This weekend, MCA Denver reopens in fabulous form, History Colorado honors Colorado’s Chicano/Mexican-American community through art, Pink Progression throws glitter on the revival of the Arvada Center’s galleries, and smaller venues continue to join the fray.
First Friday is gaining speed in July with plenty of new shows worth seeing.
100 More, Because Less Is a Bore!
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
The Kirkland isn’t ready to join other major art museums in opening its doors, but the museum’s staff has been busy creating online content to keep Kirkland fans occupied in the meantime. The latest element is an online trove of 100 artworks and objects from the collection, complete with historical background information, to complement previous virtual content. Stroll the museum from your couch.
Nari Ward: We the People
MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street
Through September 20
Museum Admission: $7 to $10 (free for members and youth ages eighteen and under)
Nari Ward in Conversation with Gary Carrion-Murayari: Tuesday, July 7, online from noon to 1 p.m., free, RSVP at eventbrite.com
Nari Ward’s exhibition opening (and the MCA’s reopening to the public) couldn’t have been better timed: The artist repurposes the detritus of consumer culture in large installations that ask hard questions about the roots and cumulative effects of America’s class divide. We the People, a survey of definitive works from throughout Ward's career, lets us start answering those questions. Visits to the MCA are by timed-entry reservation only, with social distancing and masks required.
Pink Progression: Collaborations
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Through November 8
Reserve free timed-entry tickets in advance
Artist Anna Kaye’s ongoing Pink Progression project showcasing women, trans and non-binary artists continues on its path in 2020 with Pink Progression: Collaborations, for which artist duos and teams worked together on new artworks. Follow the show at arvadacenter.org for dates and details of events still in planning stages.
CherryArts Artist Relief Auction
Online at cherryartsauction.org
Through July 10
You know it’s an extraordinary year when the time-honored Cherry Creek Arts Festival sleeps through the July 4 weekend. But in the face of COVID-19 pandemic measures, the fest’s parent organization, CherryArts, switched gears to offer buy-now prices from 2020 selected artists who are suffering losses this summer during an online auction that starts on the eve of July 4. Ninety percent of the proceeds will go directly to the makers, for the win!
Never Forgive Action: New Work by Speaks & Zoots
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
Opening Reception: Friday, July 3, 6 to 10 p.m.
Alto hosts the duo of street artist Speaks and collagist Mario Zoots for a show of collage works inspired by the 1983 documentary Style Wars, about the long-ago battle between graffiti writers and Mayor Ed Koch in New York City. The pair’s works explore how the idea of “Never Forgive Action” addresses current events, at a time when graffitists are standing up to police violence and racism through art. Alto will enforce social distancing, masks and other pandemic protocols, but liquid refreshments and DJ Radio Rakeem will raise the bar for fun.
Julie Jablonski, Nu Wurld
Leah Fernandez, Still Suburbs
Justin Brown, Uniformity and Chaos
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
July 3 through 19
Opening Reception: Friday, July 3, 6 to 9 p.m.
Julie Farris Jablonski rails against the downfall of democracy under the Trump administration, Leah Fernandez satirizes suburbia, and guest artist Justin Brown pitches in with electronics grids for Pirate’s latest member+ shows. Fifty percent of sales from all three will go to Black Lives Matter 5280. Expect COVID-19 protocols.
Gone to the Dogs (with friends)
Niza Knoll Gallery, 915 Santa Fe Drive
July 3 through August 1
Niza Knoll Gallery takes the dog days of summer seriously with its annual juried Gone to the Dogs group dog-art show, which this year opens up the subject matter to include other pets. For now, the gallery will be open during limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays, from 1 to 5 p.m., or by appointment; only five people with masks will be allowed in the gallery at one time. Or head to nizaknollgallery.com for the show’s online version.
SmithKlein Gallery, 1116 Pearl Street, Boulder
July 3 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, July 3, 1 to 4 p.m.
Brazilian-born artist Deladier Almeida, long based in California, brings his signature quilt-like aerial landscapes to SmithKlein for the month of July.
Cheers! Drink Up! 2020
Commonwheel Artists’ Co-op, 102 Cañon Avenue, Manitou Springs
July 3 through August 2
Opening Reception: Friday, July 3, 5 to 8 p.m.
It’s summer — time for a long, cool drink. And maybe a trip to Manitou Springs? Commonwheel has thirst on its mind with Cheers! Drink Up! 2020, the latest incarnation of the international juried handmade drinkware exhibition, and you’re invited to imbibe on First Friday, provided you arrive with a mask, ready to social-distance like a good neighbor should. Crowds inside the gallery will be limited to 25 people at a time.
Hecho en Colorado
History Colorado, 1200 Broadway
July 6 through January 10, 2021
Museum Admission: Register at historycolorado.org for timed-entry tickets, $8 to $14 (free for History Colorado members and children under five)
The result of a collaboration between History Colorado and Denver’s Latino Cultural Arts Center, Hecho en Colorado pays homage to Colorado’s large Chicano/Mexican-American arts community, which has roots near the state’s southern border going back 500 years. LCAC director Adrianna Abarca curated the exhibition of about fifty artworks, essays and objects, which greets visitors in the ground-floor Ballantine Gallery. Museum-goers will also have the option of attending a Friday morning Cafecito — a coffee meetup culminating in a small-group exhibit tour — twice a month; admission is $12 in advance at historycolorado.org. Visit the museum Tuesdays through Sundays by timed-entry ticket, and expect to follow COVID-19 protocols; Mondays are reserved for members only through August 31.
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