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Top 40: Denver’s Best Museum Exhibits in 2021

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Denver’s cultural scene is ready to thrive again, as are we all! Denver is hosting some fabulous museum exhibits–some in-person, some virtual and some are family-friendly. Check out this list below and be sure to check with the venue prior to visiting in case reservations are required. 

Don’t miss Denver’s best museums for kids (and how to visit for free)

SUE: THE T. REX EXPERIENCE 

Thru Apr. 25, 2021
Step into the world of SUE: The T. rex Experience at Denver Museum of Nature & Science to uncover the mysteries about the life of this fearsome fossil and her nemesis, Triceratops. Experience a unique multimedia show transporting you to the Cretaceous forest. Learn how the fossil was unearthed, and how scientists continue to make discoveries about SUE, the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever discovered.

PARIS TO HOLLYWOOD: THE FASHION AND INFLUENCE OF VÉRONIQUE AND GREGORY PECK 

Thru July 18, 2021
A selection of haute couture, fashion sketches, photographs, film clips, family snapshots, and documents will be exhibited publicly for the first time, providing a unique look into the style of one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples. Through more than four decades of material from the 1950s to the 1990s, the presentation provides an overview of how fashion changed as the roles of women in society evolved in the 20th century. In conjunction with the exhibition, Véronique and Gregory’s daughter, Cecilia Peck Voll, has gifted the Denver Art Museum 20 of her mother’s iconic looks for the museum’s collection.

SALVADOR DALÍ: GARDENS OF THE MIND 

Apr. 10–Aug. 22, 2021 
Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind features two rarely seen series of fanciful color lithographs of flowers and fruits on loan from The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mixing flora with the artist’s signature motifs, these works underscore Dalí’s ongoing infatuation with his native landscape of Catalonia and the intriguing images of his Surrealist works. See it at Denver Botanic Gardens.

STONEHENGE: ANCIENT MYSTERIES AND MODERN DISCOVERIES  

Thru Sept. 6, 2021
After centuries of speculation, experts are finally starting to understand the mysteries of Stonehenge, thanks to archaeological excavations and advances in scientific techniques. Explore where, when, why, and perhaps most intriguing, how Stonehenge was built. See it at Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

SNAPPED VIRTUAL REALITY ART SHOW! 

Thru Apr. 2, 2021
Spectra Art Space presents an interactive VR art gallery that you can experience from the comfort of home — no VR goggles required! View and explore on your phone or computer and click on the artist plaques next to each art installation to learn more about the artists.

TRANSITIONAL EVIDENCE BY DONA LAURITA 

Thru Apr. 4, 2021
Colorado-based photographer Dona Laurita presents a series of ethereal images exploring “the thin veil” between reality and spirit and the emotions that can follow a shattering event. Using unique substrates, her images weave together text, lighting and moving visuals to create an unforgettable experience. See it at Valkarie Gallery & Studio in Lakewood

HISTORDOMEST-ICITY: MELISSA FURNESS & RIAN KERRANE 

Thru Apr. 9, 2021
This collaborative show is the brainchild of artists and professors at the University of Colorado Denver, Rian Kerrane and Melissa Furness.
We invite you to re-visualize everyday and historical objects and discover interrelated personal and public narratives within their multi-dimensional art installation. Experience it at Center of the Arts Evergreen.

FROM HOME 

Thru Apr. 10, 2021
This exhibition features recent works by Karin Kempe and Chad Henry, made during a year of lockdown and isolation. Creativity can be a lifeline in tough times, when we fall back into intimacy with ourselves as a refuge and true home. See it at SYNC Gallery.

WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY 

Thru Apr. 11, 2021
In works combining watercolor with historical photography, news clippings and text, Denver-based artist Adri Norris highlights women who’ve made history. See it at History Colorado Center.

SENGA NENGUDI: TOPOLOGIES 

Thru Apr. 11, 2021
This collection, on view at the Denver Art Museum, is composed of more than 70 abstract and conceptual artworks by the internationally recognized artist, a prominent figure of the 1970s Black American avant-garde and Black Arts Movement.

ARCHITECTURE OF FORM II 

Thru Apr. 11, 2021
Conceived and curated by Jude Barton, this exhibition honors the self-referential vocabulary of geometry. Barton believes geometry is the purest form of egalitarian expression, making it accessible to all. See it at Core New Art Space.

THE MODERN NUDE: CONTEMPORARY ART OF THE HUMAN FORM 

Thru Apr. 17, 2021
The Modern Nude exhibits the complementary and contrasting styles of a cadre of artists focused on one of art’s oldest and most timeless themes: the nude human form. See it at Artemesia Galerie.

JEFF AELING: NEW PAINTINGS 

Thru Apr. 17, 2021
Jeff Aeling’s painting travels take him all over the southwest. He finds himself returning to particular areas that allow clear observations of the weather, atmosphere and the unobstructed lay of the land. See his newest works at the William Havu Gallery.

REFLECTING VOICES 

Thru Apr. 17, 2021
Reflecting Voices at Colorado Photographic Arts Center is a collection of photographs from bodies of work by Alanna Airitam, Narkita Gold and Rashod Taylor. In photography, light that reflects off a subject is most often what the camera records to produce a photograph. Here the subject is diverse expressions of black identity.

BENEATH THE SURFACE: A STUDY OF SELF BY SARAH DARLENE PALMERI 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
Beneath the Surface is Palmeri’s expressive exercise in self-awareness through abstract painting, animation and sound. Viewers are invited to practice mindfulness through an immersive presentation to better visualize a space where one’s self ends and the world begins. Experience it at S*Park Pop Up.

ORPHEUS – SCOTT MCCORMICK 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
In this exhibition, artist Scott McCormick mines the subject matter, compositional geometry and visual aesthetic of 19th-century French academic painters like Bouguereau, Cabanel and Tissot. Utilizing both digital compositing and film photo techniques combined with his own large, custom-built sets, expansive props and headdresses, each image is a complex orchestration of divergent elements and techniques. See it at the Leon Gallery.

VIKTOR FREŠO | BIRTH OF SELF AND THE COMPLEXITY OF EGO 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Frešo creates sophisticated concepts and projects, presenting them as seemingly simple “pieces of art.” Much of his work reflects some version of a self-portrait, focused on the authentic self and challenging the usual ways of presenting self-portraiture in art. His work also raises debates about stereotypes of perception of art and values of artistic operation. See it at K Contemporary.

THREE ACTS: A SURVEY OF SHAME, EMOTION, AND OBLIVION 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
In collaboration with Todd Edward Herman, Denver College Club, Alto Gallery and the Unperson Project, Three Acts braids three unique collaborations into one exhibit at RedLine Contemporary Art Center.

BLACK & WHITE IN THE 21ST CENTURY 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
Black & white photography is thought by some to be only a relic of the past. To the contrary, some 21st-century photographic artists still prefer to express their art through this medium. This exhibition explores the work of seven contemporary B&W photographers and provides insight into their philosophies of subject selection and their reasons for choosing a B&W presentation for them. See it at the Curtis Center for the Arts in Greenwood Village

MUSEUM FOR BLACK GIRLS 

Thru Apr. 30, 2021
“Black Girl Magic” is more than a buzzword or trend. It’s the essence of Black women. The Museum for Black Girls is a space to celebrate this essence, as well as educate about the journey to our present state and liberation. Finally and most importantly, our museum serves as a love letter to Black women and our experience. This interactive pop-up gallery features multiple, vibrant exhibits. Visit at 1421 26th Street in Denver

TRANSLUCENT REALITY  

Thru May 8, 2021
The artists in this exhibition are striving for a sense of enlightenment by shining through the veil of translucent reality — where reality and fantasy overlap — to express their truths and mysteries. The featured artists in this exhibition utilize traditional and alternative photographic methods, in conjunction with Denver’s famous Month of Photography. See it at Walker Fine Art.

DREAMS IN BLOOM: PHOTOS BY FARES MICUE 

Thru May 16, 2021
Photographer Fares Micue creates dreamlike self-portraits that integrate natural and surprising objects in vibrant hues at Denver Botanic Gardens . Set against a dark, mysterious ground, her images document the hope and positivity of the human spirit. Micue’s first solo exhibition, Dreams in Bloom celebrates the individual beauty of the human form and the universal creative optimism within.

GREGG DEAL 

Thru May 27, 2021
Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute) is a provocative contemporary artist who challenges Western perceptions of Indigenous people, touching on issues of race, history, cultural erasure and stereotypes. Through his work — paintings, murals work, performance art, filmmaking and spoken word — Deal critically examines issues and tells stories of decolonization and appropriation that affect Indian Country. See it at east window in Boulder.

APRON CHRONICLES 

Thru May 31, 2021
Apron Chronicles features photography, personal narratives and one-of-a-kind aprons. While the storytellers’ recollections were each prompted by an apron, they’re not about fabric. Sharing a depth of emotion and social complexity both intimately personal and universally relatable, the exhibit reminds us that we’re all in this together and even lets visitors add their own stories to the experience. See it at History Colorado Center

SHANTELL MARTIN: WORDS AND LINES 

Thru May 31, 2021
London-born, New York-based contemporary artist Shantell Martin has collaborated with iconic brands and artists from Puma and Nike to Max Mara and Kendrick Lamar. This interactive multimedia installation at Denver Art Museum features Martin’s signature black and white drawings that explore intersectionality, identity and play.

RADIANT SEASON: PAINTINGS BY KEVIN SLOAN  

Thru July 11, 2021
Sloan’s paintings elevate the often-overlooked plants, animals and discarded objects inhabiting the edges of the urban landscape: thistles, traffic cones, sparrows and the like. See it at Denver Botanic Gardens

ENDURING IMPRESSIONS: DEGAS, MONET, PISSARRO, AND THEIR PRINTMAKER GEORGE WILLIAM THORNLEY  

Thru July 18, 2021
Impressionism is one of the most well-known movements in the history of art. This unique exhibit at Longmont Museum features original paintings, charcoal illustrations and prints by iconic impressionists like Claude Monet, Edgar Dega, and Camille Pissarro. All three painters produced copious amounts of stunning lithographs in collaboration with printmaker George William Thornley. This exhibition is among the first to examine these remarkable relationships and to showcase the works that emerged from this influential moment in time.

GREGG DEAL: PYRAMID LAKE PAIUTE 

Thru July 31, 2021
What does America mean to a person whose ancestors were insulted in its founding document? Gregg Deal of the Pyramid Lake Paiute leads an Indigenous exploration of what democracy means in Indian Country through his unique, dynamic works at History Colorado Center

EARTH ILLUMINATED 

Thru July 31, 2021
Earth Illuminated is an immersive experience where the natural world and digital media merge to take you on an ethereal journey. Wander through a 13,000-square-foot space showcasing our planet’s beauty from air, land and sea. Explore a series of immersive environments and large-scale interactive art installations that change the way you experience art and nature at Denver Pavilions

COLORADO IN THE PRESENT TENSE: NARKITA GOLD, RICK GRIFFITH, NATHAN HALL, AND MAIA RUTH LEE 

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
This exhibition of site-specific responses, large-scale projects, photography, sculpture, sonic movements and works that may live beyond the four walls of a museum centers on how artists in Colorado are absorbing, responding to, grappling with and reimagining the upended world in which we presently find ourselves, from COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter, climate change and beyond. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

JAIME CARREJO: WAITING 

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
This new installation by the Denver-based artist explores the relationship between confinement and duration. Through a layering of Southwestern symbolism, mid-century desig, and objects from his own domestic space, Carrejo offers an environment reminiscent of an interior waiting room and exterior courtyard. These settings intend to prompt reflection on various physical and psychological barriers experienced during the pandemic as well as also pose the question of what will come after this extended period of waiting. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

KEITH HARING: GRACE HOUSE MURAL 

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
Recently excavated from its original site, this site-specific mural that Haring executed in 1983/84 for those living at Grace House, a Catholic youth center in Manhattan, now exists as a series of 13 panels and additional ephemera, including the original plaque, mailbox and two doors that Haring integrated into his design. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

BINH DAHN: C.A.R.S ONLINE 

Thru Aug. 25, 2021
The artist-curated C.A.R.S. Online series features past participants in the long-running Critic & Artist Residency Series at Colorado State University. In this virtual exhibition, Binh Danh investigates his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war. His technique incorporates his invention of the chlorophyll printing process, in which photographic images appear embedded in leaves through the action of photosynthesis. 

ALL THE COSMOS A CANVAS 

Thru Sept. 15, 2021
Drift deep into space and experience the majesty and wonder of our universe purely through images in this contemplative, aesthetic and introspective exhibition at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

LOOKING FORWARD/LOOKING BACK 

Thru Sept. 19, 2021
Celebrate Historic Denver’s 50th anniversary! Looking Forward/Looking Back relives the early days as Historic Denver began restoring the home of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown and the beginnings of the Molly Brown House Museum, which for the first time allowed the public to enter Brown’s Denver residence and learn about the mark she left on the world. 

JESS T. DUGAN: C.A.R.S ONLINE 

Thru Sept. 30, 2021
The artist-curated C.A.R.S. Online series features past participants in the long-running Critic & Artist Residency Series at Colorado State University. In this virtual exhibition, Jess T. Dugan explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. 

STORIES WE TELL: THE COLLECTION TWO WAYS 

Thru Oct. 10, 2021
This exhibition digs deep into the Clyfford Still Museum’s vaults to present the collection in two complementary but alternate ways as a means to understand how artworks and their meaning can change based upon curatorial strategy. It begins with a new chronological presentation in the first five galleries. In the remaining four rooms, the artworks are grouped into specific thematic categories regardless of their chronology. 

THE CIVIL WAR MONUMENT “ON GUARD” 

Thru Oct. 15, 2021
This monument stood in front of Colorado’s State Capitol until it was toppled in June 2020 during protests for Black lives. Installed in 1909 to memorialize Colorado’s role in the Civil War, the monument holds multiple meanings for viewers today: a tribute to those who’ve served and sacrificed in the nation’s armed forces, a reminder of atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples, a symbol of white supremacy and injustice, a casualty of destructive lawlessness, and more. Lonnie Bunch, the first African American and first historian to serve as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said, “what you really want to do is use the statues as teachable moments. Some of these need to go. But others need to be taken into a park, into a museum, into a warehouse, and interpreted for people, because they’re part of our history.” See it at History Colorado Center.

FORTY YEARS ON THE ’FAX 

Thru Dec. 31, 2021
Take a nostalgic ride down Colfax, with stops at the quirky and memorable places that gave the street its worldwide reputation. See it at History Colorado Center.

BLACK IN DENVER   

Thru Mar. 5, 2022
Narkita Gold is a Denver-based artist who’s been honing her skills in digital photography since 2009. Her exhibition Black in Denver is a portrait and interview series that takes delves into Black life in Denver. See it at History Colorado Center.

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER 

Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening.

Source: Denver.org.

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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