A Show of Hands / Color as Line
Where: Pirate: Contemporary Art
When: March 13–29
Opening Reception: March 13, 6–9 p.m.
What: Two local artists explore digital culture and mathematical elements in these adjacent solo shows. Brian Cavanaugh’s new installation features wire sculptures resembling human hands, and videoscapes that encourage viewers to have empathy and humility in the face of adversity, while Tim McKay’s colorful, geometric paintings (pictured at top) are inspired by the principles of software engineering.

“Enigma” by Doug Haeussner. Courtesy of the artist

Synesthetic Ciphers
Where: Walker Fine Art
When: Through February 29
What: This dynamic group show invites artists to rethink the alphabet as a form of communication. Half a dozen painters and mixed-media artists—several of whom are based in Denver—will share works inspired by lettering, language, and writing. Don’t miss Doug Haeussner’s colorful collages made from magazine clippings, mesmerizing patterns by Blair Vaughn-Gruler, and the late Roland Bernier’s pieces inspired by hieroglyphics and old writing styles.

“The Valley Below” by Tracy Felix. Courtesy of the artist and William Havu Gallery

Invisible Horizons
Where: William Havu Gallery
When: March 6–April 25
Opening Reception: March 6, 6–9 p.m.
What: Denver-based artists Sushe and Tracy Felix are both inspired by the scenery of the West, but their artistic styles are very distinct from each other. In his landscape paintings, Tracy uses exaggerated geological features and colors to illustrate the drama of giant mountain ranges and open skies. Sushe draws inspiration from the Taos Transcendentalists and Southwest Modernism to add movement and playfulness to her surreal depictions of nature.

“Nerve” by Ashley Eliza Williams. Courtesy of K Contemporary and the artist

The Department of Future Ecology
Where: K Contemporary
When: Through February 29
What: This thought-provoking exhibition of works by Massachusetts-based artist Ashley Eliza Williams features a collection of paintings and sculptures that appear to be curated by archaeologists of the future. While the act of gathering and showcasing artifacts may be familiar to visitors, the rocks and fossils on display here resemble relics from a world unrecognizable to humans, and invite viewers to consider how we’re altering our very real planet.

“Rodeo Clown” by Ted Larsen. Courtesy of Robischon Gallery

Ted Larsen: New Sculpture
Where: Robischon Gallery
When: Through March 21
What: By manipulating salvaged steel and marine-grade plywood, New Mexico–based artist Ted Larsen urges viewers to consider the beauty present in everyday materials not traditionally found in fine arts. Larsen doesn’t assign one clear meaning to his pieces—each compact, freestanding sculpture is elegant but ultimately abstract, offering multiple avenues of interpretation.

(MORE: Is Denver a Good Place to Be an Artist?)