February 2019: Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze Opens, Dior: From Paris to the World Extended to March 17, Hearts for Arts Return and Other Highlights

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is proud to present Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze, opening Feb. 2. The exhibition will showcase about 30 paintings by Denver-born artist Jordan Casteel, now based in Harlem, New York. This presentation represents Casteel’s first major museum exhibition, and provides audiences with a first look at new work by one of the most acclaimed emerging artists working today.

Jordan Casteel, Benyam, 2018. Oil on canvas: 90 x 78 in. Komal Shah & Gaurav Garg Collection. Image courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York. ©Jordan Casteel

Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze will bring together a body of work made from 2014 to 2018, with new paintings that reveal the artist’s evolving practice and a shift in subject matter ranging from cityscapes and subway scenes to women and local business owners.

Casteel’s approach to selecting subjects involves walking around her neighborhood and taking photographs. By transforming these photographs into larger-than-life portraits with subtle shifts in light, bold colors, and gestural brushwork, Casteel reveals individuals and atmospheres that often go unnoticed.

Photograph by David Schulze. Courtesy of Casey Kaplan, New York

Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze is curated by Rebecca Hart, Vicki and Kent Logan Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will open on Free First Saturday in February and is included in general museum admission, which is always free for DAM members and youth 18 and younger. Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze will be on view through Aug. 18.

Dior has been extended!

The spectacular Dior: From Paris to the World, surveying 70 years of the house of Dior’s enduring legacy and its global influence, has been extended and will remain on view through March 17. More than 200 couture dresses, as well as accessories, costume jewelry, photographs, drawings, runway videos and other archival material, trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house, its founder, Christian Dior, and the subsequent artistic directors who carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.

Installation view of Dior: From Paris to the World. Photo by James Florio.

Christian Dior generated a revolution in Paris and around the globe after World War II when he created haute couture expressing modern femininity, completely shedding the masculine silhouette established during the war. His sophisticated designs—featuring soft shoulders, accentuated busts and nipped waists—marked the beginning of an epic movement in fashion history that would eventually lead to Dior successfully becoming the first worldwide couture house.

The chronological presentation showcases pivotal themes in the house of Dior’s history, focuses on how Christian Dior cemented his fashion house’s reputation within a decade and highlights how his successors—Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri—incorporated their own design aesthetic.

Dior: From Paris to the World is on view through March 17. A special dated and timed ticket, which includes an audio tour as well as general museum admission, is required for Dior: From Paris to the World. #DiorinDenver


Shimabuku, Do snow monkeys remember snow mountains? (video still), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles © Shimabuku

Eyes On: Shimabuku

Through Feb. 3

Eyes On: Shimabuku showcases a video by Japan-based artist Shimabuku titled Do snow monkeys remember snow mountains? This video illustrates the adaptation of a group of Japanese snow monkeys living in a Texas desert sanctuary since they were brought to the U.S. in 1972.

While analyzing the displacement of the monkeys from their natural habitat in the snow-capped mountains of Japan, the film also symbolically explores human migration and reconnection with environment through genetic memory and ancestral history. Included with general museum admission, which is free for members and youth 18 and younger.


Eyes On: Julie Buffalohead

Extended through April 21, 2019

Eyes On: Julie Buffalohead features new work by the Minnesota-based artist, who is a citizen of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. Buffalohead uses metaphors, iconography, and storytelling narratives in her artwork to describe emotional and subversive American Indian cultural experiences, and often analyzes the commercialization of American Indian cultures. Buffalohead frequently includes animals as subjects, and her eclectic palette and whimsical subjects evoke a childlike innocence.

While she works in a variety of mediums, including painting, printmaking, drawing, illustration, bookmaking and sculpture, this exhibition features a new series of works on canvas that explore her own life experiences, as well as ancestral knowledge.

Julie Buffalohead (Ponca), A Little Medicine and Magic, 2018. Oil paint on canvas; 60 x 84 in. Native Arts acquisition fund, purchased with funds from Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2018.301A-B. Image courtesy of Julie Buffalohead and Bockley Gallery

This installation has a thematic relationship to Eyes On: Shimabuku, as well as Stampede: Animals in Art. Buffalohead and Shimabuku use the depiction of animals as a vehicle to explore both familiar and unfamiliar narratives related to their personal heritage and the world around them. Included with general museum admission, which is free for members and youth 18 and younger.

Stampede: Animals in Art

Through May 19

See how animals have captivated artists throughout history in Stampede: Animals in Art. This cross-departmental exhibition brings together more than 300 objects from the Denver Art Museum’s collection to explore the presence of animals in art throughout centuries and across cultures.

Stampede creates an opportunity for visitors to discover and consider the role animals play through themes such as personal connections with animals, how animal materials have been used in art, how animals are used to tell stories or represent political ideas, and how artists use animals in imaginative ways. It includes visitor favorites such as a four-faced Hamat'sa Mask, Deborah Butterfield’s horse sculptures, artworks by Frederic Remington and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as rarely seen works.

Visitors can try their hand at drawing in the gallery and spend time closely looking at smaller objects in a “cabinet of curiosities.” Stampede also features an interactive space where visitors can learn about the creative process behind the Never Alone video game created by Native North Alaskan storytellers.

Don’t forget to stop by A Walk in the Woods on level three for animal-inspired activities. Included with general museum admission, which is free for members and youth 18 and younger.

Nicole Anona Banowetz, installation view of The Incubation Effect (detail), 2018.

The Incubation Effect

Through September 9

Inspired by the natural world, Denver artist Nicole Anona Banowetz has created a larger-than-life, immersive "insect nursery" made from sewn inflatable sculptures and assembled forms. She says, “Forget that the work is art for a moment and have the sort of pure interaction you would have in nature.”

Walk amongst the cocoons and larva as you would in nature. Immerse yourself, be curious, and contribute to the life cycle of the nursery by designing your own creature. Come back to see the installation evolve over the course of the year. Fun for kids and adults alike! Included in general admission, free for members and kids age 18 and younger.

Visitors show their love for Yayoi Kusama's CAN-CAN, on view in Stampede: Animals in Art. From the Collection of Robert and Lisa Kessler.

Hearts for Art 2019

Feb. 11-15

The Denver Art Museum is ready for Valentine’s Day! Join us and other museums across the country to spread the love with Hearts for Art. Show your love for a favorite work of art by placing a paper heart on the floor in front of your artwork crush.

  • Step 1: Pick up a single heart and hold it close until you’re ready...
  • Step 2: Fall in love with a piece of art and make it official by placing your heart ON THE FLOOR in front of a work of art you love.
  • Step 3: Snap a photo of your heart placed next to your artwork crush, and post it to your favorite social media site, tagged with #denverartmuseum and #heartsforart.

Please note: Not everything at the DAM is in the mood for love. Hearts and photography are permitted in all DAM galleries except works marked with a No Photography sign. Ask your friendly gallery host if you are unsure. Happy heart-ing!


Free First Saturday

Feb. 2, 10 a.m.5 p.m.

Enjoy the DAM’s art collections and family-friendly activities without spending a dime. There’s bilingual fun with the storytelling program Cuentos del Arte at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and a Spanish-language tour of Stampede at 1 p.m. Stop by the Print Studio for an artist demonstration from noon–3 p.m.

Free general admission tickets available on-site starting at 10 a.m. (Additional ticket required for Dior: From Paris to the World.) Free First Saturday is made possible by Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). #ThanksSCFD #GraciasSCFD

Foxy and Shmoxy: Art Detectives

Feb. 10, 10:30 & 11:30 a.m.

Help Foxy and Shmoxy, the DAM's art detectives! Find the mailbox in the first level lobby and pick up a letter from the foxes directing you to the mystery in the galleries. There are two chances to see the foxes in action: 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Free with general admission for youth 18 and younger. No reservations required.

Create Playdate

Feb. 13, 10 a.m.1 p.m.

Drop in with your little ones, ages 3 to 5, and meet up with other tots and their grownups for storytime, artmaking and more! Included with general admission, which is free for kids 18 and younger. Meet near A Walk In The Woods on level 3 for program location.

Low-Sensory Morning

Feb. 23, 8:30–10 a.m.

For individuals and families who prefer a quiet, less sensory-stimulating environment we offer our Low-Sensory Morning events on select Saturday mornings before public hours. Explore the museum without the crowd, try your hand at printmaking in the Print Studio and take a break in our sensory break room. Visual schedule and sensory tools provided on-site.

Included with general admission; ticketing assistance available by request. Reserve your spot today. Contact access@denverartmuseum.org or 720-913-0074 with any questions.


Through March 31 — Saturdays & Sundays, 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m., daily during Spring Break March 16-31

Take a walk on the wild side and sew together your own animal-inspired story at our Create-n-Take, Sew Wild. Included in general admission, free for members and kids age 18 and younger.

A Walk in the Woods

Available whenever the museum is open

Step into the forest for animal-inspired activities. Build with branches, take our birdwatching challenge or put together a shadowbox to display your own mini-menagerie! Included in general admission, free for members and kids age 18 and younger.

Print Studio

Through May 5, 2019

Design your own printing plate, experiment with color and layering, learn about the magic of reverse image and making the most of multiples. On weekends, watch artist demonstrations from noon–3 p.m. Included in general admission; free for members and youth 18 and younger.

Weekend Artist Demonstrations in February

  • Feb. 2–3: Javier Flores, Multi-layer Reductive Woodcut
  • Feb. 9–10 & 16–17: Fawn Atencio, Collective Whereabouts: Interactive Printmaking
  • Feb. 23–24: Theresa Haberkorn, Multi-color Woodcut Printmaking


Color of Modernity: Red in Meiji Japanese Prints

Feb. 6, noon

In the late 19th century, red was used extensively in Japanese prints, earning it the appellation “color of the age.” The sensational visual effects, featuring bright, saturated colors, marked a strikingly different aesthetic from earlier prints, signifying a complex cultural, social and political transformation in Meiji-era Japan.

Combining interdisciplinary approaches to art history, material culture and conservation science, Stephanie Su—assistant professor of Asian art history at CU-Boulder—will explore Meiji visual culture through the lens of colors, its relationship with color discourse, scientific development and the process of modernization. Free for Asian Art Association members, tickets $5–10. Sponsored by the Asian Art Association, a DAM support group.

John Chiara, 6th Avenue at West 20th Street, 2018. Unique negative chromogenic photograph, 50 x 40 in. Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery. ©John Chiara

Anderman Photography Lecture: John Chiara

Feb. 6, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

San Francisco-based photographer John Chiara describes his work as “part photography, part sculpture and part event.” He uses a custom-built large format camera, which fits on a flatbed trailer, to make large-scale unique color photographs of the landscape and built environment. Responding to the quality of the light, Chiara uses composition and color to create images that represent the spirit of the place depicted. Tickets $5–$12.

The Anderman Photography Lecture Series is sponsored by the DAM Photography Department; series funding is generously provided by Evan and Elizabeth Anderman.

Unplugged: Meditation

Feb. 15, 4 p.m.

In this month's Unplugged, join our partners from Kadampa Meditation Center for guided meditation in the galleries. All are welcome to join in on this "happiness hour" of quiet calm and contemplation. Chairs, yoga mats and meditation cushions provided. Join us on a select Friday each month for Unplugged, a program that explores different ways to turn down the tempo, unwind and unplug through slow looking and conversation, physical movement, mindfulness meditation or creative expression.

The Unplugged experience changes each month. Included in general admission; free for members and youth 18 and younger.

Backstory - History Colorado - Courtesy of Black Actors Guild

Untitled Final Friday, featuring Black Actors Guild

Feb. 22, 6-10 p.m.

Join us this month to explore dynamic narratives from Denver’s Five Points neighborhood through music, poetry and performance with the Black Actors Guild. The DAM’s monthly late-night program, Untitled Final Fridays features unconventional experiences developed in collaboration with local creatives and community members.

Included in general admission, which is free for members and youth 18 and younger. Students with valid ID receive two-for-one tickets during Untitled. (Note: Dior: From Paris to the World requires a separate ticket.) Untitled Final Fridays are presented by Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores.

Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Appreciation in the Global Art World (symposium)

Feb. 23, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (doors open at 9:20 a.m.)

Appropriation of culture and intellectual property has become a polarizing and much discussed topic in contemporary society; however, less is said about its related counterpart, “appreciation.” This one-day symposium aims to bring together artists, curators and scholars to explore the nuances of appropriation and appreciation in a series of four discussions led off by a keynote address.

Topics will include the revivalism of past visual cultures, the global art trade and the transmission of art styles, cross-cultural inspiration and globalization, historical trauma and the effects of appropriation, and Native American acts of re-appropriation as acts of decolonization. Tickets $20–$35. For details, contact nativeart@denverartmuseum.org or 720-913-0162.

Presented by Friends of Native Arts: The Douglas Society, a DAM support group, Curator's Circle and the Native Arts Department.

Tenzing Rigdol, My World is in Your Blindspot (detail), 2014. Silk brocade, scripture; five panels, 182 cm x 182 cm (6 x 6 ft) each.

Logan Lecture: Tenzing Rigdol

Feb. 28, 6-7 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

Artist, activist and poet Tenzing Rigdol will discuss his upcoming exhibition at the Emmanuel Gallery with curator Sarah Magnatta. Rigdol’s mastery over a wide range of materials is evident in his paintings, digital works, photographs and a site-specific installation of Tibetan soil brought to India. He was the first contemporary Tibetan artist to have work collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rigdol’s large series of buddhas will be the centerpiece of his first solo exhibition in the U.S., opening March 21 at the Emmanuel Gallery, University of Colorado-Denver. A reception will follow at the ART, a hotel, 1201 Broadway. Free for Contemporary Alliance members and students with valid ID; tickets $10-$20. For additional details, contact 720-913-0119 or info@contemporaryalliance.org.

The Logan Lecture series is sponsored by Vicki and Kent Logan in affiliation with Contemporary Alliance, a DAM support group.

This is an overview of February happenings and does not include all exhibitions, events and programs available at the DAM this month. Please see the museum website for complete information.

Download PDF of press release.