Code Blue: The Ocean Exhibition Features Artwork Inspired by the Ocean

View this beautiful ocean exhibit at the Niza Knoll Gallery this June through August
Judygardner Laislabonita

Photo courtesy of Judy Gardner

The Ocean is the cornerstone of Earth’s life support system. It covers 70% of the planet, contains 97% of the water, and produces 50% of the oxygen. It shapes climate and weather and is home to a vast array of living organisms. In a hospital setting, Code Blue is the term for cardiac or respiratory arrest that requires immediate, lifesaving care—a fitting way to describe the state of the world’s oceans and marine life. The heart and lungs of our planet are in a state of emergency.

Victoria Eubank Blueswirlfish

Photo courtesy of Victoria Eubank

Niza Knoll Gallery at 915 Santa Fe Drive, in collaboration with seven local artists, presents, Code Blue: The Ocean, an exhibition featuring artwork inspired by the ocean, marine life, and coral reefs. The show runs in conjunction with National Ocean Month in the U.S. with World Ocean Day recognized globally each year on June 8th, both with the aim to educate about and organize around ocean conservation. The public is invited to view the show from June 9 through August 13, 2023, during regular business hours, Thursday through Sunday 1-4 pm, and during the following special events:

Friday, June 16, 5-8 pm: Meet the Artists Reception

Sunday, August 6, 2-3 pm: Conversation and stories about coral reefs by Shari Regenbogen Ross, Artist and “Coral Crusader”.

Art will be for sale in the gallery and online.

The exhibiting artists are Victoria Eubanks, Judy Gardner, Deborah Jang, Shari Regenbogen, Bonnie Ferrill Roman, Rik Sargent and Caitlin Zeller.

Rik Sargent Coral Reef

Photo courtesy of Rik Sargent

Victoria Eubanks will present an installation that represents a little room filled with “ocean”, containing sheer panels hung like laundry from clotheslines. The panels display simple representations of fish and coral; they are soft and drapey, continually undulating like the sea, interrupted by panels of opaque printed paper, that light does not pass through and that do not belong in the sea. She primarily paints with encaustic medium but is also a printmaker and a photographer. Eubanks is a passionate and popular teacher of these mediums and has been included in over 60 exhibitions and hangs in numerous private and corporate collections.

Judy Gardner’s knowledge of technology is linked with a passion for traditional art methods, which equates to artworks that not only duplicate but exemplify nature. Her artwork explores her deep personal connection with the Earth fed by her training as a shaman. Natural forms weave a dance between abstraction and representation, always seeking to convey a sense of mystery and metaphysical intrigue. Gardner earned a BFA in Graphic Design at Northern Arizona University and a Masters in Humanities focusing on sculpture and theater design at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Denver-based artist Deborah Jang has been making assemblage sculpture for over 25 years. For this show she has assembled a colorful school of wall-mounted fish sculptures made from miscellaneous materials that have been left over, cast off, and repurposed.

Bonnie Ferrill Roman Fecundity Duet 1

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Ferrill Roman

Rik Sargent is a sculptor whose relationship to ocean-related artworks is part of a larger commitment to water as a subject of study and inspiration. Three of his large bronze sculptures are on public display in Denver and tell the story of our relationship to water as a resource. His work for this show includes selected coral reef compositions. Sargent has a unique talent for creating sculpture that relates to its environment and his pieces can be found in public spaces throughout Colorado as well as in private collections.

Bonnie Ferrill Roman is a Colorado-based mixed-media sculptor, installation artist, and digital photographer. The ceramic works she has created for this exhibition are based on the forms and colors of coral reefs, before and after bleaching has occurred; the acrylic drawings and mixed-media pieces symbolically mark that transition. The goal is to evoke the beauty of the coral reefs and raise awareness about the catastrophic changes taking place in our warming oceans that are affecting these ancient structures, in hopes of sparking action to reverse climate change and save them.

Deborahjang Bushy Eyed

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jang

Denver-based artist, Shari Regenbogen Ross, has been honing her skills as a fine art photographer and collage and assemblage artist for decades. Her pieces in this show compare land-based plants with corals—beautiful colonies of underwater animals currently in peril due to climate change. Born and raised near the Atlantic Ocean she has become a “Coral Crusader”, actively working with international projects on coral restoration and education. She was a presenter at TEDx Hickory in North Carolina on Earth Day 2023.

Caitlin Zeller aims to draw viewers in so that they stop and linger, searching for hidden details, to inspire awe for the splendid ecosystems that are rapidly disappearing. Her pieces evolve organically, slowly growing stitch by stitch. Incorporating yarn, thread, metal, beads, and found objects, she weaves the soft and hard together into a single, imagined reef. Originally from Ohio, Caitlin received her BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University with concentrations in Metalsmithing and Ceramics.

Niza Knoll Gallery is at 915 Santa Fe Drive in Denver’s popular Art District on Santa Fe and specializes in intriguing conceptual exhibits featuring work by local and regional artists. They participate in the districtwide First Friday, Third Friday, and Sundays on Santa Fe events in addition to hosting private concerts, and guest speakers associated with the exhibitions. The Mix Co-op in the back of the gallery features eight local artists and is open during regular hours. Visit for the most up-to-date gallery hours and events.

Categories: Art & Design