With the closure of galleries due to COVID-19 — Denver artists have been forced to think outside of the box to continue to create their work. One group of artists — called ZEEL — has done just that by starting a window exhibition. Located along 1615 Platte Street on the ground floor of the Circa building, it features works by local artists for passersby to safely view from the sidewalk.
The show — titled “The Space Between: Beauty and Release for a Separated Community” — intends to bring about a sense of unity and connection in an age where physical isolation is crucial. Dana Barak is one of the artists of ZEEL.
“At a time when people are quarantining at home with no end in sight, we wanted to bring a little beauty and share a sense of release and emotional connection through personal expression to those who live or work in the area,” Barak said. “It was also a way to give back to the artist community that had been stopped in its tracks by the pandemic.”
The show features around 20 works. Some of the pieces are photographs, others are paintings — but they are all 2-D pieces that are easily viewed from a safe distance. The works are related to today’s pandemic. Some invoke feelings of connection and hope, while others — such as “Nobody told me there would be days like this” by Dana Barak — present feelings of melancholy. The exhibition features art by Eric Anderson, Dana Barak, Michael Dowling, Brett Fox, Carmen Richards, Brett Matarazzo and other guest artists. The show is visible to those walking down Platte Street — but make sure to turn the corner and walk towards the Highland Bridge to view even more.
While the new exhibition benefits various local artists — the show will also aid the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) by donating 50% of profits from any art sales. Not only is May considered Mental Health Awareness Month, but ZEEL also recognizes the ways in which physical isolation can affect mental health in today’s world.
“Throughout the pandemic, MHCD has remained a vital resource in responding to the added mental health challenges created by social distancing,” Barak said. “During a time of heightened need for mental wellness, we thought MHCD would be a perfect compliment to what we are trying to achieve.”
If viewers are interested in purchasing any of the displayed works — they can contact the artists directly through contact information listed by each piece. ZEEL shared that the gallery will remain up indefinitely, and hope that more people will be able to view the exhibition as it becomes safer to do so. They ask that viewers remain six feet apart while viewing the art from the sidewalk.
Photos by Barbara Urzua