Alumnus Connor Serr Co-Curates ‘Nexus’
MYSTICAL EXHIBIT UNITES PAINTINGS, TATTOOS
As live music filled the room, conversations buzzed, and fine wine poured, visitors to Abend Gallery gathered for the opening party of the new exhibition Nexus. Abend Gallery, located on East Colfax near East High School, is an influential piece of the Denver art scene and its new exhibition was an extension of that.
The pieces at Abend showcased a mix of historical and modern influences, as the creators showcased were a mixture of painters and tattoo artists. A majority of the pieces were oil paintings whose content and intricate frames, common in art showings of older works, seemed classical.
It is no easy feat for anyone to create such a cohesive experience characterized by robust ideas from all sorts of artists. Curation and building these exhibits may be difficult, but CU Denver alumnus Connor Serr and others spent countless weeks to curate the Nexus exhibition for the artists and viewers of Denver.
“It was fun and interesting to work closely with tattoo artists as a part of producing a fine art show,” Serr said. “That was definitely a different experience in my career so far. I wasn’t one of the main curators on this show though, but it was a great experience all around.”
One piece, “La Fauna,” painted by Nikko Hurtado, is of a woman who has sheep horns resembling a mythical creature. The fairytale-like content, in particular, jumps out at the viewer, and the juxtaposition of neutral colors with a gold frame is alluring.
The exhibit included several artists, but together the pieces made for a fluid viewing experience. Each piece seemed original, but could’ve been created by the same artist. The painting “Christina” by Shana Levenson, for example, also uses neutral colors and was a portrait piece like “La Fauna,” but stood out as its own piece with its own identity within the exhibit, as the viewer is drawn to the unique woman in the painting.
In “Vengeance On The Sound,” artist John Lolly paints a bygone time. The viewer is transported to the bow of a brigantine styled ship. The skull, dripping wax candle, colonial handgun, and feather pens are the focus of the painting.
The exhibit was derived from tattoo artists, which was obvious when looking at each piece. The pieces had strong black outlines, much like the outlining in tattoos. The colors and animation of tattoos influenced many works, as the color and lines drawn resembled a tattoo. “I felt that it was so different than anything I was a part of before this,” Serr said. “It was cool, but again I wasn’t the main curator this time around.”
The show was unexpected from what most viewers are used to seeing at galleries and exhibitions throughout Denver—most exhibitions are tame in their content, but Nexus did not shy away from nudity or playing with bright colors.
Serr is the manager at 1261 Gallery, Abend’s sister gallery. The CU Denver alumnus will next curate an exhibition there, which is much anticipated as his work on Nexus held exemplary promise for futu re exhibits.
2260 E. Colfax Ave.
Mon.–Sat.: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sun. & Mon.: closed
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