It’s clearly summer in Denver’s art world, which breaks out with parties, open houses, celebrations, art trucks, limited-edition releases and more than a modicum of fun, fun, fun this weekend — along with some loaded gallery openings. Have a good time at these twelve art events.
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, 1405 Florence Street, Aurora
June 20 to September 6
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 20, 4 to 7 p.m.
DAVA celebrates World Refugee Day with Social Spheres, an exhibition that’s a nod to diversity in downtown Aurora and the changing world as experienced by young people. And much like the suburb’s cultural makeup, the show takes many shapes, veering from miniaturized environments by artist Becky Wareing Steele and work from the DAVA youth she mentored to the collaborative crochet installations from the Ladies Fancywork Society. The reception will double as an international celebration, with dance by the Roshni Dance Ensemble at 4:30 p.m. and music from the Congolese Gloria Choir at 5:30 p.m.
Lynn Mandziuk, Descendence
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
June 20 through July 12
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 20, 5 to 8 p.m.
Art Gym showcases member artists this month with two shows: Story Lines, a group effort highlighting the use of text and narrative in art of all mediums, and Descendence, a solo in the Common Space Gallery by Lynn Mandziuk, who says her series of mountain paintings represents “an allegory for life,” with all its ups and downs.
Mac ’n Cheese With Diet Coke
JuiceBox Art Space, 3006A Larimer Street
June 21 through July 27
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 6 to 10 p.m.
Tobias Fike, the mastermind behind this month’s Untitled Final Friday at the Denver Art Museum on June 28, took time out from making art to curate a group show at JuiceBox. He specifically chose artists who hail from a non-coastal spectrum of mountain and Midwestern states, aka the “flyover zone.” It’s an acknowledgment of the thriving cultural bubbles and workingman’s palate that form in such climes, as demonstrated by Jennifer Bockelman, Dana Fritz, Dalton Frizzell, Alvin Gregorio, Rashawn Griffin, Glyneisha Johnson, Kerri Mulcare, Jared Seffensen and Casey Whittier.
Cara a Cara
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
June 21 through July 7
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 6 to 8 p.m.
Cara a Cara shows up in Boulder courtesy of the Museo de las America’s Sin Fronteras traveling exhibitions program, bringing a spiritually deep collection of 300 folk-art ceremonial masks from across Latin America to the Dairy Arts Center.
Terry Ratzlaff, The Watcher
Pattern Denver, 855 Wyandot
Reception: Friday, June 21, 7 to 10 p.m.
Over three-plus decades, obsessive train-watcher Craig C. recorded the comings and goings of trains from a rail-side parking lot. For The Watcher, photographer Terry Ratzlaff mimicked that daily ritual through an ongoing repetitive series that eventually takes on the machine-like observations of his subject. Ratzlaff, a Denverite working toward his MFA at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, will also host a workshop, "Journey Around Myself: Narrative and Book Making" at Pattern Denver on June 29 and 30; learn more online.
Summer of Play
Art Students League of Denver, 200 Grant Street
June 21 through August 2
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
The Art Students League of Denver rightly recognized that summer is playtime in planning the high-summer exhibition Summer of Play, a fun, touchy-feely, immersive kind of show that blends work by ASLD KidART Camp and Teen Studio instructors with a crocheted installation by the ubiquitous Ladies Fancywork Society, who’ve lately been storming Denver with beautiful wheel-shaped yarn bombs. Definitely bring the kids with you for this one.
Timbuk2 x Abstract Bag Art Show & Custom Pop-up
Abstract, 742 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, June 21, 6 to 9 p.m.
The San Francisco-based bag manufacturer Timbuk2 and Abstract, the retail end of Denver’s IndyInk print shop, are feting the town this weekend with a spectacle of limited-edition Timbuk2 bags designed by local urban artists, including Mike Graves, Rachel Jablonski, Tukeone, Ladies Fancywork Society, Rube Zilla, Jaime Molina, Sam Turner, DINKC, Moeh and Chris Haven.
Arcane Divination Series 2 Blind Box Release Party
Sally Centigrade, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Friday, June 21 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Pop-art palace Sally Centigrade is entering the world of collectible vinyl toys in a new partnership with Kidrobot, and will do so with a bang: by hosting a new release of the fabled toy company’s Arcane Divination Series 2: The Lost Cards, a series of three-inch Dunny blind boxes. If you know what that means, you’ll be there – these figures, borrowed from tarot lore by artists Jon-Paul Kaiser, GODMACHINE, Tokyo Jesus, Camilla D’Errico and J*RYU, are too hot to touch.
Union Hall Grand Opening
Union Hall Denver, the Coloradan, 1750 Wewatta Street, Suite 144
Friday, June 21, 5 to 8 p.m.
Talk about amenities: Union Hall, a nonprofit cultural experiment housed within the new LoDo condominium development the Coloradan, brings gallery shows to a dedicated space that’s accessible to the public. Take a look at the grand opening, where paintings by Brooklyn artist Deborah Brown are on display. In addition, Brown will give an artist talk at 5 p.m. Friday, June 21, and dogs will be welcome in the gallery from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 29, the last day of her exhibition. No surprise: Pups figure into several of her works.
Prism Workspaces Open Studios
Prism Workspaces, 999 Vallejo Street
Friday, June 21, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Artists at Prism Workshops, which houses more than sixty studios, are opening their doors to the public for an evening of art chat and behind-the-scenes goggling at works in progress and finished work in mosaic, glass, ceramic, sculpture and even more mediums.
Flora/Fauna, by Hey Hue
Shop at Matter, 2134 Market Street
Saturday, June 22, noon to 5 p.m.
The Hey Hue art truck will pull up at the Shop at Matter on Saturday with Flora/Fauna, a jungle menagerie of art by local artists on display. Climb aboard and view Deanne Gertner’s experiment in direct art-marketing and add to your collection of quality affordable art.
Into the Rainbow: Immersive Art Experience
Spectra Art Space, 1836 South Broadway
Installation open through July 17
Reception and immersive art experience: Saturday, June 22, 7 to 11 p.m.
Free, RSVP at Eventbrite
PrideFest is over, but Pride month marches on at Spectra Art Space, where rainbow-themed immersive installations by queer artists and allies merge with live music, giveaways and a drag show with host Shirley Delta Blow. Ratio Beerworks will also be in the house with craft brews. Entry to the big blowout is free, but if you donate $5 in advance (see Eventbrite link above) or $10 at the door, you’ll be rewarded with a fabulous artsy goodie bag.