Art Attack: Twelve of the Best Things for Gallery Lovers to Do This Weekend

It's a big — and small — world for kids at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts.
It's a big — and small — world for kids at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts. Courtesy of DAVA
It’s clearly summer in Denver’s art world, which breaks out with parties, open houses, celebrations, art trucks, limited-edition releases and more than a modicum of fun, fun, fun this weekend — along with some loaded gallery openings. Have a good time at these twelve art events.

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Becky Wareing Steele and DAVA youth artists create their own worlds.
Courtesy of DAVA
Social Spheres
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, 1405 Florence Street, Aurora
June 20 to September 6
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 20, 4 to 7 p.m.

DAVA celebrates World Refugee Day with Social Spheres, an exhibition that’s a nod to diversity in downtown Aurora and the changing world as experienced by young people. And much like the suburb’s cultural makeup, the show takes many shapes, veering from miniaturized environments by artist Becky Wareing Steele and work from the DAVA youth she mentored to the collaborative crochet installations from the Ladies Fancywork Society. The reception will double as an international celebration, with dance by the Roshni Dance Ensemble at 4:30 p.m. and music from the Congolese Gloria Choir at 5:30 p.m.

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Lynn Mandziuk captures a Flatiron for Descendence at the Art Gym.
Lynn Mandziuk
Story Lines
Lynn Mandziuk, Descendence
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
June 20 through July 12
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 20, 5 to 8 p.m.

Art Gym showcases member artists this month with two shows: Story Lines, a group effort highlighting the use of text and narrative in art of all mediums, and Descendence, a solo in the Common Space Gallery by Lynn Mandziuk, who says her series of mountain paintings represents “an allegory for life,” with all its ups and downs.

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JuiceBox Art Space
Mac ’n Cheese With Diet Coke
JuiceBox Art Space, 3006A Larimer Street
June 21 through July 27
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 6 to 10 p.m.

Tobias Fike, the mastermind behind this month’s Untitled Final Friday at the Denver Art Museum on June 28, took time out from making art to curate a group show at JuiceBox. He specifically chose artists who hail from a non-coastal spectrum of mountain and Midwestern states, aka the “flyover zone.” It’s an acknowledgment of the thriving cultural bubbles and workingman’s palate that form in such climes, as demonstrated by Jennifer Bockelman, Dana Fritz, Dalton Frizzell, Alvin Gregorio, Rashawn Griffin, Glyneisha Johnson, Kerri Mulcare, Jared Seffensen and Casey Whittier.

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The many masks of Cara a Cara.
Museo de las Americas
Cara a Cara
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
June 21 through July 7
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 6 to 8 p.m.

Cara a Cara shows up in Boulder courtesy of the Museo de las America’s Sin Fronteras traveling exhibitions program, bringing a spiritually deep collection of 300 folk-art ceremonial masks from across Latin America to the Dairy Arts Center.
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Images by Terry Ratzlaff, from The Watcher at Pattens Denver.
Terry Ratzlaff
Terry Ratzlaff, The Watcher
Pattern Denver, 855 Wyandot
Reception: Friday, June 21, 7 to 10 p.m.

Over three-plus decades, obsessive train-watcher Craig C. recorded the comings and goings of trains from a rail-side parking lot. For The Watcher, photographer Terry Ratzlaff mimicked that daily ritual through an ongoing repetitive series that eventually takes on the machine-like observations of his subject. Ratzlaff, a Denverite working toward his MFA at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, will also host a workshop, "Journey Around Myself: Narrative and Book Making" at Pattern Denver on June 29 and 30; learn more online.
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The Ladies Fancywork Society strikes again at the Art Students League of Denver's Summer of Play.
Ladies Fancywork Society
Summer of Play
Art Students League of Denver, 200 Grant Street
June 21 through August 2
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The Art Students League of Denver rightly recognized that summer is playtime in planning the high-summer exhibition Summer of Play, a fun, touchy-feely, immersive kind of show that blends work by ASLD KidART Camp and Teen Studio instructors with a crocheted installation by the ubiquitous Ladies Fancywork Society, who’ve lately been storming Denver with beautiful wheel-shaped yarn bombs. Definitely bring the kids with you for this one.

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A limited-edition Timbuk2 bag designed by DINKC.
Timbuk2 x Abstract Bag Art Show & Custom Pop-up
Abstract, 742 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, June 21, 6 to 9 p.m.

The San Francisco-based bag manufacturer Timbuk2 and Abstract, the retail end of Denver’s IndyInk print shop, are feting the town this weekend with a spectacle of limited-edition Timbuk2 bags designed by local urban artists, including Mike Graves, Rachel Jablonski, Tukeone, Ladies Fancywork Society, Rube Zilla, Jaime Molina, Sam Turner,  DINKC, Moeh and Chris Haven.
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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