Arts and Culture

Under the radar: Denverites open an Alley Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach

Oh, we're only kids now, but someday we're gonna be the guys that make ya laugh and cry and think that there's a little stardust left on life's dirty old pan. - Mickey Moran in Babes in Arms.

Among young and emerging artists these days, the loudest complaint is against the big-art world. They're leery of public art programs and gallery elitism, tired of having to settle for less-than-perfect terms and hungry, like starving wolves, to be seen. And they've learned the lesson that sometimes, in order to be seen, they have to be their own agents: DIY or die.

Well, maybe. A lot of artist newbies have also learned to take their struggles with a grain of salt, including the members of Denver's Bored of Directors, a loose collective of creatives, including Tuyet Nguyen, Matt Scobey and Tony Farfalla, whose objective it is to, well, put on shows: graphic design, installations, collaborations, video and what-have-you, all with an emphasis on the "collective." The group put their heads together and serendipitously ended up traveling to Miami earlier this month during Art Basel Miami Beach, an annual citywide arts fair that covers all the bases, to add their own two cents to the proceedings. "An idea we had kicked on for a while was to have an alley gallery: to take art away from the galleries and bring it back to the streets," Nguyen says. "But Miami was the first time we'd actually done it. We figured that with the wide range of amazing street art and museum-level art and the exposure there, it would be a good time and place to do this. We had works submitted by a group of Denver artists, and then we went to the dollar store and bought buckets and wheat flour and water and broom handles. We hauled all of these on our bikes until we found a building that had been bombed by others, and then just put it up on the spur of the moment."

"It" was the Bored of Art Basel (alley gallery), an impromptu temporary hanging of works by Sandi Calistro, David Coccagna, Milton Melvin Croissant III, Katrin Davis, Farfalla, Nguyen, Chris Van Nguyen, Zach Reini and Scobey. Following is a Bored of Directors video document of the event.

Will they do something similar, now that they're back in Denver? Maybe. Maybe not. But the members of Bored of Directors are now definitely off and running. The BoD promises a local launch in February (more on that to come: keep an eye on Show and Tell for the details); until then, visit the website or Facebook page for info and updates.

Photos courtesy of Bored of Directors.

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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