First Friday Downtown

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Downtown Colorado Springs

Price: Free; downtowncs.com/event/firstfriday

Every first Friday of the month is a chance to brush elbows with artists and art lovers. Head to downtown Colorado Springs to enjoy new exhibits, live music and more at dozens of galleries, retailers and nonprofits.

• November’s highlights include works by Greg Stones in “Rejected Illustrations” at The Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St. A piece of art can make you laugh, cry or get you to pause and consider. Artist Greg Stones’ quirky works do the former. You’ll find cute little penguins, zombies, gnomes and other assorted oddities traipsing through his small gouaches, paintings that use opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a glue-like substance.

Stones is also a published author, whose illustrated humor book “Zombies Hate Stuff” debuted in 2012. Six more books followed, including the 2017 boo, “99 Stormtroopers Join the Empire.” Friday’s opening reception is 5 to 11 p.m. The show runs through Nov. 22; 633-4240, themodbo.com.

• Kreuser Gallery, 125 E. Boulder St., will open two new shows. “Vistas y Algo Mas” will feature new works by painter and sculptor Steve Wood, founder and director of Concrete Couch, a nonprofit that brings people together to help improve the city and build community through art and music, recycling and more.

The gallery’s second exhibit will feature “A Show of Faith,” with works by Marc Shereck and Peter Marchand. It looks at how we express faith through sacred spaces, symbolism, ceremony and daily living. Marchand’s photos, of seven different faith traditions in eight countries, are paired with Shereck’s folk art.

An artist talk is at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20. Works are up through Nov. 28; abigailkreusergallery.com.

• Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., will open “I Never Played With Dolls,” featuring works by encaustic artist Sheary Clough Suiter. Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, uses heated beeswax and colored pigments. Suiter will mix an encaustic medium with a multitude of items, including vintage linens, roadside finds and dolls. Throughout Friday’s opening reception, a “living doll” will wander the gallery; 629-7055, thebridgeartgallery.com.

• “Activism: Works Inspired by Relevant Issues” will open at Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., and feature works in all mediums by Pikes Peak region artists. They’ll tackle issues such as human rights, climate change, politics, sexism, racism and the end of the world; 520-1899, cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com.

Denver Arts Week

When: Friday through Nov. 9

Where: Throughout Denver

Price: Free admissions and discounts; 800-233-6837, denverartsweek.com

The first week of November is an early holiday gift to people who love to stroll through a museum, talk to an artist and indulge in cultural experiences.

Denver is throwing an arts party Friday through Nov. 9, with more than 300 events throughout the week at a variety of art galleries, museums, theaters and concert halls.

It all kicks off on First Friday, where patrons can explore the Art District on Sante Fe, Golden Triangle Creative District, Olde Town Arvada, Rino Art District, Tennyson Street Cultural District and other areas of the Mile High City. Visitors can meet artists, check out new exhibits and purchase original works, with price tags beginning at $52.80.

“It’s really about two components: increasing awareness of the rich, cultural community we have,” said Jayne Buck, vice president of tourism for the nonprofit Visit Denver, “and generating new audiences for places that don’t have marketing dollars, and trying to get people from neighboring states or cities.”

The 13th annual event continues with Night at the Museums from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, when museums are open late and offer free admission. A free shuttle bus will transport people to select museums between the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Zoo and Denver Art Museum.

Participating museums include the Black American West Museum, Clyfford Still Museum, History Colorado Center, Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, Molly Brown House Museum, Dinosaur Ridge and Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum.

The rest of the week takes visitors all around the city, not only into the downtown core, something Buck believes makes their festival different from others.

“Many people have arts festivals and bring people to one place,” she said. “We purposely want people to experience these things in the neighborhoods in which they live. We say go experience in the real place with the real atmosphere.”

Denver Film Festival and Denver Fashion Week also coincide with Arts Week and are two more opportunities to get involved with city’s cultural scene. A full list of events and discounts is available online at denverartsweek.com.

“It’s all about finding hidden treasures in every neighborhood,” Buck said.

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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