Art abounds in Denver in late October, with seasonal shows focusing on Halloween and Día de los Muertos, and one-time (we hope) looks at the many provocations of 2020, a very weird and hard year for artists and the rest of us. Throw in the second half of Denver Design Week and the debut of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism, and you’ve got a winning weekend of art to experience.
Here are our recommendations:
Sean O’Meallie, Line + Shape + Color + Noise
Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, 210 North Santa Fe Avenue, Pueblo
Through January 17
Pueblo might be down the road, but it has a strong art center with multiple galleries and wonderful shows that we rarely hear about here in Denver. One of those is Line + Shape + Color + Noise, a current solo by Colorado Springs artist Sean O’Meallie, whose carved-and-painted wood sculptures are clever, funny, imaginative and sometimes silly.
Denver Design Week
Through October 23
Colorado Creatives Gallery Online Showcase
Outdoor Art Show, Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Admission to access virtual programming, $20
Denver Design Week is a mostly virtual affair this year, with a plethora of streaming video panels, presentations and keynotes for a flat $20 fee. But we’re here for the art, which is represented in two ways. First, there’s a Colorado Creatives Gallery Showcase, a marketplace of excellent Colorado makers accessible to shoppers at the DDW website. And there’s also a live, in-person free outdoor art space at Stanley Marketplace, where six contemporary artists working in a variety of mediums — Autumn T. Thomas, Viviane Le Courtois, Rian Kerrane, Jodie Roth Cooper, Sean O’Neill and Lio BUMBAKiNi — have built fun installations on Stanley’s southern side.
Union Hall, 1750 Wewatta Street, Suite 144
October 22, through January 9
The Union Hall art space in a condo complex near Union Station went quiet when COVID hit, but now it’s ready to open its doors with a big, thought-provoking show put together by Erin Espelie of the Nest Studio for the Arts at CU Boulder. In Co-Terminous, eight international and local artists react through sculpture, video, painting and sound to how our fates are all interconnected by environmental concerns, natural disasters and migrations. Union Hall is open by reservation Thursdays through Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.
Halloween/Día de los Muertos Art Show
ARTAOS, 2822 East 17th Avenue
October 23 through November 2
Opening Reception: Friday, October 23, 5 to 8 p.m.
ARTAOS is taking the season seriously with an open-entry group show that challenged contenders working in all mediums, including performance, to send “samples of their worst.” We’re not sure what that means, but the show promises to be ghoulish good fun.
Wall of Shame
Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive
Through November 21
Update: The opening reception, originally scheduled for Friday, October 23, has been moved to October 30, 4 to 8 p.m.
Free, sign up for timed-entry slots online for the reception and gallery tours
Michael Warren Contemporary veers from its usual schedule of solo showcases to a themed exhibition provoked by the dark cloud hanging over 2020, exacerbated by the pandemic, Black Lives Matter and its opposition, climate change-induced disasters and children left behind at the border. The centerpiece of Wall of Shame is Pamela Joseph’s epic plexiglass grid of Trump-related political figures wearing Scold’s Bridles (tongue-depressing iron masks used to punish women by silencing them in Elizabethan England), but there will be other contributions by artists responding to current events.
Gina Smith Caswell and Tracey Russell, member shows
Barbara Veatch, Symbolic Nature
Sam Smith, Emotional Distancing, in the Annex
Core New Art Space, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
October 23 through November 8
Opening Reception: Friday, October 23, 6 to 9 p.m.
Core opens three member shows this weekend, including still lifes by Gina Smith Caswell, bright mixed-media abstracts on birch panels and nature-inspired drawings on paper created by Barbara Veatch in response to 2020. In the Annex, Sam Smith offers a five-year retrospective of abstract paintings and collages.
No Place to Go
Starts at Mint & Serif, 7310 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
October 22 through November 1
Admission: $60 per carload of up to five people, $25 for virtual reality experience available in November
While No Place to Go, a different kind of haunted house propelled by the terrors of being queer in a binary world, is a fully imagined immersive, performative journey navigated from the safety of your car, it’s really all about the artists in the wings, who brought it to life with big installations. Not to miss: Steven Frost’s ultra-spooky “Liberace in Purgatory.” And really, everything else.
Jeremy Fish, These Covidian Times
Black Book Gallery, 3878 South Jason Street, Englewood
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 24, 4 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, October 28, 7 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 7, 7 to 8 p.m.
Free, reserve online in advance for timed-entry slot
Black Book debuts a set of 24 black-and-blue-ink drawings created by San Francisco-based urban artist Jeremy Fish since the pandemic hit his town. He says it helped him keep up the positivity in lockdown, which is something we all could still use. There are only three opportunities to view the work in person, and no extra hours for appointments; be sure to reserve a spot before you go.
Outdoor Trunk Show: Meçlâ, Mimi Shim Studio and Talisman Fine Jewelry
324 South Gilpin Street
Saturday, October 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Catch it while you can: This one-day affair showcases a group of designer wares, including Talisman, a new line of fine jewelry from Vanessa Barcus, former owner of onetime Denver boutique Goldin, as well as clothing made from Turkish fabrics by Meçlâ and sustainable fashions from Mimi Shim Studio.
Michael “MadOne” Neely BAE-Day Pop-Up
ILA Gallery, 209 Kalamath Street, Suite 12
Saturday, October 24, 1 to 6 p.m.
Michael “MadOne” Neely, a street artist of renown who got his start painting in rail yards, will drop by ILA for a one-day pop-up with DJ beats and food trucks outside and art inside, including ILA’s ongoing Halloween show, Creepshow. Good times for all!
Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
October 25 through January 24
Admission: $26 non-members; $20 members
It’s finally time to get your Frida, and your Diego, too: The long-awaited touring exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism is opening this weekend at the Denver Art Museum. The show positions works by Kahlo and Rivera in the context of the Mexican Modernism era, of which they were a part. Timed-entry tickets must be purchased in advance; get yours soon if you haven’t already, as this blockbuster is sure to sell out.
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