Art

Ten Things for Art Lovers to Do Over Memorial Day Weekend in Denver

Shelley Reed, “Kestrel,” oil paint.
Shelley Reed, “Kestrel,” oil paint. Shelley Reed, Visions West Contemporary
Hey, it’s a long weekend: Take in some art, spruce up your patio garden, turn on your thinking machine for some performance art, or nosh your way through an arts district. These ten art openings and events are sure to make your Memorial Day break memorable.

click to enlarge VISIONS WEST CONTEMPORARY
Visions West Contemporary
Birdwatcher
Visions West Contemporary, 2605 Walnut Street
May 22 through July 6
Reception: Friday, May 31, 6 to 8 p.m.

Birdwatcher is, indeed, for the birds — and the people who love them: This group show is all about the avian persuasion, rendered across a gamut of mediums, including drawings, paintings, ceramic works, fiber assemblages and sculpture with digital video enhancements. Get a preview this weekend or wait for the May 31 reception.

click to enlarge Digital Embodiment gives visual context to living with disabilities at Art Gym. - COURTESY OF MARY GRACE BERNARD
Digital Embodiment gives visual context to living with disabilities at Art Gym.
Courtesy of Mary Grace Bernard
Digital Embodiment
Marilyn Rea Nasky, Sky Above
Kaira Delfosse, Moment of Clarity
Art Gym, 1460 Leyden Street
May 23 through June 14
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 23, 5 to 8 p.m.

Art Gym member and performance artist Mary Grace Bernard lives with, and is inspired in her thinking by, cystic fibrosis, a physical disability that drives her — and others in the same creative boat — to explore digital platforms of self-expression when the body can’t comply. Bernard curated Digital Embodiment, which is both a physical exhibition in Art Gym’s main gallery and an online archive of performative work by herself and others. The show lives a psychic life beyond gallery walls, because after all, breaking down walls is what shared experience is all about. Art Gym members Kaira Delfosse, a painter, and Marilyn Rea Nasky, a watercolorist, will be showing in the Common Space Gallery.

click to enlarge Catch a super-sampler of Space Gallery artists at the grand opening of the Space Annex. - SPACE ANNEX
Catch a super-sampler of Space Gallery artists at the grand opening of the Space Annex.
Space Annex
Momentum
Space Annex, 95 South Cherokee Street
May 23 through June 15
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 23, 5 to 10 p.m.

After a soft opening in April, Space Gallery’s new sibling in a former industrial building, Space Annex, is throwing a grand-opening group showcase of small works by dozens of artists represented by Space that doubles as an opportunity to view the building’s shiny remodel. Look for the mural designed by Frea Buckler that wraps itself around the structure, then drop in for a proper introduction.


click to enlarge Paul Keefe, "Sundial." - PAUL KEEFE
Paul Keefe, "Sundial."
Paul Keefe
Paul Keefe, Take a Penny, Leave a Penny
Lane Meyer Projects, 2528 Walnut Street
May 24 through June 24
Opening Reception: Friday, May 24, 6 p.m.

Artist Paul Keefe takes his materials — from blocks of ice to staples — both seriously and lightly in Take a Penny, Leave a Penny, which comments on the fleeting importance of artwork that could fall apart or melt away in a matter of minutes. The tour de force? Perhaps that could be “Press Release,” a stack of 10,000 copies of said press release that forms its own precarious pedestal. Keefe displays a sense of humor — and of the beautiful ephemeral — in his here-today, gone-tomorrow style of art-making.

click to enlarge "Apples: Eating the Globe," an installation-in-progress by Tsehai Johnson at the Center for Visual Art. - TSEHAI JOHNSON
"Apples: Eating the Globe," an installation-in-progress by Tsehai Johnson at the Center for Visual Art.
Tsehai Johnson
Biennial MSU Denver Art Department Exhibition
Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive
May 24 through July 20
Opening Reception: Friday, May 24, 6 to 8 p.m.
Free, RSVP in advance

Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art pays tribute to MSU art faculty in a big collection of work by 31 artists, who give the world a peek into what they do when they’re not teaching students. During the reception, one faculty member, Tsehai Johnson, will lead a 7 p.m. workshop at which wannabe artists of all ages and skill levels will create ceramic apples that she’ll include in her own installation, Apples: Eating the Globe, with a repeat program at 7 p.m. during the Art District on Santa Fe's First Friday in June.
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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