Art opportunities abound, for art lovers and artists alike. Babe Walls is in the air, bringing four days of mural painting to Ralston Creek in Arvada, along with a few sideshows. In other areas, there are co-ops and films and T-shirt sales to explore.
So see something! Here's our list of fifteen can't-miss art events this weekend:
Web Model Dot Space
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder
July 15 through August 1
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 15, 5 to 8 p.m. (virtual studio tour, noon to 1 p.m.; creator conversation, 6:30 p.m.; RSVP in advance at Eventbrite)
BMoCA’s ongoing collaboration with the American Institute of Architects Colorado gave rise to Web Model Dot Space, a new Present Box exhibition by artist Aaron Jones, composer Majeed and writer Wesley Taylor, who’ve created the graphic representation of a Detroit church’s sanctuary reimagined as a floating performance space. Inside, Majeed’s looped composition “Worship Tones” evokes the role of music in the Black church. Jones and Taylor will give a talk during the reception, but because space is limited, reserve your seat in advance.
Leven Deli Co., 123 West 12th Avenue
Thursday, July 15, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
RSVP in advance required
Here’s an easy way to slide back into that collaborative space we all missed so much during quarantine, courtesy of the Clyfford Still Museum: Release your inner abstract expressionist with other like-minded folks during the AbEx Olympics, a group-powered competition coached by artists Sarah Palmeri, Frankie Toan and Derrick Velasquez. Talent, experience and art-history knowledge are not required; bring your creativity and wild soul with you to compete ferociously for bronze, silver and gold medals.
Babe Walls Arvada Opening Party
Show runs July 16 through July 31
Balefire Goods, 7513 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
Opening Party: Friday, July 16, 6 to 9 p.m.; RSVP at Eventbrite
As the female and nonbinary artists in the Babe Walls Mural Festival fire up their spray cans along Ralston Creek over the weekend, Balefire Goods in Olde Town invites folks to an opening party and exhibition of smaller, affordable works by this year’s participants. Meet, greet and enjoy charcuterie and refreshments courtesy of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Epic Brewing Company Denver, Pakka Seltzer and Wander + Graze, and check out Balefire’s new decorative mural work by 2020 Babe Walls artist Sandra Fettingis.
Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue
July 16 through September 4
Opening Reception: Friday, July 16, 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, July 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Automatic and intuitive drawing, painting with goopy resin and mixed media, or sculpting with metal mesh — these mediums encourage an expressionistic sense of play that’s the real star of Experimental Expressions, the new show opening this week at Walker Fine Art with work by Atticus Adams, Deidre Adams, Carol Browning, Patricia Finley, Melanie Grein and Ben Strawn.
Lin Fei Fei, Not Your Bunny
BRDG Project, 1553 Platte Street
July 17 through July 31
Opening Reception: Friday, July 16, 7 p.m.
Babe Walls Artist Mixer: Saturday, July 17, 7 p.m.
BRDG Project Gallery welcomes Sacramento-based Babe Walls artist and gallerist Lin Fei Fei, whose Not Your Bunny exhibition takes on false appearances. As the artist, born in Dalian, China, explains: “My Chinese sign is a bunny, and with that moniker, as a small and unassuming woman, I’m often seen as timid or weak. This could not be further from the truth, and in my experience the world is full of ‘bunnies’—just like me. This series disseminates the revolt against this perception and embraces the spirit of ‘anti.’” Lin Fei Fei will be collaborating with local artist Jessica Ciani to create a bunny-themed mural during the festival.
Collective Misnomer: Young Documents
Clyfford Still Museum front lawn, 1250 Bannock Street
Friday, July 16, 9 p.m.
Weather permitting, the Collective Misnomer experimental film series will again be flickering on the outdoor wall of the Clyfford Still Museum in Young Documents. Highlighting what are dubbed “home movies away from home," the program explores life through the lenses of young people and their peers. Just the thing for a summer night. The program will also be posted online for a week for folks who prefer sticking to home.
Cindy Loya, Earth Fragments
Laura McCracken, Feeling Adrift
Next Gallery, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
July 16 through August 1
Opening Reception: Friday, July 16, 6 to 10 p.m.
Next Gallery turns over another leaf in July to promote members Cindy Loya, whose carefully patterned works for Earth Fragments explore the layers of the biosphere using paint and paper, and Laura McCracken, who looks back over months of living “life put on hold” in Feeling Adrift, a series of fused-glass sculptures. Contrast, a Next members’ show, hangs in the Community Gallery.
Jeff Velarde: City Beats, Light and Shadow
Bitfactory Gallery, 851 Santa Fe Drive
July 16 through August 12
Opening Reception: Friday, July 16, 6 to 9 p.m.
Bitfactory hosts photorealist Jeff Velarde, whose cityscapes capture both big pictures and tiny details from Denver and around the world, usually wrapped around a real-life story.
Kristy Smith and Helene Strebel
Sync Gallery, 931 Santa Fe Drive
July 15 through August 1
Opening Reception: Friday, July 16, 6 to 9 p.m.
See Sync member Kristy Smith’s mixed-media canvases abstracting imagery from nature, and Helene Strebel’s use of textures, color and shapes in full-on abstract acrylic paintings.
CPAC Members' Show
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock Street
Through August 7
Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony: Saturday, July 17, 6 to 9 p.m.
CPAC honors its own with the 2021 Members’ Show, a diverse display of work by 32 selected and 21 special-mention applicants chosen by juror Aline Smithson, editor of the LENSCRATCH online exhibition platform, from a pool of 146. Smithson will hand out awards for best in show and two honorable mentions, and CPAC’s Samantha Johnston will add a director’s-choice prize during the reception. This show promises to be gobsmackingly good.
Angie Eng, ICONOCLASHGIFTSFELD: or the ambiguity of image destruction in a poison field
Leon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue
July 17 through August 27
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 17, 6 to 10 p.m.
Intermedia art star Angie Eng rolls experimental video, conceptual work, performance and other time-based platforms into a way-beyond-now practice she’s recently been honing at the University of Colorado Boulder. For ICONOCLASHGIFTSFELD, hosted by the not-for-profit Leon Gallery, Eng produced a satirical line of tourist-style “ I Heart…” T-shirts that sack our anachronistic monuments and the powerful political figures they laud. The installation revolves around a tourist kiosk where you can actually buy the tees and, therefore, the forward-thinking sentiment (for instance, “I Heart Robert E. Lee…toppled,” or “I Heart Lenin…decapitated)." See a live performance with breakdancers Michael Mestas and Isabella Rose, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the opening.
Annie Decamp, Bear Priests Sing Beautiful Songs
A.L. Lummus, Mettle Martyr
The Waiting Room Gallery, 3258 Larimer Street
July 17 through August 13
Opening Receptions: Saturday, July 17, 6 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, July 18, noon to 5 p.m.
The Waiting Room presents fresh work by Denver artists Annie Decamp and A.L. Lummus. Decamp’s paintings capture the dynamics of Native American spiritualism around the relationship between humans and the natural world; Lummis satirizes the ’50s view of American women as self-sacrificial martyrs.
Vladimir Kraynyk, Forma Fluens
Ryan Joseph Gallery, 2647 West 38th Avenue
July 17 through August 11
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 17, 5 to 11 p.m.
Russian-born abstract surrealist Vladimir Kraynyk, whose first medium was spray paint before he attended art school at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, makes his U.S. debut at Ryan Joseph Gallery, bringing a whirlwind of oils on canvas to Denver.
Out of Place, Out of Bounds
Artworks Center for Contemporary Art, 310 North Railroad Avenue, Loveland
Through August 28
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 17, 1 to 6 p.m., space limited, RSVP and tickets, $10, online in advance
The busy hive that is Loveland’s Artworks Center pays homage to new directions in fiber art with Out of Place, Out of Bounds, a group show juried by Fort Collins embroiderer Tom Lundberg and Boulderite Steven Frost, whose own practice binds queer history and perspectives and traditional fibers with non-traditional materials. The show presents artists who go “out of bounds,” transforming what began as a traditional craft into more conceptual realms.
And a bonus opportunity:
MCA Denver Parade for the People Floats, Call for Artists
Apply through July 31
As the name implies, MCA’s August 21 Parade for the People in the Riverfront Park neighborhood is all about people power. And rule number one for artists interested in designing floats for the parade is that they must be human-powered. The rest of the rules mostly apply to the safety and the good of the people, whether they’re marching or spectating. Are you up to the challenge? Artists and creative folks are invited to submit concept proposals; the deadline is July 31.
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