Great Art and Art Events in Denver This Weekend, October 7 to 12

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Mariana Pereira Vieira, “New Normal #2” (Dyptich).

© Mariana Pereira Vieira

It’s a weekend for fun shows, lowbrow shows, visual psychedelia, the start of Día de los Muertos celebrations and MCA Denver’s 25th Anniversary Party, a free shindig for all with a grungy ’90s theme.

Here’s where to find the good times and the best art:

Melanie Walker, “Mom and Other Strangers.”

© Melanie Walker

Processing Narratives
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock Street
by November 20
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 9, 5 to 8 p.m.
The best photographers don’t just make pretty pictures. They practice science, too. How much is left to luck is up to the artist, of course, but any specialized needs to know how to control the inner workings of the machine we call a camera and, in some situations, manipulate chemicals to create cool imagery. CPAC’s new show, Processing Narratives, demonstrates the myriad ways such tools help photographers go where no one has gone before, as seen by the work of Heidi Kirkpatrick, Marcy Palmer, Mariana Pereira Vieira and Melanie Walker.

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A detail from Alejandra Abad’s Heirlooms installation at PlatteForum.

Alejandra Abad, courtesy of PlatteForum

Alejandra Abad, Heirlooms
PlatteForum, 2700 Arapahoe Street
October 7 by October 15
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 7, 6 to 8 p.m.; RSVP online in improvement
PlatteForum resident artist Alejandra Abad wove personal stories gathered from ArtLab interns into the multimedia installation Heirlooms, which serves as a map of entwining communities and shared values. It’s a great introduction to PlatteForum’s new digs at the Savoy in Five Points, where program director Michael Gadlin will be taking the reins from Kim Estes McCarty over the next few weeks. For an in-thoroughness discussion of the exhibition, listen to Abad’s episode of the Art Moves podcast.

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A collection of scenery photos by Bob Campagna.

Bob Campagna

Bob Campagna, Fare Well, Dear West
Artworks Center for current Art, 310 North Railroad method, Loveland
October 9 by November 27
Artist Talk: Thursday, October 7, 7 p.m.; RSVP online.
Night on the Town/Opening Reception: Friday, October 8, 6 p.m.

Former Artworks photographer Bob Campagna left Loveland and moved to Iowa last spring, but he says his love for Colorado and the West will never die, as shown by his numerous collections of photos of the Western scenery taken over the past forty years. Compagna calls Fare Well, Dear West a love letter to the vicinity’s beauty, but it’s not thoroughly a goodbye.

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See the bright colors of Lio Bravo Bumbakini’s work at Understudy.

Lio Bravo Bumbakini

Lio Bravo Bumbakini, Stories From a Daydream
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
October 8 by October 31
Opening Reception: Friday, October 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

Raised in Belgium with roots in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lio Bravo Bumbakini often supplies his African heritage in lively and different works. He’ll take over Understudy (in the plaza at the Colorado Convention Center) this month for Stories From a Daydream, his first solo show, which unfolds as an immersive installation honoring his ancestral ties to Pygmies of the Ituri rainforest, famous for their polyrhythmic chants. After the opening reception, visiting hours at Understudy are Thursdays by Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.

MCA Denver turns 25!

Museum of current Art Denver

MCA 25th Anniversary Birthday Party
MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street
Friday, October 8, 5 p.m.
MCA Denver’s come a long way since its genesis 25 years ago as the Museum of current Art Denver, tucked into the space left behind by a former Sakura Square fish market. Now at home in its dedicated building near Union stop, MCA’s democratic beginnings, led by Sue Cannon, Marina Graves, Mark Sink and a crew of local artists, lives on. In keeping, the museum is throwing a free anniversary bash with a ’90s vibe — and everyone’s invited (or at the minimum everyone who can fit in the door). Expect free bubbly, free cake, DJ Ginger Perry spinning and discounted memberships — and get your best flannels on, grungesters.

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Holly Nordeck, “I’ve got friends in all the right places” (soft sculpture 1), 2021, soft sculpture.

Holly Nordeck

Bell Projects, 3525 Walnut Street
October 8 by October 24
Opening Reception: Friday, October 8, 5 to 9 p.m.

Bell Projects flashes a group exhibition with works by emerging artists Robbie Barriera, LiaNesa Fearing, Ariel Jackson, Ry La, Garrett Moore, Holly Nordeck and Whitney Wells, who dwell on pop themes and creatures.

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PeeMonster brings new work to Sally Centigrade.


PeeMonster, Embrace
Sally Centigrade, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Unit 4E, Lakewood
Opening Reception: Friday, October 8, 5 to 8 p.m.

Sally Centigrade favorite PeeMonster, aka Deidre Morton, is back at the Belmar art space with a new clutch of her fly-off-the-shelf pencil drawings of strange, doll-like girls, here caught in the sweeter moments suggested by the show’s title, Embrace. See PeeMonster’s Instagram for a short, sweet preview.

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Virginia T. Coleman compares preliminary art sketches and the culminating metal sculptures at Next Gallery.

Virginia T. Coleman

Heidi Calega, Pieces of Me
Virginia T. Coleman, Scaled to Space
Next Gallery, Art center, 6851 West Colfax method, Lakewood
October 8 by October 24
Opening Reception: Friday, October 8, 6 to 10 p.m.

Next members Heidi Calega and Virginia T. Coleman unleash solos this weekend: Calega contributes complicate “trash art” mosaics made from leftover supplies, odds and ends picked up off the street over years of traveling, and her kids’ cast-off toys, while Coleman showcases her practice of matching finished metal sculptures to her preliminary sketches. The group show Movement continues in the community gallery.

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A marionette by Victor Escobedo.

Victor Escobedo

Victor Escobedo, Falling Leaf 

Alto Gallery, RiNo ArtPark, 1900 35th Street, Suite B
October 9 by October 30
Opening Reception: Saturday October 9, 6 to 10 p.m.

Victor Escobedo, a current RedLine resident artist whose roots in Mayan culture often inspire his work, christens Alto’s brand-new space at the RiNo ArtPark with an exhibition of new and old works, including handmade clay ceremonial masks, marionettes and paintings. At the opening, groove to the sounds of Felix Fast4ward and ambient soundscapes by James Jewkes.

Visceral Vicinities: Altars, Ritual, the In-Between
INTERPLAY: Art + Opera
BRDG Project, 1553 Platte Street
October 9 by November 1
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 9, 6 to 10 p.m.

BRDG Project celebrates Día de los Muertos with a spiritual group show curated by and including the work of Cal Duran and Cherish Marquez, who’ve mined the Denver community for renderings of the ancestral homage in various cultures. In conjunction with the show, dancers Elle Hong and Cipriano Ortega will perform “Sitting/With—A Dance With Death,” a rumination on death rituals, at 8 p.m. at the reception.
If that sounds a little histrionic to you (in the best of all ways), the second exhibition at BRDG, INTERPLAY: Art + Opera, is indeed a paean to what might be the most emotional of all the performing arts. Also a group endeavor, the show is inspired by a live operatic performance experienced in improvement by the artists; at 7:30 p.m., soprano Leah Podzimek, mezzo-soprano Kira Dills-DeSurra and pianist Jessica Nilles Kressin will reprise that performance for your listening pleasure.

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Longmont is throwing a citywide Day of the Dead party.

Longmont Museum

Día de los Muertos characterize: Lazarus
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth method, Longmont
October 9 by November 7
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 9, noon to 6 p.m.

Día de los Muertos Exhibition
Longmont Museum, 4th method and Main Street, Longmont
October 9 by November 7
Day of the Dead Family Celebration: Saturday, October 9, 2 to 6 p.m.

All of Longmont is in on the town’s ever-growing Día de los Muertos list of intertwining celebrations that happen this weekend, with anchoring Day of the Dead art shows at Firehouse Art Center and the Longmont Museum, where family entertainment and activities will go on all afternoon. In the evening, a traditional Gigante Mojigangas Procession will march from the Longmont Museum at 6 p.m. — but there will be no Catrina Ball this year because of COVID.

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Jaz Harold, “Calm Under the groups.”

Courtesy of Black Book Gallery

Dan Lam and Jaz Harold, Soft Touch
Black Book Gallery, 3878 South Jason Street
October 9 by November 6, by appointment
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 9, 7 to 10 p.m.

Black Book opens its doors for one night to introduce new works by Dan Lam and Jaz Harold, a pair of lowbrow artists working in polyurethane foam, crystals, silicone and fiber to create wonderfully blobby and colorful sculptures. After the opening, visit the gallery by appointment.

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Immerse yourself in Lumonics.

Lumonics Immersed
Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, 800 East 73rd method, #11
Saturday, October 9, 8 p.m.
Admission: $20
Lumonics, which seems to be everywhere these days, reprises its in-house Lumonics Immersed light-sculpture show combining art with special effects, original music and video by the late Dorothy Tanner and longtime collaborator Mark Billard. Treat your eyes!

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Get spooked at ILA Galley’s Creepshow2.

Courtesy of ILA Gallery

ILA Gallery, 209 Kalamath Street, Suite 12
October 9 by November 9
Family Fun Day and Opening Reception: Saturday, October 9, 1 to 10 p.m.

ILA Gallery brings back its Halloween spectacular with Creepshow2, a huge group endeavor with spooky artwork by more than forty invited local and national artists. Kids are welcome, as are costumes, preferably creepy ones; complimentary drinks for adults will be provided by PBR and Suerte Tequila, and Chamoy Boy will serve fresh fruit cups for the kiddos.

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A panel discusses issues raised by inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE at RedLine.

Sammy Lee

inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE Panel talk: Asian American Women, Race, Gender and Religion
RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street
Sunday, October 10, 11 a.m.

In conjunction with inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE, a reaction by Asian-American artists to cultural disparities and stereotypes they’ve encountered in America, Dr. Nami Kim and Dr. Christine Pae will appear in conversation with moderator Boyung Lee to discuss their feminism-tinged views on the subject.

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