Local art collector Ron Pollard to discuss a trove of questionable Russian avant-garde works

Categories: Art, Events

Paintings and relief versions from Ron and Roger Pollard's collection.
When art collecting brothers Ron and Roger Pollard purchased a handful of paintings at an online auction in 2004, they had no idea what they were in for. The pieces, bought from a seller in Germany, were done in the style of an early-twentieth-century art movement known as Russian avant-garde, but their origins couldn't be authenticated.

The purchase would begin a decade-long pursuit for verification and information on these suspected great works. Tomorrow evening, mid-century-modern furniture store Mod Livin' presents "Lost Works From Behind the Iron Curtain," a conversation with Ron Pollard about this great collection and his ongoing art-fact journey.

See also: From Russia With Doubt: Adam Lerner discusses the risky exhibition of unverified art

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Local art and goods intersect at Studio Colfax, a new gallery holding a grand opening Sunday

A peek inside Studio Colfax.
Studio Colfax is a family affair: The new artisan boutique is run by sisters Rebecca and Sarah Tischler, their mother Marguerite Specht, and friend Sarah Bruce. Though the shop and gallery space has been going for a few weeks, it will be celebrating with a formal reception for its first show, a collection of works by well-known ceramicist and the patriarch of the family, Maynard Tischler. From 4 to 8 p.m. this Sunday, June 22, Studio Colfax will be showing off selected pieces from Tischler's career, spanning more than thirty years of work.

See also: Photos: Cafe Max is now open on East Colfax

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Photos: Strong solo shows at Robischon Gallery and Ironton Studios

Ironton Studios
Stephen Batura
Michael Paglia visits Robischon Gallery and Ironton Studios in this week's review, taking in two solo shows to start out the summer season. The exhibit at Ironton focuses on work from Stephen Batura. At Robischon there are four solos on view that match up beautifully with Batura's Ironton excursion as well as with each other.

Continue reading for photos from all of the exhibits.

See also: A gorgeous new Jeff Wenzel solo pairs paintings and ceramics

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Knowledge is power: Ratha Sok and CEC Middle College students create a mural

Categories: Art

Jamie Swinnerton
"Knowledge Is Power," the theme of the mural.
Ratha Sok had never taken on a project quite like this one. But now approximately 1,500 square feet of space -- a pillar outside CEC Middle College that used to be just gray brick -- is covered in an eclectic mural painted by Sok, fellow artist friends Denzel Samaniego, Jin Oh, and Thien Tai, and five CEC students.

After being approached by Law instructor Ben Migliorino and Principal Scott Springer, Sox gave a presentation at the school about becoming an artist and using his art to better the community. He created a mural club at CEC that attracted five student artists who decided the theme of the mural, sketched out a design, and went to work. The club was given total artistic control of the project.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Ratha Sok, 2Kool

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Tom Edwards on Wallyware, the unofficial O.J. trial pottery, and a year of free ice cream

Me with my dad and sister in 1991, painting pottery-shipping boxes.
Ever since I could speak, I've always been proud to tell people about my dad's job. He makes pottery for a living, running a business out of a converted garage studio connected to my parents' Evergreen home. From here he throws, decorates, fires in a kiln, and ships out his handmade plates, bowls and mugs to art galleries around the country. Though he started out creating fine art pottery with colorful glazes, my dad really built his business around Wallyware, pottery decorated with one-panel comic strips that range from political humor to pop culture references, many centered on a fictional dog named Wally.

In honor of Father's Day and the guy who taught me that you really can make a living doing what you love (in addition to teaching me how to walk), I interviewed my dad, Tom Edwards, about his pottery business, how he came to be the official potter for the O.J. Simpson trial, and the time his art won our family a year's supply of ice cream.

See also: Artist and writer: An interview with my brother, painter Evan Kutz

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Tony Labat's Elevation: Denver activates at Emmanuel tonight with art, DJs and drag

All photos by Mauricio O. Rocha
San Francisco artist Tony Labat has built a site-specific sculpture for Emmanuel Gallery on the Auraria Campus, and from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight you can watch his sculpture turn into a platform for community interaction when it is activated with performances by DJs and drag queens. This piece is part of Labat's series Elevations: Platforms, Stages, and CatwalksElevation: Denver and Labat.

See also: West Elm celebrates local goods with a launch party Friday

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Photos: The new Space Gallery's grand opening exhibition

Michael Paglia visits Space Gallery in this week's review, taking in its new architect-designed building on Santa Fe Drive. The opening show fittingly entitled Space Gallery Grand Opening showcases work from every artist associated with Space, including painters and printmakers. Continue reading for photos from Space.

See also: Tobias Fike's solo at David B. Smith is a conceptual beauty

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Rhinoceropolis becomes a life-size diorama to house art and music for Fantasia 2014

A look at Rhinoceropolis as it transforms into an aquarium world for Fantasia 2014.
For this year's edition of Fantasia 2014, Colin Ward says he was moved to action by the urban environment he experiences every day.

"For years I've been diehard passionate about the world kind of waking up -- I believe that there are so many bad decisions being made with the design of cities," says the artist, musician and one of many collaborators behind this art and music gathering. "Urban environments are boring; whoever is in charge of these shared physical spaces -- it's like we're walking around in someone else's program."

See also: Over the weekend: Fantasia 2012 at Rhinoceropolis

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Jeff Raphael on collage, art teachers and thrift-store books

Categories: Art, Interviews

Tom Murphy
Jeff Raphael, musician and artist.
Jeff Raphael was once the drummer of early San Francisco punk band The Nuns. Along with The Avengers, that band opened the infamous last show that the Sex Pistols in its first run played at Winterland in February 1978. Since then, Raphael has gone on to play with several of the luminaries of the punk and post-punk world, including Johnny Thunders and The Sleepers. All the while, Raphael had been making art and honing his distinctive collage aesthetic -- but it wasn't until Raphael moved to Boulder and got some encouragement from curators at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art that he shared his work with the public and had his first art show.

This Friday, June 6, Raphael will be displaying his work at 802 Gallery for First Friday. In advance of that show, Westword sat down with the erudite and well-read artist and musician to talk about why he does collage art, how he has taken advantage of the current state of the de-evaluation of books to benefit his rich cache of source materia, and how cultivating the imagination should be the primary goal of art teachers.

See also: Lexis Krieg conquers collage and gets brave about painting

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Photos: Denver Chalk Art Festival 2014

Categories: Art, Festivals

All photos by Scott Lentz
Larimer Square was jammed over the weekend with spectators watching an asphalt canvas come alive with color during the annual Denver Chalk Art Festival, a favorite summer kickoff for fest-goers of all ages. Scott Lentz was there to capture the crowd, the artists and the masterpieces-in-progress.

See also: Hoodlab will be leaving its home on Larimer at the end of July

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