What’s new this week in the galleries? How about performance art, a new gallery solo for an emerging artist, fun in the co-ops, hands-on art-making and viewing, and more, ad infinitum? And Denver’s Month of Photography 2019 continues with shows both large and small. Here are ten ways to dip your toes into the local art world this weekend:
Rick Griffith, Beat the Whites With the Same Red Wedge, Version 3.2
Shop at Matter, 2134 Market Street
Print Reception and Demonstration: Thursday, March 14, 5 to 8 p.m.
Rick Griffith, the maven of Denver’s Matter design and letterpress print studio, saw Month of Photography 2019 as an opportunity to have some fun. Beat the Whites With the Same Red Wedge, Version 3.2 is his collage series inspired by early constructivist painter El Lissitzky’s 1919 propaganda poster, "Beat the Whites With the Red Wedge,” but rendered 100 years later with a contemporary message. Think of this as your opportunity to check out Matter and its clever retail shop and see how analog letterpress printing is done.
Christie Blizard, Sinusoidal
Artist talk and performance, moved to Saturday, March 16, 1 p.m., Black Cube Headquarters, 2925 South Umatilla Street
Full performance, Friday, March 15, 6 to 9 p.m., Peralta Projects, 747 Elati Street
In her ongoing series Sinusoidal, San Antonio performance artist Christie Blizard carries on a parasitic relationship with her subjects, acting as an alien DJ avatar that enters the personas of stars like Scarlett Johansson and Elle Fanning from behind three-dimensional masks that hide her own face. Video and sound enhance the otherworldly experience, “exposing media as a facade" and taking audiences into darker realms without a single word spoken. During her two days in Denver, Blizard will also give an artist talk; in the performance-art world, this is a not-to-miss!
Xaviera Simmons Artist Talk for Gravity of Perception
Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, March 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
$10 (free for members and MSU students with ID, RSVP requested in advance)
As CVA’s superlative MoP 2019 exhibition Gravity of Perception draws to a close (March 23 is the show’s last day), here’s a chance to hear from one of its jewels: photographer and multimedia artist Xaviera Simmons, who has works from her powerful Sundown series on view as part of the show. Serving as a reminder that antiquated “sundown towns” where black Americans are not welcome after dark still exist, her large prints stamp contemporary portraits with superimposed black-and-white imagery from the past.
Charles Parson, Horizon’s Harmonies
Mai Wyn Fine Art, 744 Santa Fe Drive
March 15 through April 13
Opening Reception: Friday, March 15, 6 to 8 p.m.
The inclusion of sculptor, painter, draftsman, mentor and musician Charles Parson adds considerable weight to Mai Wyn Fine Arts’ small stable, and this latest show, a solo of new sculpture and drawings, is testament to his productivity and buoyant creative spirit. Colorado has a few art legends; Parson is surely one of them.
Suzy Savoy, Left for Dead
Jordan Lyn, A Warning to Lovers
Next Gallery, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Unit B, Lakewood
March 15 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, March 15, 6 to 10 p.m.
It’s rare to catch two solo shows, one about roadkill and the other about processing love, under one roof, but, hey, there are no rules about making art. Consider it serendipity when Suzy Savoy (aka Suzanne Bates) and Jordan Lyn share Next Gallery for the next couple of weeks. Savoy, who grew up with a taxidermy-practicing mother and airbrushes her startling dead animals on glass, and Lyn, who stitches sparsely embroidered pictures, will both give you some things to talk about.
Julio Alejandro, Apple Eaters
Black Book Gallery, 304 Elati Street
March 16 through April 6
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 16, 7 to 10 p.m.
Open thereafter by appointment only at 303-941-2458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denver artist Julio Alejandro’s paintings evoke roots in graffiti and restroom wall art: They’re rapidly scrawled, non sequitur and dotted with pop imagery, cartoon characters, multicultural references and the canon of art history. In other words, street but not street, and fascinating to look at. That said, he fits right in with Apple Eaters, his first show at Black Book Gallery, a local champion of urban artists nationwide.
Claybird Minishop and Birdhouse Show
EvB Studio, 3735 Ames Street, Wheat Ridge
Birdhouse Show and Mini-shop: Friday, March 15, 6 to 9 p.m., $10 at the door (includes clay, use of studio tools, firing and black wash, and instruction)
Birdhouse Show continues Saturday, March 16, noon to 6 p.m.
March is for the birds at EvB Studio, where clay artist Marie Gibbons will host a third-Friday drop-in clay mini-shop with a bird theme in a studio filled with artful birdhouses and bird art created by students, members of the Art Club of McKinley-Thatcher Elementary, artists Craig Robb and Gayla Lemke and Gibbons herself. Not into getting your hands dirty, but need a blast of spring? The birdhouse show continues on Saturday afternoon.
Meg Lipke, Appendages and Talismans
Lane Meyer Projects, 2528 Walnut Street
March 16 through April 10
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 16, 6 to 11 p.m.
Brooklyn-based artist Meg Lipke, who sews painted canvas into what she calls "low-relief paintings," will bring a fresh batch to hang up at Lane Meyer Projects. But she’s also bringing interactive add-ons, or "talismans," that you, the viewer, will be able to attach to the sculptures and change the course of the exhibit.
Alt Ethos, Singing Tree Workshop
Anythink Perl Mack, 7611 Hilltop Circle
Saturday, March 16, 2 to 3 p.m.
Think interactive and you’ll find yourself on the cutting edge of public art, which is exactly where the Denver-based visual-technology outfit Alt Ethos is at, whether it be virtual reality, projection mapping or 360° video. Under the wing of Alt Ethos, a new public sculpture, “The Singing Tree,” has been installed at the Anythink Perl Mack library, and it’s time to teach people how to use the work’s color-coded interactive Specdrums to control sounds, beats and loops. Meet the makers and learn something new at the all-ages workshop.
Meet the Artist: Juan Fuentes
ReCreative Denver, 765 Santa Fe Drive
Sunday, March 17, 12:30 to 3 p.m.
After an introduction from curator John Lake, street photographer Juan Fuentes, whose gritty MoP 2019 exhibition See Through the Veil is on view through March 29, will discuss ideas, art, social issues and whatever else comes up in informal conversation, all over coffee and doughnuts. Get the word straight from the street.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.