First Friday is insane in October, and anywhere you pin the tail on the donkey, there's going to be something great to discover in the local art world, from 40 West in Lakewood to the Art District on Santa Fe. We've tried to distill it for you, and have even thrown in some wild-card choices for this wild-card-crazy town. All you have to do is follow the dotted line...
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
October 3 through 29
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mystery Date Monday: Monday, October 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
Ego Slayer Yoga: Wednesday, October 17, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.
TGIM Dance Party: Monday, October 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
Closing Halloween Parade: Monday, October 29, 6 to 8 p.m.
Valentines in October? The Secret Love Collective, a queer-minded community of DIY artists and creatives, thinks it’s a great way to freely express suppressed love, especially when conflated with the Halloween season, which invites the subterfuge of costumery. Both play a role in the collective’s immersive multimedia installation Spooky Valentine, where valentines will be made, costumes shared and spontaneous parades or ecstatic dancing might occur throughout the month, especially at special events listed above. It’s all about love, something we could all use more of. Admission is free.
Patricia Bramsen: Woman as Portal Into the Sublime
Caroline Douglas: Caravan of Dreams: A Healer’s Path
Frank Sampson: Tricksters, Beneficial Beasts, Acrobats & Other Apparitions
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder
October 4 through January 20
Opening Reception: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
BMoCA will be set for fall with a trio of shows interconnected by the fantastical, including a survey of nonagenarian Colorado artist Frank Sampson’s dream-like scenarios of people and animals in nature, Caroline Douglas’s parading clay creatures and Patricia Bramsen’s chimerical female portraits. The guest curator, Boulder artist Rebecca DiDomenico, will speak at the opening, and the artists will be in attendance.
808 Projects, 808 Santa Fe Drive
October 4 through 21
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 4, 6 to 9 p.m.
Ironically, former BMoCA curator Mardee Goff presents a more conceptual solo exhibition by Theresa Anderson that includes the squirmy sculptures of the show title, as well as animation and an accompanying survey of older drawings and paintings that document recurring patterns and storytelling in Anderson’s ongoing process. Anderson makes work that challenges the mind and senses, setting off that inner touch me! impulse we all fight with when viewing certain kinds of art. It’s no accident that she’s showing in an artist-run experimental venue.
JuiceBox Gallery, 3006A Larimer Street
October 5 through 20
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 7 p.m.
JuiceBox entrepreneurs and lovebirds Lucía Rodríguez and Aaron Mulligan, who share duties as gallerists, curators, art instructors and community unifiers in the RiNo space they built together from scratch, celebrate reaching their six-month anniversary with a revealing exhibition with a personal touch. For Inventory: Autumn, the couple looks back on how their lives and artistic insights have progressed and changed since they first embedded in the art community last spring.
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
October 5 through 27
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 6 to 11 p.m.
A graphic designer, muralist, collagist and fine artist with street chops, Jarred De Palo founded 1/1 Magazine but has since moved on from the local-art publication to focus on commercial work and art curation. But under the handle Mr. Depalakua, he still makes fresh art of his own out of pop-culture and graffiti imagery, which he shares in Painted Across the Day at Alto Gallery, the exhibition space run by the Birdseed Collective.
ATC Den, 3420 Larimer Street
October 5 through 27
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 7 to 9 p.m.
Incoming RedLine resident Marsha Mack integrates sculpture, performance and multimedia into installations like Miss Vietnam, an environment linked by Asian candies, a jungle atmosphere and a cross-cultural narrative. DJ Simone Says will provide the beats for the opening reception, and complimentary cocktails and beer will be served. See what this relative newcomer to the Denver scene is all about, and if you miss the opening, ATC Den is hosting a closing reception and artist talk on October 27, with details TBA.
Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive
October 5 through November 10
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 5 to 8 p.m.
Virginia Maitland, the first lady of color-field painting in Colorado, anchors this exhibition steeped in the liquid style, which could make it a fitting sideshow to Maitland’s major retrospective on view through November 11 at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. But there’s a lot more to explore in the group show, which breaks down the genre into many landscape-focused directions taken by Anna Elise Johnson, Lewis McInnis, Sangeeta Reddy and Stephen Shachtman. Johnson and Reddy contribute the most recognizable landscapes, both using a blaze of contrasting colors to create depth; Shachtman translates the style in new dimensions in sculptural works; and McInnis works in overlaid geometric and architectural shapes.
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
October 5 through 21
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 6 to 10 p.m.
Pirate represents the co-op old guard with longtime member Bug, a sculptural installationist, and newcomer associate Jessica Forrestal, known for her quirky black-and-white wall-sized schematics, sharing the gallery space. Former Pirate Matt Doubek returns for a quickie in the guest room, making for an interesting spread.
Boulder Open Studios Tour Preview Exhibit
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder
Through October 21
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 6 to 9 p.m.
Free, $15 suggested donation at the door
Boulder’s annual Open Studios Tour returns for three October weekends beginning on Saturday, but lots of studio-crawlers like to get a head start on their itineraries by browsing the preview exhibit, a meet-and-greet sampler with one work by every participating artist on display. The opening is also an opportunity to pick up a tour catalogue and map. The free tours run every Saturday and Sunday, October 6 through 21, from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Brush up!
Fantastical Art Exhibition
40 West Gallery, 1560 Teller Street, Lakewood
October 5 through 27
Opening Reception: Friday October 5, 5 to 8 p.m.
More than thirty artists push their imaginations and pitch in for an otherworldly exhibit. In the spirit of First Friday, they will up the ante with mini tarot readings, and the WHOMP Truck will be parked outside, blasting live music throughout the evening.
Leon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue
October 6 through November 10
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 6, 7 to 11 p.m.
Collaborators Chris Bagley, Koko Bayer and Thomas Scharfenberg are equal partners in the mini-collective BagBaySha, a trio that makes best use of each artist’s strong suit to create site-specific multi-sensory experiences. Projections by Bagley will flutter over Scharfenberg’s pattern-painted objects, Bayer’s wheat paste imagery and — possibly — piñatas for the sound-infused installation, which will have a home at Leon through November 10.
K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street
Animas: Robin Cole
Gallery 1261, 1412 Wazee Street
October 6 through 27
Opening Receptions: Saturday, October 6, 6 to 9 p.m.
Two galleries at the 1412 Wazee Street complex have openings this weekend, beginning at K Contemporary with a beautiful set of garden-inspired oils from Daisy Patton, a prolific painter who blows up found photographs for a base layer before transforming the imagery into nostalgic reveries. Patton is leaving Denver soon for a new studio in Seattle; stop by and say hello and goodbye, though K Contemporary’s Doug Kacena says she’ll still have a place in the gallery stable. Also on view: Kristin Stransky’s technology-driven pieces that question what’s real and what’s fake in the cyber-cosmos. Gallery 1261 takes another route with a solo from Robin Cole, who places photorealistic figures in natural settings.
First Friday is a time to revel in all kinds of art, including the whimsical, the lowbrow and the pop-surreal. If you’re out and about, catch Old Denver mainstay Susan Wick’s musings on recent travels to Japan, another round of Joshua Finley’s gory Re-Arted series, cartoony Western-inflected sketches by Hollowbones, Salida artist Karen Watkins’s slightly scary woodland creatures, more animals by Dea Webb, and a house show of screen-printed art by Indyink staff. Here’s where to find them.
Susan Wick - Art?
RiNo Made, 3501 Wazee Street #109
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 6 to 9 p.m.
Joshua Finley, Re-arted Thrift Store Series
Boxcar Gallery, 554 Santa Fe Drive
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 6 p.m.
Spaghetti Western: New Works From Hollowbones
Lowbrow Denver, 38 Broadway
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 7 to 10 p.m.
Mind Travels: New Work by Karen Watkins
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Belmar, Lakewood
Through October 28
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 5 to 9:30 p.m.
New Work by Dea!
Kanon Collective, 766 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, October 5, 6 to 9 p.m.
Indyink Staff Infection
Abstract, 742 Santa Fe Drive
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 6:30 to 11 p.m.