cullen settled on the theme after visiting the Nature Conservancy South America website. "I was struck by the extreme biodiversity in South America: They have the driest desert on earth, the largest rain-forest and the highest navigable lake," Cullen says, adding that the intense colors and bold expression favored by many South American artists seem to channel that natural bounty. From Peruvian artist Aldo Chaparro's shiny, crumpled works (which, Cullen says, "appeal to the magpie in all of us") to the vibrant street art of Brazilian graffitist Highraff (who is slated for an installation at DIA later this year) and Brazilian Rosane Volchan O'Conor's oversized walk-through microscopic environment, Altered Nature is bound to be an eyeful. "It's going to be a lush, intense, immersive experience walking through the gallery," Cullen concludes.

Altered Nature continues at the CVA, 965 Santa Fe Drive, through November 5; for information about other related events, go to or call 303-294-5207.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 1. Continues through Nov. 5, 2011

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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