For the second year, the 40 West Arts District hosted the Athena Project’s kick-off art show. And this year was even bigger than the last.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase women in the arts,” said Liz Black, a 40 West Arts member, at the Jan. 27 exhibit opening. “As a community arts organization, we want to be a hub for all kinds of groups in the district.”
This year’s exhibit is entitled “Point of Departure” and is on display through Feb. 12. All the works show a clear progression for each artist. Angela Astle, executive producer of Athena, explained each work was based on a previous work, which allows the viewer to see the artists’ interpretive exploration.
Curator Michele Brower selected a variety of artists, including Hobie Aldrich, Maeve Leslie and Vicky Smith. The work of students at Denver School of the Arts, Lakewood High School, George Washington High School and Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design are also on display.
“The students are at a point where they’re departing from their schools into their art careers,” Astle said.
Many of the artists, their family and friends all turned up to show their support of the show. The gallery brimmed with more than 50 people, many of whom — like Ron Abo — stopped by to simply see the art.
“I’m here because I’m a friend of one of the artists,” said Jeri, a Lakewood resident. “I think this is one of the best exhibits she’s been a part of, and I really love her photographs.”
In addition to being a dynamic exhibit, “Point of Departure” is also the kick-off for Athena’s annual festival, which will be this spring at various locations throughout Denver. The project makes this kind of work a priority, not just for women, but for everyone.
“There are women who still initial their art because they’re worried they will be judged if people know they’re a woman,” Astle said. “We want to change that.”