As we head into July 4, this is kind of a holiday weekend, but the galleries are so busy, you’d think it was First Friday. They're offering a compelling lineup of shows, with an interesting spread of work and mediums and ideas worth thinking about. Kiss June goodbye in style at these ten art events:
A Place in History
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
June 27 through July 28
Opening Reception: Friday, July 13, 6 to 9 p.m.
Three artists — Michael Brohman, Glen Moriwaki and C. Maxx Stevens — explore their relationships to three marginalized social strata in A Place in History, a hard-hitting exhibit at Firehouse with a sub-theme of human oppression. Each artist has a different story to tell: Brohman opens the book on his formative years as a gay youth raised within a biased religious group, while Californian Moriwaki addresses his Japanese parents’ internment in a Wyoming camp during WWII by juxtaposing visuals inspired by imprisonment and freedom, and Native artist Stevens comments on stereotyping on both sides of the divide from a personal point of view.
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Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, 1405 Florence Street, Aurora
June 28 through August 31
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 28, 4 to 7 p.m.
Nicole Banowetz’s inflatable installations, which blow up microscopic life forms to monumental size, provide a perfect portal for DAVA’s mission to blend usable job skills and art in an art-mentoring program for at-risk youth. For Micro Cosmos, Banowetz helped students navigate the science/art connection, resulting in installations of Petri dishes and growing cells by older kids, and microscopic shapes drawn by the younger set. It will all go on view Thursday, with Banowetz’s inflatables setting the scene, including several pop-up one-night-only works displayed outdoors during the opening reception. The spectacle is real, as are the lessons learned by the eager youth clientele at DAVA.
Republic Plaza, 370 17th Street
June 28 through August 15
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 28, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
If you’ve ever taken a scrap of paper and, without thinking, started folding it up in accordion shapes or little triangles, you’ve experienced the foundation of manipulated art. Of course, it’s more complicated when artists like Taiko Chandler, who prints and shapes sheets of Tyvek for large wall installations, start manipulating materials into non-traditional shapes. Chandler, who’s contributed a site-specific piece for the show, will be joined by fifteen other local artists versed in the art of manipulated mediums for Manipulated: cut…folded…molded, a downtown-Denver exhibit mounted by Arts Brookfield in the Republic Plaza lobby and concourse levels.
Bruno Novelli, Turmalinas No Céu
David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 Wazee Street, Suite A
June 29 through July 28
Opening Reception: Friday, July 29, 6 to 8 p.m.
São Paulo-based painter Bruno Novelli brings vivid hues and the spirit of Brazil to his layered and collaged works, which, when viewed, might be comparable to taking a walk through the jungle. Novelli calls his aesthetic “tropical delirium,” and we’re not going to argue that point; if you like your art fat, stylish and luscious, this is a show you won’t want to miss.
Jillian Kay FitzMaurice, Exotic Escape
Rule Gallery, 530 Santa Fe Drive
June 29 through August 11
Opening Reception: Friday, June 29, 6 to 9 p.m.
Jillian Kay FitzMaurice doesn’t exclusively use palm trees in her work, but for Exotic Escape, they represent modern oases in the desert, such as Los Angeles, which is as much a City of Angels as it is a spoiled-rotten, decadent La-La Land. Her views of palms washed over with a static of interfering brushmarks are condemning, but not without a wistful look back at the lost glamour of classic Hollywood.
The Future Is Fluid
Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive
June 29 through August 4
Opening Reception: Friday, June 29, 5 to 8 p.m.
The trio of artists showing together in The Future Is Fluid share a preference for eye-catching color in abstracted motion, whether on canvas, as with the work of Michael Hedges and Monroe Hodder, or in the soaring lines of Miguel Edwards’s steel sculptures. The reception is being advertised as a capital-P party, so don’t miss out on the fun.
Beneath the Surface
Anthology Fine Art, 3419 South Lincoln Street, Englewood
June 29 through July 29
Opening Reception: Friday, June 29, 6 to 9 p.m.
Painter Katie Hoffman’s subjectively dreamlike figurative works will hang in tandem with Englewood wood sculptor Smithie Mitchell’s smooth and curvaceous carvings on the floor at Anthology, a fine-art framing business with beautiful natural lighting and dedicated gallery walls. Discover a couple of metro-Denver treasures and a topnotch place to get framed up.
Boulder Public Art Social
Central Boulder locations, including the Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, and Central Park Bandshell, 1212 Canyon Boulevard
Friday and Saturday, June 29 and 30, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Boulder’s Office of Arts and Culture has come up with an engaging way to show local public-art projects and temporary commissions: the Public Art Social, a two-day family-friendly, hands-on spectacular that includes Pecha Kucha-style five-minute artist presentations, a sound walk, guided public-art tours, new media installations in Boulder Central Park and more. All events are free, but some (like the Sound Walk) require an RSVP; find a complete lineup at boulderarts.org or on the Public Art Social Facebook event page.
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Grand Opening Block Party
Art Circus, 1510 Kearney Street
Saturday, June 30, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What’s the Art Circus? A new East Colfax corridor gallery launched in May by a quartet of local artists and friends, it’s a fairly DIY collaborative venture with big plans, including this weekend’s grand opening and street party. Not your usual gallery reception, the extravaganza will spill out onto the street with vendor booths, food, live music and more, all to introduce Art Circus to the Park Hill neighborhood. The gallery will pop up again next weekend with a new exhibit, This Is America, inspired by the Childish Gambino music video of the same name.
Ian Ferguson, Ghosts of the Old World
Zuni 49 Studios, 4890 Zuni Street
Sunday, July 1, 2 to 8 p.m.
Birdseed Collective, in partnership with Andrew Hoffman and Max Kauffman, aka the independent exhibit-curating team Shorts, have lured Brooklyn-based artist and designer Ian Ferguson to Denver’s Zuni 49 Studios — not only for a show, but for a two-week residency. Crowd into the studio on Sunday to take a gander at work created right here in Denver — some of it large, some sculptural, and all to die for. And no worries: Ferguson will have plenty of smaller drawings and screen prints on the wall, as well.
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