Turn right as you enter the Center for Visual Art on Santa Fe Drive and admire the sleek pink “Ourobouros,” a huge pink snake, circling to bite its tail, by Emma Hardy and Rebecca DiDomenico.
It hangs in the gallery window and in a way, speaks for the entire “Pink Progression” exhibit. It is these two artists’ version of an ancient symbol for cyclicality, recreation of self …
“Pink Progression” was inspired by — and celebrates — the two recent Women’s Marches, 2017 and 2018, and is said to “address concepts of human rights, gender, sexual identity, feminism and inclusivity.” More than 50 artists explore social interactions in at least 50 different ways — in paintings, prints, sculpture, drawings, ceramics, video and combinations of techniques, large and small … A visitor becomes fascinated and thoroughly engaged by the many ways of seeing, feeling.
The CVA credits local artist Anna Kaye with organizing this large show, which has visited the Boulder Public Library and Denver Public Library prior to its position at the CVA, through Aug. 19. Art lovers will almost all find something that impresses them on a visit to this varied exhibit, tied together by color and focus. (And no doubt, something that fails to impress, given the wide range of style and technique!) Many works are loaned by the gallery that represents an artist.
Near “Ouroborous,” find a couple of walls, papered with a “Domesticated Rat” pattern by Rachel Delaney and Sandy Lane — and individual sheets with a single rat enjoying eating something pink. (Crayons are thoughtfully provided for those who want to color a page to carry home, as did the 20-somethings who accompanied us.)
Each artwork has a message or a question or a vision.
At the far end of the gallery isTrine Bumiller’s floor-to-ceiling “Monumental,” consisting of 128 panels, painted in oils. Each depicts a national monument, “created to honor and protect places of cultural, environmental and cultural importance,” and each incorporates pink. “The pink hues represent all phases of feminism,” Bumiller writes, “from baby blush and sexy hot pinks to reds of passion, rage and love.” We see landscapes, buildings, plants, figures and much more …
Katie Caron of Littleton, Arapahoe Community College Ceramic Department chair, collaborated with Marie Perrin-McGraw to craft “Untitled (Shadow Box),” and Sue Simon of Englewood exhibits a large painting, “I Am,” subtitled “DNA Sequence,” in the back right gallery. Simon says “My paintings combine abstraction with science and mathematics — scientific concepts developed from real scientific research. They describe our new understanding of the universe. Paintings are based on combining the elegance of science and the visual richness of art.”
Across from Simon’s work, appropriately situated with a place to sit and look — and ponder — for an extended time, is Laleh Mehran’s electronic “Tenuous Hierarchy 1, 10, 100.” A black frame surrounds a screen with constant movement of patterns, accompanied by soft sound. It “explores power across global borders by collocating topography from one country to currency of another. These combinations of foreign structures examine the control and impact of money on sociopolitical infrastructures.” Readers may recall Mehran’s stunning installation in 2012 at the Denver Art Museum: “Men of God, Men of Nature.” She is on the University of Denver faculty.
Julia Rymer of Littleton exhibits four panels: “Light at St. James.” She also works at the intersection of art and science. “Through art, I uncover the beauty of the natural world,” she wrote, “from a cell to an orbiting planet to a tree shedding leaves …”
An Aug. 4 workshop is planned: “Re-thinking the Pinking,’ with exhibit artists Steven Frost and Frankie Toan, from noon to 3 p.m. The hands-on workshop and discussion will address the symbolism of the iconic pink hat of the Women’s March and generate new concepts for more inclusive symbolism. Who does the hat represent/exclude? How should we consider a more inclusive symbolism in activism? Participants will be encouraged to design alternative hats that reflect each participant’s own voice in contemplating feminist activism. Age 17 and up.
The rear gallery holds a related student exhibit called “Reclamation.”