But there are also indoor exhibits to enjoy (including Meow Wolf Denver, which debuts September 17), as well as art auctions and benefits, and even online fare. Here are the best places to see great art in the days ahead:
Hunt Slonem, Curiouser and Curiouser
K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street
Through November 6
Curiouser and Curiouser is all the rage at K Contemporary, where it opened last weekend with Hunt Slonem’s bunnies and butterflies placed museum-style in an eclectic setting curated by artist Jonathan Saiz and gallery owner Doug Kacena. The scale of this show, Slonem’s first Denver solo, comprises some 200 works, including paintings, sculptures, glass and even neon. Meow Wolf? It’ll be around. Catch a little high-end immersion here instead, through November 6.
A. Michel Velazquez, Brighter Than Love
Dairy Block Alley, 1800 Wazee Street
Through October 17
A. Michel Velazquez, who creates art under the moniker of Velart, brings a mixture of large, close-up portraits of women and animals to a pop-up gallery in the Dairy Block Alley for a month-long exhibition.
Visiting Artists & Critics Series Lecture and Reception: D. Dominick Lombardi
Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary Art, Ent Center, 5225 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs
Lecture: Thursday, September 16, 5 to 6 p.m.
Artist and Curator Reception: Thursday, September 16, 6 to 8 p.m.
It’s hard not to like the work of D. Dominick Lombardi, who is described as having been influenced by both Pablo Picasso and Zap Comix as he embarked on a 45-year career in the ’60s. To elaborate, his extensive and multi-disciplinary retrospective, curated by T. Michael Martin at the Ent Center in Colorado Springs, jump-starts with the Cyborgs series, a sci-fi foretelling of robotics-enhanced humans, before galloping through twenty subsequent periods of work. There’s a lot of fun stuff in that stretched-out timeline, but Lombardi’s sculptural assemblages are especially knock-out strange and hilarious. The artist will discuss his work during a reception and artist talk on September 16; if you can’t make it, view the digital catalogue online.
1338 First Street
Opens Friday, September 17
Sundays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to midnight
Admission: $35 to $45
You’ve no doubt read or heard all the hype for this local attraction that’s been three years in the making—now you can see it for yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to explore all four floors of experiential goodness in seventy installations created by 300 artists (one-third of them from Colorado). Go see what everyone’s talking about: No matter how you feel about Meow Wolf’s presence in Denver, Convergence Station is still going to amaze you.
Kaitlyn Tucek, The Lilac Hour
Ashcroft Ghost Town, eleven miles on Castle Creek Road (County Road 15) from Aspen
Friday through Sunday, September 17 to 19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Adult Admission: $5 donation to the Aspen Historical Society (children under 18 admitted free)
What better place is there for an artist to explore the power of moments caught in time than a Colorado ghost town, sitting empty on the top of the world with a constant wind blowing through the cracks? Kaitlyn Tucek saw that opportunity in Ashcroft, a long-abandoned boom-and-bust silver-mining town near Aspen, where she has spread out a fleeting installation of unframed, raw paintings throughout the remaining buildings. She begins with a new tool in her art box — an introduction in text and poetry — and stretches out into a visual reverie of brief interactions. Visit the show over this weekend only; the site has no phone service, and there’s a quarter-mile hike to Ashcroft.
Roland Bernier: In Other Words
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
September 17 through November 14
Fall Exhibitions Opening Reception: Friday, September 17, 6 to 9 p.m., RSVP requested
RSVP throughout the run in advance of visit for timed-entry slot
Late Colorado painter Roland Bernier was a man of many words and letters — most of them taking form in paintings and sculptures, where they blended into straightforward compositions shedding a visual language all their own. And he wasn’t the only artist in the region whose work played with language. A group of fifteen local artists contributed to the companion exhibit Word Play, a group show of inventive works in the same vein with kaleidoscopic outcomes expressed through painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, neon and more. Remember to read between the lines.
Everything Is Temporary: An Interactive Cyanotype Mural
The Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street, Friday through Sunday, September 17 to 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
RiNo Art Park, 900 35th Street, Friday, September 24, 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
Installation Celebration: No Vacancy, 3722 Chestnut Place, Friday, October 1 (details TBA)
The wave of temporary art around Denver is growing with the popularity of murals and street art often put up anonymously or in endangered spaces (for instance, on walls underneath the old raised section of the I-70 highway). The temporary aspect is the point of artist Forge's latest project: a big public-participation cyanotype mural to be installed at the No Vacancy warehouse in RiNo, currently a home to short-term artist residencies before it is destroyed to make way for new development. Forge is looking for volunteers to lie perfectly still on light-sensitive cloth to make individual cyanotype prints during any of six events this weekend and next. Life is fleeting, but this is a great way to have your fifteen minutes of fame.
Josh Davy, Stratagem
Natalie Smith, Origins of the Divine Mother
Next Gallery, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue
September 17 through October 3
Opening Reception: Friday, September 17, 6 to 10 p.m.
Next member and director Josh Davy began his metalsmithing journey making jewelry, but now he’s known for making clever metal tabletop robot sculptures out of toolbox odds and ends. His latest sculpture project — a cast-metal chess set — takes a giant leap away from nuts and bolts. Fellow Nextist Natalie Smith does portraits of lesser-known women written into the Scriptures for Origins of the Divine Mother.
Vincent Cheap, Jason Cope and Josh Finley, Three Kings
Bitfactory Gallery, 851 Santa Fe Drive
September 17 through October 7
Opening Reception: Friday, September 17, 6 to 9 p.m.
First Friday Art Walk: Friday, October 1, 6 to 10 p.m.
The title of this show, Three Kings, takes on a double meaning by referring not only to the trio of artists participating, but also to the defunct bar 3 Kings Tavern and former co-owner Jim Norris, who always had room for their artwork in the club. All three met and spent hours there, sketching at a table or as employees. They’ll be plastering the walls at Bitfactory with paintings, mixed-media and found-object work, and in Finley’s case, macabre upcycled thrift-store toys from his ongoing Re-Arted series.
99 Pieces of Art on the Wall
Access Gallery, 909 Santa Fe Drive
September 17 through October 2
Reception: Friday, September 17, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission: $9.99 at Eventbrite or at the door
At Access, there’ll be a different body of work plastered to the walls — ten-by-ten-inch artworks by local and national artists, as well as by participants in the gallery’s art programs for young people with disabilities — for one of Access’s most popular fundraisers. All the small artworks will be for sale throughout the run of the show, but for those who can’t attend the event, ten to fifteen pieces will be available online from 6 to 6:30 p.m. only on the night of the opening.
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder
Friday, September 17, through October 2
Opening Reception: Friday, September 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
Reception Admission: $10 to $40 in advance at Auctria
BMoCA is also fundraising this weekend at Artmix, a combination exhibition, auction and party. More than a hundred regional artists are participating, with a wide palette of art to choose from, and bids can be made in person or online throughout the show’s run.
Sandy Marvin, Special Places
Jean Herman, Fascination
Sync Gallery, 931 Santa Fe Drive
September 16 through October 9
Opening Reception: Friday, September 17, 6 to 9 p.m.
Pastel artist Sandy Marvin offers mixed-media works on paper for Special Places, while Jean Herman presents a body of fabric and paper collages.
Fall LandMark Openings
Nikki Pike: Saturday, September 18, 4 p.m., Britton Park, 5605 West 68th Avenue, Arvada
Mark Bueno: Saturday, September 18, 5 p.m., Thundercloud Park, 7340 West 72nd Avenue, Arvada
LandMark, the ambitious ongoing outdoor public-art series curated by Anna Kaye and Kalliopi Monoyios and spread out in various Lakewood and Arvada locations, is hosting still more installation openings in September, including two in Arvada this weekend. In celebration of World Water Monitoring Day and National Cleanup Day, gather on Saturday to see Nikki Pike’s “Apology to JB” at 4 p.m. and Mark Bueno’s “Betrothed to the Unknown” at 5 p.m. in Britton and Thundercloud parks, respectively. Find a map and parking info online.
Glens Art Walk 2021
1601 Glen Moor Parkway, Glen Creighton Park, Lakewood
Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For the seventh annual Glens Art Walk, artists living along the curvy lanes of Lakewood’s charming Glens neighborhood invite folks to walk through the gorgeous neighborhood and visit studio sales along the way. (Designed in the 1920s by Denver landscape architect Saco de Boer, the Glens has a lot in common with Denver’s Bonnie Brae district, another de Boer project.) A map and artist guide can be found here.
Denver Arts Festival
Central Park Conservatory Green, 8304 East 49th Place
Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, September 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Denver Arts Festival returns from the off year in 2020 with renewed strength and an artist mix heavy on Colorado-made artwork (with some work by national artists slipped in), making for a wide selection of media and styles. Live music, kids’ activities and a wine, beer and spirits garden round out the fun; get an artist preview online.
U.S. Dresser Fest 21
Saturday, September 18, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., via Zoom
Free, RSVP in advance at Eventbrite for Zoom link
Design fanatics already in love with the Kirkland’s current show, Truth, Beauty and Power: Christopher Dresser and The Aesthetic Movement, will be delighted to partake in this Saturday’s U.S. Dresser Fest 21, a half-day international Zoom symposium on everything Dresser held in conjunction with the Christopher Dresser Society and the Dorman Museum. Experts from all three institutions will speak, the Dorman’s Louise Harrison will host a virtual tour of the museum, and two question-and-answer periods will give the audience chances to chime in.
East Boulder County Artists Fall Studio Tour and Sale
East Boulder County
Saturday, September 18, and Sunday, September 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
A group of thirty artists of east Boulder County, mainly spread throughout Longmont and environs, will open nineteen studios to the public over the weekend for a behind-the-scenes look and middleman-free art sales. Take a drive, enjoy the view and meet some artists; it’s free. Find a map and artist previews online.
Seeing the Invisible
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street
September 20 through August, 2022
The Denver Botanic Gardens becomes part of an international art movement with Seeing the Invisible, a new augmented-reality exhibition from the Jerusalem Botanic Gardens in Israel, opening this fall at twelve public gardens in the U.S. and abroad. As elsewhere, DBG visitors in Denver will be able to see a remarkable convergence of nature and technology using the Seeing the Invisible app available for iPhone and Android, while out-of-this-world imagery from artists like Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui, John Gerrard, Ori Gersht, Mohammed Kazem and Sigalit Landau will show you how artists can find fresh avenues in visual art using this new tool.
Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to [email protected].