Modern Habitat: Building Energetic Spaces

Dairy Arts Center

September 5 - October 13, 2019

  • Featuring Will Day, Margie Criner, Davis Arney, Mike Homner, Arch11, Workshop 8, Pyatt Studio, HMH Architecture + Interiors, Renée del Gaudio Architecture, Sopher Sparn Architects & Housefish
  • In partnership with Month of Modern & EFFA Opening Reception: Thursday, September 5 from 5-8 pm
  • For more information, please visit:
dairy Margie Criner - King for a Day

The month of September in the Boulder architecture world is synonymous to the ‘Month of Modern’ (MoM) as coined by local architecture firm, HMH Architecture + Interiors. Established in 2014, this month serves as a “celebration of architecture, design, lifestyle, art, and culture”, as expressed by MoM’s mission statement. In response to these creative causes for celebration, the visual arts curator at the Dairy Arts Center, Jessica Kooiman Parker, has developed an exhibition titled ‘Modern Habitat’.

The work on view is inherently a self-reflection on the artists’ individual values and beliefs within their work and home life, chasing multiple viewpoints, highlighting failures, or challenging affluent domesticity. The exhibitions consider the constant, yet hard to define way in which we build our personal spaces - whether we seek help from others to design and build a structure, or simply relish our ability to acquire objects to fill our space. We build our homes with the desire for stability, but with it comes the complexities, anxieties, and contradictions of contemporary life.

Dairy Arts Center
2590 Walnut St
Boulder, CO. 80302


As an ode to this month of celebration, the title of the show inherently encompasses the sensation that is modern architecture; But more broadly, it houses even deeper human notions and emotion such as memory, reflection, even nostalgia and our own existence within spaces. For what would modern life look like and how would it differ without the architectural structures that literally and figuratively house our lives? And what if we didn’t have any home at all? The exhibition uses the fabulousness that is MoM as a platform to invite a perspective that expands beyond modern architecture and addresses the phenomenon of homelessness. Particularly within the Boulder County area with a series of photographs by Mike Homner and a display inviting visitors to learn more about the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFFA).

Human connection to spaces has informed the latest works created by former architect-turned-modern painter, Will Day. His new pieces, made special for this show, reveal his latest creative endeavor of the de-construction of his current art practice. He is embracing the value of ‘the line’ as a reference to and reflection of his days as an architect. As he shifts from a painting practice previously tailored to the narratives of his clients, Day now embraces the storytelling of his own creative spirit. This ‘remodeling’ of sorts has manifested itself in the form of a newly placed emphasis upon process as opposed to final product. The pieces titled ‘Red Lines’ and ‘Red Lines II’, each a product of Day’s method for brainstorming as one might do in a sketchbook, became the initial “footprint” (for the architecturally inclined) which laid the foundation for his other succeedingly new works. Day’s free-handed motion, abstracted forms and shapes, even his color choices- namely his use of red, each communicate an overtly Picasso-inspired flare.

The strength of this collection of work lies within its expansive function as a space for the presentation of ideas and open conversation -- not unlike the ideal of a safe home. This is showcased by the wide array of ideas presented by ‘Modern Habitat’. For example, Davis Arney’s work reflects upon the cultural appropriation and liberal affluence around which he grew up. For him, the home represents the optimal space in which these localized phenomena are revealed and showcased. Whereas Margie Criner’s “interior narratives” are overtly more playful as she exhibits her intrigue as piqued by sci-fi, the 60s, and everyday life. The show also provides insight to what drives local architects and ranges from Renee del Gaudio’s philosophy of maximum experience with minimal impact to long-established architect Harvey Hine who believes that great architecture transcends style and trend, and is both modern and timeless.

The Dairy Arts Center will serve as the kickoff venue for this special month, starting on September 4 from 6-9pm with what has been dubbed by the minds at MoM, a ‘Fuckup Night’. This night will consist of light-hearted and honest storytelling of failures’ past from a panel of local professionals.

The following night, September 5 from 5-8 pm, is the official opening reception for Modern Habitat. At 6 pm a brief introduction of the artists will be made by the curator. The reception is an opportunity to meet and mingle with the artists and curators. Live music, light fare for attendees, plus drinks available for purchase. All receptions are free and open to the public.

On September 11-15, the Boedecker Theatre presents Eileen Gray, a chronological look at the life and creative drive of Eileen Gray (1878-1976), the female Irish artisan and architect.