Arts & entertainment

A look at the future, a reflection on the past

Arvada Center’s galleries celebrate 40 years with established and new artists

Posted 9/12/16

In the Arvada Center’s 40 years, it has played host to established artists, ones just getting into the swing of their careers, and provided space for artists’ first exhibits.

All of this is highlighted in “Looking Back/Moving Forward,” …

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Arts & entertainment

A look at the future, a reflection on the past

Arvada Center’s galleries celebrate 40 years with established and new artists

Posted

In the Arvada Center’s 40 years, it has played host to established artists, ones just getting into the swing of their careers, and provided space for artists’ first exhibits.

All of this is highlighted in “Looking Back/Moving Forward,” the center’s two new fall exhibits.

“The artists we have on display here aren’t just important to the Arvada Center, but the entire metro area,” said Collin Parson, the center’s exhibition manager and curator. “There is so often a theme here of contemporary Colorado artists, and it’s great we can highlight that.”

The exhibits run at the center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., through Nov. 13. “Looking Back: 40 Years/40 Artists” is on display in the Main Gallery, and “Moving Forward: The Next 40 Years” is on display in the Upper and Theatre galleries. Galleries are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“It was really difficult to choose the artists for both shows, because we’ve had so many great ones,” exhibition coordinator Kristin Bueb, said. “We wanted all kinds of mediums and varieties for the exhibits.”

For “Looking Back,” Parson and Bueb combed through the center’s archives to find artists who had important shows at the center, exhibited often, or made an impact on the Colorado art scene. Once the challenging task of narrowing the artists’ list down to 40 was completed, Parson and Bueb were able to get new works from almost all the artists to display. Participating artists include “Suburban Regionalist” Bill Amundson, Sushe Flex, a Denver-based landscape artist, Tony Ortega, an associate professor at Regis University, and sculptor Virginia Folkestad.

“The space inspired me on the installation piece I’m doing for the exhibit, called ‘Echo: Faint Memory,’” explained Folkestad. “I like to combine nature and culture in my work.”

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a time-line of as many of the exhibits from the center’s history as staff was able to locate.

Folkestad’s first Arvada Center exhibit was in 1991, and she said she’s excited to be one of the selected artists.

“It’s a lot to give an artist space the way they do at the Arvada Center,” she said. “It’s really so important that these kinds of spaces are around. And what a wonderful space it is.”

“Moving Forward” looks to the future of the art world, focusing on artists who are establishing themselves as important voices. The exhibit features 19 artists in a wide swath of mediums, including potter and sculptor Kazu Oba, Ashley Eliza Williams, a Boulder based painter, and multimedia artist Tobias Fike.

“The work I have on display in this exhibit is about a home that had been in my family for 109 years,” Fike said. “It’s all found objects, and it’s been great at the center because they’ve let me experiment.”

The exhibition is Fike’s first at the center, and he said he’s honored to be a part of the mixing of generations the exhibits represent.

“As a curator, often you want to always have the newest thing in your galleries,” Parson said. “But you can’t forget the people’s work that you’ve built on.”

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