The final Friday of each month heralds a night when the Denver Art Museum (DAM) is taken over by creatives. After regular business hours, the DAM stays open later and allows a group of artists to reinvent the space for one night only. This series is called Untitled because each one is different than the one before it, and the artists featured in the event are responsible for providing the theme. This coming Friday is a special one as it’s the last one of 2018 and local favorite Thomas “Detour” Evans is the mastermind behind it.
Evans has been a creative presence in Denver for over a decade. Back then, his work was largely inspired by the worlds of breakdancing and the hip-hop. Almost five years ago, he started painting more regularly and began venturing into the street art world, producing colorful portraits that turned heads. The last few years have marked an especially productive time for Evans, with artist residencies at RedLine, The Temple and even the DAM. This year alone, he traveled to two different countries to participate in foreign residencies — one in France and the other in Argentina. To top everything off, he was asked to paint portraits of David Letterman and Jay-Z for Letterman’s Netflix original TV series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Needless to say, Evans is a more than appropriate choice for the final Final Friday of this year.
Themed “Fool’s Gold,” visitors will have a chance to hear art and look at music this Friday during Evans’ creative takeover. And no, that’s not a typo. Evans’ studio work has focused largely on combining or hybridizing sound and paintings — a marriage of two things he personally has a passion for — to create a new interactive way of enjoying art.
His methodology engages everything from using sensors inside canvases to fabricating wall-sized guitar strings that pair with pre-recorded sounds and more. At the event, Evans will invite you and others to create art using his art.
For the DAM takeover, Evans will collaborate with local musicians CRL CRLL and Felix Fast Forward to present a curated example of this synergistic approach to music and art. Then, starting at 8:30 p.m., visitors will have the chance to make Evans’ paintings sing using a new technology created by a local company, Specdrums. In order to find out exactly what that means — after all, part of the theme of “Fool’s Gold” is that not everything is what it seems — you’ll have to go see and hear for yourself.
Untitled Final Fridays at the DAM also include a host of other events for after-hour visitors. To fit into the “Fool’s Gold” theme, the first-floor studio will have all the supplies and assistance for people to create prints using real gold ink. Although you won’t be able to take the prints home, they will be displayed for all to see and you’ll be able to say you’ve displayed art in the DAM. On the second level, visitors can paint and add their mark to a mural. The project will be organized by artist Becky Wearing Steel and will be an attempt to break the Guinness world record for biggest mural. On the third level, listen to poetry and other live readings from R.Alan Brooks, Hakeen Furious and Toluwanimi Obiwole. Throughout the evening there will also be guided tours with a twist. Coined “Authentic Art Tours,” these will most likely not be the educational lecture of an art docent, but rather a search to find out “where the truth lies,” according to the event page.
Creative takeovers are a wonderful way to explore the DAM, especially when the creative who is taking over is such a pivotal figure in the local art community. Don’t miss your chance to see and hear Evans’ experimental and experiential art — and look out for “tricks and treats” throughout the museum (a hint given on the Facebook page) — this Friday, October 26. Admission to Untitled is the price of regular admission and the event runs from 6 to 10 p.m.
Want to see some of Evans’ work around Denver? Check out the gallery below.