Trippy art might be just what the “doctor” ordered this Friday, and there’s an art show to fill that prescription. Local artist collectives Threyda and APEX are partnering with the local provider of Funktion One speakers, Cosmic Synergy to throw a 420 party at Artwork Network, bringing together 30 artists, six musicians and virtual reality projection mapping. Along with traditional canvas paintings on display, the gallery plans to showcase glass artists (fitting for the ‘holiday’), 3D artists and three large murals.
The event, titled Confluence is focused on the act of collaboration, of merging, which means the works of art on display have been created by multiple artists together. With a powerhouse of talent, this show is a must-see for anyone interested in mind-altering art.
Threyda — founded by Peter Westermann originally in Wisconsin almost a decade ago — has made a home and a name for itself in Denver since 2016, when Westermann moved here because the majority of his online sales came from Colorado (or California). Though it serves as an artist collective, with over 25 contributing members, it has also gained a popular following with its intensely-colored clothing designs. Unlike other artist collectives, which might accept many varying styles, Threyda has a specific theme that connects its members — psychedelia. Within that theme, notes of surrealism, sacred geometry and abstraction highlight the overall feeling that these artists have been to other dimensions and are able to repeat their experience through paint.
Android Jones — the “pop-Shamanistic” painter with a cult following, especially when he live paints during concerts — is one of the more notable artists to have work at Confluence. Jones recently was invited to hang a piece at the Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. for the show No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. Another is beeple (Mike Winkelmann), a videographer who released a series of live visuals used by electronic acts such as deadmau5, Skrillex, Avicii, Zedd, Taio Cruz, Tiësto, Amon Tobin, Wolfgang Gartner, and Flying Lotus, among others.
Composed of Jake Amason, Stephen Kruse and Zach Jackson, APEX is the other artist collective hosting the event and thrives on psychedelic-inspired visuals, though these artists tend to favor a more sci-fi look.
In addition to the artists from both Threyda and APEX, Confluence will feature some out-of-state visitors like Cerebral Concepts — a 3D printing company that creates installations for music festivals, among other projects. For the show, Cerebral Concepts, Ben Ridgway (one of Threyda’s 3D artists) and Amason from APEX partnered to create several sculptural elements, a welcomed and dynamic reprieve from the purely painted visuals that you may lose yourself in.
And the partnerships and mind-bending art don’t stop there. Local digital artist Zac Layman (BiN4RY) from Alt Ethos, nationally-known Jonathan Singer and Steven Hayman have created mapped projections for the murals — or, in other words, live visual effects to play over the paint. Layman’s been working on live projections in Denver for a few years now, and their popularity at electronic shows are growing, as audiences crave more and more sensory stimuli.
However, adding the element of a professionally painted mural beneath the digital visuals creates a different experience than what you might see on a screen behind a DJ. Falling in line with the concept of convergence, these mural projections combine the skill of both analog and digital, at the same time they combine stationary with animation. The murals that will be overlaid with digital effects have been painted by multiple artists at Confluence, each taking up twenty-by-sixteen feet of wall space.
With so many artists, it’s hard to pinpoint who to be most excited for. Anna Charney — the painter-turned-street-artist with a growing list of murals around town, including a corner of the main CRUSH parking lot on Larimer Street in RiNo last year. Or Gemma Danielle — a certified Reiki Master instructor, mom and incredible painter of mandalas that pierce your soul. Or Abram Aleo — a painter, muralist and writer with a penchant for portraits and abstraction. But the beauty of Confluence is that you actually can’t just choose one artist to appreciate — the works will be a merging of styles, techniques and subject matter. Like a confluence of streams into a river, it will be obvious where the artists merge, but it will be less obvious how they were ever apart.
Though the 2D art will be on view at Artwork Network for a week after Friday, the event on 4/20 will be special because it’ll include glass artists like Banjo Glass, Alex Ubatuba and Goolen, food from Soultribe Cuisine and six music acts to provide a fitting soundtrack to visitors mind-expanding artistic journey.
Resonant Language, bioLuMigen, Cloud-D, Dillard and Silas Neptune will each take a spin before turning the night over to Mindex — a “jazzmental” producer who fuses jazz sounds (like piano, flute and horns) with extraterrestrial-esque electronic beats. Avid fans of electrotrance or glitchhop can rejoice with this lineup, and more so, with this lineup playing through Funktion One speakers, thanks to Cosmic Synergy.
The 420 event is free and open to the public, but there are special tickets available for those who want some special offerings that will not be released after the party. With the special ticket, you’ll get a pendant designed by Ben Ridgway, inclusion in a raffle to win an original painting and an exclusive art print. Show up anytime between 3 p.m. and midnight on Friday for a taste of this psychedelia-infused art show, or check out the paintings and murals at Artwork Network until Friday, April 27, 2018.
This event will be at Artwork Network, at 878 Santa Fe Drive, Denver. For more information and to buy special tickets, visit this website.