Around town with artist Roberto Juarez

Internationally-renowned contemporary artist Roberto Juarez, who is based in New York, is in Denver now for a stint as a visiting artist at Metropolitan State College of Denver. But even non-students have a chance to learn from -- and about -- him.

That’s because Juarez will discuss his work and art in general Thursday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the Denver Art Museum. The presentation, In the DAM Collection: Roberto Juarez, is jointly sponsored by Metro and DAMContemporaries, the support group for the modern and contemporary department at the museum (formerly called AfCA, Alliance for Contemporary Art). The idea for the lecture series is to invite artists to town whose work is part of the DAM’s collection. Since Juarez (whose other Colorado connections include having been a fellow at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass and having done prints at Sharks in Lyons) was already in town, he was a natural choice.

In the 1980s and ‘90s Juarez, who has Mexican and Puerto Rican ancestry, was interested in depicting expressionistic versions of figures and flowers that had a decidedly Latino character. More recently, his compositions have relied on abstract ideas with underlying organizing patterns of lines overlaid with arrangements of circular or quasi-circular shapes, as in “Canaan Grape” (pictured) a painting he did last year.

Juarez will speak in the Lewis Sharp Auditorium on the lower level of the Hamilton Building. Ticket prices range from $5 for students; $7 for DAMContemporaries members; $10 for DAM members; to $12 for the general public. Reservations are recommended, call 720-913-0150. -- Michael Paglia