Public events of epic proportions orchestrated by Plus Gallery

Want to know who’s helping to light the fuse in Denver’s exploding art world? Follow the breadcrumbs. They will take you directly to the door of the Plus Gallery, 2501 Larimer, where director Ivar Zeile works his magic.

Burgeoning powerhouse William Betts is featured at Plus in a critically acclaimed solo show, “Remote Sensing.” And the artist himself just left for Stuttgart, Germany, where paintings from his surveillance series are scheduled to be on view at the prestigious Kunstmuseum Stuttgart in a group exhibition, “Tracing the Grid.”

With “Tracing the Grid,” Betts finds himself in good company, including some of the honchos in contemporary art, past and present: Carl Andre, Chuck Close, Hanne Darboven, Mona Hatoum, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Sarah Morris, Carsten Nicolai, Sigmar Polke, and the iconic Gerhard Richter to drop just a few names of the heavy hitters. Betts is the first emerging artist from Plus to be featured in a world-class museum exhibition overseas, a noteworthy achievement, though no big surprise to Westword‘s critic who raved:

“We all know that Big Brother’s been watching us for some time, but that doesn’t make the amazing recent paintings of William Betts any less intriguing or, well, creepy. Accurately replicating video imagery taken by surveillance cameras, the acrylic-on-canvas renderings are pointed in their message and sharply detailed in their hazy delivery. And they’re no less incredible than his many other series, canvases of moire patterns or pointillist compositions on drilled mirrors, which rely on technology for their pinpoint precision.

“At ‘Remote Sensing’ at Plus Gallery, his first solo exhibit in the area since 2007, Betts is again showing work unlike anyone else’s. It’s a must-see show — even if you may feel like you need to keep looking over your shoulder while you’re seeing it.”

A person could ride on a review like that, but not Ivar Zeile. Ivar likes juggling.

In addition to the Betts blockbuster and planning a second, Jenny Morgan’s show, Ivar with a little help from his friends, Ryan Pattie and gallery intern Philippe Moore, curated “Sightline.”

“Sightline” is program of cutting-edge animation, video and motion-based art. The work is to be shown in the Denver Theatre District, corner of Champa, Friday, May 11, 8 p.m., on one of the largest, most luminous outdoor screens in the country. Ivar’s unique program contributes big time to Create Denver Week’s outstanding “Urban Encounters.”

The goal of the Denver Theatre District through SightLine is to to enhance the urban core of the city through a dynamic, constant visual art presence. Plans include regular programming of creative motion-based content on LED screens. SightLine is not just for aficionados. The happening is for anyone with a sense of adventure and a healthy interest in the different ways innovative visual stimulation conspires with technology to enhance the art world and enrich lives.

For SightLine, Ivar Zeile has gathered about 20 of Denver’s top new-media artists who created brand new images. They include Milton Croissant III, Phillip Faulkner, Joel Swanson, Quintin Gonzalez and the duo of Donald Fodness/Alvin Gregorio.

U.S. artists set to unveil new and recent works include Jonathan Monaghan, Evan Mann, Kim Pimmel, Eric Dyer, current Creative Capital grantee Karolina Sobecka, and the sensational JK Keller.

The remainder of the program is comprised of existing works by some top international talents from around the world including Berliners Reynold Reynolds and Andreas Nicolas Fischer, Oslo, Norway’s Racecar, the UK’s Tim Wheatley and Emilio Gomariz, as well as Canadians Sabrina Ratte, Alex McLeod and new media sensation Jeremy Bailey.

This group of artists would dazzle in any venue individually. Collectively, when cast large on the giant LED screen at the core of the Denver Theatre District’s unique infrastructure, well, Yowsa.

To preview SightLine, watch the following video:

SightLine is just one of the focal programs occurring May 11th for Create Denver Week’s “Urban Encounters.” The entire evening is a rare happening in the Denver community designed to promote a forward thinking, fun and ultra-creative agenda unlike any other in the country. Other programs taking place that evening only on and off the LED screen are as follows:

6-8pm SideShop: Beta @ 1600 Glenarm, Suite 110
Shop 24/7 via QR code, the SideShops are stocked with 100% locally designed goods and provides local creative businesses a platform to launch product and ideas without a large initial investment or risk. Product launches by The Clyfford Still Museum, AWKWRD, Winston Lane, Revolution Apparel, GoodApples and Create Denver.

6-8pm ThePassage @ 1600 Glenarm, Suite 110
Legwork Studio will transform the interior retail space of the SideShops into an interactive environment through a combination of projection, animation and Microsoft Kinect. Viewers can interact with the projection to change the space’s visual architecture.

7-8pm KacheOut@ 14th & Champa LED
Mode Set will transform the LED screen into an interactive gaming platform. The 2-player video game, based on the classic Breakout (1976, Atari) and Arkanoid (1986, Taito), utilizes a Microsoft Kinect infrared controller for hands-free motion interaction, featuring audio-reactive 3D graphics. Game on.

8-9pm SightLine @ 14th Champa LED
Plus Gallery and the Denver Theatre District present a luminous display of contemporary short-form video works from international pioneers of motion-based art on the LED screen, with five works by local artists commissioned specifically for the evening. The program sustains visual flow that is scopic and captivating to the senses.

8-10pm InStereo @ 16th & Champa LED
Magic Cyclops and Karla Rodriguez host flash karaoke on the 16th Street Mall’s big screen. The LED will buzz with audio reactive visuals created by local VJ CacheFlow while the community fills the air with your favorite, or not-so-favorite, songs.

To find out more about the entire Create Denver Week programming, which includes seminars and opportunities of all kinds for three days straight, visit: http://www.denvergov.org/doca/DenverOfficeofCulturalAffairs/CreateDenver/CreateDenverWeek2012/tabid/440447/Default.aspx

Note: The Denver Theatre District and Plus Gallery hosts a VIP reception on the 9th floor of the Spire across the street from the 14th and Champa LED screen that night starting at 7 pm.  You must rsvp to attend, but the reception includes an introduction to the program, drinks, food and an ideal viewing position for the LED screen and/or quick access to the street that night. Contact ivar@plusgallery.com.


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