Kaitlin Ziesmer Creates Starstruck Paintings

Kaitlin Ziesmer
You can find art all over town -- not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.

"I'm obviously inspired by film," says freelance artist Kaitlin Ziesmer, who paints famous movie and TV faces onto generic bodies, including her own. Ziesmer loves old-time nostalgia, and so do her fans -- so much so that they're constantly making suggestions about what they'd like to see next. Ziesmer's done most of her childhood favorites: Storm Troopers, Power Rangers, even the Gremlins, which scared the bejesus out of her when she was little. "I'm fascinated with combining things that don't go together," Ziesmer says. "I'm really fascinated by helmets, too. I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, but I love how the stuff looks."

See also: A Colorado Coal Miner's Great-Granddaughter Paints the Town

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Three Things to Do for Free in Denver, September 29-October 2

Categories: 3 for free

The chill is in the air. It's not too bad yet, but it's coming. So why not exercise both your brain and your civic duty -- while enjoying warm cookies and beer? That's just the start of the worthwhile activities in town this week -- many of them free, and three rating top-pick status. Check out our online Westword calendar for more listings, and if you know of other great free events, let us know about them in the comments section below.

See also: The Great American Beer Festival Week 2014 Calendar of Events

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Meet Ello, the Social Network Created Right Here in Colorado

If you have been anywhere near the Internet in the past week, you've probably heard about Ello, a new social networking site that's still in the Beta stage. But it's picked up a lot of steam as Facebook users started jumping ship after Facebook announced its "real name" policy -- which drag performers and other members and allies of the GLTBQ community charge is dangerous and discriminatory.

Ello's Denver-based programming team is is spearheaded by Paul Budnitz -- the guy behind vinyl toy maker Kidrobot, which moved its headquarters to Boulder in 2010 -- along with Mode Set and fellow Colorado designers Berger & Föhr. We recently chatted with Mode Set's Justin Gitlin (also known around town as music and multimedia artist Cacheflowe) to find out what, exactly, Ello is all about -- and how it's been affected by the recent Facebook move.

See also: CacheFlowe Releases Open-Source Robot Vocal Software to Welcome Our Digital Overlords

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Gallery Sketches: Four Shows and Art Events in Denver for September 26-28

Peter Illig, "Crisis of Painting," oil/unstretched canvas.
This weekend, visit with an artist-in-residence as he paints, check out what's new at the Denver Art Museum, begin a three-show odyssey with a top-notch Colorado sculptor or just have some fun with a local working collective. Keep reading for the details.

See also: Taste of Iceland: Yarn Storming

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NOW! Is the Theme for July Biennial -- But Artists Can Apply for Grants Now!

Denver Night at the 2013 Biennial of the Americas.
The Biennial of the Americas returns to Denver on July 14, 2015 -- months away, but still NOW! That's the theme for this third Biennial, which will feature festivals, exhibitions, events and dialogue over three themed days -- Generation NOW, Business NOW, and Community NOW -- culminating with Americas NOW!, a free festival in City Park on July 17. Additional activities will run until September 7, 2015.

See also: Best Reason for the Biennial of the Americas to Return -- Denver Night

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When in Reykjavík -- or Denver: Linda Björk Eiríksdóttir on the Art of Yarn Storming

Helgi Eiríkur Eyjólfsson, facebook.com/ReykjavikUndergroundYarnstormers
Linda Björk Eiríksdóttir decorating a pole with yarn.
Yarnbombing or yarn storming, as it's called in places like the UK and Iceland, is an international revolution; here in Denver, the Ladies Fancywork Society's work has brightened random street corners and local art museums alike. Now, Icelandic yarn stormer Linda Björk Eiríksdóttir, aka BarbaKnit, has come from Reykjavík to lead local participants in a yarn-storming action in Civic Center Park Saturday as part of the Taste of Iceland, a touring event bringing the frigid island's food, drink, music and culture to American cities.

In advance of the event, we asked Eiríksdóttir to explain why she just can't stop decorating things with yarn. Keep reading for the full Q & A.

See also: Gemma Bayly Brings Her Optimystic Arts to a New Community Collaborative Mural In Denver

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Crazy Horse's Girlfriend Author Erika T. Wurth on Growing Up in Idaho Springs

Categories: Books

Erika T. Wurth, now a creative writing professor at the Western Illinois University, went to school in Idaho Springs. She already has one book of poetry under her belt and now a novel, Crazy Horse's Girlfriend, set in the mountain town. She'll be back in Colorado on Monday, September 29 for a reading/signing at the Tattered Cover at 2526 East Colfax Avenue. In advance of that appearance, we chatted with Wurth about how her experience in Idaho Springs shaped the novel and her thoughts on penning what could be the first Native American literature set in Denver.

See also: Author Cheryl Strayed Is Ready to Get Wild in Denver

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10 Things to Do for $10 in Denver This Weekend (6 Free!), September 26-28

Categories: 10 for $10


The Broncos have a bye this Sunday, so there's no excuse to miss these events this weekend, from Day of the Dead celebrations to hugging an alpaca. There's also comedy and improv going on, as well as a hunt for hidden treasures at the record collecting expo. But since we can't fit everything on the list, check out the Westword calendar for more happenings and tell us about one's we missed in the comments section.

See also: Three Plays and Performances in Denver for September 25-28

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Multiblazer Team Designs Custom Coats for Men and Women

Categories: Fashion, Style

Luc Cisna, Andy Finley and Josh Veryser.

Taking a wardrobe staple for both men and women to the next level is a team effort. Luc Cisna, Josh Veryser and Andy Fniley have created an alternative to shopping off the rack with Multiblazer a customized, multifunctional coat that is a must-have for fall. Multiblazer team member Finley stepped away from the design table for a few minutes to answer our fashion questions.

See also: Retail and the Lost Art of Customer Service

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Podcast: In The Equalizer, Denzel Kills, Summarizes Hemingway, Kills Again

Categories: Film and TV

Photo by Scott Garfield - © 2013 CTMG
Denzel Washington in The Equalizer: "It's about a guy who is a knight in shining armor, except he lives in a world where knights don't exist anymore." He's talking about Don Quixote but he's really talking ABOUT HIMSELF.

As Bob McCall in The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays a regular Joe who turns into an eye-gouging, brain-drilling nightmare for Boston's Russian mob. At first Washington "toodles about a Home Depot-like store, helping customers, decked out in New Balance shoes and jeans so last-century you'll be looking for pleats," writes the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl. That's before he turns DIY crime-fighter in Antoine Fuqua's latest crowd-pleaser. Scherstuhl, along with the Voice's Stephanie Zacharek and Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly discuss that movie, along with kiddie-charmer The Boxtrolls, which will make you laugh, cower and think of Hitler, naturally. The trio also dive into the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre Benjamin, Jimi: All is By My Side, plus Amy gives us the highlights from Fantastic Fest. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.

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