Art Attack: Experience First Friday in Style at Art Walks, Cultural Fests and More

Another summer First Friday rolls around this weekend, bringing big celebrations and new shows to Santa Fe Drive and 40 West Arts in Lakewood, extended-day festivals of art and culture at museums, and exhibits from artists both well known and new to the area.

Ready to revel in art and the great outdoors? Here’s where to start:

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Diego Rodriguez-Warner, “Between the Sweet Basil and the Mint, Lola Sings,” 2022, latex paint, spray paint on panel.

Diego Rodriguez-Warner, Rule Gallery

Diego Rodriguez-Warner, Iteratives
Rule Gallery, 808 Santa Fe Drive
Thursday, August 4, through September 17
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 4, 6 to 8 p.m.

Diego Rodriguez-Warner’s new solo show, Iteratives, at Rule Gallery, will surely be one of the best exhibitions along Santa Fe Drive this summer. Denver-based artist Rodriguez-Warner allows a burst of life to emerge in dimensional, collaged forms desperate to escape the flat panel, representing the life spirit of García Lorca’s concept of “duende.” Part abstract and part representational, with outlined figures floating through the composition, Rodriguez-Warner’s quixotically titled works are both static and constantly in motion.

Diego Glazer, Hemispheres: A Synethestic Visioning of Painting and Music
Artemesia Galerie, 836 Santa Fe Drive
Thursday, August 4, through August 28
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 4, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Mexican artist Diego Glazer was inspired by progressive-rockers Rush, whose song series “Cygnus X-1 Parts 1 & 2: The Voyage & Hemispheres” channels a blend of sci-fi and mythology Glazer pursues in Hemispheres. His classical imagery in oils, synced to Rush’s music, transforms the narrative into a sensory three-way work of multimedia by adding a visual element. Glazer makes his U.S. debut with this tour de force at Artemesia, where Orange-Peel Moses will join in with a performance-art reading of the original Rush lyrics at the opening.

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Ben Kinsley and expert speakers wrap up Black Cube’s four-season Tree Talks series up on Kenosha Pass.

Photo by Daniel Mullaney

Summer Tree Talks by Ben Kinsley
Kenosha Pass, Colorado Trail, Section #6 Trailhead
Friday, August 5, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Free, learn more and register at Eventbrite

Artist Ben Kinsley’s seasonal series Tree Talks comes to an end after this final free event, which observes Populus tremuloides (aka quaking aspen) as it evolves in summer. The talk happens in a grove near the top of Kenosha Pass on Highway 285. Speakers will offer different takes on a tree’s life cycles, including Iddo Aharony, a composer; University of Colorado associate professor of integrative biology Gregory Ragland; and Brandon Vogt of the Geography and Environmental Studies Department at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

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Alexander Hernandes, “Siesta,” 2019, mixed media.

Alexander Hernandes, courtesy of Museo de las Americas

Pop-up Art Exhibit: ¡Salud y Justicia! Destigmatizing Mental Health in the Latinx Community
Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, August 5, through September 24
First Friday Opening: Friday, August 5, 5 to 9 p.m., with free admission
Museum Admission: Free to $8
Register online in advance or buy tickets at the door
The Museo is filling a space in the summer exhibition schedule with a health-focused pop-up put together by local independent curator Carina Bañuelos-Harrison. ¡Salud y Justica! takes on the high rate of pandemic-driven mental health issues among Brown and Black communities, using art imagery to highlight the level of crisis, but also to get people talking and providing sources for minority mental health assistance.

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Experience Japanese art and culture at A Day in Japan.

Courtesy of Insulation Design Studio

A Day in Japan: Art Exhibition, Friday, August 5, through August 14
A Day in Japan: Cultural Festival and Sake Tasting, Saturday, August 6
Peoples’ Building, 9995 East Colfax Avenue
Art Gallery Reception: Friday, August 5, 4 to 6 p.m.; free, RSVP at Eventbrite
Sake Tasting Event: Friday, August 5, 6 to 8 p.m.; $20 to $50 at Eventbrite
Cultural Festival: Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; $10 (free for children) at Eventbrite

Class schedule and stage schedule
The People’s Building in downtown Aurora will host a field day for Japanophiles this weekend, bridging two days of art, exhibits, performances and workshops. A Day in Japan begins Friday evening with an artist reception and exhibition comprising vintage Sakura dolls, Ise katagami stencils used for textile-dyeing and contemporary Japanese-inspired art, and a ticketed 21+ Friday sake tasting to cap the evening. Saturday unveils a full day of performances and exhibits, including taiko drummers, a vendor market, street food and cultural presentations, but also acknowledging Japanese pop culture with a Japanese dog show (bring your own, in costume) and cosplay fun.

A Building Denver Experience: Neu Wave Chapter 2
History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway
Friday, August 5; Saturday, August 6; and Sunday, August 7; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Included in museum admission, free to $14

History Colorado is hosting a three-day cultural pop-up of its own, mixing up art, culture and live performances throughout. Friday showcases Denver artists making community-building work; Saturday’s high point is a poetry and sound experience with J. Benjamin Burney and Kaylee Bender; and Sunday wraps up with an artist talk with BIPOC fashion designers and people working in the fashion field and live music by multi-instrumentalist Annastezhaa.

Brenda Stumpf, Tendrophia
Bell Projects, 2822 East 17th Avenue
Friday, August 5, through August 21
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 6 to 10 p.m.

Brenda Stumpf, whose show Tendrophia opens on First Friday at Bell Projects, works in the realm of assemblage, a practice she integrates into large-scale paintings, sculpture and installation. The works are densely rendered in earthy colors and monochromes piled high with random findings, from teabags to animal bones, often over photographic ink transfers and then slathered with gel medium and sand to create the look of decay and old memories.

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Tom Bond, “The Gosshawk,” acrylic on tie-dyed muslin.

Tom Bond, Alto Gallery

Tom Bond, Canyoneers
Alto Gallery, 1900 35th Street, RiNo ArtPark
Friday, August 5, through August 27
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 6 to 10 p.m.

Tom Bond whisks together his graphic-design skills, love for the wild Colorado landscape and adventurous spirit for Canyoneers, a collection of works that captures the outdoors in bold geometrics and iconographic symbols.

D3 Arts, Rise Westwood Collective, 3738 Morrison Road
Friday, August 5, 5 to 8 p.m.

Over in Westwood, a new show from D3 Arts and curator Huitziloxochitl Jaramillo debuts at the Hecho en Westwood Collective, giving a boost to eighteen new and emerging artists from around Denver. Along with the art, Cesar Ibarra and Leah Skye Doan will share live original music, Westwood mover and shaker Santiago Jaramillo’s art collective the Empress and the queer burlesque and drag collective Rad-De-Colonial will have booths at the opening, and Cultura Craft Chocolate will be slinging traditional chocolate drinks and snacks next door.

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Art walk on the street on First Friday in the Art District on Santa Fe.

Courtesy of the Art District on Santa Fe

August First Friday Art Walk and Street Festival
Art District on Santa Fe Drive, between 6th and 11th avenues
Friday, August 5, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

August is a big month for the Art District on Santa Fe, especially when the street is closed off for several blocks on First Friday. It’s become a tradition and a natural invitation for avid art-strollers and newbies alike to enjoy the summer evening outdoors with friends, seeing what’s new, chowing at food trucks, listening to live music, browsing vendor booths and simply being the life of the art party for one night. Find a list of participating galleries and businesses here.

First Friday Colfax Art Crawl: Band Block Party
40 West Arts District, West Colfax Avenue, between Lamar Street and Wadsworth Avenue
Friday, August 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

August First Friday in 40 West is no joke, either, as it marks the last expanded Colfax Art Crawl of the summer, which is being characterized as a Band Block Party, with bands situated throughout 40 West’s walkable Lakewood locale. The galleries and art shows 40 West is known for will also be hopping, and a full-blown art market will bloom at Creature Arcade, in the district’s Teller Street Hub. Don’t miss the haps at Pirate, either: The dance group Radical Love Movement (RLM) will be performing in sculptor Craig Robb’s traditional installation at 7 p.m. Find an art district map of galleries and a schedule here.

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Mark Brasuell, “Shallphonetik,” 2022, acrylic on canvas.

Mark Brasuell

Mark Brasuell, im Augenblick
Jennifer Alta Hope

Edge Gallery, The Hub at 40 West, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, August 5, through August 21
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

Im Augenblick, just one of many shows opening at the new Hub at 40 West, showcases new large-scale abstracts by Mark Brasuell, who utilized Chinese chop stamps and personal language to untangle the hidden meanings of writing and symbols. Jennifer Alta Hope also contributes abstract works that express the physical act of applying paint to canvas.

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An illustration by Blake Chamness at Next Gallery.

Blake Chamness

Blake Chamness, Distortion
Cindy Loya, Switch Code
Surface: Next Member Show

Next Gallery, The Hub at 40 West, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, August 5, through August 21
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

Next rolls out three shows on First Friday: An exhibition of two new comics from Blake Chamness, with the original art and sketches illuminating the process of creating a comic book; works driven by Cindy Loya’s continuing study of what it’s like to navigate two cultures as a Mexican American; and a member group show, Surface, which is unsurprisingly about creating surfaces in art-making.

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Kathryn Cole, “1609 Meters.”

Kathryn Cole

Kathryn Cole and Edgar Dumas, Figuratively Speaking
Core New Art Space, The Hub at 40 West, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
Friday, August 5, through August 21
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 6 to 10 p.m
Core joins the above companion co-ops at the Hub at 40 West with shows by Kathryn Cole, who paints uncomplicated, summery figures in beach chairs and vacation spots; and imaginative, brightly colored pictures from life by Edgar Dumas.

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Danyl Cook returns to Valkarie Gallery as a guest artist in August.

Danyl Cook

August Guest Artist: Danyl Cook
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Belmar, Lakewood
Through August 28
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Due south from 40 West at Belmar, Valkarie presents Danyl Cook in a guest show by an artist who’s no stranger at the gallery: He used to be a member there. He’s still in the Block 7 neighborhood at Belmar after moving on, though, opening his business, M.E.O., along the same row as Valkarie. Cook offers more of his cheerful and whimsical paintings for the show.

John Davenport, Works
RPO Framing & Gallery, 1588 South Pearl Street
Friday, August 5, through August 31
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

Denver photographer John Davenport takes over the walls at RPO, while singer-songwriter Celeste Rose handles the First Friday entertainment.

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Guest artist Jennifer Niccolai shows off her beautiful pinch pots at Commonweal.

Jennifer Niccolai

Flights of Fancy
Commonwheel Artists Co-op, 102 Cañon Avenue, Manitou Springs
Friday, August 5, through August 29
Opening Reception: Friday, August 5, 5 to 8 p.m.

The Manitou Springs craft co-op Commonwheel invited six guest artists from around the region to exhibit their works at the gallery usually reserved for members. Though the group is small, the work offers a lot of variety, including pottery with carved designs by Jennifer Niccolai; paintings by April Stark, Raquel Biaza and Tim Bachman; jewelry by Suzy Gardner; and sculpture by Charlie Conn. If you’re heading that way, make it a day trip by taking a detour to Green Mountain Falls to visit the James Turrell Skyspace.

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Ifeoluwa  Alade, ”Fragrance,”acrylic and glow-in-the-dark medium on canvas.

Ifeoluwa  Alade. Abend Gallery

Ifeoluwa Alade: Wings and Petals
Abend Gallery Cherry Creek North, 303 Detroit Street
Saturday, August 6, through August 20

The Abend annex in Cherry Creek North hosts newcomer Ifeoluwa Alade, a Nigerian artist who specializes in portraits painted in an African style called “Araism.” The technique is derived from the word “ara,” meaning “illumination, wonder, sensuality and madness,” and executed in simple brush movements and bright colors.

ArtWalk Summer on the Streets
Saturday, August 6, 4 to 10 p.m.
4th Avenue and Kimbark Street, Longmont

Firehouse Art Center and the City of Longmont team up to host weekly ArtWalk Summer on the Streets in July and August along Kimbark Street in downtown Longmont. Every week is a surprise with changing activities, but the twenty art vendors, two food trucks and live music are all a guaranteed standard. After art-walking, take a load off at the free Longmont Public Media Outdoor Cinema at the Longmont Public Library Pavilion, 409 4th Avenue, Longmont, where Ferris Bueller’s Day Off will be screened this week.

Interested in having your event appear in this calendar? Send the details to [email protected].

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