Night Job is the Synthesis of Day-To-Day Grind and Dealing With the Man

Tom Murphy
Some of the artists of Night Job (left to right): Jamie Knowlton, Heidi Kleder and Kat Salvaggio.

Night Job is a collective show featuring artists who represent a young, working-class, art class perspective united by a sensibility that combines urban grit, an ineffable dream-like quality and an almost haunted yearning for connection with the essence of life. The work also embodies a blend of seeming thematic opposites that complement one another.

The artists include Heidi Kleder, Kit Ramsey, Kat Salvaggio, Jamie Knowlton and Tacoma Washington, and their media range from pen and ink drawings tomixed media painting to Intaglio prints and photographs. Night Job opens at Europa Coffee House at 7 p.m. on September 4 with a free taco bar; it runs through the month. We sat down with Knowlton, who set up the show, Kleder and Salvaggio to discuss what the name represents and why Knowlton wanted to include artists who rarely display their work.

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There's Lots to See at Union Station -- and "Winter Crossing" Could Soon Join the Lineup

Categories: Art

Courtesy Crawford Hotel
The art at Union Station has been one of the surprise hits of the $54 million renovation project. The building holds more than 600 pieces of art, a collection so extensive that the Crawford Hotel, which fills the upper three floors, has both an electronic and a published guide to the artwork so that you can take your own self-guided tour (pick it up at the Crawford Hotel desk). Sorry, the hotel-room displays are off limits to all but guests (although tours are offered twice a month), but there's still plenty to see in the public areas -- and the people-watching in the Great Hall alone -- billed as "Denver's living room" -- is worth the trip.

"I like to sit there and watch all the people," says developer Dana Crawford, the inspiration behind the hotel's name. "There's just every stripe, and everybody who walks in is having such a good time. If they haven't been there before, their jaws just drop. It just makes me so happy. It's civic theater."

See also:
Photos of the restaurants of Union Station

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Sign Painters Shines A Colorful Light on the History of a Hidden Craft

Faythe Levine and Sam Macon are the minds behind Sign Painters.

For filmmakers Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, an in sign painting was born one day when Levine happened to observe a sign painter changing the hours on a restaurant's window with a paint brush. Through the film Sign Painters -- which screens for one night only tomorrow evening, August 26, at the Sie FilmCenter -- the collaborators dug deep, interviewing active sign painters of all ages about this everyday occupation and art form. The oral, anecdotal history and visual impact of sign painting on the American landscape are equally explored in this documentary about a once-ubiquitous handmade trade.

In advance of the film's showing, Westword spoke with Macon about how he and Levine tackled the exploration of a craft that has very little written history available.

See also: Kevin Hennessy on making folk art and other signs of the time

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Anne Pasternak on Socially Engaged Art and Making the Change They Want to See

Categories: Activism, Art

Kara Walker, Dominio Sugar Factory Project
Creative Time's current exhibition is Kara Walker's Dominio Sugar Factory Project.
Today and tomorrow, artists working at the intersection of social justice and the art world will gather at Anderson Ranch outside Aspen to discuss their projects as a part of Making the Change They Want to See. The artists are as varied as Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave; Laurie Jo Reynolds, who used creative organizing strategies to shut down a supermax prison in Illinois; and Mel Chin, who addresses issues of ecological destruction and cultural displacement through collaboration at non-traditional sites: at toxic dumps, on prime-time television and through video games.

To learn more about the event and the state of socially engaged public art, we spoke with Anne Pasternak, the seminar's curator and the president and artistic director of Creative Time, a New York-based public arts organization.

See also: Michael Mayes on Dead Man Walking, Cut and Shoot, Texas, and Social-Justice Opera

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Work by Former Denver Artist FACARO Shines on True Blood

Categories: Art, Bicycling

Photo by Fabiola Torres Alzaga
Carolina Fontoura Alzaga has come a long way since Denver. The artist, who's now based in Los Angeles, goes by FACARO in the art world, where she's gained international acclaim. And one of her chandeliers made of bicycle parts was just featured in several episodes of the popular vampire series, True Blood.

See also:
Denver native's used bicycles chandeliers have made her an international art star

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The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Lands a Killer Matt O'Neill Painting

Categories: Art, Art reviews

"Town Without Pity," by Matt O'Neill.
No institution has played a more important role in Colorado's art history than the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Among its collections is one dedicated to modern and contemporary pieces created by Colorado artists. It's a nice collection -- not on the level of the Kirkland Museum's, mind you -- but very nice, and it just got a little nicer.

Last spring, the center mounted Thrift Store Sublime, a solo dedicated to Denver's highbrow/lowbrow juggler extraordinaire Matt O'Neill, which I reviewed in May. During the show, O'Neill felt that museum director and chief curator Blake Milteer and assistant curator Joy Armstrong had done well by him, so he decided to give one painting from the show to the CSFAC -- and he let them pick which one (the museum already has two O'Neills in its permanent collection).

See also: Tour Matt O'Neill's world at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

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Sue Scott on women artists, getting into museums, feminism and her new book

Production photograph by Marcin Oliva Soto.
Katarzyna Kozyra, Cheerleader, 2006

For decades, feminists have challenged the art world to open up galleries and museums to women artists. While nominal progress has been made, many major institutions still show a disproportionate amount of work by male artists. This disparity is one of many reasons critics Eleanor Heartney and Nancy Princenthal and curators Helaine Posner and Sue Scott co-authored The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium, a profile of 24 artists that some have described as a new canon -- a term the writers resist.

In advance of their appearance at Anderson Ranch, Westword talked with Scott about the book, the state of feminism and the struggles and successes of women in the art world.

See also: Favianna Rodriguez talks sexual liberation, immigration, racial justice and art

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Five things you didn't know about the art at Denver International Airport

Categories: Art

There are secrets behind the public art pieces at Denver International Airport -- and it's not what conspiracy theorists would have you believe. We checked in with DIA Exhibitions Coordinator Tim Vacca and Public Art Program Coordinator Mandy Renaud, and discovered there's a method to all the madness. Keep reading for five things you didn't know about the art at DIA.

See also: DIA now has "Dog Deity" -- "Blucifer" be damned!

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Photos: Body art from Denver Face Paint and Body Art Jam artists (NSFW)

Categories: Art, Events

The annual Denver Face Paint and Body Art Jam is taking place at Mountain Air Ranch from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 27. And there should be plenty of bodies to work with, since Mountain Air is a clothing (very) optional facility. Unfamiliar with body art? We've collected a gallery of images of artists and models (some NSFW) from previous jams.

See also:- Jeremy Barber on biker shops, tradition and tattoo education

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Can't make the Louvre this summer? Take a quick trip to DIA!

Categories: Art

"America, Why I Love Her," by Gary Sweeney
When people travel through Denver International Airport, they're rarely thinking about the art there. Typically, a travelers are more concerned with cramming McDonald's hash browns into their kids' mouths and getting to the gate without a mental breakdown than they are with marveling at the artwork in the terminal. But DIA boasts a lot more than Dunkin' Donuts and Mayor Michael Hancock greeting you over the train intercom (that, by the way, is considered art, too). And so last week we joined the DIA Art and Culture Program on a walking tour of the art at DIA.(All photos by Caleb Williams, art most certainly not by Caleb Williams)

See also: Does DIA have the best art of any airport? Or just the freakiest?

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