Art Attack: Seventeen Ways to Celebrate First Friday in Denver

Alexander Richard Wilson, “Ribbons in the Sky," at Urban Mud.
Alexander Richard Wilson, “Ribbons in the Sky," at Urban Mud. Alexander Richard Wilson
Another month, another First Friday — a really live and thoroughly awakened First Friday, with everything in the world and more, in advance of a long July 4 weekend. It’s gonna be a great summer out there.
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Margaret Neumann, "Ghosts," 2021, oil stick on Arches paper.
Courtesy of Rule Gallery
Margaret Neumann, Night Thoughts
Rule Gallery, 808 Santa Fe Drive
Through August 7
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

The subtly psychological paintings of Margaret Neumann straddle Denver’s continuing backdrop of contemporary art history over decades. She helped found Spark Gallery in 1979, when co-ops were a new thing, and brought cachet to that non-traditional underground while always bringing challenging work and a streaming subconscious to the table. Of course she’s moved on from co-ops decades later. Neumann’s unique brand of storytelling, still spinning yarns in the present, will be on view through July at Rule Gallery. This belongs at the top of your list.
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Art by Douglas Spencer.
Douglas Spencer
Netia Shel Simcha — A Joyous Planting
Urban Mud, 530 Santa Fe Drive
July 1 and July 2
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
First Friday: Friday, July 2, 6 to 9 p.m.

Denver artist Max Kauffman wore his curator’s hat for Netia Shel Simcha — A Joyous Planting, mixing and matching ten artists with a variety of materials-conscious practices both textural and sculptural, from mark-making and charred-wood surfaces to organic plastic shapes and smoke drawings layered between acrylic or glass sheets. That’s a fresh combination!
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Detail of large oil painting by Floyd Tunson, “Adrift.”
Floyd Tunson, Michael Warren Contemporary
Prosecco and Charcuterie
Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive
Happy Hour/Closing Event: Thursday, July 1, 4 to 6 p.m

Join Michael Warren Contemporary’s owners Mike McClung and Warren Campbell, and artists Andrew Beckham, Angela Faris Belt and Heidi Jung for a happy hour, conversation and an exhibition farewell event for shows ending Saturday, including works by the above, as well as Jody Guralnick, Marietta Patricia Leis, Meredith Nemirov and Floyd Tunson. It’s summer — time to chill.
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Louis Recchia, “Backyard Garden,” oil on canvas.
Louis Recchia
Louis Recchia — New Works
Foolproof Contemporary Art, 3240 Larimer Street
July 1 through August 29
First Friday Reception: Friday, July 2, 7 p.m.
Studio Sale: July 8-10, July 15-17

Pirate Gallery stalwart Louis Recchia, who works in oils, found-object collage and mosaic, is slinging new works in his signature retro-surreal style at Foolproof this summer. Recchia is also hosting a studio sale Tuesdays through Thursdays, beginning June 8 and June 15.
Ashton Lacy Jones, “Power Lines 1-5,” encaustic mixed media.
Ashton Lacy Jones
Transformations: Ashton Lacy Jones, Walls; Emily Oldak, Seen and Unseen; and Vicky Smith, Rain
In GalleryEast: Rick Dallago, Ass, Gas or Grass: Nobody Rides for Free
D’art Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
July 1 through July 25
Sundays on Santa Fe, July 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Meet the Artists, with Emily Oldak and Vicky Smith, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; encaustic demos with Ashton Lacy Jones in the afternoon

D’art is ready for crowds returning to the Art District on Santa Fe, with a full house of shows over First Friday weekend and through the month of July, beginning with co-op members Ashton Lacy Jones (mixed media, collage and encaustic), Emily Oldak (acrylic paintings) and Vicki Smith (ceramic art) combining their solo shows under the theme of “Transformations.” In Gallery East, Boulder artist Rick Dallago, who calls himself a “snarky Norman Rockwell,” will display a recent set of funny representational oil pastels, some of which resemble Mad Magazine caricatures.
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Catch "Flower Guy" Michael De Feo in Aspen.
Harry N. Abrams Books
Michael De Feo, Out of the Blue
Book Signing: Thursday, July 1, 3 to 5 p.m., Performance Ski, 614 East Durant Avenue, Aspen;
Gallery show through July 6; artist talk, Friday, July 2, 5 to 8 p.m., Hexton Gallery, 447 East Cooper Avenue, Aspen

Michael De Feo made his name as the street artist known as “Flower Guy” — a guerrilla-art gardener who painted and wheat-pasted daisy shapes across graffitied brick walls in New York City and other cities in the ’90s. De Feo’s flowers moved on to bus-stop vitrines, where he created fashion-ad interventions, followed by more commercial overlays of falling petals in rainbow colors over photographs in fashion magazines. For Out of the Blue, De Feo transferred large-format Polaroid portraits to canvases before painting flowers over them. In addition to his show at Hexton, De Feo collaborated with the Aspen-based ski-apparel brand Authier; he’ll hold a book signing at Performance Ski in conjunction with that.
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Dr. Peter Strange Yumi delves into out-of-this world subject matter at the BRDG Project.
Peter Yumi
Peter Yumi, Astro-Anthropology
BRDG Project, 1553 Platte Street
July 2 to 14
Opening Reception: Friday, July 2, 6 to 10 p.m.

The always enlightening Peter Yumi isn’t done imagining unknown cultures. For his latest art adventure, Astro-Anthropology, he demures to alien expert and alter-ego Dr. Peter Strange Yumi, Astro-Anthropologist at the University of Autonation (another of Yumi’s invented worlds) to explain the research behind this show and its accompanying booklet, which will be available at the opening. Are aliens real? Ask Dr. Yumi.
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Kevin Hennessy captures the stories of old-time sign painters and tattooists at Alto Gallery.
Kevin Hennessy
Kevin Hennessy, Forbidden Love
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
July 2 through July 31
Opening Reception: Friday, July 2, 6 to 10 p.m.

When Kevin Hennessy isn’t busy practicing, preserving and documenting personal stories about the age-old occupations of sign painting and tattoo artistry, he makes mixed-media art from found objects. These works, inspired by his interviews with old-timers and keepers of the trades from around the world, comprise Forbidden Love, a sort of history told through visual art. This could be legendary.

First Friday Open Studios and First Look
No Vacancy, 3722 Chestnut Place
Friday, July 2, 7 p.m. to midnight
Free, RSVP at Eventbrite

No Vacancy, a new artist residency supported by the RiNo Art District and Menalto Development, is a step up in the war to keep RiNo true to its slogan, “Where Art Is Made.” Sixteen residents were selected to create installations in an underused 10,000-square-foot warehouse space; at this debut First Friday event, works by Johnny Draco, Shadows Gather, Jeff Merkel, Diana Merkel and OddKnock Productions will be unveiled, along with the temporary studio spaces themselves. The events will cycle through the full group of residents, with new work showcased every First Friday through September.
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Rock photographer tells all at Kanon Collective in July.
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Fred Case, Being There: Rock Photos From the Early ‘70s
Kanon Collective, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
July 2 through August 1
Opening Reception and Book Signing: Friday, July 2, 6 to 10 p.m.
Rock ’n’ Roll Stories With Fred Case: Friday, July 9, 9 p.m. in the courtyard

Rock photographer Fred Case was front and center and snapping away whenever the rock stars passed through his hometown of Minneapolis in the ’70s. No doubt he’s got some stories to tell. Case’s snaps are taking over Kanon Collective through July, and the photographer will make several appearances, beginning with the First Friday opening reception, where he’ll be selling and signing copies of his book When the Stones Came to Town. On the following Friday, Case will regale an audience with rock-and-roll tales in the Art Hub’s courtyard; further dates in July are yet to be announced, but check back at Kanon’s website for info.

Glass Artists of Colorado: The Beatles’ Poetry
40 West Gallery, 1560 Teller Street, Lakewood
July 2 through July 24
Opening Reception: Friday, July 2, 6 to 9 p.m.

Glass art inspired by the music of the Beatles will sparkle this month at the 40 West Gallery, where members of the Glass Artists of Colorado go retro in all the colors of the rainbow. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, anyone?
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"No. No Es Normal, No Es Parte De Mi Cultura/ No. It Is Not Normal or Part of My Culture," from the show SOMOS: On Domestic Violence, Resilience and Healing.
Painting by Sammiotzi
First Friday at the Museo
Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, July 2, noon to 9 p.m.
Community Cultural Conversation: “On Frida and Machismo,” 5:30 p.m.
“I will be born again. I am the seed you discarded. I will be reborn": performance by artist Adriana Rondón-Rivero, 7 p.m.
Free admission all day

The big returns to First Friday life are proliferating: The Museo de las Americas joins the fray by opening up again for special First Friday programs and — at least this month — free museum admission for a day. Included will be a conversation among artists about gender-equality issues that continue long after Frida’s unhappy experiences as a woman in the fine arts, followed by a performance by Adriana Rondón-Rivero in conjunction with the current exhibition, SOMOS: On Domestic Violence, Resilience and Healing.

NoBo Sunset Market
4949 Broadway, Boulder
Friday, July 2, 2 to 8 p.m.

The North Boulder Art District knows how to have fun on First Friday, and the NoBo Sunset Market is a major player this summer during the art night out. A combination farmers’ market and art fair with live music, food trucks and activities for kids, the Sunset runs all afternoon and into the evening as a delightful sideshow to gallery-hopping. The final market is on August 6; learn more or apply to participate as a vendor here.  
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A sampling of Drew Nelson's topo-photography, showing Friday at RPO Framing.
Drew Nelson
Drew Nelson, Topo-photography
RPO Framing & Gallery, 1588 South Pearl Street
First Friday Reception: Friday, July 2, 6 to 9 p.m.

Photographer Drew Nelson is an aficionado of what he calls “topo-photography,” which basically involves capturing landscapes with an all-encompassing and objective lens. He’ll show off some of his work in the style at RPO on friendly old Pearl Street, where the work will hang through July.

Laura Pena
Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse, 3636 Chestnut Street
July 2 through July 31
First Friday Reception: Friday, July 2, 3 to 11 p.m.

Ironton might be the only gallery in town that regularly designs a new cocktail served in an artist-designed glass that you get to keep every First Friday, but here you go: When the July show of fat and bright painterly acrylic works by Denver artist Laura Pena opens, a concoction called “Verse, Line & Sinker,” mixing lemongrass shochu, pear purée, Ironton amaretto liqueur, cherry juice and a lemon wedge, will be the drink of the hour.
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Colorado dancer and artist Kailani Dobson will perform at the GOCA 121 gallery in downtown Colorado Springs.
Kailani Dobson
In-Gallery Performances by Kailani Dobson
GOCA121 Downtown, 121 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs
Friday, July 2, 5 to 8 p.m.

The First Friday Art Walk in Colorado Springs offers a big attraction in July at the UCCS downtown gallery GOCA121, where the exhibition U OK runs through August 6. As a complement to the show — a contemplation by seven Colorado-based artists on 2020 burnout and the rise of social unrest — hometown artist Kailani Dobson will blend movement and interactive video in her performance “Irkalla,” a statement on “the dual nature of isolation and fallow time,” at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on July 2. Good time to check out a good show.

Art Walk North Denver
Friday, July 2, 5 to 8 p.m.
Regis/Berkeley neighborhoods

Art Walk North Denver might be one of the folksiest art walks around, just by nature of its walkability and arts-in-the-’hood vibe. Art is scattered around residential and commercial streets in Denver’s northwest quadrant, along with live music and an ice cream truck, every first Friday from May through October. Find a schedule and location map at the website, find a spot to park, and get ready to chat and shake hands with people just like you.

Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to e[email protected].
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