Prepare yourself for a new year full of new art in Denver: some work by unexpected artists and, on another plane, some unexpected art by familiar artists.
You can’t go wrong, whichever direction you choose.
Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness
Center for Visual Art MSU, 965 Santa Fe Drive
January 8 through March 20
CVA starts the year with the knockout exhibition Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness, a series of more than eighty startling self-portraits addressing Black body politics by South African visual activist and photographer Zanele Muholi. Captured in stark black and white and festooned in costumes created from everyday and found materials, Zuholi’s large-format photo images stare directly at the viewer; needless to say, the effect is beyond powerful. Stay tuned to CVA’s website for related events TBA.
Friday, January 8, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Free, see Facebook event page for Zoom link and password
Get a last look from your armchair and hear from the artists of Begin Again, which closes January 9 at Walker Fine Art. Via Zoom, you’ll have a front-row seat to a virtual conversation by a panel of exhibition artists, who reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going through art — to make up for a missed opening reception because of tightened COVID restrictions back in November.
Spark Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
January 8 through February 28
The new year begins at Spark with a group drawing show juried by RedLine director Louise Martorano, who cast her sharp eye to choose work by 34 Colorado artists. Wear a mask, and be aware that only five people will be allowed in the gallery at one time for proper distancing; visit the gallery from noon to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Cindy Loya, Senderos
Next Gallery, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
January 8 through January 24
Next Gallery makes room for Close Distance, a show by members of the professional development organization ArtSource Colorado, alongside the exhibition Senderos, artist and gallery member Cindy Loya’s immigration story as told through art.
ZOOM Be It!
Niza Knoll Gallery, 915 Santa Fe Drive
January 8 through January 30
Niza Knoll lends a hand to her neighbor in the Art District on Santa Fe, Access Gallery — which is currently undergoing renovations — by mounting this show by Access’s young artists with cognitive disabilities. Until Access reopens in February, here’s where to see their work, all made under the tutelage of artist mentors Jordan Bobrick, Kelly Craighead, Jake Fairly, Javier Flores, Knoll and Amy Siegel.
Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue
January 8 through January 30https://cpacphoto.org
Opening Reception: Friday, January 8, 6 to 10 p.m.
Artist friends Elena Gunderson and Peter Yumi have created a must-see psychedelic extravaganza of a mixed-media show at Alto Gallery that Yumi characterizes as being “a swirling panoply of faces, colors, patterns, sequins and tigers!” Who would want to miss that? The artists recommend wearing psychedelic attire (along with your mask) and note that 3-D glasses will be available at the opening. Have you ever wondered what hand sanitizer looks like through a pair of those?
Liz Hickok, Daydreams of Infinity
Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive
January 9 through February 20
Gallery Reception, Friday, January 15, 4 to 8 p.m.; RSVP in advance for timed-entry slot
Michael Warren kicks off 2021 with a big group show by gallery artists in every medium and the contemplative theme of Resolutions and Daydreams of Infinity, a side show of photography-based mixed-media work by Liz Hickok in the Bridge Space. If you aim to start the year with a few moments of visual serenity, here’s where to start.
Vantage Point/Personal Projects by Veterans
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock Street
January 8 through February 13
Timed Entry Reception: Saturday, January 9, 2 to 6 p.m.
Virtual Zoom Reception: Saturday, January 9, 6:30 p.m.
RSVP online in advance for either reception
CPAC dishes up the results of its annual Veterans Workshop Series, a five-month residency that provides free photography courses to artists with a military background and culminates in the completion of themed personal projects. Among this year’s crop: Ronald Cable’s Exotic Pets and Their People, Lee Ann Montoya’s Female Veterans Hidden Stories and Lourdes Sanchez Wise’s Hunger Relief in the Mile High City.
Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to [email protected].