Ten Arty Things to Do on First Friday in Denver

Fly Okay
Helikon journeys to Koreatown with Fly Okay's Phree Town.
The First Friday of August brings new sights and sounds to art districts all over Denver and beyond. Where will you end up? We have some suggestions.

click to enlarge What will your Munny look like? - COURTESY OF LAURI LYNNXE MURPHY
What will your Munny look like?
Courtesy of Lauri Lynnxe Murphy
Show Me the Munny
Rule Gallery
Leisure Gallery
August 4 through 19
Friday, August 4, 6 to 9 p.m.
Free, RSVP online

Kidrobot’s vinyl Munny toy is a blank palette, and that’s the beauty of it — it’s an invitation to do it yourself that’s especially enticing for artists and wannabes looking for a new surface. Munny shows, where a wealth of tiny, one-of-a-kind mysteries get unveiled to the public, tend to be big crowd-pleasers, too, and that’s one good reason to show up for Show Me the Munny at Rule Gallery, an exhibition and silent auction featuring Munnys done up by more than twenty local artists selected by the team at Rule, alongside Kidrobot’s own contribution of celebrity-altered versions. The other reason? Proceeds will benefit Denver’s burgeoning Arthyve artist archive project. And besides that, you can also join in the Munny fun across the street from Rule at Leisure, where blank Munnys you can customize yourself will be available for purchase and markers provided for on-the-spot designing. Go on — find your inner creative.

click to enlarge Hasan Elahi, “Alert v2,” 2017, detail. - COURTESY OF CPAC
Hasan Elahi, “Alert v2,” 2017, detail.
Courtesy of CPAC
Keeping Watch
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
August 4 through September 16
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 6 to 9 p.m.

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Chances are it’s true. In modern times, we live under constant surveillance, caught unawares by secret cameras and unseen strangers on the Internet, a point not unnoticed by people who actually wield cameras in the name of art or social documentation. Keeping Watch examines the pros and cons of society’s pervasive eye through the lenses of three different photographers: Sheri Lynn Behr, Hasan Elahi and Lauren Grabelle. Go to the opening and hear Behr and Grabelle elaborate during a mid-reception artist talk at 7 p.m.

click to enlarge Mr. Mars airbrushes up a storm at Lowbrow. - LOWBROW
Mr. Mars airbrushes up a storm at Lowbrow.
Beneath the Ink: New Works From Mr. Mars
Lowbrow Denver
August 4 through 31
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 7 to 10 p.m.

It’s a big night for street-culture junkies out on the town: While Munnys are being bought and sold in the Art District on Santa Fe, Denver vinyl-toy artist Mr. Mars will be holding forth not far away, on the Broadway strip in Baker, with a slew of new fantastical street-art-themed airbrushed works. Make it a trifecta: Dea Webb, former collectible-toy dealer at Plastic Chapel, will unveil new paintings of her own, just down the street at Indyink’s Abstract, 84 South Broadway, from 6 to 9 p.m.

click to enlarge DANIEL SHAFFER
Daniel Shaffer
Peopled Places and Phree Town
Helikon Gallery
August 2 through September 2
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 6 to 9 p.m.
Helikon keeps things lively in RiNo with a pair of new shows: Peopled Places, a group exhibition, in the main gallery, and another lowbrow treat, Phree Town, spotlighting works by Fly Okay, aka Sara Wilson, in the annex. Wilson muses on life in L.A.’s Koreatown with a dreamy pastiche of cartoony denizens in this collection. While you’re in the neighborhood and maybe need a cuddle, head over to RiNo Art District Headquarters, 2901 Blake Street, between 6 and 9 p.m. for Kitten Therapy, a cat-in with adoptable furry felines from Divine Feline and the Cat Care Society. What else is going on in RiNo on First Friday? Head to the RiNo website for deets.

click to enlarge DREW AUSTIN
Drew Austin
Summer 2017 Graduation Exhibition
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
August 4 through 18
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 4 to 8 p.m.

See off another group of graduating RMCAD artists in a variety of disciplines across eight departments at a culminating group exhibition in the venerable Philip J. Steele Gallery. Grab a bite and a beverage and enjoy everything from animation and game art to fine arts and illustration from the freshest crop in town. While you’re in Lakewood, you might want to mosey down Colfax for a First-Friday journey through the 40 West Art District.