Opening Reception

May 3 2024

6:00 pm


Apr 19 2024 - May 4 2024

Artist and Gallerist W. Max Thomason celebrates 10 years of Bitfactory with Solo Exhibition

Owner and curator W. Max Thomason is delighted to be marking the 10th anniversary of establishing Bitfactory, the creative hub at 851 Santa Fe Drive which houses artist studios and an art gallery. Also, a working artist, Thomason is embracing the opportunity to feature his new collection of paintings in a solo exhibition entitled Bespoke, on view April 19 through May 4, 2024. Much of the work features detailed urban settings focusing on a singular figure that activates and enlivens the scene. The public is invited to an Opening Night Celebration on Friday, April 19 from 6 to 9 pm and to stop in during the May First Friday Art Walk or during regular gallery hours.

Finally able to concentrate on painting again after several years of personal loss and tumultuous life changes, Thomason found a respite and renewed enjoyment in his creative practice resulting in the body of work that makes up this exhibition. Some subjects in the pieces are observed unaware, moving through the cityscape by day, or quietly lit by the signs and streetlights after dark. The female figures in other works feel enveloped by the darkness and conjure a more haunting side of urban life. Whether mundane or mysterious, each work strives to evoke a particular mood and moment in time.

Visitors to Bitfactory often express their thrill to have discovered the gallery and the gallerist, both an unexpected presence in a district full of art businesses. Thomason with his streetwear style, sturdy muscular physique, striking grey beard and smooth head, invokes bar-bouncer vibes. His “look” however, is in clear contrast to his calm, reserved demeanor and the meticulous space curated with contemporary shows that range from unique and “edgy” to more traditional themes and mediums.

He opened Bitfactory Studios in 2014 and launched Bitfactory Gallery in 2015 with his own solo show, Focused Background Noise. In 2016 he featured famed, fashion photographer Gary Wallis and he is proud to have been able to maintain a reputation that attracts well-known artists while still offering plenty of opportunity for emerging creatives who may not be a good fit for other spaces. He is not afraid to confront issues such as domestic violence, as with A.L. Lummus’s well-receivedMettle Martyr exhibitions, or to showcase the beautifully ingenious Chastity Couture sculptures of renowned artist Ira Sherman. He is recognized as an ally and offers a welcoming space for queer artists and pride-themed exhibitions. Thomason looks back with equal esteem at an exhibition of student work from Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School—his only to fully sell out—and a pop-up show by May Pang featuring photographs during her The Lost Weekend with John Lennon. Other highlights have been the all-digital art show with Firm Graphics and the privilege of hosting an intimate concert with the iconic jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.

An artist at his core, Thomason spent years as a full-time musician, drumming and touring with bands such as Carolyn’s Mother and Ten Cent Redemption and working as a DJ at local clubs and raves. In 2011 he switched his focus back to visual art in which he was formally educated and rented a studio above the antique store on 8th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive. He soon discovered that he missed the collaborative environment of an active, engaged group of artists that he enjoyed in art school. Always up to the challenge of creating something out of nothing, when the building at 851 Santa Fe went up for sale in 2014, he jumped at the chance to develop the artist studio community he wanted to be a part of. He took advantage of the prime store-front space and went into the gallery business as a bit of an afterthought, learning the ins and outs along the way. He is proud to have built meaningful relationships, earned a level of respect, and fostered an environment of inclusivity and fun not only for himself but for his tenants and exhibiting artists.

W. Max Thomason is a contemporary painter whose work style encompasses the genres of realism and abstraction. His early influences as a painter can be attributed to the work of the Fauvists & American Realists of the 60’s & 70’s. He studied studio art from 1990-97 at Metropolitan State University/University of Colorado at Denver under the guidance of the likes of Amy Métier & Robert Mangold. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums, nationally and internationally, and is featured on album covers for the bands Carolyn’s Mother and Mike River.

Bitfactory Gallery, located at 851 Santa Fe Drive in the heart of Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, exhibits work by the best emerging and up-and-coming local, national, and international visual artists, striving to showcase art that may not be a good fit for other galleries. They also host one major or renowned artist a year, bringing new and exciting work to Denver. The building also houses Bitfactory Studios with the vision of providing a helpful, friendly working atmosphere for artists and the Garage at Bitfactory, a pop-up gallery space available to rent in one-, three-, or seven-day blocks. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 4 p.m. and by appointment. For additional information please contact Bill Thomason at info@bitfactory.net or (303) 862-9367 or visit www.bitfactory.net. They can be found on Facebook and Instagram @bitfactorygallery and on X at @bitfactoryg