As the academic year segues into summer, student and alumni works shimmer in the spotlight; elsewhere, gallery anniversaries will be celebrated, fine-art venues refresh for the summer, art takes root among the greenery, and the Denver Art Museum turns on the lights. Here are the arty happenings in Denver this weekend:
Barbara Takenaga, Manifold
Linda Fleming, Allusion
Jaq Chartier, SunTests
Alison Hall, Heirlooms
Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 16, 6 to 8 p.m.
Robischon Gallery moves into another cycle with four abstract artists whose work taps the outer limits of medium and process. Jaq Chartier’s color-infused visual chemistry lessons, Linda Fleming’s curvy diagrammatic steel sculptures, Alison Hall’s darkly patterned studies and Barbara Takenaga’s cosmic canvases all share sacred space for the summer.
Another World Is Possible: Be the Monster and Codeswitch
PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 16, 6 to 8 p.m.
Gallery Hours: May 21 through 24, noon to 5 p.m.
The unlikely duo of poet JP Allen and puppetmaster Katy Batsel cross-reference their PlatteForum residencies as artist-mentors: Allen, who worked with youth from RiseUp Academy on developing literary/political manifestos, and Batsel, who created puppet activists with ArtLab interns, meet in the middle for a mixture of poetry and monster-puppet protests. At the reception, RiseUp will share resulting wordplay with live readings and an anything-goes open mic, while ArtLab breaks out in a monster-puppet parade; the puppets, including Batsel’s own creations touting queer identity, will remain on view through May 24.
2019 Juried Alumni Exhibition
Vicki Myhren Gallery, 2121 East Asbury Avenue
May 17 through June 16
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 16, 5 to 8 p.m.
A whopping 23 University of Denver artist alumni were chosen by jurors Andrea Wallace, Sue Oehme and Cordelia Taylor to exhibit work in a season-ending show that covers a wide gamut of styles and mediums and celebrates cross-generational creativity.
Pattern Denver, 855 Wyandot Street
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 16, 7 to 10 p.m.
Pattern Denver, a new mural-covered Lincoln Park co-working facility aimed at offering services and space to photographers and filmmakers, also sports a gallery space that debuts to the public with Border Stories, a documentation of life on the border from the differing points of view of photographers Elliot Ross and Rachel Woolf. Ross offers a vignette-driven road trip along the border, while Woolf focuses on a family separated by deportation.
Zach Reini, Not Much Will Change When I’m Gone
Sierra Montoya Barela, Living Room, in the Project Room
David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 Wazee Street
May 17 through June 15
Opening Reception: Friday, May 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
Zach Reini breaks into the David B. Smith stable with a show of works inspired by the collectible milk-caps called Pogs that were a pop-culture sensation twenty-plus years ago. Symbolic of America’s historical rise and future based on commerce, Reini’s Pog revival documents the inexorable march of capitalism. In the Project Room, Sierra Montoya Barela travels across time and space in paintings of imagined rooms and places.
MWC Fifth Anniversary Party
Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, May 17, 5 to 9 p.m.
Michael Warren Contemporary, the joint project of partners Mike McClung and Warren Campbell, debuted in 2014 at the iconic space on Santa Fe Drive that once housed the van Straaten Gallery and Sandy Carson galleries. Five years down the road, MWC is still adding class to the art district with smart curation and a solid roster of artists. The gallery is celebrating with an anniversary party that also offers a look at the current abstract shows by Kelton Osborn and Meghan Wilbar, which hang through May 25.
EPIC Arts Spring 2019 Exhibition
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
May 18 through June 9
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 18, 1 to 3 p.m.
Student artists from the Academy of Urban Learning, Bruce Randolph, Denver Green School, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy and McMeen Elementary School took on issues of social justice as part of RedLine’s action-based Epic Arts program; now the resulting works will go up for sale in a gallery exhibition. Proceeds go to organizations offering services to Denver’s homeless population.
Rosehouse, 14 South Broadway
May 18 through 31
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 18, 7 to 9 p.m.
Artist and sign painter Jae Mo borrows from classic advertising imagery and modern thinking to create artwork, embroidery, T-shirts and more, some emblazoned with smartass remarks. Imagine a little wit and humor blooming up among the plants at Rosehouse and you’ll get the picture.
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Vibrant Femmes: Materiality
Seidel City, 3205 Longhorn Road, Boulder
May 18 through June 16
Opening reception of Vibrant Femmes | Materiality, on Saturday, May 18, 6 to 9 p.m.
Gallery Hours: June 1, 2, 15 and 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment
Curator Kecia Benvenuto created Vibrant Femmes in 2016 to raise awareness of female and non-binary artists and the rise of “feminine” directions and processes in art-making. Materiality collects installation work by Colorado artists Tracey Bergrud, Kelly Duffield, Eva Maier, Julie Maren and Liz Quan, who embrace materials that are pliable, moldable, textural, organic and found in time-intensive meditative works.
The Light Show
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
May 19, 2019 through May 3, 2020
In the history of fine art, light has been everything — the energy source behind high-contrast chiaroscuro paintings, illuminated manuscripts, dappled impressionist landscapes, modern neon and fluorescent sculptures, the photographs of Ansel Adams and so much more. To make the point, the Denver Art Museum will illuminate the flight of light through art history with The Light Show, a new cross-departmental exhibit from the museum’s vast collections that will roll out in two parts over the next month. Part one, focusing on physical light, opens on Sunday, May 19, and part two follows on June 2; both remain on view through May 2020.