Top

blog

Stories

 

Freaky DIA Mustang sculpture makes a great T-shirt in which to read angry poetry rants

ColorfulColorado.jpg
Blucifer gets fashionable.

As evidenced by this awesome T-shirt design, Denver graphic artist Jake Miller has found true inspiration in the recent hubbub over the scary/beautiful Mustang sculpture at Denver International Airport.

Expect to spot a few of his screen prints being worn tonight at the Westword-sponsored Fresh City Life poetry reading devoted to ol' DIAblo.

But for all that is holy, just don't look into his red laser beam eyes!!

You can also score a shirt directly at Big Fish Screen Printing.

Hunt for psychedelic poster thieves leads Denver Police to... Englewood?

postertheif1 .JPG
Museum officials are thinking of renaming this display, "The Meaningless Rectangular Void."

The slicing and theft of two hippie-era concert poster reprints from a temporary cloth wall in front of the Denver Art Museum two weeks ago wasn't quite the art crime of the century. But it certainly qualifies as a bad trip for patrons heading into the mind-bending Hamilton wing to check out Psychedelic Experience exhibit. One of the snatched Experience ads was a 1967 poster by artist Wes Wilson for a Moby Grape show at San Francisco's Winterland auditorium. But now, where art once rocked are gaping rectangular holes.

Total buzz kill, man!

Aging hippies, relax. A Denver Police detective has been assigned to the case -- and apparently the two suspects were so high on life they didn't notice the surveillance camera attached to the side of the museum.

Super speedy artist working at Andenken Gallery!

Here is a cool timelapse video showing the complete installation of "No Anunciar," the current show at Andenken Gallery.

The 22-feet-by-16-feet wall is a collaboration between Ian Millard, Michael Ortiz and Jon Lamb. Check it out in person until April 24th.

Cathey McClain Finlon named Denver Art Museum president; director Lewis Sharp to retire in two years

cathey finlon.jpg
Cathey McClain Finlon.

The head of the Denver Art Museum's board of trustees, Frederic C. Hamilton, announced this afternoon that longtime boardmember Cathey McClain Finlon will become the institution's interim president. She is charged with developing long-term planning for the museum and, more tellingly, is expected to facilitate finding a replacement for Lewis Sharp, the DAM's longtime director, who has indicated that he hopes to retire within the next two years.

Sharp, whom Hamilton recruited from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has led the DAM for nearly twenty years and has overseen an enormous growth in the collection. The opening of Daniel Libeskind's Frederic C. Hamilton Building, which almost doubled the size of the facilities, also took place on his watch.

Finlon will report to Sharp and to the board. She is best known around town as the CEO of McClain Finlon Advertising, a major firm that opened in Boulder and later relocated to Denver. Finlon closed the agency last year after more than a quarter of a century in business. During much of that time, she's also been deeply involved with the DAM, serving on the board for the past fifteen years. However, in order to take on her new duties, she will resign her seat.

Rumors have persisted since the Hamilton Building was completed that Sharp would be stepping down. Now, two and a half years later, those rumors have finally come true.

New installation outside Denver Art Museum: "Giant Scaffolding"

DAMscaff1.JPG
"A triumph of scaffolding!" says someone.

Art lovers everywhere are raving about the Denver Art Museum's newest conceptual sculpture, "Giant Scaffolding to Repair Piece of Shit Leaky Roof."

Not long after the $110 million Frederic C. Hamilton Building opened in October 2006, crews began conducting construction dance performances across the silver-skin roof in response to the unintended water features that had accompanied Daniel Libeskind's design.

Museum administrators hope that the much anticipated "Giant Scaffolding" -- now installed prominently between the sculptures "Big Ass Dustpan" and "Tall Black Pointy Rock Thing" -- will set the stage for DAM's ambitious summer series "Shit We Need to Fix 2009."

More views of this masterpiece after the jump.

Layoffs at the Lab and MCA: Job losses in the wake of Adam Lerner appointment

mca lab blog photo.jpg
MCA Denver.

Mark Falcone, head of the board at MCA Denver and the founder, former board chairman and current boardmember of the Lab at Belmar, is apparently running both not-for-profit institutions as though they were his own private business interests -- which they are not. With the announcement that Adam Lerner, the former director of the Lab (who was handpicked by Falcone for that post ), would be taking over a similar role at MCA, those "transformational" changes we've heard so much about have begun.

The first change was the sacking of MCA's public relations firm, Fitz & Co, which specializes in promoting the visual arts. Fitz was let go just before the Lerner announcement was made public a couple of weeks ago. That outfit was replaced by a marketing and lobbying firm that specializes in "issues management" and "media relations." I haven't heard of the company, which is strange, since I'm one of just a handful of writers who are covering the MCA story -- well, not counting some of the snarky commenters who responded to my previous blog postings about the changes afoot at the museum.

Then the boards at the two venues decided that the heads of several loyal employees at both would need to roll.

Adam Lerner's start gets dumber: Cartoon labrador mars photo of MCA's building

mca_dog_bloodyheart_lg-1.jpg
A photo-illustration from MCA Denver's website.

Ever since word leaked out that Adam Lerner, who's guided the Belmar Lab, would replace Cydney Payton as executive director of MCA Denver, many art-scene observers (me included) were concerned that he would bring his hip geegaws and trendy gimcracks to the museum, and in the process start to dumb down the place.

Wonder no more. Mosey over to the home page of the museum's web site and you'll be greeted by the image above, in which a crude drawing of a yellow Labrador has been superimposed over a photo of the chic David Adjaye building. Below the offensive picture is a letter from board vice president Alan Becker -- a guy who couldn't spell art if you spotted him the "a" and the "t" -- announcing Lerner's appointment. Though real estate developer Mark Falcone had appointed himself the chair of MCA Denver's director-search committee, Becker belatedly replaced him. Falcone stepped aside so that his friend Lerner could be hired without the appearance of impropriety.

See, I told you so.

Art community riled up over loss of Mary Chandler's Rocky Mountain News column

mary chandler image.jpg
Mary Chandler.

With the closing of the Rocky Mountain News last week, many in the community -- other than Jared Polis, of course -- have been disappointed, if not downright angry. This is definitely the case in the art community, which is reeling from the loss of Mary Chandler's excellent art column and her conscientious reporting on the realms of art and architecture.

This situation has led to a grassroots e-mail campaign directed at Greg Moore, editor of the Denver Post, urging him to hire Chandler as a way of improving the surviving daily's art coverage. Moore himself has acknowledged having received "hundreds" of them in an e-mail, but he explains there's no money to hire Chandler.

This e-mail flood is different from most efforts of this sort, because there's no organization, like Focus on the Family or the Teamsters, revving up their membership to participate. No, it's happened spontaneously, and it has been spread through word of mouth, with just about everyone who's heard about it taking up the cause.

Chandler herself is flattered by this clear expression of the high regard in which she's held by so many, but she feels it's for naught. "I've worked at newspapers all my life," she says, "and these kinds of things never work."

Well, you can't blame people for trying. Click "Continue" to read the Moore e-mail.

Updated: Adam Lerner to replace Cydney Payton as executive director of MCA Denver

photo for michael paglia blog.jpg
MCA Denver.

Update below:

According to reliable sources, MCA Denver will soon announce that Adam Lerner, the director of the Lab at Belmar, is to be hired as its new executive director. The MCA is supposed to have mounted an international search, so it does seem strange that the institution wound up finding Cydney Payton's successor in Lakewood, of all places. So the news, though not unexpected, is something of a disappointment.

One reason the selection isn't surprising has to do with the web of interconnections between Lerner and the chairman of the MCA's board of trustees, Mark Falcone, who is also a member of the search committee that was charged with finding a new director. Falcone founded the Lab and hired Lerner as its first director. The specialty of the Lab is a kind of neo-dada approach -- most notably the "Mixed Taste" series of lectures in which two speakers expound on unrelated topics.

Over the Weekend: Westword's Artopia

art14.jpg
Aaron Thackeray
"Gee, isn't this fun? We should come next year!" "Dude, you're hammered." "Yes. Yes, I am."

Judging by how long the lines were for waffles, doughnut holes and vodka, I'm guessing you were probably at this weekend's Artopia, a celebration of art, food, fashion, music and drunken-cab hailing on Broadway. But either way, you can relive the event with Aaron Thackeray's slideshow at westword.com/slideshow.