When an election draws near, the political art rises to the top, beginning with MCA Denver’s Citizenship: A Practice of Society, which officially opens to the public with a Parade for the People from City of Cuernavaca Park to the MCA on October 3. But that idea trickles down everywhere, at galleries both classy and blue-collar, and at a local screen-printing studio. Politics isn’t the only subject on the table, though: Other shows take on the pandemic, Día de los Muertos, art for geeks and more, more, more. Plus, it’s Phil Bender’s turn at Pirate: Contemporary Art!
Here’s the haps for Denver’s First Friday in October and the rest of the weekend:
Phil Bender, Right Up My Alley Wood Work
Abby Gregg, Connective Tissue
Oliver Straus, The Emotions, in the Treasure Chest
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
Through October 10
Phil Bender abandons the grid in his installation of found alley detritus; Abby Gregg combines clay sculpture and painting in collaboration with a few friends; and young Oliver Straus, the son of painter Topher Straus, hangs work on the Treasure Chest wall.
Robischon Gallery, online at robischongallery.com
Opens October 1
Robischon Gallery turns over an autumn leaf with something different. The online-only show High Stakes, featuring a wide variety of artists who were tasked with creating political yard signs and protest posters in a divisive election year, is a fundraiser for nonprofits with a barrage of loaded messages available as art you can use. Choose either a work on paper or a yard-ready piece in ink on coroplast and metal frame. Stay tuned for additional virtual and in-gallery programming to be announced.
Día de los Muertos Virtual Opening Reception
Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, 400 Quail Road, Longmont
Thursday, October 1, 7:30 to 9 p.m., on Facebook
The show will go on — virtually — at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, known for its excellent Día de los Muertos gallery shows and programming that will persevere in 2020 online. Join in from home on the evening of October 1 for an opening reception with a blessing dance by Grupo Azteca Tlahuitzcalli, a display of community altars, an artist talk with featured artist Tony Ortega and other conversations. It’s free, of course, and you can tune in to the live stream on Facebook.
Pink Progression: Collaborations Artist Talks, Series 2
Thursday, October 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
Also free and online, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities offers up round two of Pink Progression: Collaborations artist talks, with a whole new group of participating collaborators, via Zoom. Meanwhile, reserve free timed-entry tickets online in advance to visit Pink Progression: Collaborations in person, through November 8.
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral Artist Talk
Thursday, October 1, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Artists Lindsay Smith Gustave and Marsha Mack, whose work is on display in Animal, Vegetable, Mineral at Leon through October 24, will talk about the exhibition, virtually, explaining the show’s interrelated combination of styles. The talk is free; register in advance at Eventbrite.
Karine Léger, Mathias Leppitsch
Noelle Phares, Leopoldo Cuspinera
Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive
October 2 through November 7
Space brings on a well-matched foursome this month, with work ranging from Karine Léger’s collaged cut-outs and sculptural forms from design-forward artist Mathias Leppitsch to Noelle Phares’s watercolor landscapes overlaid with geometrical frameworks and Leopoldo Cuspinera’s dense, mixed-media landscapes. Reservations for the Friday reception are full, but the gallery is open to visitors Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment via email to email@example.com.
Green Wave Gallery + K Space Art Studios, 955 Decatur Street, Unit K
October 2 through November 22
Opening Reception: Friday, October 2, 6 to 9 p.m.
Protective face masks have become a fashion statement — and in some cases, a full-blown artistic statement — in the age of COVID, so it was only a matter of time before we started seeing mask-art exhibitions (for instance: MASK, on view at the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery through December 1, by appointment, at firstname.lastname@example.org). Masks Required! turns out to be a fun one, with a selection of masks from Denver artist Adrienne DeLoe’s international Pandemic Self-Portaits series, Daniel Banuelos’s masks based on luchador finery, and more. DeLoe, whose project blew up last spring with entries from artists all over the world, is now creating a book to document the series; you can make a donation to the project at Kickstarter.
Max Kauffman: Implements for Modern Farming
Dateline Gallery, 3004 Larimer Street
October 9 through 31 (This show was originally scheduled for October 2 but has been postponed.)
Opening Reception: Friday October 2, 6 to 11 p.m.
Max Kauffman brings a new set of cipher-covered wood and bronze sculptures to Dateline for his first solo exhibition in two years, and the work looks sweet. The body of work was created during a residency in Newnan, Georgia, where Kauffman was able to use vintage molds in the RD Cole manufacturing studio. Kauffman is at work on a book about his time in Georgia; stay tuned.
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
October 2 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday October 2, 6 to 10 p.m.
There’s a reason you might not be familiar with Montana-based artist Daphne Sweet, but that could all change with the opening of her first solo show in Denver. Sweet’s updated odalisques and other female figures seem to glow like neon in drawings, oil paintings and spray-painted work. It’s a wow.
QuARTantine — Creations Through the Pandemic
BuCu West Development Association, 4200 Morrison Road, Suite 3
Opening Reception: Friday, October 2, 5 to 7 p.m.
The Westwood Creative District and BuCu West invited twelve artists to exhibit work made during and influenced by the pandemic for this show that opens on what’s turning into a First Friday scene along Morrison Road. Just down the road, you’ll also find a First Friday Art Fair with five local artists at the Arturo Garcia Art Studio & Gallery, 4040 Morrison Road. The Cultura Chocolate Cafe at RISE Westwood, 3742 Morrison Road, will be serving Mexican snacks, desserts, confections and rich chocolate beverages until 9 p.m.
Edge Gallery, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
October 2 through 18
Good Trouble, Edge’s group show of political art by members and invited artists, refers to the words of civil rights giant John Lewis, whom we recently lost: "Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get into good trouble, necessary trouble." Drop in and get stoked for the election; Edge isn’t hosting a reception, but the gallery is open on Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Christine O’Dea, Of Dreams, Trees, and Threes
Kathy Mitchell-Garton, Interrupting the Narrative
Core New Art Space, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
October 2 through 18
First Friday Reception: Friday, October 2, 6 to 9 p.m.
Core members Christine O’Day and Kathy Mitchell-Garton respectively offer mixed-media and clay works partially inspired by pandemic times and an organic mix of textiles and mixed media.
Synchronicity: an acausal connection of meaning
Elevation Room, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
October 2 through November 1
Opening Reception: Friday, October 2, 6 p.m.
Eight Art Hub artists are banding together for an independent exhibition based on the concept of synchronicity. Group member Jude Barton curated and J. Bruce Wilcox installed the show, which hangs in the Elevation Room, aka the lobby area at the Art Hub. Schedule a timed RSVP at Eventbrite; visit Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. or Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m
Balefire Goods, 7513 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
October 2 through 31
Balefire owner and resident metalsmith Jamie Hollier is taking a side trip with a few artist friends to start Geeklery, a new, curated line of jewelry, artworks and objects for pop-culture nerds. The new line, which has its own website, launches on October 2 with a display on view in person at Balefire, as well as a virtual shop at the dedicated site; items are certain to please Trekkies, Harry Potter geeks, gamers and other obsessives. It’s an opportune time, too, as the holidays aren’t that far away. Get a gift for your favorite geek.
Boulder Open Studios
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway Boulder
October 2 through 18
Boulder Open Studios is making some changes to its format this year for obvious reasons, but your first stop should be the BOS gallery show, which features one work from every artist on the tour. The museum is open daily, and pandemic protocols will be practiced. If the show convinces you to visit any particular studio in person, you can book an individual time online at the Boulder Open Studios website through October 31.
L!BERTee-Shirt Screen Printing
Ink Lounge, 29 South Fox Street
Saturdays, October 3, 17 and 31, 10 to 11 a.m.
Ink Lounge is doing its civic duty to get out the vote by hosting free BYO T-shirt screen-printing opportunities on three selected Saturdays before the election. You have your choice of three designs; get all the details, including parking instructions, online. Wear a mask, stand six feet apart, and go home with a fresh, wearable statement.
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