Artwork Assault: Denver’s final first Friday in 2021

December 3rd is the last first Friday of the year in Denver, making this a great final opportunity to purchase a Christmas present from a variety of local artists. Art markets, co-op member shows, and small work shows are at their peak, and nothing beats the altruistic rush of helping artists still coming back from a devastating year.

What are you waiting for? Here’s what’s going on:

click to enlarge

Judy Gardener, “Soleil”, lino print.

Judy Gardner, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

35th Annual Art Market, 45th Annual Christmas Pottery Sales
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Friday, December 3rd and Saturday, December 4th, 10 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Sunday, December 5th, 1pm to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday until December 19th
High-quality and artistic holiday shopping has been a specialty of the Arvada Center for decades. The annual Fine Art Market is filled with gallery-supplied arts and crafts from dozens of Colorado artists in the Main Gallery. The Upper Gallery displays work celebrating form and function by students and faculty at the centre’s ceramic studio. The shows will run side by side for almost three weeks, but it’s best to shop before items sell out.
click to enlarge Return: Contemporary Works by Arapaho Artists comes to the Museum of Boulder.  - MUSEUM OF BOULDER

Return: Contemporary Works by Arapaho Artists comes to the Museum of Boulder.

Boulder Museum

Previous: Contemporary works by Arapaho artists
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder
Until February 14th
Opening: Friday, December 2nd, 5 to 7 p.m., artist panel at 5:30 p.m.
Entry: $ 10 at Eventbrite, free for members
The new Museum of Boulder exhibit, Returning, showcases art by indigenous artists with ties to the Arapaho people who roamed Wyoming and the central and northeastern plains of Colorado for centuries. The group show features contemporary works that reinterpret the evolving Arapaho legacy. Some works will be offered for sale during the entire term.
Brandan styles,

Brandan Styles, “King of Hellfire”.

Brandan Styles, Mad Tatters

Mad Tatters
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Until January 2nd
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
It becomes a Valkarie tradition to exhibit the sideshow-inspired works of artist couple Ellie Rusinova and Brandan Styles, collectively known as Mad Tatters, during the Christmas season. Both artists work with mixed media, paint, and wood to create sculptural works and wall tableaus with dark and metaphysical themes that exactly match the gallery’s penchant for irresistible fantasy and storytelling.
click to enlarge DAVA mentor artist Matty Miller shares some work for the nonprofit's year-end vacation show.  - MATTY MILLER

DAVA mentor artist Matty Miller shares some work for the nonprofit’s year-end vacation show.

Matty Miller

Hope / Esperanza, DAVA’s annual Christmas Show & Sale
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, 1405 Florence Street, Aurora
Until January 14th
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 4 to 7 p.m.
DAVA’s young artists have teamed up with guest mentors to create gift-ready handmade prints, fiber art, and ceramics, including decorative tiles, tea bowls, candle and soap holders, bells, and sculptural planters. The Hope / Esperanza vacation sale also includes art from mentors.
click to enlarge Koko Bayer brings another round of Hope to Dateline in December.  - KYLE HARRIS

Koko Bayer brings another round of Hope to Dateline in December.

Kyle Harris

Koko Bayer, Hope Shop
Date Line, 3004 Larimer Street
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 6pm to 10pm
The artist and wheat paste artist Koko Bayer is taking over Dateline for the Hope Shop, where she will be selling multi-dimensional versions of her familiar images of the heart of Hope – stickers, prints, wall art and more – for the Christmas season.
click to enlarge Flower works by Jennifer Lord, Christi Palitto and Lucy Holtsnider bloom at the Alto Gallery in December.  - JENNIFER LORD, CHRISTI PALITTO AND LUCY HOLTSNIDER

Flower works by Jennifer Lord, Christi Palitto and Lucy Holtsnider bloom at the Alto Gallery in December.

Jennifer Lord, Christi Palitto and Lucy Holtsnider

Jennifer Lord, Christi Palitto and Lucy Holtsnider, Winter Blooms
Alto Gallery, RiNo ArtPark, 1900 35th Street
Until January 1st
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 6pm to 10pm
The artists Jennifer Lord, Christi Palitto and Lucy Holtsnider maintain a garden with botanical pictures for Winter Blooms, which stands in the Alto Gallery for the whole of December. As well as being beautiful, the show is a great excuse to see Alto’s new dig in RiNo for those who haven’t been.
EllynAnne Geisel shares her ongoing project Art of the Apron: Tie One On at the BRDG Project.  - ELLYNANNE HOSTAGE

EllynAnne Geisel shares her ongoing project Art of the Apron: Tie One On at the BRDG Project.

EllynAnne Geisel

EllynAnne Geisel, Art of the Apron: Tie One On
Narratives: A show of stories in ceramics
Cultural normality (UCD student show)
BRDG Project, 1553 Platte Street
Until December 29th
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 6pm to 10pm
The BRDG project has a trio of holiday shows starting with apron collector and cultural historian EllynAnne Geisel Art of the Apron: Tie One On, which also includes her pop-up vintage market. Also in the BRDG are Narratives: A Show of Stories in Ceramics, a group exhibition with works by the sound artist Penny Bidwell and a photo exhibition by students from the University of Colorado Denver.

Geisel, who hired ten local artists to decorate blank aprons, will hold an auction during the reception, the proceeds of which will go to PlatteForum and Haven, a support organization for BIWOC and non-binary People of Color.

click to enlarge Kanon Collective thinks small for the holidays with the annual Bibelot Show.  - KANON COLLECTIVE

Kanon Collective thinks small for the holidays with the annual Bibelot Show.

Canon collective

Biblot 2021: The Beauty of Small Works
Canon Collective, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Until January 9th (Friday, December 24th, closed until Sunday, January 2nd)
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Kanon Collective’s annual Bibelot Small Works Show is an affordable option for Christmas gift shoppers. These pieces look great on walls in need, especially in groups of related work by the same artist.

Walnut workshop showcase
Bell Projects, 3525 Walnut Street
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The residents of Walnut Workshop, a busy RiNo beehive made up of artist and small business studios, will let go of the hard work of the year on the gallery walls at Bell Projects.

click to enlarge Jen Starling,

Jen Starling, “Self-love is the antidote”.

Jen Starling

Jen Starling, confronting the void
The Outsider Show
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 7130 West 16th Avenue, Lakewood
Until December 19th
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 6pm to 10pm
Jen Starling Artist Talk: Friday, December 17th, 7pm
The shadowy mixed-media portraits of women of pirate member Jen Starling in moments of deep thought, meditation, power and unreserved contemplation are shown alongside the gallery’s Outsider Show, an open exhibition that has been a tradition since the 1980s.
click to enlarge Take home one of Gayla Lemke's cheeky pups who can be seen on Edges Solstice member show.  - GAYLA LEMKE

Take home one of Gayla Lemke’s cheeky pups that can be seen on Edges Solstice’s member show.

Gayla Lemke

Solstice: A winter exhibition
Edge Gallery, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Until December 19th
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This gallery artist show features handpicked guests to celebrate the community and the coming winter with a beautiful plate of art gifts.
click to enlarge Get a retro print by Reed Weimer at the Core New Art Space.  - REED WEIMER

Get a retro print by Reed Weimer at the Core New Art Space.

Reed Weimer

Gina Smith Caswell and Sam Smith
Reed Weimer, Fun Size !, and Jeff Hersch, Shafts of Grace, in the annex
Core New Art Space, Art Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Until December 19th
Opening: Friday, December 3rd, 5pm to 10pm
Core members Gina Smith Caswell and Sam Smith share pictures from the garden and colorful paintings full of exploding star explosions, while artists Reed Weimer and Jeff Hersch take over the annex to hang retro design prints, drawings, watercolors, collages and original photos.

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Festival of fine arts on vacation
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
Friday, December 3rd, 5pm to 8pm, until December 26th
Members of the joint studio and the maker facility Art Gym meet every year for a Holiday Fine Art Festival, which makes shopping for art gifts easy. The metal smiths, printmakers, painters, mixed media and culinary artists at Art Gym ensure a festive and affordable local mix of goods.

click to enlarge Last chance to see Homewrecker, a collaborative installation by Vinni Alfonso and Elena Gunderson.  - ELENA CUNDERSON, SALLY CENTIGRADE

Last chance to see Homewrecker, a collaborative installation by Vinni Alfonso and Elena Gunderson.

Elena Cunderson, Sally Celsius

Vinni Alfonso and Elena Gunderson, Homewrecker
Sally Centigrade, 445 South Saulsbury Street
Reception closes: Friday, December 3rd, 6pm to 8pm
This is your last chance to see Homewrecker, the amazing and plastic cockroach infested installation by Vinni Alfonso and Elena Gunderson that combines spooky family portraits with thrift store furniture and decor. A plus.

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