Local Artists Work in Unique Harmony
LEISURE GALLERY: ELUSIVE YET FLOURISHING
Leisure Gallery is a blank slate. The walls are painted white, and the gallery space—which also doubles as a studio—is minimalistic, placing all of the focus on the work as opposed to its surroundings. The art gallery is currently host to a collaborative show entitled Fun Size.
Denver-based artists Alex Page, a CU Denver student, and Zach Barnes-Fagg recently exhibited the joint show on March 4 at Leisure Gallery for First Friday. The joint show was humorous and eccentric, as if these two artists were reviving aspects of the Pop-Art movement by focusing on graphics, design, and commentary, as opposed to a clear subject.
“For instance, a lot of themes of video gaming are present in my work in this show specifically, mostly referencing my coddled interactions with minimal people growing up,” Barnes-Fagg said. “With Al, I think we were just trying to make a visually appealing show that supplemented our individual approaches as well as highlighting the parallels in our work.”
Page has a BFA in Drawing from CU Denver and Barnes-Fagg is currently studying Animation at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. “Working with Zach was great,” Page said. “He is one of the most creatively positive guys you’ll find. And he was pretty accepting of the ridiculous ideas that I had. In the end we just did what felt natural and it mixed well I think.”
Considering that one of the collaborative pieces was a panel of blue camo with a white croc fixed to some makeshift pole, it is safe to say that these two worked together in a very unique harmony.
“Well, initially we had a really great idea to kind of capture the essence and aesthetic qualities of a King Soopers, which would have been incredible and hilarious,” Barnes-Fagg said. “But after looking over each other’s work, we found that we share a really light-hearted and fun quality even though our presentation and compositional choices are pretty different, so we just wanted to highlight the fun spirit of our mutual works.”
In a city like Denver where art students and musicians are bountiful it can be difficult to find one’s niche in the expanding art scene. Leisure Gallery gives artists an unused canvas, as it were, to showcase their talent.
“This town has a lot of things going on,” Page said. “I hope it keeps developing and doesn’t hit a ceiling. Everyone is supportive of each other, which is one of the stronger parts about it. Places like Leisure is what we need more of.” The joint show exhibited perfect unison, both artists showcasing works that lean more toward Pop- Art than portraiture. It is clear that these two artists truly did work together rather than create their own individual pieces and put them in a gallery at the same time.
Although the sometimes elusive Leisure Gallery is never clearly open, the works of these two artists channel something that made a balanced and cohesive showcase.
Above: Artists Alex Page and Zack Barnes-Fagg revisit the Pop-Art movement.
photo: Nicole Elizabeth • CU Denver Sentry