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CU Denver Live! gallery night

Anisah Amat poses next to her poetry about finding herself through motherhood.
Photo: Aman Tewolde · The Sentry

Private art gallery Union Hall introduces emerging artists

CU Denver Live! just hosted its first event of 2020, starting off with a Gallery Night on February 20 with delicious catering, beautiful and captivating art, and friendly staff. Based around a private gallery, Union Hall, it focused on up-and-coming artists who contribute to diversity and cultural education. 

It all began in the CU Denver Architectural building with a Spices Café catered dinner before the event was moved to the Coloradan Building by Union Station. After a short walk there, the group of six CU Denver student attendees were welcomed into a small and unique gallery, Union Hall, by the manager Valeria Vélez and her assistant who simply goes by Kyle. 

Focused around poetry, photography, music, and painting, the event, titled NEUwave, played music from a vintage record player and was focused around three visual artists who were inspired by trauma, disaster, and movement. 

The event featured three emerging freelance artists and their stories with the watercolor paintings of Destiny Acuna, the photography of Brien Hollowell, and the poetry of Anisah Amat. Mr. Hollowell told his story of finding faith, Mrs. Amat of finding herself through becoming a mother, and Mrs. Acuna of repainting works that had been stolen.  

Union Hall’s mission is what makes it so captivating. Kyle said of their purpose, “My main mission here is to provide space for emerging artists and their stories to grant them the opportunity to not wait for any outside validation but to feel confident in themselves as human beings and as artists.”  

All their events are free except for VIP events like artist readings and catered events. Even though most events are free, the quality of the works and of the gallery itself is comparable to a paid space. They receive most of their support from visitors like those that CU Denver Live! brings. 

While they run mostly arts and cultural events, Lauren Pfefferle, the events coordinator of CU Denver Live! and of CU Denver Events, said the purpose of the events is to “bring a sense of community and fun to the campus [especially] as a commuter campus.” 

CU Denver Live! is sponsored by student fees, so most events carry a small fee of 10 dollars. CU Denver Events runs many other types of events, like food drives and retreats. These events are student planned and coordinated, with 72 events in 2019 alone, according to Pfefferle.  

CU Denver Live! and programs like it are an easy and fun way to learn more about what is going on in Denver with arts and other events. It is a great way to support upcoming artists and unique places like Union Hall. 

To support artists like these, visit www.unionhalldenver.com for upcoming events. And to learn more about CU Denver 

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