There’s never a dull moment at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities.
January kicked off the rePOPulated: Contemporary perspectives on pop art, featuring solo shows by Phil Bender & Sean O’Meallie. Other participating POP artists include Tony Ortega, Louis Recchia, Floyd D. Tunson, Margaret Kasahara.
“Art in America,” by Louis Recchia
To add ‘original pop art’ to the list of artists, the Center successfully procured original pop art from the CU Art Museum. This addition gives visitors a sprinkling of art by the pioneers of POP: Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud and Andy Warhol.
Walking through the galleries gave me goose bumps. There it was. Pop art 2014-2015, by our artists. The influence was there. The visual experience had all the essential elements to wow you, whether it was created fifty years ago or months ago.
“Thank You for Your Business,” by Mark Penner-Howell
Upstairs, the galleries featured the work of Phil Bender and Sean O’Meallie. Phil and Sean, are well-known Colorado contemporary artists who brought together a combination of colorful whimsey and vintage symbolism.
The Center was also showing the vintage stage production of “Harvey” by Mary Chase, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Denver native. The beloved author was born & raised in West Denver and was intrigued by the silly, social standards of the city in the 1940’s. Especially as she became more acquainted with central Denver and the Capitol Hill, Quality Hill areas where she lived and worked before her phenomenal success as a playwright.
I always wanted to see “Harvey” on stage and Arvada has created a delightfully funny and chaotic stage romp with Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend Harvey. The audience had a great time with the timeless, clever, Chase dialogue as Elwood, etc., turned Capitol Hill into an afternoon of drink induced misunderstandings and Keystone Cops frenzy.
There were references to Charley’s Bar, and the Fire House on 1st (Speer). I left Arvada determined to find 1443 Gaylord Street, Elwood’s house, in my neighborhood. I looked, but found no large potted ferns on the veranda, no sign of Elwood P. Dowd, no sister, nor, was friend Harvey anywhere in sight.