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The biennial Month of Photography kicks off in Denver on Friday, March 1. Established by Mark Sink in 2004, the Month of Photography unites galleries, museums, and other art venues throughout the Denver metro area to celebrate this wide-ranging art form. This year, more than 120 venues are participating, showcasing everything from traditional portraiture and street photography to collage and abstract work that uses photography as the starting point for evocative visual art.
Here are 10 exhibitions you won’t want to miss:
1. Gravity of Perception at the Center for Visual Art (Metropolitan State University)
This curated exhibition is inspired by Frederick Douglass’ ideas of how photography could be used to alter public perception of African Americans (Douglass was the most photographed individual in 19th century America). Five artists’ work is on display, including collages by Denver-based artist Tya Anthony; video work using still images by Marcella Ernest, an Ojibwe artist; and “Re-Making the Mark,” a photographic series by Zora Murff that juxtaposes a historic photo of a lynch mob in Omaha, Nebraska, with current photos from the same neighborhood and text from legislation that instituted redlining.
Where: Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Dr.
When: Now through March 23
2. Delirium, Three Visions at RedLine Contemporary Art Center
Tear the limits off what you think photography can or should do. This exhibition pushes the boundaries of photographic expression and features the work of more than 20 artists, both local and national, established and unknown.
Where: 2350 Arapahoe St.
When: March 9 through April 7
3. Inspiration | Expression at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center
A collaboration with the Clyfford Still Museum, this exhibition shows how photography serves as an inspiration for abstract artwork, as well as a means of creating abstract art. Paintings by the famed abstract expressionist Clyfford Still (1904–1980) are positioned alongside slide photos he took that have strong connections to his paintings. The works of five contemporary artists are also on display, including digital photographic paintings by Santa Fe-based Danae Falliers, who was born and raised in Denver. Falliers’ work starts with her own, original landscape photos, which she deconstructs and collages digitally. She then uses digital tools to blur and blend the colors and add and remove elements as she seeks to create an evocative image that expresses her experience of the place.
Where: Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock St.
When: Now through April 20
4. The Boombox Project at Station 16
A photojournalist known for his photographs of 9/11, Lyle Owerko’s photos have been made part of the Library of Congress’s permanent collection. His work often touches on social issues or has a sociological or anthropological element. The Boombox Project draws from his book of the same name, which serves as a history of the music machine.
Where: Station 16, 3330 Brighton Blvd., #204
When: March 8 through April 5
5. Public Domain at Dateline Gallery
Curated by Estevan Ruiz, a senior at Metropolitan State University, Public Domain brings together the work of 20 Denver-based street photographers. “You’re getting this whole scope of perspectives with regard to the city’s landscape and the people within it,” says Ruiz, whose work is included in the show. Some photos have people as the subject matter; others serve as “urban environmental portraits,” calling attention to environmental concerns in the city. Others are archival, as well as artistic, documenting Denver at a particular moment in time. “It’s not just about shooting candids and alleyways and whatnot,” Ruiz says. “It can be about architecture and the landscape.”
Where: Dateline Gallery, 3004 Larimer St.
When: March 2 through March 31
6. Art of the State 2019 at Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
Not exclusively photography, this juried exhibition features work by artists from across Colorado. Jurors chose 154 pieces out of 1,555 entries that are being displayed in three art galleries within the Arvada Center.
Where: Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
When: Now through March 31
7. Coburn Huff at Modern Nomad
This solo exhibition features the work of Denver-based Coburn Huff, a photographer and skateboarder who frequently makes light and action elements of his work. Expect to see places familiar to you—downtown intersections, Mile Hi Church, Denver parks—as well as skateboarders.
Where: Modern Nomad, 2936 Larimer St.
When: March 9 through April 30
8. Personal Histories of Photography at Pace Center Art Gallery
“If your house caught fire and you could only bring one photograph with you when you left, which one would it be?” This is the premise of Personal Histories, a collaborative exhibition featuring work by Roddy MacInnes, associate professor of studio art and photography at the University of Denver, and a community project involving elementary, high school, and college students, as well as residents of the Belmar Senior Living community. Each photograph pictures an individual with the photo they would rescue, and the story of the photo is told in a neighboring frame. “What I’m interested in is what the common themes are in family photography,” MacInnes says, “and the big one, of course, is love. You ask a hundred people to pick a photograph, and 95 of them will be about someone they love or some place they love.”
Where: Pace Center Art Gallery, 20,000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker
When: March 16 through April 29
9. Transitions: Photo Journeys of Change and Passage at VFW Post 1
Seven military veterans share their work in this exhibition at VFW Post 1 on Santa Fe Drive. Transitions explores the transition of veterans out of structured military life and how photography has played a role in their individual stories. This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Colorado Photographic Arts Center’s Veterans Workshop Series.
Where: VFW Post 1, Komarek Galley 2nd Floor, 841 Santa Fe Dr.
When: This exhibition is open to the public on the First and Third Friday Art Walks, March 1 and April 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and March 15 and April 16 from 6 to 9 p.m.
10. Solo exhibitions at Robischon Gallery
Three solo exhibitions offer three different perspectives on land and landscape. Abstracted aerial views by 2018 Guggenheim Fellow David Maisel contrast with the still-framed film of roadways by James Benning and the open landscape photographs by Denver-based Kevin O’Connell. O’Connell’s exhibition features the dry plains of Colorado and Wyoming, and is called “Petrichor,” the smell that comes with the first rain after a dry period.
Where: Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee St.
When: March 21 through May 4
The full list of Month of Photography exhibits is available online, as well as in MOP’s free festival newspaper available at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. Venues can also be identified by window posters featuring a big blue “P”. Learn more at mopdenver.com.