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Your Shopping Cart is Empty at Emmanuel Gallery

The exhibit focuses on America and Colorado’s consumerism.
Photo: Erica Barillari ∙ The Sentry

New art exhibit opens on campus

small building called the Emmanuel Art Gallery is located on the east side of the main street of the Plaza Building. Its purpose is to showcase the work of artists from Colorado and all over the world. The current exhibit is by Berlin-raised Aram Bartholl.

The Emmanuel Art Gallery has changed from owner to owner throughout history before reaching its current status. It was originally a site of a Sunday school in 1859 and later Bishop Spaulding built an Episcopalian chapel out of it. 

Beginning in 1903, the building served as a synagogue until 1958 when it was converted into an artist’s studio by Wolfgang Pogzeba, an abstract realist painter, sculptor, printmaker, and photographer. He inhabited the place until it officially became a part of the Auraria campus and was remodeled into an art gallery in 1973. 

Some of the artists that have been showcased there include Jann Haworth, Cameron Gainer, and Olga Viso.

From the outside, this small two-story church has a variety of colors of bricks ranging from a dark brown to a bright white color. There are gothic arches that surround the tall, skinny windows and a circular window that rests a little bit above the middle of the structure.

Upon entering the building, one is greeted with open wooden floors and white walls. More art can be observed up the stairs that open to a loft-like space that hangs over the main floor. 

Aram Bartholl’s exhibition, Your Shopping Cart is Empty, contains “work [that] creates an interplay between internet, culture, and reality. How do our taken-for-granted communication channels influence us? Bartholl asks not just what humans are doing with media, but what media is doing with humans,” according to the Emmanuel Gallery Exhibit website. 

Upstairs, there are clay castes of phones and T-shirts that sport the logo Denver123—one of the top five most used passwords in the Denver area. A stack of mouse pads that has various Denver related passwords is also located on the floor. However, the pieces aren’t only inside of the church but rather throughout the campus, such as it being marked in chalk on the path that crosses in front of the exhibit.

Reminiscent of blank canvases, translucent frames with common passwords, such as QWERTY or 12345, lay about on the main floor while leaned against walls.

After shifting focus to the walls on the left of the exhibit, there lay two pieces of art that consist of what looks like needles in the shape of a large rectangle. They form together to create an inviting piece from afar.

To the right of the exhibit lays a television screen on which designs of words and numbers appear. The designs differ such as 123456 being in green with a shining background, or the word password spinning around in black with the edges being a gold color.

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