Twelve Things for Art Lovers to See and Do on First Friday Weekend in Denver

Michael Gadlin, "Balance Envy,” acrylic, house paint, charcoal, ink, spray paint on canvas.
Michael Gadlin, "Balance Envy,” acrylic, house paint, charcoal, ink, spray paint on canvas. Michael Gadlin, K Contemporary
First Friday in March is busting out with Month of Photography 2019 shows big and small in just about every gallery setting you can imagine, from a coffeehouse to the streets of RiNo. We only cover a fraction here, but a complete calendar is available at MoP’s website for planning purposes. Plus, there’s plenty of new art of the non-photographic variety to see, too, or you might consider starting and ending your weekend at the Denver Art Museum, with an artist lecture on February 28 and the debut of new additions gifted to the DAM collection on March 2. Here are a few suggestions to point you on your way.
click to enlarge Tenzing Rigdol, "My World Is in Your Blindspot,” five panels, 2014. Silk brocade, scripture. - TENZING RIGDOL
Tenzing Rigdol, "My World Is in Your Blindspot,” five panels, 2014. Silk brocade, scripture.
Tenzing Rigdol
Logan Lecture: Tenzing Rigdol
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
Thursday, February 28, 6 to 7 p.m.
$10 to $20

The Denver Art Museum’s Contemporary Alliance support group wraps up February with a new edition of the ongoing Logan Lecture Series, this time introducing Tenzing Rigdol, a multi-disciplinary Tibetan artist/activist born in Nepal and now settled in the United States. In advance of his upcoming exhibition My World Is in Your Blind Spot, opening on March 21 at the Emmanuel Gallery on the Auraria campus, Rigdol will discuss the show, which promises to be both gorgeous and darkly political: The thirty-foot-long installation of meditative Buddha figures painted on five panels refers to 155 Tibetans who self-immolated over the past ten years.

click to enlarge Heather Oelklaus, “The Look,” 2014, woven silver gelatin prints. - HEATHER OELKLAUS
Heather Oelklaus, “The Look,” 2014, woven silver gelatin prints.
Heather Oelklaus
K. Vuletich, Alarming
Jami M. Guler, I Dreamt in Lo-Fi
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
February 28 through March 22
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 28, 5 to 8 p.m.

A MoP triple-header debuts at the Art Gym on February 28, led off by Settlers in the main gallery, a Native American’s eye-view of the promise of Manifest Destiny — which co-opted the land, culture and freedom of the indigenous tribes of the American West — curated by former Colorado Photographic Arts Center director Rupert Jenkins. Seven photography-based artists — Sarah Gjertson, Heather Oelklaus, Sarah Fukami, Carl Iwasaki, Tya Anthony, James Milmoe and Christopher Perez — take a neutral approach for Settlers, for what might ultimately be the backlash of time and history, reimagining the usurping of rights in deeply personal terms.
An illustration by Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala.
Courtesy of the Cultural Center Inca Garcilaso of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru
Camina el Autor pop-up
Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive
February 28 through March 8
Cultural First Friday: Friday, March 1, 5 to 9 p.m.
The Museo de las Americas takes advantage of some downtime between major exhibits to present the fascinating quickie pop-up Camina el Autor (The Author Walks): The Stories and Aspirations of Justice of Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala in his New Chronicle and Good Government, a collection of illustrations and writings by the Peruvian author documenting mistreatment of Andean natives by Spanish settlers in the early seventeenth century. Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala walked the documents more than 200 miles from his home in Ayacucho, Peru, to Lima to deliver them to the king of Spain. See the story unfold fast; it’s only in Denver for eight days.

click to enlarge Brian Fouhy, “Goodnight Denver.” - BRIAN FOUHY
Brian Fouhy, “Goodnight Denver.”
Brian Fouhy
Side Stories
Brighton Boulevard in RiNo
March 1 through 8, 6 to 10 p.m. nightly

Moving pictures find a perch in the spreading network of Denver’s Month of Photography 2019 exhibitions with Side Stories, a return performance of large-format film screenings after dark in the RiNo Art District by an all-new lineup of artists on select walls along Brighton Boulevard. Put on your walking shoes and follow the online Side Stories map to find projections on eight walls for eight days only. Want to mix it into a big First Friday stroll? Find out what else is going on in the district at the RiNo website.

click to enlarge Alyson Khan, “Geometrics of Evocation,” acrylic on canvas. - ALYSON KHAN, SPACE GALLERY
Alyson Khan, “Geometrics of Evocation,” acrylic on canvas.
Alyson Khan, Space Gallery
Beyond the Framework
Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive
March 1 through April 6
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

Michael Burnett gathers artists Steven Baris, Frea Buckler, Joshua Enck, Alyson Khan and Hyland Mather for an exhibition that’s all sharp edges and planes to showcase work inspired by geometry in two and three dimensions. Mather is also painting a mural at the new Space Annex at 95 South Cherokee Street in the Baker neighborhood while he’s in town, in addition to showing his trademark sculptural wall installations at Space on Santa Fe.

click to enlarge Eliza Gomez, “Canopy III,” 2018. - ELIZA GOMEZ
Eliza Gomez, “Canopy III,” 2018.
Eliza Gomez
How Things Take Shape
ATC DEN, 3420 Larimer Street
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 6 to 8 p.m.

Geometric art, and in particular abstraction, is also explored in How Things Take Shape, from Sandra Fettingis, Elisa Gomez, Frank T. Martinez and David Quakenbush, who express their sharp-cornered visions in a variety of mediums, from murals to video. Receptions here qualify as parties with refreshments and a DJ; RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Brian Cavanaugh, Cascade
Vinni Alfonso, Specimens
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
March 1 through 17
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 6 to 11 p.m.

On the co-op scene, Pirate hosts Brian Cavanaugh in the main gallery with Cascade, a multimedia installation about the inaccuracies of memories, while Vinni Alfonso takes over the adjacent space with some visual monsters in Specimens.

click to enlarge JASON LEE GIMBEL
Jason Lee Gimbel
Jason Lee Gimbel, If You Want to See the Invisible
Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse, 3636 Chestnut Place
March 1 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

Jason Gimbel pushes his expressionistic figurative work into new realms of color, loose abstraction and mediums in the recent works gathered for this show, which includes large paintings and collages. Openings at Ironton can come with perks: collectible glasses decorated with art by Gimbel for the first forty First Friday guests, and — you’re at a distillery, for heaven’s sake — good things to drink.

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