The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
We recently asked the local arts community a big question: Is Denver a good place for artists? As you’ll read soon (keep an eye here, where our deep dive into the local arts community will be published in the coming weeks), the answer is both “yes” and “no.” Artists here, like in many cities, are struggling to find affordable spaces to live and work, and the community is rethinking how to show and sell art in a digitally driven world. But, there is good news, too: There is a passion for art and a great deal of support for the creative community in the Mile High City.
In that vein, we’re sharing some of the shows we’re most looking forward to in early 2020, so you can more easily support artists from Denver and beyond. A vibrant creative community makes our city richer by exposing us to new ideas and inventive ways of looking at things—and also, quite literally, because culture brings tourism which adds dollars to our coffers. So: Buy admission tickets. Buy programs. Buy art. Here are a few places to start.
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
Synesthetic Ciphers, Walker Fine Art
On View: January 10 through February 29
A group exhibition showcasing multilayered, mixed-media pieces from six artists, including the late Roland Bernier, Colorado’s Deidre Adams, and Bonny Lhotka.
Discovery, Abend Gallery
On View: January 11 to 30
We recently introduced you to Christopher Clark and his officially licensed Star Wars works, but the oil painter produces so much more than art depicting that vast galaxy. In his debut solo exhibition at Abend, you’ll be acquainted with his diverse repertoire—a collection of cityscapes, figures, landscapes, and surrealistic pieces.
CU Denver Sculpture Club and Ariella Asher, Pirate: Contemporary Art
On View: January 31 through February 16
Students from the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Arts & Media sculpture program will present their work alongside Ariella Asher, a multifaceted artist who manipulates mediums in response to issues of the day, like globalization, isolationism, and civil rights.
Altar’d Continuum: Resistance and Empowerment in Sacred Spaces, Museo de las Americas
On View: Through February 1
Museo paired contemporary artists with religious artifacts from its collections to remove altars from a specific time and place and showcase them instead as “platforms of resistance.”
Process, Gallery 1261
On View: February 15 through March 7
We want to see anything renowned Vietnam-born, Denver-based artist Quang Ho produces, and this solo show is no exception. (Ho is a founder and owner of Gallery 1261, which shares space with Abend Gallery and K Contemporary.) We’re also intrigued by what’s on right before Ho’s exhibition: Elementals is based around the four elements and is the first solo exhibition for figurative artist Adrienne Stein.
Rauschenberg Reflections and Ruminations, Museum of Outdoor Arts
On View: February 24 through June 13
MOA is showcasing the largest selection of American Art master Robert Rauschenberg’s works ever displayed in Colorado. More than 50 original pieces—prints, sculptures, paintings, and more—will highlight his experimental style and how his practice evolved over time.
MaryV Benoit, Union Hall
On View: March 26 through May 9
Benoit, a “queer femme artist” who is from Denver but is now based in Brooklyn, returns to her hometown with a selection of documentary photography that depicts the lives of queer loved ones.
Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler: Flora, MCA Denver
On View: Through April 5
Forgotten American artist Flora Mayo’s life in the 1920s and ’30s is reenacted in this exhibition, which includes film, photographs, and letters that highlight some of her time spent in Denver. Hubbard and Birchler will also be hosting an artist talk on January 23.
Body Language: Picturing People, CU Art Museum
On View: Through June 2020
The use of people in art extends well beyond portraiture. This exhibition is a study of how poses, gestures, and movement have been captured by artists across geographical boundaries and throughout history.
Share: Anuar Maauad, Throughout the Denver metro area
On View: Through September 2020
Black Cube fellow Anuar Maauad crafted a series of 100 bronze text installations measuring just two-inches tall and placed them on public buildings all over Denver, where they’ll stay for an entire year. The Mexico City-based artist mimicked the font, color, and geometry of the Trump Tower sign, but Maauad’s message is quite different: a line from a Marvin Gaye song, “To share is precious, pure, and fair.”
Shantell Martin: Words and Lines, Denver Art Museum
On View: Through January 31, 2021
Get your Instagram ready: Martin’s interactive wall was basically designed to be shared on social media. The museum will also be showing a collection of the New York-based artist’s playful, socially relevant black-and-white drawings. (Pssst: If you haven’t heard, there’s a Norman Rockwell exhibition coming in May, too.)