Of the many ways to describe the last near-year of pandemic living, one could certainly do much worse than the term still life. Not only have so many people’s lives been stilled by lockdown, but being stuck inside has given all of us the opportunity to see the unpainted still lives around our homes, gardens and yards.
In its first exhibition of 2021, Walker Fine Art is highlighting six artists’ examination of this traditional and beloved painting style in Upon Closer Reflection. The exhibition runs at the gallery, 300 W. 11th Ave., No. A, in Denver, through Saturday, March 6. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday, with a limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. Visitors can also make reservations for a private viewing of the gallery.
“We’ve all been spending more times with the static objects at home and the vignettes we’ve created with them in our spaces,” said Bobbi Walker, owner of Walker Fine Art. “These things are able to bring us energy and joy every day.”
One of the gallery’s points of pride is the variety of mediums featured in each show, and how this variety allows for the telling of a complex and dynamic thematic story. As both Walker and gallery manager Libby Garon explain, the show is a way to invite introspection as we get into the swing of a new year.
The artists on display — Bryan Leister, Eileen Roscina, Brian Comber, Angela Beloian, Jane Fulton Alt and Chloe Hedden — use everything from oil painting and traditional and cyanotype photography to watercolor and augmented reality to explore their subjects.
One of the most immediately arresting is Leister’s Elements, which blends a focus on the way light plays on objects with a digital experience that turns his paintings into works that engage several senses via a free app that can be downloaded to mobile devices. When a device’s camera is pointed at the paintings, shapes appear, and sounds can be heard - sounds that change as the shapes are touched.
“Leister wanted to take something as traditional as still life and bring it into the digital age,” Garon said. “It’s like unwrapping a package or present.”
Another highlight is Jane Fulton Alt’s photographs, which staggeringly blend traces of classic Dutch still life works with the much more modern photography style. The result are works that look like both paintings and photographs and capture every detail of the objects with hyper-realistic clarity.
In addition to the works on display, the gallery has worked on building a dynamic web and video presence, which includes glimpses behind the creation of the work and videos that provide a window into artists’ methods and meanings.
“Artists are so often the canary in the coal mine and can knock on society’s door to get a message out,” Walker said. “The underlying story of the art we have on display is always healing, and we want people to come away from our shows with their heart lifted and some kind of inspiration.”
For more information, call 303-355-8955 or visit www.walkerfineart.com.
Get the story behind the apron
The Apron Chronicles, a 16-year-old traveling exhibition, fascinatingly explores this garment and what it symbolized for many over the years.
The final showing of the exhibit runs through Sunday, May 9, at the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway in Denver. The exhibit features photography, personal narratives, and one-of-a-kind aprons that hold histories from the kitchen and far beyond, according to provided information.
Visit www.historycolorado.org/exhibit/apron-chronicles for details.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Lyle Lovett and Jason Isbell: In Conversation and Song
Alabama’s Jason Isbell is easily one of the best lyricists working today (seriously, if you don’t know his song “Cover Me,” buckle up and give it a listen), and Texas’ Lyle Lovett has been a stealth country legend for decades (songs like “If I Had A Boat,” “She’s No Lady” and “The Alley Song” are unassailable). So, an opportunity to watch these two together should not be missed.
The pair will be hosting Lyle Lovett and Jason Isbell: In Conversation and Song at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29. Visit www.lylelovett.com to get a ticket.
Streaming style - Flatirons Food Film Festival
Running from Thursday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Feb. 5, the Flatirons Food Film Festival highlights 10 feature films and three short film programs. Some of the included films are “First Cow,” “A Taste of Sky” and “The Farm.” In addition to screenings, there are pay-what-you-can events like a Local Restaurants and the Pandemic panel discussion and Puppet-Making for Everyone.
If you want to support local restaurants while you watch, there are partnerships with paired dinners, customized festival craft chocolate bar packs, special mail-order treat boxes from The Inventing Room, and festival snack packs from the Boulder County Farmers Market.
All the pertinent details can be located at www.flatironsfoodfilmfestival.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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