Cowboys and Rabbits Loose in Denver Galleries

There’s a lot to like in this week’s art offerings: a showcase for local mover and shaker Lares Feliciano at Meow Wolf; an impressive display by budding painter and muralist Jahna Rae Church at PlatteForum; a thought-provoking show elegantly curated by Cecily Cullen and Natascha Seideneck at the Center for Visual Art and, for fun, Valkarie Gallery’s nod to the Year of the Rabbit.

That’s just the start of a lineup that feels like First Friday all over again. Keep reading for some artful options:

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Space Gallery shows Western art by Duke Beardsley just in time for the National Western Stock Show.

Duke Beardsley, courtesy of Space Gallery

Duke Beardsley, Cowboy Small
Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive
Thursday, January 12, through January 23
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 12, 5 p.m.
Space Gallery offers a quick nod to the National Western Stock Show with an exhibition of new works by Western artist Duke Beardsley, a Colorado native who now lives in Denver. Space will showcase Beardsley’s Cowboy Small series of large cowboy images painted on a background pattern of tinier cowboys. Trot into the reception on Thursday evening; the show stays up for eleven more days.

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Lares Feliciano, “angel numbers,” 2022, digital collage

Lares Feliciano

Lares Feliciano, Portals of Theseus
Galleri Gallery, Meow Wolf, 1338 First Street
Thursday, January 12, through March 31
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 12, 6 to 9 p.m.
Interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker Lares Feliciano juggles her creative life with community-oriented activities as a member of the Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Committee and the exhibition committee at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. But that doesn’t keep her from being an artist herself. Catch her collage work using digital images and techniques when her project Portals of Theseus opens this week at Meow Wolf Denver’s fourth-floor Galleri Gallery at C Street. The art is accompanied by a custom soundscape designed by Bothe Kretsinger. There’s a reception for the show tonight, or you can see it anytime that Meow Wolf is open. (Fair warning: You’ll need to pay the admission fee!)

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Abstract paintings by James Allan Holmes debut at D’art Gallery.

James Allan Holmes

James Allan Holmes and Cheri Vilona, Close Looking
D’art Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive
Thursday, January 12 through February 12
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 6 to 9 p.m.
Artist Talks: Saturday, January 21, 1 p.m.
Painters James Allan Holmes and Cheri Vilona offer separate solo shows under the umbrella theme of “close looking.” That’s an important piece of being a visual artist regardless of genres or techniques, but Holmes and Vilona display a common thread in this double exhibition by translating experience into impressionistic abstract painting using freely brushed overlapping patches of color.

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Wintry landscapes mimic the outdoors in January.

Courtesy of the PACE Center

The Heart of Winter, The Shortest Days
PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker
Through February 13
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
Even if the solstice has passed, the group show The Heart of Winter, The Shortest Days is an intrinsic January exhibition, executed in perfect harmony with Denver’s recent snowstorms, cold temperatures and gloomy skies. Coloradans know the beauty in that, an element captured by a cadre of local artists who are handy with a landscape. Enjoy music and refreshments at the reception, or just stroll through a less-empty gallery with the art and your thoughts on a wintry afternoon.

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Jahna Rae Church, “Song 32,” acrylic on canvas.

Jahna Rae Church

Jahna Rae Church, Indigo
PlatteForum Annex Gallery + Studio, 3575 Ringsby Court, #103
Friday, January 13, through January 31
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
PlatteForum resident artist Jahna Rae Church wraps up her time at the art-mentoring program’s studio, where she created a series of large, mural-worthy paintings and, in a twist, was mentored by other community leaders rather than working with younger students. The result serves as a diary of Church’s self-discovery as an artist, as seen through her own intuitions, perceptions and experiences.

MCA Failure Lab, Shattered
MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street
Public Reception: Friday, January 13, 5:30 p.m.
The latest group of Failure Lab Teens at MCA worked with highly trained local stained-glass artist Maria Sheets to create mixed-media works together. While glass was incorporated by the teens in some cases, Sheets encouraged them to branch out into assemblage, light, sculptural, site-based, participatory and interactive pieces. An RSVP is optional, but adults must pay museum admission to attend the public reception.

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Regan Rosburg, “dear future,” 2020.

Regan Rosburg, courtesy of CVA MSU Denver

Center for Visual Art MSU Denver, 965 Santa Fe Drive
Friday, January 13, through March 25
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
Regan Rosburg Artist Talk: Thursday, February 9, 5 p.m.
Amy Hoagland Artist Talk: Thursday, March 9, 5 p.m.

CVA gets the new year going with Entanglements, a group exhibition that explores the human attraction to nature in the face of environmental breakdown and sends a call to action to stop it, while also doubling as an early entry for Denver’s Month of Photography 2023 project that peaks in March. Some works by the eleven participating artists will make your heart break at the damage civilization continues to wreak on the planet; others will hint at how it can be repaired. These questions will continue to haunt viewers after they’ve left the building.

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Rich Cancellare, ”Following a Path Less Traveled,” detail.

© Rich Cancellare, courtesy of CPAC

A Different Perspective — Personal Projects by Veterans
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock Street
Friday, January 13, through February 11
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 5 to 8 p.m.
CPAC fetes another group of participants in its ongoing Veterans Workshop Series, which offers people coming out of military service advance training and a chance to work on photography projects with a personal leaning. This group of five captures subjects all over the map: backcountry running adventures, returning to America after ten years in Europe, the baseball mystique, the lives of female veterans, and dogs.

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Michael Warren Contemporary starts the year with a showcase of gallery artists.

Courtesy of Michael Warren Contemporary

Gallery Artist Showcase
Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 4 to 7 p.m.
Michael Warren returns to regular hours with a group showcase of gallery artists in every medium, hinting at what’s to come in 2023.

Idea. Line. Process.
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
Friday, January 13, through January 20
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
Last year, Art Gym awarded facility scholarships to six artists in memory of Eric L. Porter, a founding member of the shared workspace. Now at the end of their residencies, Zach Armijo, Colleen Hennessy, Jae Zander Kitinoja, Julie Kitzes, Payton Landes and Anna Pausch are showing off the creative results: a variety of new works completed with help from a $500 materials stipend and a six-month full-access pass at the Art Gym. The show is a one-week pop-up; catch it while you can.

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Meghan Wilbar, “Highway 96,” mixed media on wood.

Meghan Wilbar

The Language of Landscape and Memory
Firehouse Art Center, 667 4th Avenue, Longmont
Friday, January 13, through February 5
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 6 to 9 p.m.

Three artists with completely different practices — Ronald Kroutel, Catherine Robinson and Meghan Wilbar— tackle human interaction with nature, diverging on different routes that deal with the landscape, environmental issues and the geologic structure of the natural world, in no particular order.

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Jason Hackenwerth, “No Turnin Back,” 2023; oil, pigment stick, spray paint on canvas.

Jason Hackenwerth, courtesy of K Contemporary

As of Now
K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street
Saturday, January 14, through February 25
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 3 to 6 p.m.
Like Michael Warren, K Contemporary kicks off 2023 with a group exhibition by a significant stable of artists. In this case, you’ll see older works alongside brand-new ones, by familiar artists and some completely new to K Contemporary, in a tantalizing mixture of viewpoints and practices.

Johanna Mueller, “Black Tailed Jackrabbit,” relief engraving, collage, mixed media on wood panel.

Johanna Mueller

Down the Rabbit Hole: Chinese New Year
Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood
Through February 4
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 5 to 9 p.m.
Valkarie’s annual Chinese New Year group show of eight-inch-square works is always devoted to the zodiac animal of the year. For 2023, welcome the Year of the Rabbit at Down the Rabbit Hole, which presents a wide selection of rabbit art, from adorable and whimsical to hands-down gorgeous. And if you don’t like rabbits or want your own zodiac symbol, Chinese New Year Invitational 2016-2022, a selection of Chinese zodiac imagery from past years, will run concurrently. Get a sneak peek and/or buy your bunnies online here.

Blake’s Passage, Dairy Block Alley, 1800 Wazee Street
Permanent installation

Next time you walk through the art-encrusted Dairy Block Alley, keep an eye out for its latest installation, called Downpour. Located in Blake’s Passage, an offshoot of the main alley leading to Blake Street, the light installation mimics colored raindrops with a programmable falling effect designed to wow alley walkers after dark with changing colors and patterns. A series of white hoops dangle above the dropping colors for interest. Just one more reason to visit this urban art-and-food oasis.

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