Art

Art Attack: Nine Ways to See Art Live or Otherwise This Week

Try out soft sculptures by Charis Fleshner at the Firehouse Art Center.
Try out soft sculptures by Charis Fleshner at the Firehouse Art Center. Charis Fleshner
There's never an off week in Denver's art scene these days, and that's true again in mid-August. What a lineup! Lots of co-op shows, thought-provoking exhibitions at the Center for Visual Art MSU Denver and the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and for those still locked up at home, some new online programming.

Paint the town this weekend! Here's how:

Spot On
Jenn Merz, East Gallery
D’art Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
August 14 through September 6
Opens on Friday, noon to 7 p.m.
The D’art Gallery co-op put out a call for entry challenging artists to submit examples of their best work for Spot On, and they responded en masse, leaving Westword’s Michael Paglia, the juror, the trial of choosing work by forty entrants out a pool of nearly 500 works in a wide variety of mediums. Apparently, Paglia noted in a statement, artists have been super busy during the COVID shutdown. That means you’ll be seeing a selection of art that’s truly the best of the best when the show opens Friday. Come masked and ready to savor.

click to enlarge Robin Hextrum, “Open Borders,” 2020, oil on canvas. - ROBIN HEXTRUM
Robin Hextrum, “Open Borders,” 2020, oil on canvas.
Robin Hextrum
The Walls Between Us
Revealing, in the 965 Project Gallery
Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive
August 14 through October 17

Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art will finally reopen after a long COVID break, with a show by the Artnauts, a Front Range artist collective that’s been delving into issues of social justice for nearly 25 years. The Walls Between Us is the literal title of this exhibition, for which people-focused artists worked around the hot topic of walls and borders, both physical and abstract in nature. In addition, the student-run 965 Gallery in back will chime in with Revealing, which explores how our decorative accoutrements are connected to gender-based assumptions. Follow the CVA’s website for updates on virtual artist lectures and more.
click to enlarge Kris Sanford, “Necklace.” - KRIS SANFORD, COURTESY OF CPAC
Kris Sanford, “Necklace.”
Kris Sanford, courtesy of CPAC
The Space Between
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock Street
August 14 through September 23
Opening Reception (timed entry): Friday, August 14, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Zoom Discussion: Saturday, August 14, 2 p.m.
Registration required in advance for both events at cpacphoto.org

At CPAC, The Space Between also makes gender-bending observations in two separate bodies of work. The first, Through the Lens of Desire, by photographer Kris Sanford, utilizes vintage photos to visualize a queer fairy tale, while the second, Wig Heavier Than a Boot, pairs photographer David Johnson and poet Philip Matthews in an alternative narrative about an invented queer character named Petal. CPAC invites viewers to see the show in person at the August 14 reception by timed entry (reserve a slot online). Special programming continues on August 15 with a free virtual discussion with the artists, moderated by Carolina Ebeid of Lighthouse Writers Workshop (register in advance online for Zoom information).


click to enlarge Steven Frost, "Time to Make Some New Friends.” - STEVEN FROST
Steven Frost, "Time to Make Some New Friends.”
Steven Frost
Bright
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
Through September 6
Second Friday Opening Reception: Friday, August 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
$5 donations will be accepted

Firehouse’s exhibition-in-progress in the Main Gallery is all about the colors, as interpreted by four really different artists: Fiber/textile artist Steven Frost, photographer Rise Friedman, soft-sculpture artist Charis Fleshner and fantastical painter Alex Petersen. Second Friday is the best time to visit if you like a little hullabaloo with your masked social distancing. Along with Bright, Firehouse is featuring resident artist Barbara Rudlaff in the South Gallery, where you can take your own mask-selfie with her portrait series; upstairs in Studio C, jewelry artist Diane Kremer is hosting a pop-up show.

click to enlarge Pirate members split up the gallery with installation and paintings. - NOAH SODANO AND ROBYN FRANCES
Pirate members split up the gallery with installation and paintings.
Noah Sodano and Robyn Frances
Noah Sodano, home (and inward)
Robyn Frances, Gratis
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
August 14 through 30
Opens Friday, August 14, 6 to 8 p.m.

Pirate members Noah Sodano and Robyn Frances pair up for the last half of August with, respectively, mixed-media assemblage and sensual nudes meant to counter the sexualization of artwork. You know the drill at this co-op: Wear a mask, distance yourself, and keep your hands to yourself, too.

click to enlarge Eric Myles Jones, “Stoney,” acrylic on paper. - ERIC MYLES JONES
Eric Myles Jones, “Stoney,” acrylic on paper.
Eric Myles Jones
Eric Myles Jones, Apocalypse Cow
Kanon Collective, Pasternack’s Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Through August 21

A newcomer to the Kanon co-op, Eric Myles Jones has been bewitched by the idea of the apocalyptic cow ever since he encountered his fearful nemesis, the “black cow of death,” on a cold, dark back road. He’s widened his acrylic-painting animal farm to include chickens, foxes, fish and horses in his quest to capture the American West.

click to enlarge See new works by Zachary Reece and Karen Watkins at Valkarie Gallery. - ZACHARY REECE AND KAREN WATKINS
See new works by Zachary Reece and Karen Watkins at Valkarie Gallery.
Zachary Reece and Karen Watkins
Zachary Reece and Karen Watkins, Flora & Fauna, Molecular Drama
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Through September 6
Opening Reception: Friday, August 14, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Flora, meet Fauna: Valkarie Gallery also weighs in with animal art, in this instance from the fantastical paintbrush of Salida-based artist Karen Watkins. Another tack comes courtesy of Zachary Reece, whose pointillistic drawing style has morphed out of using ink on paper into the computer-aided modern digital world. He’ll present animals, portraits and other graphically interesting subjects. Entry will be limited to twenty people at a time at the door; and in the event of bad weather, Valkarie will set up a tent to keep you dry while you wait.

click to enlarge Tania Kaaz, whose work is included in Colorado Vibes 5 at Spectra Art Space, uses a photographic technique called lomography with interesting visual results. - TANIA KAAZ
Tania Kaaz, whose work is included in Colorado Vibes 5 at Spectra Art Space, uses a photographic technique called lomography with interesting visual results.
Tania Kaaz
Colorado Vibes 5
Spectra Art Space, 1836 South Broadway
August 14 through September 13, Mondays through Fridays
$10; reserve timed-entry slots at eventbrite.com

Visiting Spectra is always an adventure, whether for an immersive journey or a sweet street-art show. Next up is the gallery’s fifth all-Colorado mixed bag of cool views by dozens of artists. Spectra does charge a $10 fee to support the space; half of that serves as a credit toward an art purchase. Learn more at Spectra’s website.

click to enlarge Feast on Frida online. - COURTESY OF D3ARTS AND THE WESTWOOD CREATIVE DISTRICT
Feast on Frida online.
Courtesy of D3Arts and the Westwood Creative District
Frida Kahlo: A Celebration of Life and Resistance
Virtual Exhibition at d3arts.org, through August 22

Westwood’s annual Frida show is back — this year with a supportive theme highlighting the iconic Mexican artist’s beliefs on political and social ideas of justice, feminism, anti-capitalist/imperialism, decolonization and freedom of expression — but not in person for the moment. Right now you can go online to browse interviews on the spirit of Frida and the Frida-centric art by local artists from the neighborhood and beyond; it’s all hosted by community movers at the Empress, the Westwood Creative District and D3 Arts, Cultura Chocolate and Re:Vision. Plans are being made for Cultura’s Frida dinner series in September; check the D3 Arts website and Facebook page for upcoming details.

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