Looking Back: 40 Years, 40 Artists/Moving Forward: The Next Forty Years
For the Arvada Center’s fortieth anniversary, gallery director Collin Parson decided to mount a show that celebrated the contributions of regional artists; he pored over the center’s exhibition archives in search of forty people who exemplified the growth of Colorado’s art scene over the past four decades. It wasn’t easy to whittle down that list, but “certain names kept reappearing,” he says, adding that diversification — choosing outstanding artists who work with game-changing mediums and content — helped him make his final choices. The resulting exhibit, Looking Back: 40 Years/40 Artists, goes on display in the center’s downstairs gallery on September 15, showcasing that diversity and also featuring some new work by seasoned artists still in their prime.
But that show wasn’t enough for Parson, who still had an upstairs gallery to fill with something complementary. “[Assistant curator] Kristin Beub and I sat down and decided, ‘Let’s play fortune-teller and choose the next forty years,’” he explains. For Moving Forward: The Next 40 Years, they selected twenty artists in early to mid-career who “were active in the scene now, doing interesting work, and who might continue to help establish momentum in the future.”
Parson is hoping that tonight’s free opening reception — the center was dedicated on the same date in 1976 — turns out to be a meeting of the minds. “I’m excited to get these old-school artists to the opening and get the younger artists there, too, and feel that energy,” he enthuses. “It’s important to not forget artists who have made the scene what it is today, but I hope these exhibitions celebrate both.”
Meet the artists and check out two floors of what Parson calls “pure eye candy” from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada; both exhibits run through November 13. For information, go to arvadacenter.org.
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