Art

Art Attack: Twelve of the Best Things to Do for First Friday in Denver

Tiffany Matheson goes psychedelic for [wall] FLOWERS at Pirate.
Tiffany Matheson goes psychedelic for [wall] FLOWERS at Pirate. Tiffany Matheson
The Fourth of July will be over, but the fireworks continue to blaze indoors at First Friday shows and receptions all over the metro area. While big draws include the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and the debut of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition at Stanley Marketplace (see details in this week’s 21 Best Things to Do in Denver), you can peruse the rest of our First Friday picks below.
click to enlarge Hyperlink artist Ian Fisher compares notes with Rachel Niffenegger at RedLine. - IAN FISHER AND RACHEL NIFFENEGGER
Hyperlink artist Ian Fisher compares notes with Rachel Niffenegger at RedLine.
Ian Fisher and Rachel Niffenegger
Fan Mail
Puddle Drop
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
Through August 3

Two intriguing group shows that opened last week at RedLine are worth a mention. Fan Mail is from the Denver-based collective Hyperlink, a group that reaches out to artists in other cities and, in this case, artists deserving of higher recognition. It’s a series of exchanges between Hyperlink members and unknown/under-recognized artists of their choice who share walls together in the exhibit. Puddle Drop — organized by Hardly Soft, aka artists Amber Cobb and Mario Zoots — takes off on the metaphor of an expanding puddle to comment on how we grow when faced with less-than-perfect situations.

click to enlarge Corianne Wright revisits her life in Blu Duets. - CORIANNE WRIGHT
Corianne Wright revisits her life in Blu Duets.
Corianne Wright
Blu Duets: New Works by Corianne Wright
ReCreative Denver, 765 Santa Fe Drive
July 5 through 26
Opening Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 10 p.m.

Corianne Wright spends a lot of time showcasing other artists as director of the nomadic arts incubator Odessa. But this time, the focus is all on Wright, whose vivid set of new paintings muses on past and present selves meeting on a psychological dance floor.

click to enlarge Trash, "demon bugs bunny." - TRASH
Trash, "demon bugs bunny."
Trash
Screaming Low-Level Panic
Rhinoceropolis, 3553 Brighton Boulevard
Opening Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 10 p.m
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Rhinoceropolis is up and quietly running, once again bringing original music and art to the DIY crowd in renovated digs. Curator Coleman Mummery puts the space to use as an art gallery for Screaming Low-Level Panic, a group show driven by reactions to information overload and what it’s doing to our brains. The choice conglomerate of Alex Behler, Ike Clateman, Jordan Dawson, Dmitri Obergfell, Livy Onalee, Snyder, Trash and Adrian Wright speak up on what’s been driving them crazy.

click to enlarge James Overstreet, "Descent Into Madness." - JAMES OVERSTREET
James Overstreet, "Descent Into Madness."
James Overstreet
This Is Not What It Seems
40 West Gallery, 1560 Teller Street, Lakewood
July 5 through 27
Opening Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

The open-ended title says it all: 40 West’s group show This Is Not What It Seems shows how the nuts-and-bolts of art-making — process and medium — take a work to a higher level of meaning. That might, but not necessarily, point to abstractions, but is that what they really are? It’s up to you to decide.


click to enlarge Catch Anthony Camera's Portrait Parade, art by Rick Griffith and Peter Miles Bergman and takoyaki on first Friday. - ANTHONY CAMERA PHOTOGRAPHY
Catch Anthony Camera's Portrait Parade, art by Rick Griffith and Peter Miles Bergman and takoyaki on first Friday.
Anthony Camera Photography
Rick Griffith and Peter Miles Bergman
Anthony Camera Photography, 960 Santa Fe Drive
Opening Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

Photographer Anthony Camera invites Peter Miles Bergman (with partner Heather Link Bergman) and Rick Griffith, two Denver artists obsessed with type and print design, to show letterpress graphics and zines alongside Camera’s own Portrait Parade photo-booth captures of people in dress-up gear. If that doesn’t grab you — and what’s wrong with you anyway if it doesn’t? — Camera promises takoyaki on the side. Oh, what a little deep-fried octopus treat can do to change your mind.

click to enlarge Tiffany Matheson lights up the walls at Pirate on First Friday. - TIFFANY MATHESON
Tiffany Matheson lights up the walls at Pirate on First Friday.
Tiffany Matheson
Tiffany Matheson, [wall] FLOWERS
Noah Sodano, Allegorica
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
July 5 through July 21
Opening Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 10 p.m.

Up next at Pirate are member shows from Noah Sodano, who works in both digital and super hands-on assemblage mediums, and Tiffany Matheson, who will be psychedelicizing the walls with internally lit acrylic floral sculptures. Get in on some worthy eye candy while you can.

click to enlarge Get a second look at Grown-Up and party all night at Foolproof. - COURTESY OF FOOLPROOF CONTEMPORARY ART
Get a second look at Grown-Up and party all night at Foolproof.
Courtesy of Foolproof Contemporary Art
First Friday Parties at Foolproof: Friday, July 5
Foolproof Contemporary Art, 3240 Larimer Street
Artist-Hosted Private Beaujolais Tasting: 5 to 7 p.m.
Cake and Desserts Party: 7 to 9 p.m.
After-Party and Mural Submissions: 9 to 11 p.m.

Foolproof’s Laura Phelps Rogers will be unveiling "Artificial," a new site-specific twist on an old installation, Home Economics, as the background for three — count ’em, three — consecutive parties for First Friday in RiNo. It all starts at 5 p.m. with a private Beaujolais tasting (RSVP to [email protected] to attend), moves on to a public reception with kombucha tasting and loads of sweets (and loads of art from Foolproof’s current show, Grown-Up) at 7 p.m. and finally, an after-party to solicit artists for mural project submissions at 9 p.m. (see requirements here).

click to enlarge Cal Duran's Frida-in-progress for Life con Frida at the Museo de las Americas. - MUSEO DE LAS AMERICAS
Cal Duran's Frida-in-progress for Life con Frida at the Museo de las Americas.
Museo de las Americas
Cultural First Friday: Life con Frida
Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, July 5, 5 to 9 p.m.

The Museo revisits its annual tribute to Frida Kahlo with Frida-inspired art and, most important, a Frida look-alike contest based on your overall costume’s authenticity, creativity, unibrow and hair. There’s a $100 prize for the winner and other perks for the runners-up for your trouble (and the $5 entry fee). Sign up online if you think you’ve got what it takes to channel Frida.

click to enlarge Caleb Hahne will show work at Understudy. - CALEB HAHNE
Caleb Hahne will show work at Understudy.
Caleb Hahne
Caleb Hahne, Here I Am With You
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, July 5 through 30
Opening Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

Caleb Hahne’s understated, blue-tinged washes of hands and water channel a whisper of mystical symbolism for a change of pace at Understudy this month — no bells and whistles, performances or multimedia involved. Find Understudy by the Colorado Convention Center/Theatre District light-rail stop near 14th and Stout streets: Look for the B-cycle station next to the light-rail tracks or Shantell Martin’s art bench.
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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