Three Works By Colorado Artists To See At The Arvada Center’s ‘Art Of The State’ Show

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<p>(Corey H. Jones/CPR News)</p>
<p>Mark Lunning stands inside Open Press, his Denver printmaking shop and gallery, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016.</p>

Denver printmaker Mark Lunning draws equal inspiration from science, the environment and his home city. And it clearly shows in one of his latest works, "Activity of Entropy."

The piece is one of 148 chosen by a jury for the second "Art of the State" exhibition at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. The massive show features works by more than 120 Colorado artists. In it, you'll see everything from traditional ceramics to a self-portrait made of Rice Krispies and clothes to a psychedelic computer game that you can play.

Juror Collin Parson, who is a curator at the Arvada Center, told Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel that he hopes "Art of the State" pushes Colorado's artists to grow. Parson also talked about three pieces from the show.

'Activities Of Entropy' by Mark Lunning

Photo: &#039;Activities Of Entropy&#039; By Mark Lunning
A 2015 etching titled "Activities Of Entropy" by Colorado artist Mark Lunning.

“It’s an abstracted image of a cityscape with vines flowing and circles, ovals and stripes floating to create a lyrical movement throughout the piece,” the artist said. “Entropy is how everything comes from the earth and it gets made into things and then eventually it deteriorates and goes back to the earth. We don’t actually know how it happens but there’s a magical moment, and I’m presenting a visual interpretation of what that could look like.”

"An artist like Mark is unique in the sense of not only is he a wonderful artist himself, but he works with many wonderful artists," Parson said. "He is the master of what he does, a master printmaker. The idea that he's supporting Colorado artists with what he does is really important."

'Rhinos And Sea Anemones Fighting' by Nicole Banowetz

Photo: &#039;Rhinos And Sea Anemones Fighting&#039; By Nicole Banowetz
A 2015 inflatable sculpture called "Rhinos And Sea Anemones Fighting" by Colorado artist Nicole Banowetz.

"Nicole Banowetz created these inflatable organisms or structures. She basically has fabric and sews tubes and creates these things she blows air into. This one is of two rhinos looking at each other. It is probably eight feet wide by six feet high by four feet deep. It is probably one of the largest sculptures we have. One of the goals was to try to include as much media as we can."

'St. Fortitude' by Kevin Sloan (Winner of Best In Show)

Photo: &#039;St. Fortitude&#039; By Kevin Sloan
Kevin Sloan's 2015 painting "St. Fortitude" won the "Best In Show" award at the Arvada Center's "Art Of The State" exhibition.

"The seal is very well-crafted, but then its skin is graffitied," Parson said. "It makes you kind of stop and wonder what is going on. It kind of adds that other depth and dimension of that piece. The craft behind it, his technique is spot on. His works are very wonderful and whimsical. There's a lot of narrative and content, deeper meaning rather than just a picture of a seal. It just felt right to not only myself but the other jurors, [Denver Public Art program manager] Michael Chavez and [Denver Art Museum curator of modern art] Gwen Chanzit, to select it."