‘The Space(s) Between’ is not a typical art experience

Allison Speir

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A new collaboration between UCCS’ Ent Center for the Arts and University of Denver’s (DU) Vicki Myhren Gallery takes the term “social distancing” to the next level. 

     This exhibit is not confined to the walls of gallery spaces; it breaks through the interior boundaries and flows into the city streets of Denver and Colorado Springs.  

     “The Space(s) Between” exhibit will feature many different types of art from over 41 artists and collectives across the United States.  

     Daisy McGowan, director of Galleries of Contemporary Art at UCCS, said that the pieces in the exhibit include “a 60′ billboard featuring artist Ian Fisher’s iconic cloud paintings in a farmer’s field in the town of Wiggins, an artist-guided map of existing murals by renowned muralist Anthony Garcia, Chip ‘Jetsonorama’ Thomas’ portrait wheat-pasted on a downtown Denver building site,” and several new outdoor pieces at the Ent Center. 

     Beyond artistic expression, there is a treasure hunt with the potential to obtain $1,000 worth of gold if you solve the clues hidden around the “Front Range.” 

     Artists participating in this exhibit were given the challenge of creating pieces inspired by the vastness of the American West. Guests have the ability to interact with art from this exhibit in various settings. Based on your comfort levels, you can attend virtual events or view artwork on the side of a building in downtown Denver.  

     McGowan said, “It’s important to meet people where they are comfortable, so we have a lot of options with this exhibition — folks can schedule a time just for them and their family/friends to visit indoor gallery exhibitions, they can visit the outdoor art walk starting in early April at the ENT Center for the Arts which connects to the Windmill Project in Pulpit Rock Open Space, and they can learn more about it all online where artworks will exist in their entirety.” 

     McGowan added that partnering with DU for this exhibit has been a powerful experience. 

     She explained that Geoffrey Shamos, director of the Vicki Myhren Gallery, and Donald Fodness, a curator not affiliated with either university, had collaborated on projects in the past. When Shamos became the director of the gallery in 2018, he made an effort to get UCCS and GOCA involved with “The Space(s) Between” exhibition.  

     Fodness said that in this exhibit, viewers can expect to see “contemporary art that reflects on our human relationship with the land, sampling the horizon as an anchor for this discussion.”  

     Due to the pandemic, GOCA had to rethink the way they are able to connect the community with artwork. Large indoor gallery gatherings are no longer feasible, so GOCA has become creative in keeping art accessible to the public.  

     Although life looks different due to the pandemic, McGowan argues that “the importance of arts and connection to each other is greater now than ever before! So, we got creative and moved to bring much of the art outdoors and invited artists to embrace that approach starting last March, 2020.” 

     This exhibit can be viewed at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary Art at the Ent Center from March 11-July 25 by reservation. If you plan to view this exhibit at the indoor gallery at the Ent Center, you will need to reserve a time slot. There will also be a virtual opening event on April 7 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.  

     To learn more about this exhibit or to schedule an in-person visit at the Ent Center, click the following link. Tickets are free. 

Image courtesy of @GOCAcolospgs on Twitter.