Mardi Gras-themed 40 West Arts District art crawl

Month of Photography has begun in 40 West Arts.
Photo: Isaiah Mancha · The Sentry
Galleries on Colfax host special art walk

The first Art Crawl of 2019 featured different forms of vibrant art work with a New Orleans style twist to the scenery, taking place on Friday, March 1. The Mardi Gras-themed event had painted mannequins dazzling in colored beads, green feathers, and streamers to sell the New Orleans vibe along the streets of the galleries.

Unlike the Santa Fe Art Walk just south of Downtown Denver—where galleries are within range of each other since they are all located up and down Santa Fe Drive—the Colfax Art Crawl took place within the 40 West Arts District in Lakewood, making it a nice journey to examine different pieces of art work.

Along the scattered trail of art were many different galleries and studios, such as Pirate: Contemporary Art, EDGE Gallery, NEXT Gallery, and a small studio named Hi Little One.

In this small studio, photographer Carrie Makenna had three walls displayed of her work, ranging from prints that were taken on her phone—which she titled “Phone-ography”—to interesting black and white vignette prints that were taken on a photocopier.

These photocopier images capture the audience’s eye with high contrast. Much of the black and white surrealist images consisted of different facial positions and expressions with a four-sentence inscription underneath. 

In a piece titled “Cat’s Eye Vision,” Makenna wore a white face mask that had a cat’s eye covering the right eye. The first sentence of the caption stated, “I see the world as if through a cat’s eye.”

When asked what was her inspiration and story, specifically to the photocopier pieces of work, she said, “People have put a lot of things on photocopiers. I wanted to try something different. As for my inspiration, I want to mainly tell a story within these images.”

The NEXT Gallery featured many artworks in tribute to the loose gorilla at the Mexican restaurant Casa Bonita. Walking in through the entrance, viewers were met with a single headshot of a gorilla on a pink podium in front of a pink wall with the heading “Pretty in Pink.” Throughout the gallery, there are many sketches and paintings of the loose gorilla along with the Casa Bonita building in different forms, one of them being on a white canvas with a pattern of dancing gorillas with tutus.

Given that it was a Mardi Gras-themed event, there were musicians roaming the district with their festive music. At the EDGE Gallery, three musicians played jazzy tunes while the audience enjoyed interpreting different pieces of abstract art and sculptures. The people dressed to the occasion and the brass music played in certain galleries created a feeling of New Orleans.

However, the galleries were too scattered and the artwork too thematically varried that the Mardi Gras connection was lost in translation.

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