September 2016:  27th Annual Friendship Powwow Caps Summer of Dance!, Shock Wave Opens, Women of Abstract Expressionism Closes and Other Highlights

(Denver) Aug. 23, 2016 – One of the Denver Art Museum’s (DAM) longest-running events, the 27th Annual Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 10, will feature American Indian dancers, drum groups, working artists, hands-on activities, artist booths and more. All powwow activities and general museum admission that day are free.

Dancers at the 2015 Friendship Powwow.

Don’t miss social dances and a special Hoop Dance performance at 10 a.m. with the powwow grand entry at 11 a.m. Throughout the day, watch colorful dance competitions, participate with artists in hands-on activities and enjoy your first (or 101st!) piece of fry bread.

Stop by the Native Arts Artist-in-Residence Studio, focused this summer on the artistry and creation of powwow regalia. Work alongside Native Arts Artist-in-Residence Alistair Bane on a piece for a community quilt as well as design another to take home. In the Bead Studio, create beaded works with local artists Tawny Herrera, Bronte Martzloff and Katja Pinkepank from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Be sure to visit the American Indian art collection on levels 2 and 3 of the North Building.

Note: Check for information on parking and nearby road closures.

Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s

Opening Sept. 11

Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s, showcases work by Japanese designers who started a fashion revolution in Paris. This debut exhibition by Florence Müller, Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art, Curator of Fashion, features 70 looks by powerhouse designers Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Kansai Yamamoto, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe, whose impact on fashion still resonates today.

Issey Miyake, Jacket with Transformable Bustle and Asymmetric Skirt, Autumn/Winter 1986 collection. Japanese ikat-printed cotton. Denver Art Museum, Neusteter Textile Collection.

Works on view illustrate concepts such as the intersection of tradition and modernity; the influence of pop culture motifs; molding the body versus hiding the body with oversized shapes; reinventing the traditional Western representation of femininity; collaborations between contemporary artists and fashion designers; and other diverse ways of challenging the fashion system.

Shock Wave will demonstrate how Japanese designers confronted the work of European designers during the 1980s (such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Anne-Marie Beretta, Azzedine Alaïa and Thierry Mugler), while they inspired younger European designers (such as Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano and Dries Van Noten) in the 1990s.

A 64-page catalog featuring many looks from the exhibition as well as the work of fashion photographers will be available in The Shop and online. Shock Wave is included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free.

Women of Abstract Expressionism

Closing Sept. 25

The groundbreaking Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibition celebrates the often unknown female artists of this mid-20th century art movement. More than 50 major paintings are on view, created by artists working on the East and West Coasts during the 1940s and ’50s: Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Jay DeFeo, Sonia Gechtoff, Judith Godwin, Mary Abbott, Perle Fine, Grace Hartigan, Deborah Remington and Ethel Schwabacher.

The first presentation of works by these artists together at one time, Women of Abstract Expressionism focuses on the expressive freedom of direct gesture and process at the core of abstract expressionism.

An illustrated catalog is available in The Shops at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition is included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. #WomenofAbEx

Deborah Remington, Apropos or Untitled, 1953. Oil paint on canvas; 39 × 51 in. Denver Art Museum: Vance H. Kirkland Acquisition Fund, 2015.225. Courtesy of the Deborah Remington Charitable Trust for the Visual Arts.

Women of Abstract Expressionism-related programming

Mindful Looking: Women of Abstract Expressionism

Sept. 20, 1–1:45 p.m.

Mindful Looking invites you to slow down and spend time with a work of art in the DAM galleries. Join us on the third Tuesday of each month to discover overlooked details, explore ideas and make connections as we linger, look and discuss. Meet in the elevator lobby on level 4 of the Hamilton Building. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. Space is limited.

The Advantages of Obscurity: San Francisco Women Abstract Expressionists

Sept. 21, 6:30–8 p.m.

Celebrate the women painters who helped forge abstract expressionism—the first fully American modern art movement—and reassess their role within a movement that has been customarily defined by heroic male painters. Hear from Susan Landauer, formerly chief curator of the San Jose Museum of Art and now an independent art historian and curator. Tickets are $5 for DAM and CSM volunteers, $12 for artists, DAM and CSM members, $15 others, free for members of DAM Contemporaries, Friends of Clyfford Still and students with valid ID.

Summer of Dance!

Through Oct. 2

Throughout the museum, explore movement in art through several exhibitions. Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art looks at the influences, evolution and distinct traditions of dance in America, portraying dances ranging from American Indian dances and ballet to the Charleston and Spanish flamencos. About 90 paintings, photographs, sculptures and costumes relating to American dance from 1830 to 1960 are on view.

In #dancelab, become part of the action as you follow dance steps choreographed by Wonderbound, then watch as your movements are combined with other visitors' movements for a collective dance experience projected in a large format. Performance on Paper: The Posters of Phil Risbeck and John Sorbie showcases 30 posters from the 1960s to the 1990s, which announced performances at Colorado State University and feature expressive techniques, energetic imagery and restrained typography. Grand Gestures: Dance, Drama, Masquerade is also on view.

All summer of Dance! exhibitions are included in museum admission. #DanceatDAM #DenverBaila #dancelab #ThanksSCFD

Robert Cozad Henri (American, 1865-1929), Ruth St. Denis in the Peacock Dance, 1919. Oil on canvas; framed: 89-1/2 x 54 x 3-1/2 in. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Gift of the Sameric Corporation in memory of Eric Shapiro

Summer of Dance!-related programming

Conversation with Curator: Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art

Sept. 2, 4 p.m.

Join curator Angelica Daneo for a tour of Rhythm & Roots. Meet in the elevator lobby of level 2 of the Hamilton Building. Conversations with Curators feature lively discussions with different curators on the first Friday of the month. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

Dance and American Art: Tracking the Rhythms of a Nation on the Move

Sept. 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Dance has drawn on the nation’s deepest resources of historical awareness and imaginative reflection. At important moments, it has embodied our culture’s prevailing cultural assumptions or myths, while revealing something of the country’s social and economic history—its democratic, fluid and inclusive character. In this talk, Dr. Sharyn Udall uses Rhythm & Roots to convey the efforts of American artists, through subjects of the dance, to differentiate their art from that of Europe and to have it accepted by the world. Doors open at 5 p.m. Free; first-come seating. Sponsored by Friends of Painting and Sculpture (FOPAS), a DAM support group.

Drop-in Drawing: Collaborative Drawing

Sept. 13, 1–3 p.m.

Explore dance as a collaborative art form in Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art . Each participant will end up with a collaborative drawing that illustrates a unique narrative. Meet in the El Pomar Grand Atrium on level 1 of the Hamilton Building. All experience levels welcome; bring your own supplies or use one of our communal sketch pads. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

Untitled: Stop Motion

Sept. 30, 610 p.m.

Untitled winds down with a final look at dance, photography and artworks expressing time. Produced with local creatives, Untitled Final Fridays is the museum's monthly late night program featuring workshops, performances and tours with a twist. Experience the museum in an entirely different way—every time. College students with valid ID receive 2-for-1 admission to Untitled Final Fridays. #UntitledDAM Untitled Final Fridays are presented by Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores.


Oscar Bluemner, Moon Radiance, 1927. Watercolor with gum coating on hot pressed off-white wove paper laid down by the artist to thick wood panel. Collection of Karen and Kevin Kennedy.

What it Meant to be Modern, 1910–1965: American Works on Paper from the Karen and Kevin Kennedy Collection

Aug. 21, 2016–March 5, 2017

What it Meant to be Modern, 1910–1965: American Works on Paper from the Karen and Kevin Kennedy Collection brings together the visionary work of Oscar Bluemner, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, John Marin and Charles Sheeler. The 18 works on paper all share the magic of the modernist movement of the first half of the 20th century. These five artists were chosen for the diversity of their art at a time when a new way of exploring an image reflected a unique and exciting vision of the world around us. An accompanying publication is available in The Shops and online. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free.

Nakashima Harumi (b. 1950), sculpture from “Struggling Form” series, Japan. Ceramic. Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection. TL-35733

From the Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection

Sept. 25, 2016Oct. 1, 2017

This exhibition features 65 examples of contemporary Japanese ceramic arts, created by 35 Japanese artists, from the celebrated collection of Robert and Lisa Kessler. The works include pieces made by master ceramists who were designated as Living National Treasures in Japan, as well as by emerging artists. The diversity of these objects reflects the juxtaposition of the continuation of tradition with new creativity in contemporary Japanese ceramic arts. An illustrated catalog will be available in The Shops and online. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free.


Native Arts Artist-in-Residence: Powwow Regalia Studio

Through Sept. 18

This summer, culminating with the DAM’s 2016 Friendship Powwow, artists from the Denver community will be in residence on level 3 of the North Building, focusing on regalia for different Powwow dances. During each two-week residency, open studio hours are 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Thursdays–Sundays.

Artists-in-Residence schedule

  • Sept. 1–4 and 15–18: Andy Cozad, Gourd Dance

The Native Arts Artist-in-Residence program is generously supported by the Virginia W. Hill Foundation.

Movement Studio and Weekend Creative Demonstrations

Daily through Oct. 9

Explore how artists express and are inspired by movement. The studio includes three hands-on activity areas to explore and experiment with motion in unique ways and features weekend demonstrations by local creatives.

Weekend Demonstration Schedule

The Movement Studio is generously supported by The Robert & Judi Newman Family Foundation.


Penelope Umbrico, 18,297,360 Suns from Sunsets from Flickr 04/16/14, 2014. Chromogenic color prints assembled with tape. Denver Art Museum Collection: Funds Provided by The Mark & Hilarie Moore Family Trust, 2016.37. © Penelope Umbrico.

Anderman Photography Lecture Series | Penelope Umbrico

Sept. 8, 78:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Penelope Umbrico is fascinated by what she calls “the digital torrent”—the billions of photographs that flood the Internet every day. To make her work, she combs photo-sharing websites, online classified ads and stock photography sites to collect samples of the most common images, then combines them to make colorful, mural-sized arrays that speak to photography’s place in contemporary life. $5 for students, $10 for DAM or CPAC members, $15 for others.

Kohyama Yasuhisa 神山易久 (b. 1936), Vase, Japan. Ceramic. Collection of Robert and Lisa Kessler.

Shifting Forms: Ancient Inspirations in Contemporary Japanese Ceramic Art

Sept. 24, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Robert Yellin, noted author on Japanese ceramics, will present the sources of inspirations for many contemporary Japanese ceramic artists focusing on Bizen and Shigaraki. He will examine how these two old traditions have shaped the new visions and forms in contemporary Japanese ceramic art. Lecture free; reservations requested for reception afterwards. For details, email or call 720-913-0040. Sponsored by the Curator’s Circle and Mr. Robert Kessler.

Hadley Hooper, Tableau, 2016. Theater flats, paper, wheat paste, Ikea chairs. © Hadley Hooper.

Drop-In Writing: The World Is Imagined—Stories of Fantastic Creatures & Places

Sept. 27, 1–3 p.m.

Embark on journeys into strange, dreamlike new lands. Spend time with fantastical creatures in Tableau, free your imagination and create new fables. All experience levels welcome; bring your own supplies or use one of our notebooks. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.


Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance

Opening Oct. 2

Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance will explore the extraordinary creativity of Venice from the mid-1400s to early 1500s, when artists forged a Renaissance style that was distinctly Venetian. Featuring about 50 significant works, Glory of Venice will provide visitors with a rare opportunity to experience 20 artworks from Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia, which houses one of the greatest collections of Venetian Renaissance art in the world.

Glory of Venice will be included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. #ThanksSCFD #CultureForAll #GloryofVenice

Titian, Madonna and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Dominic, and a Donor, about 1513. Oil on canvas; 53-7/8 × 72-1/2 in. Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Mamiano di Traversetolo, Parma, Italy. Courtesy of Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).

Glory of Venice-related programming

Gold Ground to Naturalism in Renaissance Venice (lecture by Dr. William Barcham)

Sept. 23, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Between 1460 and 1520, painters in Venice generated a remarkable transformation, abandoning gold ground painting on wood panels for a natural-looking reality by favoring the light and shadow animating the landscaped world and absorbing advances in perspective to create believable three-dimensional space on flat surfaces. They also realized both subtle and intense variations in daylight by exploiting the translucent properties of oil paints on the new materials of linen and canvas. Included in museum admission; first-come seating. Sponsored by Friends of Painting and Sculpture (FOPAS), a DAM support group.

Glory of Venice: An Artistic Evolution

Saturdays, Oct. 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5, 2:304 pm

Dive deeper into Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance with a four-session course that will take participants on an exploration of the creativity of Venice spanning the mid-1400s to early 1800s, a time when artists forged a Renaissance style that was distinctly Venetian. $75 DAM members, $85 non-members. Registration for individual sessions begins Sept. 6 on a space-available basis: $20 DAM members, $23 non-members. To register, call 720-913-0130 or visit


Free First Saturday / CelebrARTE on Free First Saturdays

Sept. 3, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy the museum’s art collections and non-ticketed exhibitions without spending a dime! Be sure to check out some of the DAM’s many family-friendly activities. Free museum admission tickets are available on-site starting at 10 a.m. 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 #CultureForAll

At CelebrARTE on Free First Saturdays, enjoy bilingual fun for everyone, with a 2 p.m. DAM Highlights tour in Spanish, Create-n-Takes and a storytelling program. Cuentistas tell the tales of artworks during Cuentos del Arte with stories para todos—for everyone—at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. #GraciasSCFD

Foxy and Shmoxy: Art Detectives

Sept. 11, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Foxy and Shmoxy—two smart, witty and hilarious foxes—are ready to solve art mysteries in the galleries. Bring the whole family to help Foxy and Shmoxy sniff out clues and unseen treasures in the museum. To find the foxes, visit the Family Activity Cart, pick up a letter from the Fox Box and follow the riddles into the galleries. Free with general admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

Image courtesy of Blue Ribbon Arts Initiative

Youth Artists on the Spectrum: A Celebration of Neurodiversity

Through Oct. 2

Youth Artists on the Spectrum: A Celebration of Neurodiversity showcases artwork by Blue Ribbon Arts Initiative (BRAI) artists and celebrates the creativity of children with autism spectrum disorder. This student art showcase is on display in the lower level of the North Building (enter on 13th between Broadway and Bannock St.) Entry to the showcase is free for everyone; admission to the rest of the museum requires a ticket.

Media Resources

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Denver metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit