Art Attack: The Best New Shows This Weekend in Denver


It’s a fine weekend to see new art around Denver, topped by a definitive, two-venue salute to the work of Floyd D. Tunson, split between the RedLine Center for Contemporary Art and the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. But on other planes, ILA Gallery leaves street art behind for exhibitions by Alto Gallery’s Raymundo Muñoz and up-and-coming Brooklyn star Alexis Myre, Peter Yumi spins another Fruitlandia fable at Pirate, and a new long-term immersive journey debuts at Spectra Art Space.

You never know what you’re going to get on Friday night, but it looks like this week’s gettings are good.

click to enlarge Floyd D. Tunson, “Delta Queen Installation.” - FLOYD D. TUNSON

Floyd D. Tunson, “Delta Queen Installation.”

Floyd D. Tunson

Floyd D. Tunson: Ascent
Anthony Garcia Sr: Pigment
Lola Montejo: After Another After
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada
Through August 28

Floyd D. Tunson, Ascent
The Black Power Tarot
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street
June 10 through July 31
Opening Reception: Friday, June 10, 6 to 9 p.m.
There’s a reason that veteran painter Floyd Tunson — a son of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood who now lives and works in the Colorado Springs area — has been so present in galleries and museums lately. He began expressing social justice statements through art long before questionable police shootings of Black men and women widely raised the public conversation on systemic racism in the U.S., inspiring work that’s right in tune in the present, under the watch of the Black Lives Matter movement. His skillful portfolio of paintings, mixed media, sculptures and installations makes forthright declarations on a human level.

Ascent, a massive fifty-year survey of Tunson’s work, unfolds this weekend in two spaces — the Arvada Center’s main gallery and RedLine — co-curated by Daisy McGowan of the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art, Collin Parson at the Arvada Center, and Tunson’s studio administrator, Wylene Carol. It joins Endangered: A Celebration of the FAC at Colorado College acquisition of “Hearts & Minds,” which opened at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College in May, for a well-deserved and unforgettable Front Range blitz.

At the Arvada Center, Tunson’s exhibition is part of a trio of solos by Colorado artists, along with community activist Anthony Garcia Sr., and Spanish-born abstract painter Lola Montejo. And at RedLine, Tunson’s work is joined by the sideshow The Black Power Tarot, comprising 22 blown-up images printed on fabric imagined by Canada’s King Khan and designed by artist Michael Eaton under the mentorship of the filmmaker and tarot enthusiast Alejandro Jodorowsky. Khan based the deck on notable Black individuals from real life and curated a playlist of tunes to go with each image; the tracks will accompany the exhibition.

click to enlarge Sandy Skoglund, "Early Morning," 2021/1981, pigmented ink print. - SANDY SKOGLUND, COURTESY OF RULE GALLERY

Sandy Skoglund, “Early Morning,” 2021/1981, pigmented ink print.

Sandy Skoglund, courtesy of RULE Gallery

Sandy Skoglund: Outtakes
Rule Gallery, 808 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, June 10, through July 23
Opening Reception: Friday, June 10, 6 to 8 p.m.

Echoing Sandy Skoglund’s inclusion in the current photography show Modern Women/Modern Vision at the Denver Art Museum, Rule Gallery has pulled out a selection of photographs and sculptural artifacts — such as a cast polyester resin goldfish — made in conjunction with Skoglund’s installations. Recently, Skoglund revisited her archive of photo negatives, finding new-to-the-public images that were once passed over; Rule is showing them off for the first time.

click to enlarge Peter Yumi, untitled work from Synth World Is Real. - PETER YUMI

Peter Yumi, untitled work from Synth World Is Real.

Peter Yumi

Peter Yumi, Synth World Is Real
Tricia Vitrano, A Matter of Calculation
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
Friday, June 10, through June 26
Opening Reception: Friday, June 10, 6 to 9 p.m.
Pirate Performance Series: Electronic music with BE (Chris Barker, Brenda Stumpf and Peter Yumi), Saturday, June 18, 7 p.m.

Peter Yumi has been inventing and reinventing the imaginary culture of “Fruitlandia” for a few years now, resulting in themed exhibitions based on pseudo-history, the power of symbols and human folly. The latest, Synth World Is Real, reflects Yumi’s own interest in making electronic music, drinking Squirt soda and orgies (whether by direct participation or just as a concept, we don’t know). Whatever the case, Yumi’s openings are always a blast — there will be gallons of Squirt to imbibe, and Yumi will be synth-jamming with music partner Chris Barker and vocalist Brenda Stumpf on June 18. Also showing: Pirate member Tricia Vitrano and guest artist B. Erin Cole of Little Brain Comics.

click to enlarge Raymundo Muñoz, “Prayers at the Precipice,” detail. - RAYMUNDO MUÑOZ

Raymundo Muñoz, “Prayers at the Precipice,” detail.

Raymundo Muñoz

Raymundo Muñoz, Art Seen
Alexis Myre, The Night Is Now Half-Gone
ILA Gallery, 209 Kalamath Street, Suite 12
Friday, June 10, through July 3
Opening Reception: Friday, June 10, 6 to 10 p.m.

ILA fetes local artist and linocut master Raymundo Muñoz, a familiar face at Alto Gallery and a member of the Birdseed Collective, and Alexis Myre, a local now based in Brooklyn, for a pair of solos with different outcomes. Muñoz’s show focuses on the artist’s relationship with the art scene over ten years, remembering its rising and falling stars as a larger constellation unique to Denver. Myre works in a variety of mediums, creating wall pieces and sculpture from felted, hand-sewn, found and/or tautly strung thread elements, some with mathematical formatting and others finding harmony in organic shapes or a mix of the two.

click to enlarge Zoid Ham, “Hold Fast to Dreams,” 2022, mixed-media collage, triptych based on Langston Hughes. - ZOID HAM

Zoid Ham, “Hold Fast to Dreams,” 2022, mixed-media collage, triptych based on Langston Hughes.

Zoid Ham

Zoid Ham, Zoid Room: The Black Dreamscape
The Storeroom, 1700 Vine Street
Art Opening Party: Friday, June 10, 6 to 9 p.m., RSVP required in advance

For his new installation in the Storeroom window, Black artist Zoid Ham has, as the title implies, built upon a dream from The Black Dreamscape, but it’s perhaps an Afrofuturist dream beset by history. Ham will host a private opening on Friday, June 10, with gift bags; a reading from Ham’s book of poetry, 2111: Poems and Dreams From the Afro-Future; and a variety of artf orms, including paintings, prints, sculpture and wearable art. You’ll need to RSVP to get on the list.

click to enlarge A fanciful fossil by Nicole Grosjean. - NICOLE GROSJEAN

A fanciful fossil by Nicole Grosjean.

Nicole Grosjean

Nicole Grosjean, Fanciful Fossils
Friday, June 10, through July 6
Opening Reception: Friday, June 10, 4 to 7 p.m.

The fossils made by Nicole Grosjean of Paper Fauna are sheer and light as a feather, made of paper instead of rock and bone. Some are drawn and others embossed into thick 3-D molded forms on handmade paper, and all are beautiful. Plus, many are not necessarily fossils of this world, and some unworldly creatures find their way into Grosjean’s jewelry line.

On the Other Hand: Poets and the Practice of Drawing
Georgia, 952 Mariposa Street (enter through the alley)
Friday, June 10, through July 11
Opening Reception and Readings With Michael Joseph Walsh and Jeffrey Pethybridge: Friday, June 10, 6 to 9 p.m.
Book Celebration for Kelly Krumrie with HR Hegnauer: Friday, June 24, 6 to 9 p.m.
Closing Reception and Book Celebration for Hillary Leftwich with Serena Chopra: Friday, July 8, 6 to 9 p.m.
All readings start at 7 p.m.

We love the idea of pairing poets and drawing, both of which can be random products of the subconscious mind, in this show that also marks the reopening of Georgia, the well-curated gallery in Sommer Browning’s garage, after a long break. It’s also the perfect vehicle to showcase local poets and their new book releases through readings. Several introductions are scheduled throughout the run, beginning with a double reading by Michael Joseph Walsh and Jeffrey Pethybridge at the opening. Georgia is otherwise open for viewing on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

VIP Opening Night: Novo Ita: The Festival of Spirit
Spectra Art Space, 1842 South Broadway
Friday, June 10, 6 to 10 p.m.
Regular Run: Saturday, June 11, through September 30, daily except Tuesdays, 11 a.m. (closing times vary)
Opening Night Admission: $55 to $68
Regular Admission: $12 to $35
Spectra will premier Novo Ita: The Festival of Spirit, the latest in a string of Novo Ita immersive experiences created at the gallery, with a VIP opening on Friday, June 10. The new continuation — using art and augmented reality created by a large team of Spectra artists — offers a spectacular opening-night package in two tiers, with free sound baths, oracle card readings, live music and DJs, food and drink, and a re-entry pass for later in the run — in addition to first-look bragging rights. After that, the ticket price goes down, but so will the crowd, during the adventure’s run through September.

click to enlarge Rick Stoner shares his recovery from a spinal infection through art at the Firehouse. - RICK STONER

Rick Stoner shares his recovery from a spinal infection through art at the Firehouse.

Rick Stoner

Patient Practice: An Exhibition of Works by Rick Stoner Created Through and Visualizing Recovery
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
Friday, June 10, through July 10
Opening Reception: Friday, June 10, 6 to 9 p.m.

Representational artist Rick Stoner, with a long-lived career and reputation, was downed last year by a spinal infection, with resulting hospitalization, surgeries and rehab putting his work on hold. Post-recovery, Stoner is introducing a new body of work at the Firehouse that’s been fed by the experience, tracing visuals and experiences from his recovery period and debuting new abstract sculptures, representing a deviation from past work. Also on view: Artist-in-residence Jono Wright in the South Gallery.

75th Annual Gilpin Arts Juried Show Diamond Jubilee
Washington Hall, 117 Eureka Street, Central City
Saturday, June 11, through August 20
Opening Reception/Awards Ceremony: Saturday, June 11, 5 p.m.

You don’t often have a chance to celebrate an elite national annual juried show’s Diamond Jubilee, but just like the NBA, the Gilpin Arts Juried Show hits its 75th anniversary in 2022. The show opens to the public June 11 with a party, awards ceremony and first public look at the show.

click to enlarge Heather Butler creates "A Constellation of Happiness" at Understudy. - HEATHER BUTLER

Heather Butler creates “A Constellation of Happiness” at Understudy.

Heather Butler

Heather Butler, A Constellation of Happiness
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street
Through June 26

Reflect on the reflections that rule Heather Butler’s installation at Understudy, which opened last weekend for a run through June. Central to the piece are mobile sculptures, hand-decorated with original art and mirrors. As they move, the mirrors reflect stickers adhered to the gallery walls, the faces of viewers in the room and kaleidoscopic video projections. As in life itself, nothing stands still and everything changes. Visit the exhibition Thursdays through Sundays, noon to 6 p.m., daily through June 26. Butler will be there in person on closing day.

click to enlarge New works by Doug Spencer at Meow Wolf Denver. - PHOTO BY ELISE TRIVERS | COURTESY OF MEOW WOLF

New works by Doug Spencer at Meow Wolf Denver.

Photo by Elise Trivers | Courtesy of Meow Wolf

Doug Spencer, New Ecology
Meow Wolf Galleri Gallery, 1338 First Street
Through August 31
Reserve Meow Wolf tickets in advance, $30 to $49

Denver artist Doug Spencer champions fumage, a medium with surrealist roots that uses smoke to mark a clear surface. But in more recent works, he adds colored gradients with an airbrush to give his ghostly imagery more visual life. For his Galleri Gallery exhibition, Spencer has gone larger, more colorful and more dramatic, imagining a time when new natural directions salvage the earth in the face of ecological disaster, and the smoke of present-day wildfires might vanish.

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