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Denver Fall Arts Preview: From Robots to Queertooning

Denver Fall Arts Preview by Theresa Anderson

Metro Denver is bursting at the seams right now with high value programming from a variety of arts organizations that connect some of the best artists with the public in the form of exhibitions, education and community. From robots to queertooning- it’s hard to know where to focus attention.

Here are five things to put on your calendar:


Robot detail by DAVA job Training students1. Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, one of Aurora’s gems and staples right off of Colfax and Florence was bursting at the seams this summer.

The high spot in this fall’s gallery exhibition “Artbots” includes quirky working robots made by DAVA’s Job Training students and artist Shane Evans. Business leaders to policy makers- take some notes here. Exemplifying best teaching and learning practices by combining creative thinking and educational components students were paired with artists responding to material limitations, analyze, research and make robots that are capable of movement, light and sound. Plus, they’re good.

DAVA details: 

Exhibition September 12-November 18, 2014

Free Public Hours: Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, or by appointment.

Venue: 1405 Florence St., one block south of East Colfax in the Aurora Cultural Arts District. 303-367-5886

Guest artist Shane teaching students at DAVA

Guest artist Shane teaching students at DAVA


Jenn Crowe

Jenn Crowe

2. While one of the collaborative works by Richard Alden Peterson and in the Colorado Photographic Arts Center exhibit, “Fashion/Culture” on the second floor of the McNichols Civic Center Building has been censored the works that remain are definitely worth the trip.

Marla Rutherford’s female superheroes, Laura Shill’s “natural” coverings and Jenn Crowe’s paired gender representations hit hard with alternatives to the more stereotypical descriptions of beauty and gender.

As THE substitute to Thursday night football on October 2 CPAC is hosting a huge fashion gala featuring El Salon, Goldyn, multi-media by Jose Duran, Mario Zoots and Jeromie Dorrance, an Anthony Camera photo booth and live music by Haldon Wofford and Oscar del Barrio.

CPAC details: 

Exhibition August 21 – December 21, 2014

Chat Walk with the artists: Saturday, September 20, 1 pm, Free

*Venue: McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 West Colfax, 2nd floor, Denver
Free Public Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 3 pm or by appointment. Call 720-865-4303 or email to schedule an appointment.

Go to the CPAC website to get tickets for the “Gala Fashion Show, “ prices variable.

Marla Rutherford "Cement Sky"

Marla Rutherford “Cement Sky”

3. Sure to be a new creative powerhouse in RiNo, in late October Platteforum Creative Residency moves over to the first floor of The Temple on 2400 Curtis Street (kitty corner from Redline and Wonderbound) right as the next artist, Folawole arrives in residence on October 13.

Built in the late 19th century as the first major Jewish synagogue The Temple is now being transformed into three stories of individual artists studios (including Chinn Wang, Mario Zoots and Dylan Scholinski) as well as community resources Sentimental Studios (facilitates creative alternatives to suicide), Denver Zine Library and Processus (a a multi-use shop, a darkroom, a clean space and a coffee shop/pop up space).

Surrounded by all these resources this move is a gamechanger for PlatteForum and is sure to have an immense impact on the artists in residence and students. Folawole, “a Nigerian and American solo performer and artistic director currently based in San Francisco,” will bring guest artists Antonella Fittipaldi, Maratea, Italy and Rebecca Walden, South Carolina to inaugurate the new space. While earlier work includes improvisational components such as in Pictures of Joy,2010 at the Museum of African Diaspora he also works with sets and choreography as in Making Visible of “Verse us”at the Marina Abromovic Institute. As with past residencies the public will have multiple opportunities to engage as the work unfolds and interact with the artist during open hours.

PlatteForum details:

Folawole Choreography/Dance, San Francisco, CA
In Residence October 13 – December 5, 2014

Inaugural Event December 5, 2014

Free Public Hours: Tuesday through Friday, noon – 4pm or by appointment, please call (303) 893-0791 or email

Venue: 2400 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80205

Folawole Making Visible of Verse us at the Marina Abromovic Institute - PlatteForum

Folawole Making Visible of Verse us at the Marina Abromovic Institute – PlatteForum


Melanie Gillman As the Crow Flies4. Not to be outshone, there’s some hot stuff going on over at the Art Students League of Denver. Executive Director, Rachel Bayse scored past RMCAD Chair of Fine Arts, Rebecca Vaughan as the new Program Director.

Now you may take a class from Denver’s beloved abstract painter Homare Ikeda, simultaneously learn “How Sh*t Gets Made” with Martha Russo, and “tour the collection at the Denver Art Museum as it pertains to the history of thought and pictorial space” with the inimitable Bruce Price.

Sigh. If I was young again I’d take Melanie Gillman’s “Introduction to Comics and Sequential Art” that is “designed to get teens engaged in making art in a format that they are already steeped-in – graphic novels, and the storyboarding that goes with game art and animation.” Great class description for parents but the real story is that she’s a self-identified “queertoonist” who holds an MFA in comics from the Center for Cartoon Studies who is not afraid to say what needs to be said. Gillman’s newest webcomic “As the Crow Flies” that has been nominated for the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize can be read online for free at

Art Students League of Denver details:

There’s a lot going on. Sign up for the newsletters.

Classes fill fast. Check out the classes and get registered. Prices Variable.
Demo and Dialogue Series $5 or free to Members

Venue: 200 Grant Street Denver, Colorado 80203.


Nacho Lopez

Nacho Lopez

5. Even though the Museo de las Americas wasn’t the first organization in Denver to hold a Dia de los Muertos Celebración they are probably the most authentic with a great blend of both “high” and “low” as well as syncretized customs and traditions.

In preparation and in conjunction with the exhibit, “El Brindis REMIXED,” attend a Spanish Happy Hour with an introduction to Pulque with Dan Beneavidez (owner of Boulder Imports) on October 17.

Similar to beer, Pulque is made from fermented agave juice and is attributed to Tepoztecatl, a Nahuatl (Aztec) god. A selection of photography from Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Agustin Victor Casasola, and Nacho Lopez rounds out this lighthearted commentary on “El Brindis REMIXED.” Toasting with pulque at Museo is sure to bring the traditional into new frames of reference.


Museo de las Americas details:

Exhibition October 16, 2014- January 18, 2015

October 16, 2014-El Brindis REMIXED Opening Reception 6-9pm

October 17, 2014– Spanish Happy Hour, Noche a la Pulqueria; Introduction to Pulque with Dan Beneavidez 5-8pm

November 1, 2014– Dia de los Muertos Celebración, 12:30-2:30pm

November 7, 2014– Beer Tasting featuring local brews, 5-9pm

November 21, 2014– Spanish Happy Hour, Mercado de Navidad, 5-8pm

Hours: Tuesdays to Fridays 10:00-5:00, Saturdays and Sundays 12:00-5:00.
$5 General Admission

Free First Fridays from 5-9pm

Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide

“Museo de las Americas educates our community about the diversity of Latino Americano art and culture from ancient to contemporary through innovative exhibitions and programs. With the Latino population growing exponentially in Denver and wider communities, Museo plays an important role in building pride in the Latino community’s heritage and promoting understanding among cultures. Other history and art museums in Denver cannot focus on one segment of the community in a sustained or comprehensive manner. Museo was created to fill this important niche in the cultural milieu.”

Denver Fall Arts Preview

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