As we age in human experience, we learn the world is an inherently heavy place. War is unfortunately a part of the human experience, genocide happens before our eyes, we witness homelessness as a symptom of capitalism, and there is a longer list of reasons why this world can be so very grim. Many things can be true at once. This can also be a time where we experience glimmers of peace and moments of joy. Despite it all, I Just Wanna Have Fun. A show about wanting to turn it all off. A craving for laughter and lighthearted moments with friends. A time capsule where everything bad stops for a brief moment. This show is a time to get lost in fanciful nuance, a lack of critical thought, where what is will just be. Ephemera, paint, and found material come together to play and just have fun.
Moe Gram is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Denver, and works on a diverse array of mediums that include painting, mural, collage, and installation. Gram graduated from California State University Bakersfield with a major in Visual Arts and a minor in Cultural
Studies with a focus in Italian Culture, during which she participated in a 6 month museum studies and studio arts program in Florence, Italy.
Gram’s work involves themes of identity, empathy, human connection, and self reflection. Immediately upon viewing her work, you are met with a boom of vivid colors, movement, noise, and texture that settles into a controlled and intentional vibration. The viewer’s eyes harmoniously dance across the piece along the lines and curves of her brush strokes, and end on the powerful, simple message at its core. The beauty of Gram’s work is beyond the aesthetics of her carefully curated color palette, and found within her request of encouraging the viewer to dig deeper within themselves. This is illustrated in her mural for Black Love Mural Festival in 2020, a recent example of Gram’s social justice work; inspired by her personal experience, observation, and self reflection, she presented a potent message of empathy. The audience contemplates the meaning of empathy, how it pertains to the self, and what it truly means to extend empathy to others.
Her dedication to social justice is integrated into her work with the Denver community and youth. Gram, a mentor and educator, is involved in numerous youth collaborations and community-building organizations, with notable projects like Our Voice, Our Views, Our Vote (PlatteForum Art Lab), Here is Our Heart (Boettcher Boys and Girls Club), and Our lives, Our growth (Elevation Ability Services). Her passion for community and social change led to Gram’s participation in Babe Walls 2020, a mural festival celebrating women and non-binary folk; her involvement was a firm reminder to a male-dominated community that their permission and acceptance was never needed.
From works on canvas to installations and murals, Moe Gram’s work is distinctive, engaging, and thoughtful. Through her signature color palette, messaging, and use of juxtaposition, Gram’s work encourages the viewer to absorb and reflect- for the betterment of oneself and collectively for us all.
Join us at Alto Gallery (1900 35th St. Suite B, Denver, 80216) First Friday, January 5, 6 – 10 PM, for the opening reception of I Just Wanna Have Fun featuring new works by Denver-based artist Moe Gram. Artist in attendance. On view January 5 – 27, 2024.