Gallery Sketches: Three shows for the weekend of April 18-20

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Lizzi Bougatsos, "In God We Bust."
Though pot's what's on the whole city's mind this marijuan-derful 4/20 weekend, the local art scene will not go up in smoke. Here are three reminders that Denver galleries serve up good vibes and even better shows every weekend of the year.

See also: Teased, Torn, Coddled & Pampered at Zip 37


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Jordan Wieleba on stealing a copy of War of the Worlds and coming out transgender

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Crystal Allen Photography
Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a bi-weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Jordan Wieleba is a comedian, musician, illustrator, GLBTQ advocate, cornerstone of Denver's comedy community and Best of Denver winner. Recently seen gracing the cover of Out Front Colorado, she also provided the illustrations for the book Sharing the Good News: A Positive Model for Coming Out as Transgender. Westword recently caught up with Wieleba to discuss helpful books for people struggling with gender identity, prescient sci-fi authors and her beloved stolen copy of War of the Worlds.

See also: Andy Thomas on Hell is in New Jersey, Etgar Keret and Shel Silverstein

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Jean Smith

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Jean Smith joining clay slabs.
#89: Jean Smith

Clay artist Jean Smith Is a familiar face in the co-op community, where she's been building and exhibiting works both joyful and challenging for many years. Her creations range from colorful wall pieces and fanciful shrines to major ceramic installations, often referencing plant forms, flowers and sea life; on the side, she also makes jewelry using old beads. We invited Smith to share her thoughts about the artist's life from her very experienced vantage point; read on for her 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Rebecca Peebles

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Photos: Tracks on wax at the Denver Record Collectors Spring Expo 2014

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Big K Productions, which celebrated its twenty years of putting on record shows last year, kicked off the Denver Record Collectors Expo's next twenty as fans stampeded into the ballroom at the Northglenn Ramada Sunday in search of musical holy grail. The platter-covered vendor tables served up everything from rare vinyl classics to hard-to-find bargains: Here are a few of them, as captured by photographer Ken Hamblin.

See also: The Denver Record Collectors Spring Expo is a music fan's paradise


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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Rebecca Peebles

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Photo by Eric Baillies.
Rebecca Peebles in her apartment, March 2014.
#90: Rebecca Peebles

Rebecca Peebles is a creative Jill of all trades: Multimedia artist, designer, barista, quilter, curator, Westword MasterMind and artist cheerleader are just a few of the hats she wears. And along with GroundSwell Gallery partner Danette Montoya, Another Colorado Creative #91, she's now preparing to move on from their groundbreaking gallery to an unknown future as an artist on her own: GroundSwell's last show runs through May 6. We asked Peebles to answer the 100CC questionnaire as she stands on the precipice of a new chapter; read on for more about the leap.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Danette Montoya


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Remembering Ludlow: A roundup of commemorative events

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The Ludlow Memorial.
A century ago this week, a long-simmering conflict between miners on strike in the southern Colorado coalfields and troops of the Colorado National Guard erupted into the deadliest labor war in American history. A raging gun battle on April 20, 1914, resulted in the destruction of the strikers' Ludlow tent colony and the deaths of nearly two dozen people -- most of them women and children who'd sought refuge from the shooting in a small cellar under one of the tents. The Ludlow Massacre, as it became known, is one of the darkest yet most neglected chapters of state history -- but a slew of commemorative events planned to mark its hundredth anniversary could help change that.

See also:
Best History Book 2009 -- Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War

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Gallery Sketches: Three shows for the weekend of April 11-13

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Artwork by Karen Fisher.
Every Friday is First Friday in this town, and this weekend, it's Second Saturday, too. Here are three openings you'll be glad you hit.

See also: Video: Meet Westword MasterMind Eric Dallimore


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Andrew Elijah Edwards on his new stereoscopic installation, The Deep Novelty Harvest Colony

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Courtesy of Andrew Elijah Edwards
Ineffable is a dirty word for a writer. It means something like, "A concept you just can't put into words." Discussing The Deep Novelty Harvest Colony -- a stereoscopic art installation that makes its debut tonight at Hinterland Gallery -- with artist Andrew Elijah Edwards, you enter a philosophical wrestling match with the ineffable nature of his art. After all, his images are trying to create a visceral experience that he believes cannot be captured in language. In advance of the show's opening, Westword spoke with Edwards about the ideas behind his work.

See also: Christina Battle and Adán De La Garza on video art and the quasi-imperialistic nature of sound

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­Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Danette Montoya

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Danette Montoya, assemblage clock.
#91: Danette Montoya

Danette Montoya creates jewelry and found-object treasures for her business Tinkerbirds, making a living by way of her own imagination. That keeps her busy enough, but somewhere along the way she and fellow starving artist Rebecca Peebles decided to open a gallery. GroundSwell was different from the start, beginning with its location in the front room of an East Colfax Avenue pot shop. But its ideology is what made it great: The two partners -- who won a Westword MasterMind award in 2013 -- imagined it as an incubator where artists could try out ideas, collaborate or show work that cut just a little closer to the bone.

Now, Montoya and Peebles are about to turn the page on a new chapter. GroundSwell will close its doors after its next show, which debuts Saturday and ends May 6, and both women will be moving on to future personal projects. On the eve of the gallery's last opening, we asked Montoya and Peebles to give us a peek into their futures; Montoya's 100CC questionnaire touches on new horizons and more.

See also: Meet the 2013 MasterMinds: GroundSwell Gallery


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Moxie U offers eclectic classes for art enthusiasts

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Photos courtesy of Moxie U
Students paint from a distance at a Moxie U class.
From unconventional drawing workshops to lectures on what is real, Moxie U is redefining school. Founded by Rebecca Vaughan and Susan Stites, two former employees of the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, the new organization offers a variety of classes for people who want to learn something new without enrolling in a degree-geared program. "We want to provide something that people are able to access that they've never had access to before," Vaughan says.

See also: Photos: Clark Richert on display at Gildar Gallery

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