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Lucas Luna: Draw Your Path Opening Reception

March 21 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Open March 21 – April 14.

Art Gym is excited to present “Draw Your Path“, an upcoming  solo exhibition of new work from member Lucas Luna, on view in The Leyden Jar. Please join us and the artist for a reception on Thursday March 21 from 6-9PM. Thank you to Ratio Beerworks for providing beer for this event!

I grew up in a home where I had to fight off rats to eat my dinner. Most evenings I would eat on the floor, cross legged with a plate in front of me. All of the tables would be piled high with paintings, brushes, and frames. It was often more work than it was worth to eak out a spot for myself. So I got comfortable bent over my plate straining my eyes up to watch our little vinyl sided tube tv. I lay on the floor while mom painted and dad drew. Sometimes I would dump my legos out and make something of my own. I was comfortable, the floor was for kids, and the tables were for adults. My juvenile territoriality gave me pride in my perceived domain.

My mom was downstairs, my dad was in his studio. Spaghetti was a favorite of mine as it required only one hand to eat so I could be on my side and avoid my nightly neck kink. It is really amazing how quiet they are. They can slip into that place just outside of your awareness, slink along, and only when they grow too eager do you finally notice them. From Nose to rump it was 8 inches long, its naked tail doubling its length. 2 pounds of coarse fur accented by two oil drop eyes, a Rat. It had a single noodle in its mouth pulled from the edge of my plate. I wasn’t breathing, only my eyes had moved, we both waited for the other. It saw my finger twitch and was off like a shot, trailing sauce as its prize drug behind it. The rat  slunk back into its nest and I didn’t see it for the rest of the night. This continued for years. The rats grew in number teaching each other new tactics. None of our attempts to contain them ever worked for long. They grew so brazen it’s easy to assume that they thought we were cooking for them. One evening when I had finally graduated to having a table of my own. I was eating a pork chop when  needle sharp claws slid down my bare calf. I swatted at the beast attempting to scale me. Bending down, I tried to deal with the culprit, but it had already ran. Only to find when I looked back up, another rat had been hiding in wait having shimmied up the table leg opposite me. When I was distracted by its accomplice it scrambled on the table and grabbed my pork chop. I only saw it right before it flung the porkchop and itself off the table, hitting the ground with a wet thwap. My leg stinging, my plate empty I had to accept that I had just lost that fight completely.

My art is still heavily influenced by my experience with the rats. Our childhoods shape us into the adults we become, and so much of my time was spent at odds with those wee beasties. Only when I became an adult did I realize I should just make the rats a plate food all their own. It really makes meal time all the more manageable, though they still assume I cook for them. Like most people some of the best memories we have are of our pets. And having what could be considered a macabre pet certainly pushed me to enjoy the more ooky spooky things in this world. And even to this day while I am painting I’m still being stared at by those little oil drop eyes.

These works are illustrations. Working from a pre-existing story I draw my interpretation of its meaning. There are elements that must be included, but how they are included is up to me. And how you as the viewer ascribe their meaning is up to you. Ironically I don’t much believe in tarot. There is no power in the cards. The power comes from you as the viewer being allowed to access the full breadth of your emotion and experience through the card. The belief in magic is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. So when you look at the cards, let them reveal to you what you have already known, and if it feels like a magical coincidence, then that’s all the more fun.

This exhibition runs in conjunction with Denver’s Month of Printmaking (Mo’Print). Mo’Print is a celebration of the art of making original prints to inspire, educate and promote awareness through a variety of public events and exhibitions in Denver and the metropolitan region.


March 21
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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