If you’ve been to RiNo recently, you’ve probably noticed a decked out shipping container in the parking lot across from The Ramble Hotel. It’s called The Art Can and it’s a revolving studio and gallery space for Denver-based artists to use for a few weeks at a time. When it went up, in July this year, the first four artists were already chosen. Now, The Art Can acts as a pop-up residency, where artists can apply for a spot. And two very different artists are taking over the shipping container this November, kicking off a hopefully successful future for this little artistic incubator in the heart of RiNo.
The first artist, who will open to the public this Friday, November 1, is Pol Corona. Corona is an internationally-recognized street artist who curated the Sullair Cultura in Buenos Aires — a massive display of urban art — as well as painting more than 35 murals himself. He’ll stay in The Art Can until November 10 — leaving only four chances to stop in and see his work since the hours are only 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Corona was born in the South of France and spent his teenage years in Madrid, where he found his passion for traditional graffiti. He moved to Buenos Aires in 2004, meeting the first generation of Argentine graffiti artists who he started painting with. Eventually, he came to Denver to paint a few murals, including one on the Cherry Creek Bike Path for the Urban Arts Fund. Now, he lives and works in Denver, expanding on his mural work as well as his studio work.
The next artist is Ashley Joon, who will take over from November 15 to 24. Joon grew up moving around the US a lot and spent time in the corporate world out of college.She participated in CRUSH WALLS for the first time this year and it certainly appears as if Denver will see many more of her ethereal murals on other walls, whether they are inside buildings or out on the streets.
When Corona opens on Friday, viewers will walk into a show called Empathy. In it and through his studio work on plywood, with woodcutting and in other mediums, Corona will express the ideas of empathy through children and their interactions with the world around them. Corona’s work is based on simple imagery that likens itself to the aesthetics of graphic design or digital art while still retaining a folksy and hand-drawn feel. He’s known for using recurring images of boyish faces, houses and little towns in his work, and the color palette relies on blues, greens and browns most often. For him, these colors and repeated symbols are his own way of depicting the relationship between humans and nature, as well as the simplicity of just being. This show at The Art Can will also feature two collaborative pieces Corona made with Bonnie Gregory who is a metal fabricator, along with collages, small sculptures and paintings.
After Corona packs up, Joon will transform the little space into her own. She testifies that she found herself after seven hard years of studio practice. That essence is expressed through fluttery floral patterns that encapsulate the delicate and endearing characteristics of flowers as metaphors for grace, longing, happiness and more. Her use of non-traditional painting techniques brings movement into her paintings, and the flowers always seem to be captured in their most rapturous moment. If, after visiting her studio and gallery spot between November 15 and 24, you want to check out some of her murals, visit the following locations in Denver: The Garden at The Ramble Hotel, the alley between Larimer and Walnut on 26th Street, Hazel Art Bar and Charley Co.
Both artists will undoubtedly bring their own personalities to The Art Can, and some much needed colorful art to the month of November. Since the number of chances to stop in while the doors are open is limited — only Friday and Saturdays — make sure you don’t put it off. It’s one of the best ways to support local artists in a neighborhood where the art on the walls is almost always free to enjoy.
The Art Can is located at 1280 25th Street, next to Cart Driver and across from The Ramble Hotel. It is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m.