Gallery Sketches: Six Shows and Art Events in Denver for September 19-21

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Choose from 99 pieces of small art at Access Gallery's annual one-night art sale fundraiser.
You'll find a wide spectrum of new art big and very small this weekend, on gallery walls and as moving pictures on downtown streets. Here's a sampling of what you can see...

See also: By the Letter: Joel Swanson at David B. Smith Gallery


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Five Must-See Boulder Fringe Fest Performances

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Gemma Wilcox
The Boulder International Fringe Festival is one of many fringe fests around the world where cultural gatekeepers have opened the dam and flooded audiences with playwrights, filmmakers, dancers, artists and curators showing off their works without censorship. Nobody gets turned away. Anything goes.

The joy and trouble for audiences is that we have to figure out how to navigate so much creativity. The festival opens tonight with an All-You-Can-Artist buffet, at the Dairy Center, where presenters will show off snippets of their work to the crowd. But what if you miss opening night? What's a festival-goer to do?

See also: Davey B. Gravey's Little Movies on a Little Screen

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George Saunders on Dream Images and Steering Toward the Rapids

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George Saunders is one of America's most celebrated short-story writers, winner of both the Folio prize and a National Book Award finalist, as well as a MacArthur fellowship. Since 1996, he's been a professor at Syracuse, itself an incubator for some of the best authors of his generation. Saunders returns to town this week (he went to the Colorado School of Mines) for the Writer's Studio at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, both to participate in a reading and signing event for fans and to conduct a more focused writers' studio.

Westword caught up with Saunders in advance of his trip to Denver, to talk about finding out which literature is bullshit, writing stories based on dream images, and how, creatively, it's always best to steer toward the rapids.

See also: Comedian Andrew Orvedahl on JG Ballard, George Saunders and airport books

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Alvin Gregorio and Petra Sertic

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Ken Hamel, denverarts.org.
Tobias Fike, "Age Spots." Launch Pad 003: Land, 2013.
#56: Alvin Gregorio and Petra Sertic

Petra Sertic is a curator with more than fifty exhibitions under her belt; Alvin Gregorio is an artist and CU professor whose own exhibitions have circled the globe. Together, they founded Launch Pad in 2012, a flexible forum bringing together artists and art-loving audiences together in public and private spaces. Last summer's Launch Pad 002 gathered more than forty artists together to create outdoor works -- installation to performance-based and everywhere in between -- on private property in the Boulder foothills; currently, they are putting the finishing touches on the mysterious Launch Pad 003: Secrets and Herbs, and looking forward to their fourth project in the coming year. We asked the world-wise pair what makes them tick; keep reading for their answers to the 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Dmitri Obergfell

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Artist Evan Hecox and Chocolate Skateboards Celebrate With Twentieth Anniversary Show

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Courtesy Super Ordinary/Chocolate Skateboards
Chocolate: 20 Years, a one-night-only show at Super Ordinary.
When the Chocolate Skateboards team rolls into town this weekend on its twentieth anniversary tour, local artist Evan Hecox will be front and center at the celebration. His artwork for the iconic brand will anchor a one-night-only art show at Super Ordinary that features his skateboard graphics, along with photographs of the legend-stacked Chocolate team in action.

Westword caught up with Hecox to talk about his work with Chocolate, Saturday's show and his solo exhibit at Super Ordinary in October.

See also: Must-See Films at the 2014 Snowboard on the Block North American Film Festival


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Gallery Sketches: Four Shows to See in Metro Denver September 12-14

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See work by robot artist Shane Evans and DAVA youth at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts.
This weekend's gallery openings include works that reimagine inner and outer landscapes, inspire creativity in youngsters or just plain look good on a wall. Highbrow, lowbrow and everywhere in between, there's something for everyone in Denver this weekend....

See also: Golden Opportunity: Jenny Morgan at Plus Gallery


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Colorado Photographers Document Disaster in Flood: A Thousand Year Event

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Katie Harwood, "February 19, 2014, 5:09:10 PM," Archival Pigment Fiber Based Print, 2014.
When Front Range communities washed away in last year's torrential rains and subsequent floods, some folks who experienced the disaster firsthand did so with cameras in hand, documenting the stark power of nature as rivers jumped their banks to wreak havoc. A year later, the Dairy Center for the Arts will commemorate the Boulder region's floods with Flood: A Thousand Year Event, curated by Mark Sink and featuring images by seven of those photographers: James Balog, Andrew Beckham, Chris Brown, Charles Forsman, Kevin O'Connell, Richard Van Pelt and Katie Harwood. The show opens tonight with artist talks at 4 p.m. and a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and runs through October 10. Admission is free. Keep reading for images from the exhibit.

See also: Viviane Le Courtois helps Boulder flood victims pick up the pieces through Rescued Memories


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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Dmitri Obergfell

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Dmitri Obergfell, "Statues Also Die" installation process, 2013.
#57: Dmitri Obergfell

A Colorado native, Dmitri Obergfell graduated from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design under the watch of Clark Richert in 2010. He's since embarked on a career of international scale, making art that turns classicism on its head, sometimes quite literally, as in the case of a proposed outdoor sculpture of an upended statue that he hopes to complete next year at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. What does this newly anointed RedLine resident artist think about his place in the local art world? He discusses this and more in his answers to the 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Ginger White Brunetti


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Gallery Sketches: Five Shows in Denver for the Weekend of September 5-7

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Detail of a work by Patricia Barry-Levy, on view starting today at Helikon in RiNo.
Fall is unofficially here, and with it comes a busy First Friday with an eclectic slate of new shows, including everything from an exhibit of fresh work from a 91-year-old legend to a contemporary three-artist tribute to the beauty of the prairie West. Keep reading for more details about these and other September openings.

See also: Lights Out: Oh, The Places You Will Go! at Black Book Gallery


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Colorado Springs Artist Heather Bingham on the Joy and Terror of Running Downhill

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"Running Downhill."

As the daughter of a U.S. Air Force chaplain, Heather Bingham got to see a little bit of the world as a child: she was born in Turkey and spent several years on the island of Crete before her family moved back to Colorado Springs. And it was during her last year of high school in Colorado that Bingham's art career got off to a nice start. Her first oil painting, American Mona, won a regional Congressional art contest and it was shown in the U.S. Capitol in 2000.

Bingham then attended the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she met her now-husband, Dustin. She was also introduced to non-figurative art and avant-garde through the tutelage of Lenore McKerlie and Louis Cicciotello. At the same time, she spent time around Dustin's locally-renowned dream-pop band, Eyes Caught Fire, and was inspired by the music to develop her own visual style that seems informed by European expressionism. There is a quality to her work that seems to tap directly into the subconscious mind and communicating the imagery on that level to the viewer.

Bingham's first solo show, Running Downhill, opens at 11th Avenue Gallery, at 935 West 11th Avenue, on Friday, September 5 from 7 to 10 p.m. We recently spent some time with Bingham to discuss the themes of her current work, her love of fantasy artwork and how an introvert learns to transcend her self-imposed limits.

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