Nov 302011
Authors: Alan Perry

This Friday, the GNU Gallery in Old Town is hosting something that’s less of an art show and more of an art experience.

Elena Stonaker, a CSU alumnus who graduated in 2009, and a group of six other artists from Denver have taken over the space and installed a plenitude of art, all centered around the concept that it takes its name from: “Dissonance/Consonance.”

It is about duality, chaos and tranquility. Featuring artists who are considered some of the best emerging artists in Colorado, such as Milton Melvin Croissant III, Matt Scobey and Mario Zoots, the show promises to be a tour de force where disparate elements combine.

In typical GNU fashion, the event on Friday will feature live music, this time played with projections from the Audio Visual Violence Club. Alphabets and Milton Melvin Croissant III will play the music and offer up a rich, digital cacophony that will counterbalance Astral Glamour’s flute-and-vocals musical musings.

But what’s going to be really interesting is the art. Elena Stonaker will have a series of murals painted onto the walls, which is a departure from her usual ink-on-paper drawings.

Both the esotericism and spirituality of her drawings have transferred extremely well to the walls, and in some ways, embody the whole theme of the show. When I went to the gallery to talk with her, only one of the murals was complete. But it was enough to carry my optimism. An interpretation of the Hindu goddess Kali is both resolutely beautiful and eerily haunting, while still retaining a mysterious, enigmatic character.

In addition to the gallery of murals, the center of the space will be dominated by a yurt that can be entered by the audience as an area to “escape” the more chaotic art. This, with exquisite and fragile-cut paper works by Brittany Gould, will provide the peaceful part of the show. On the opposite end of the spectrum, will be three video works that will offer an experience unlike the other elements of the show.

The entire show focuses on issues and concepts that are unique to our generation. Founded on a collaborative D.I.Y. aesthetic, this show is about experiencing art outside of traditional institutions. In the Information Age, more and more art is being viewed online, with the audience never interacting with either the artist or the actual art object. Many of the artists are forerunners in a new medium as well.

The moment when digital art begins to stretch out and walk on its own legs is here, and this show is an opportunity to look behind an Internet curtain at the artists pulling the levers.

It’s also an opportunity to see what Denver’s underground art scene has to offer, as many of the artists are from Rhinoceropolis, a hodgepodge art and music venue near the intersection of I-25 and I-70.

The show will be up throughout December, but this Friday will be the only chance to see it with all of the artists in attendance.
Local art columnist Alan Perry can be reached at

What: “Dissonance/Consonance”

Who: CSU alumnus Elena Stonaker and six other artists from Denver
Where: GNU Gallery in Old Town

When: Opening night is Friday, and the show will run throughout December

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