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  • Koko Bayer and Thomas Scharfenberg: Eyes, Hearts, and Body Parts @ Megafauna

    By Raymundo Muñoz

    The Hearth: Thomas Scharfenberg and Koko Bayer collaboration

    The Hearth: Thomas Scharfenberg and Koko Bayer collaboration

    This weekend was a busy one in the RiNo: Kevin Hennessy at Dateline, Slegg and gallery closing party at Hinterland, and perhaps the most surprising of all — Koko Bayer and Thomas Scharfenberg at Megafauna. “Eyes, Hearts, and Body Parts” is an exhibition of individual and collaborative works by the two artists speckled throughout the tables and walls of the local clothing shop. It’s all neat stuff and holiday-appropriate (I scooped up a few of Thomas’s paint glob ornaments), but the real magic is in the installation room. Continue reading →

  • Preview of Doug Kacena’s “Crossover” @ Mike Wright Gallery

    By Scott Bailey

    Let’s start with the main point: Doug Kacena’s new exhibition “Crossover” is a truly innovative concept, and the execution is excellent. The show opens Saturday, November 5th at Denver’s Mike Wright Gallery, and it’s not to be missed. Here’s the idea behind it: collect a group of works by some of Colorado’s most treasured representational artists, then let Kacena add his own abstract art on top of them. Sometimes just embellishments, sometimes careful additions, and sometimes almost complete obliteration of the original piece. Oh, but there is a yin to this yang: Doug gave those same painters one of his own abstract works to allow them to return the favor, adding their own representational work on top of his. The project is so interesting (and controversial) that a PBS documentary is being made by David Schler about it.

    Doug used his experience as a long time art supporter and curator to bring together an amazing group of artists including Quang HoJill SoukupRon HicksDon StinsonRobert SpoonerKevin WeckbachDavid SantillanesEdward AldrichTerrie LombardiEd KuceraJeff Legg, and Mikael Olson.

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    Why are the worlds of representational and abstract art so divided, after all? I mean, they’re more alike than different, right? That question hit Doug when two of his favorite artists were showing next to each other in nearby galleries — one was a highly regarded abstract artist, and across the street a figurative painter. Despite having friends at both shows, however, there seemed to be no overlap of love. Why? doug2650

    By working with representational artists, Kacena hopes to bridge that gap and turn people onto new artists they aren’t familiar with, all while getting people excited about art that might be outside their usual fare. A noble undertaking for sure. More than that, though, the show has truly yielded some great collaborations, and fans of both abstract and figurative work really enjoy it. Lots more information, as well as before and after pictures are available at www.mikewrightgallery.com,  and get updates on their Facebook event page.

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  • Between Stations @ Rule Gallery

    By Raymundo Munoz

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    Clay Hawkley

    Well, RiNo is now minus one Rule Gallery, and that’s a sore loss. Not necessarily for Rule, though — they have a new location opening up soon on Santa Fe (and another one in Marfa, TX) and will continue showcasing the conceptual and abstract contemporary works they (and we) love. We wish them the very best.

    The aformentioned art district, however, has lost a vital member. What gallery in this art district can and will take up the slack? Who can fill the space left in Rule’s leaving? (Don’t forget the adjoined Hinterland is also shutting its doors this year) There are some contenders (Dateline, for instance), but with new developments gobbling up the area (and pushing artist havens like Wazee Union out), who really knows how much of an art district will be left?

    Change is inevitable, though, and art’s fickle mistress wrote the book on it. Transitions, though, can be messy.

    In its last move on Walnut St., Rule offers up a clever and poignant meditation on this idea with their group show “Between Stations.” Featuring Helen Alexandra, Clay Hawkley, Chris Bagley, and s.legg, the show explores the transitions society faces and the adaptations that follow. Continue reading →

  • Upcoming: Sierra Barela Solo @ Helikon Gallery

    By Raymundo Muñoz

    Sierra Barela - Four Whales and a Dolphin 1

    Opening this Saturday Sept. 10 is an intriguing solo show by Sierra Barela at Helikon Gallery, and it’s called “Four Whales and a Dolphin.” We’ve been noting Barela’s contributions to a number of group exhibitions at the gallery over the years, and her work has always nabbed our attention. Maybe it’s her super bright palette, or maybe her bold composition and subject matter. Whatever it is, her work pops. Inspired by child-like innocence, daily adult life, and her time living in Italy and Mexico, the show blends disparate elements to sharp effect. Show runs Sept. 10 to Oct. 28 with an Oct. 7 First Friday reception accompanying the opening. For more information, please visit helikongallery.com.Sierra Barela - Four Whales and a Dolphin 2

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  • Upcoming: Inherent Intent @ Walker Fine Art

    By Raymundo Munoz

    "Impromptu W-2010-6-2" by Ana Zanic

    “Impromptu W-2010-6-2” by Ana Zanic

    Opening this Friday Sept. 9 at Walker Fine Art is a group show that tiptoes the line between wild spontaneity and controlled intent. As such it’s titled “Inherent Intent,” and it looks to be a smart exhibition. From bold stone carvings to blooming watercolors, the show flows from artist to artist thanks to minimal color palettes. Udo Noger, Mel Rea, Vanessa Clark, Ana Zanic, Chris Richter, Liz Quan, and Jessica Drenk all lend their sizeable talents to the mix. Show runs Sept. 9 to Nov. 5 with First Friday receptions on Oct. 7 and Nov. 4 accompanying the opening. Artists in attendance. For more information, please visit www.walkerfineart.com.

    Inside of the Out XIV - 22 x 30- ink, acrylic on paper

    “Inside of the Out XIV” by Mel Rea

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    “Reveal 323” by Chris Richter

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    “Gleichlos 9” by Udo Noger

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    “Fusion” by Vanessa Clarke

  • Upcoming: Drew Sarka’s “Colorado Through the Seasons” @ Dos Chappell Bathhouse

    By Raymundo Muñoz

    Continental Divide 30x40

    “Continental Divide” by Drew Sarka

     

    Art-making is a hard gig. When it’s flowing out of you and you’re selling, it’s thrilling and life-affirming, but shut those valves, and it’s gut-wrenching and bleak. Some artists manage to survive off those highs and lows, but many of us HAVE to have day jobs (that mean little to us) to support our creative drive (and feed our kids and pay the rent). Others give up altogether, though, and choose to float down the lazy river of a good, steady career.

    A mythical breed of artists, though, exists: imagine having a good, steady, meaningful career but still finding time to make and show and hustle.

    One such artist is local painter Drew Sarka. Continue reading →

  • Denver Comic Con 2016

    By Raymundo Muñoz

    Brandt Peters and Kathy Olivas signing books at Sally Centigrade Gallery's booth

    Brandt Peters and Kathy Olivas signing books at Sally Centigrade Gallery’s booth

    While most visitors to Denver Comic Con 2016 got to shuffle around at a snail’s pace from booth to booth, I got to spend a couple days with Sally Centigrade Gallery and their special guests Oregon artist Betty Turbo and pop surreal artists and Stranger Factory co-owners Brandt Peters and Kathy Olivas. Continue reading →

  • Not Unexpected Anymore: Arna Miller and Tripper Dungan @ Sally Centigrade Gallery

    By Raymundo Muñoz

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    Opening Thursday May 19 at Sally Centigrade Gallery is “Not Unexpected Anymore,” a two-person show featuring local Arna Miller and Portland, Oregon’s Tripper Dungan. Arna is best known for her hilarious screenprints, which often depict animals engaged in strange acts. Her work can easily be mistaken for vintage circus/magician posters, if not for the anachronistic details and wry commentary replacing the expected advertised information. Spot-on typography seals the deal. As for Tripper, if you didn’t catch his show last year with local Mike Graves, you’re in for a treat. His bright, colorful, tripped-out characters enhanced with 3-D glasses are always a crowd favorite (We gushed about his work last time around, which you can read here). It’s not unexpected for Sally Centigrade to bring you a show of this nature, and that’s a good thing. For more information, please visit Sally Centigrade and https://www.facebook.com/events/868109179961714/

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    Arna Miller

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    Tripper Dungan

    Continue reading →

  • Upcoming: Altering Natural Perceptions @ Walker Fine Art

    By Raymundo Muñoz

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    “Object Permanence 4” by Kellie Canon

    Walker Fine Art has a new show opening this Friday May 20, and it’s called “Altering Natural Perceptions.” Featuring works from Lee Harkin, Derrick Breidenthal, Kellie Cannon, Karin Schminke, Don Quade, Norman Epp, and Bonny Lhotka, it’s a lovely and tasteful presentation that explores various natural experiences altered in some way via media or stylistic approaches. That’s a mouthful, but a tasty one when you consider some of the talent on show. Take for instance, Cannon’s use of oxidized steel plates as ink matrix for her rich intaglio monoprints, serving as an exploration on permanence and mutability. Or Lhotka’s digital photographic collage that layers images of nature like a dream, fleeting and fading. “Altering Natural Perceptions” opens Friday May 20 5 – 9 PM and runs through July 9. For more information, please visit: www.walkerfineart.com . Continue reading →

  • Upcoming: Repeat Offenders: Works by Sharon Brown @ Pattern Shop Studio

    By Raymundo Muñoz

    Sharon Brown, Creators - Yoshitomo Saito, 2014, oil on canvas, 36 x 28 in

    “Yoshitomo Saito” by Sharon Brown

    Opening First Friday June 3 at Pattern Shop Studios is “Repeat Offenders: Works by Sharon Brown,” a clever portrait show with some guts to it. Brown assembles a selection of works from her long-running “Creators” series — wherein she paints black and white portraits of artists based on color photographs — and from her “Damage” series — wherein she paints color portraits of criminals based on small black and white photographs — to potent effect. Although each series works well enough on its own, the combination here is intriguing in the contrasts presented as well as in the similarities, raising questions about the sometimes offensive nature of art as well as the order/chaos dynamic in general. “Repeat Offenders” opens First Friday June 3 from 6 – 9 PM and concludes First Friday August 5. For more information, please visit: patternshopstudio.com.

    Sharon Brown, Damage - Fisher, 2000, oil on canvas 20 x 20 in

    “Fisher” by Sharon Brown