As the year draws to a close, artists and art lovers alike are measuring up the past and anticipating the future in shows that spotlight uncertain times, the unknown and possible silver linings.
Commiserate and imagine what’s next at these local events:
2020 Is Hindsight
Art Students League of Denver, 200 Grant Street
Through January 24
The Art Students League of Denver invited artists to create yard signs welcoming the coming year and putting this one behind us. There’s now a garden of cheerful signs in the community art academy’s courtyard that can be seen at all hours of the day and night — no timed-entry reservation needed. As one sign notes, “We are on this healing path together.”
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
Through January 16
Open by appointment only; sign up online in advance for a date and time to visit
Laura Shill and Derrick Velasquez organized this large group show as part of RedLine’s Checking In initiative, which provides platforms for expression by artists and community members affected by lost opportunities because of the pandemic. For the exhibition, artists work through the travails of 2020 and imagine the unknown future.
Nan Goldin in Conversation With Tania Bruguera
Wednesday, December 16, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Free, RSVP in advance at Eventbrite
Internationally known photographer Nan Goldin, who took on the Sackler family, philanthropic art collectors and owners of Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma in a 2018 spread in Artforum, will now talk personal addiction, activism and the accountability of pharmaceutical makers in a free virtual event hosted by MCA Denver in conjunction with the exhibition Citizenship: A Practice of Society, which includes Goldin’s work. Cuban artist Tania Bruguera will join Goldin — who formed the activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) to protest museum bequests made possible by Sackler opioid profits — in discussion via MCA Denver's YouTube channel.
Handmade Holiday: Art Market Art Show
Spectra Art Space, 1836 South Broadway
Through December 26
Free (optional $5 donation), RSVP for timed-entry slot at Eventbrite
Spectra joins the army of galleries hosting holiday art markets with one of its own, but with an added perk: a half-off admission price for the space’s ongoing immersive experience Spookadelia 3: Back to the Source With a Holiday Twist, running through mid-December. The market, full of local wares, is free, but you’ll receive a swag bag for a $5 donation.
Friends of Friends Community Series: This Is Love
Friday, December 18, 8:15 p.m.
Streaming link will be posted on the day of screening
Suggested donation: $10 (or pay what you can)
Collective Misnomer’s series of experimental-film programs curated by friends of the project continues in December with This Is Love, organized by Charlottesville-based filmmaker Lydia Moyer, who collected eye-opening works by students come and gone and academic colleagues at the University of Virginia, where she teaches. What you get, she explains, is an across-the-map mashup from people passing through.
As of Now III
K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street
December 19 through January 6
Opening: Saturday, December 19, 2 to 6 p.m.
RSVP in advance for timed-entry slot
K Contemporary ends the year looking back over the gallery’s three years in business and looking forward to the unknown quantities of work yet to be made by gallery artists with two interlocking shows: As of Now III and Possibilities. The first is an overview of work seen throughout the history of K Contemporary; the second begins— unexpectedly — as a gallery of white canvases waiting to become a work of art. The idea is to entice art lovers to commission a new work to be completed by the artist of their choice, as a way to look into a crystal ball at new directions. A commission comes with perks: a dinner with the artist, perhaps, or a studio tour or home visit, live or virtual, depending on current COVID protocols. Visits are by timed entry; K Contemporary is open Tuesdays through Saturdays.
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