Art

Eleven Best Things for Denver Gallery Lovers to Do on First Friday Weekend

Plinth Gallery hosts a memorial show of works by the late and beloved Denver ceramic artist Marie Gibbons.
Plinth Gallery hosts a memorial show of works by the late and beloved Denver ceramic artist Marie Gibbons. Marie Gibbons
No one slacks off in January, when the year is young. Especially not the galleries, where the art of exhibiting art is a year-round occupation. And the galleries are full of energy this first First Friday of the raging ’20s. Looking to start the year with culture? Go for it. Here are eleven ways to sharpen your eye for art this weekend:

click to enlarge Mo'Print 2020 gets an early start with Printmaking Plus at Payge Gallery. - D'ART GALLERY/PAYGE GALLERY
Mo'Print 2020 gets an early start with Printmaking Plus at Payge Gallery.
D'art Gallery/Payge Gallery
Printmaking Plus
Payge Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
January 2 through 26
Thursday, January 2, 6 to 9 p.m.

One of the first clarions of Mo’Print 2020 — the citywide biennial takeover of metro area galleries by exhibitions celebrating printmaking — opens with Payge Gallery’s group salute to the art of the press in all its technically demanding avenues, juried by Colorado printmaking maven Mark Lunning of Open Press. D’art Gallery in the 900 Santa Fe Drive co-op complex will help get the show off the ground in style by hosting a Thursday Sneak Peek Artists Awards Reception as a first First Friday prelude. It’s only fitting that Lunning, a Mo’Print co-founder who recently moved his Open Press studios from Denver to Sterling, should kick off the biennial’s opening salvo.

click to enlarge See where D'art Gallery artists are headed in 2020 at Many Voices, One Message: Art. - D'ART GALLERY
See where D'art Gallery artists are headed in 2020 at Many Voices, One Message: Art.
D'art Gallery
Many Voices, One Message: Art
D’art Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
January 2 through 26
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6 to 9 p.m.

The D’art co-op chimes in with a fresh look at the breadth of styles and techniques practiced by its sixteen-plus members. Printmaking Plus continues with a second reception, and artist Scott Lary shows work in the Back Alley Gallery, at the 900 Santa Fe Drive hub. After Many Voices, One Message: Art closes on January 26, the gallery will revert back to its usual slate of solo member exhibitions.

Remember Marie Gibbons at Plinth Gallery. - MARIE GIBBONS
Remember Marie Gibbons at Plinth Gallery.
Marie Gibbons
TOUCHed: Marie EvB Gibbons
Plinth Gallery, 3520 Brighton Boulevard
January 3 through 25
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6 to 9 p.m.

Ceramic artist Marie Gibbons, who passed away suddenly in September, did so much more than make art that was, in parts, funny, absurd, personal, autobiographical, achingly beautiful and sometimes terrifying. She was also a teacher who freely shared her self-taught techniques with people of all ages in classrooms, senior centers and her own studio, as well as a solid member of Denver’s artist community. To start 2020, Plinth Gallery’s Jonathan Kaplan cedes his space to a posthumous exhibition focusing on the artist’s most recent works — and some indelible hallmark pieces that define her oeuvre — selected by family members and friends. The memorial gatherings are already in the past; consider this a public appreciation and celebration of a local artist lost too soon.



click to enlarge Koko Bayer channels her step-grandfather Herbert Bayer at Dateline Gallery. - KOKO BAYER
Koko Bayer channels her step-grandfather Herbert Bayer at Dateline Gallery.
Koko Bayer
Koko Bayer, Souvenirs
Dateline Gallery, 3004 Larimer Street
January 3 through February 2
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 7 to 11 p.m.

Muralist Koko Bayer keeps alive the memory of her step-grandfather Herbert Bayer, a Colorado scion of Bauhausian theory, teasing the public with walls guerrilla-wheat-pasted with symbols borrowed from her forebear’s graphic language of hearts, hands and aspen trees. Leading up to Bayer’s exhibition at Dateline, the artist placed emblazoned scale-model boxcar-shaped containers in locations throughout the RiNo district for lucky finders, so keep your eye peeled as you walk through; the show itself includes readymades, prints and Koko Bayer merch.

click to enlarge Be blinded by the light art at Stephen Shugart's ReCreative Denver solo showcase. - STEPHEN SHUGART
Be blinded by the light art at Stephen Shugart's ReCreative Denver solo showcase.
Stephen Shugart
Stephen Shugart, Illumination of the Ordinary
ReCreative Denver, 765 Santa Fe Drive
January 3 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6 to 9 p.m.

Edge Gallery member Stephen Shugart steps out of the co-op arena for a solo show of his glowing light-work assemblages at ReCreative. Get ready for incandescent colors and art viewing in a darkened room.

click to enlarge Zach Slive Keiss, ”Vertigo.” - ZACH SLIVE KEISS, DATELINE GALLERY
Zach Slive Keiss, ”Vertigo.”
Zach Slive Keiss, Dateline Gallery
Zach “Slive” Keiss, Michael Sperandeo and Bearwarp, Artifacts
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6 to 10 p.m.

Alto turns to the airwaves to salute a new decade with a trio whose cyborg mashups express themselves in murals, graffiti, video games, multimedia installations and other forward-facing mediums. Each body of work is electric, baby!

click to enlarge Wynne Reynolds, "Chaste Virgin," Edge Gallery. - WYNNE REYNOLDS
Wynne Reynolds, "Chaste Virgin," Edge Gallery.
Wynne Reynolds
Edge 2020: a new decade, January 3 through 19
Core New Art Space, Coalesce, January 3 through 19
Next Gallery Postcard Show: Wish You Were Here, ArtSource: Beyond Tradition, Give-and-Take: 14 Years of Painting: John Sweeny, January 3 through 26

Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue
First Friday Receptions, January 3, 6 to 10 p.m.
Lakewood’s 40 West Arts District's group and co-op member shows are still going strong into 2020, especially at Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue in Lakewood, where that local legend’s fortieth-anniversary show is winding down this week, as well as the five galleries — Core, Edge, Flourish, Kanon and Next — operating under one roof at Pasternack’s Art Hub.

click to enlarge Rose Rambo, a study of gemstones for Facets at Play. - ROSE RAMBO
Rose Rambo, a study of gemstones for Facets at Play.
Rose Rambo
Rose Rambo, Facets at Play
Balefire Goods, 7513 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
January 3 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6 to 8 p.m.
Artist Rose Rambo picks up on the Arvada bauble boutique Balefire’s jewelry-making vibe by putting up art inspired by the light-struck angular facets of cut gemstones for Facets at Play. Check out the art at Balefire’s new, larger space, making its debut on Grandview Avenue along with the new year.

click to enlarge Victoria Eubanks, "Red Bull." - VICTORIA EUBANKS, NIZA KNOLL GALLERY
Victoria Eubanks, "Red Bull."
Victoria Eubanks, Niza Knoll Gallery
Abstract 2020
Niza Knoll Gallery, 915 Santa Fe Drive
January 3 through February 15
Opening Reception/Anniversary Celebration: Friday, January 17, 6 to 9 p.m.

Niza Knoll salutes her gallery’s decade in the Art District on Santa Fe by curating Abstract 2020, an anniversary group showcase of artists, including Knoll herself, whose varied work as the in-house Mix co-op, which operates in the back of of the main gallery space, has been an intrinsic presence. Drop by and get a feel for what keeps a gallery going year after year.

click to enlarge Drew Button, "Velo(ciraptor)." - DREW BUTTON
Drew Button, "Velo(ciraptor)."
Drew Button
Drew Button
Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse, 3636 Chestnut Place
January 3 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6 to 10 p.m.

Graphic artist Drew Button has some fun on the walls at Ironton, where fifty lucky guests will get a free artist-designed glass just for showing up, while the Something Vinyl Club provides the beats and Crafted Art Emporium drops in to peddle some handmade treasures. Drink up and drink in the art.

click to enlarge Cymon Padilla, “map confusion,” oil on canvas. - CYMON PADILLA
Cymon Padilla, “map confusion,” oil on canvas.
Cymon Padilla
Great Expectations: 2020
GOCA121, Plaza of the Rockies, Suite 100, 121 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs
January 3 through March 7
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 5 to 8 p.m.
Artist talks: January 3, February 7 and March 6, 6 to 7 p.m. nightly

Big things are brewing at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Gallery of Contemporary Art’s snug downtown space, with Great Expectations: 2020, a continuing showcase for emerging artists working in the Springs and up and down the Front Range. The forward focus is on innovation, new ideas and new media; jump in the car for a road trip and a look at the future.

Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to [email protected]. For more events this weekend, find details in this week’s 21 Best Things to Do in Denver.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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