Paper Work a cut above at Center for Visual Art

Categories: Art review

Paper Work at Center for Visual Art.
For Paper Work, Cecily Cullen, the creative director at Metropolitan State University's Center for Visual Art, has put together an exhibit that surveys artists from Colorado and around the country who are using paper to create 3-D compositions. Paper is a familiar art material, but it's typically used as a base for drawings or watercolors. For these artists, though, paper is something with which to create sculptures or even pull off an all-encompassing environment.

See also: Arvada Center takes a leap outside with Unbound: Sculpture in the Field

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Artist Jon Zahourek's anatomy lessons find a home in south Denver

Categories: Art, Classes

Emerald O'Brien
One of Zahourek's hand models for the Anatomy in Clay Center workshop.
Artist Jon Zahourek teaches anatomy from the inside out, creating model skeletons from clay. And with the Studios at Overland Crossing, just off Santa Fe and Evans, he's also built a community center from the inside out, taking a former pottery factory and turning it into a space for art classes, events and his own studio.

See also: Urban Campfire connects women from all walks of life by sharing a meal and stories

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Over-the-top Tom Wesselmann show is a rare treat at the DAM

Categories: Art review

"Secondary Smoker," Tom Wesselman.
Beyond Pop: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective is the Denver Art Museum's summer blockbuster. Though Wesselmann was part of the initial group of artists who launched pop art in the '60s, his accomplishments are not as well remembered as are those of his fellow-traveling contemporaries. Maybe it's because his chosen topics -- naked women in pin-up poses and smokers -- are more outré now than they were when he made them.

See also:
Goldfish and a life-sized nude highlight Articulated Perspectives at the Habu Gallery

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Henry Awards have yet to come up with a winning system

Categories: Theater

Michael Ensminger
Cajardo Lindsey and Laurence Curry in The Whipping Man, a big winner for Curious.
The Colorado Theatre Guild's Henry Awards, which were presented last night, have been growing in stature, professionalism and efficiency in some ways for quite a while -- but this has come at a cost. The awards used to be judged by around a dozen professional theater critics, and because those critics -- myself included -- lived and worked in the Denver area, productions by guild members in other parts of the state tended to go unrecognized. So over the last three years, a huge effort was made to overcome this problem and judges were found outside the metro area. The result: a panel of 48 judges (again, I'm one of them -- and my Westword reviews are linked below), six of whom had to see and fill out a ballot for each eligible production. Winners were decided by the numbers on the ballots. Problem solved.

Except that with so many people voting, so few judges seeing most productions and the difficulties of defining criteria for necessary comparisons, the results (below) seem pretty random. and some are downright inexplicable.

See also: Actor Jim Hunt honored for Lifetime Achievement at the Henry Awards

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On eight years of sobriety: the wonderful and terrifying reality of an alcohol-free life

Categories: Breeality Bites

On the left, big fat drunk me in 2006. On the right, sober me.
It feels weird to commemorate quitting something that almost killed you. But on July 22 every year since 2006, I say thank you and congratulations to myself for being alive and healthy. As a drunk, I was somehow spared multiple DUIs; I drove drunk -- blackout drunk, at that -- many times over the course of half a decade. I never managed to get caught or kill anyone. I don't know if that's called luck.

Driving is just one of the many things I now do sober that I used to do drunk. Living a life without alcohol is pretty great most of the time (especially when it comes to not harming yourself or others with your own bad choices). But sometimes, it sucks. That's how sobriety works: If it was a super-easy thing to navigate and overcome, no one would be an addict. But the truth is, addicts are addicts forever and always. Addiction is not curable -- which is why, eight years after I stopped drinking, I still think and dream about it.

See also: Philip Seymour Hoffman, heroin and the secret club of addiction

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Matt Barton

All images courtesy of Matt Barton.
#66: Matt Barton

Artist Matt Barton hails from Colorado Springs, where he teaches at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and creates fantasy worlds in video and installation, in which animals talk and strange landscapes shimmer and people walk through prismatic lights. In these playgrounds for adults, Barton invites viewers to suspend reality, experience their inner children and just have fun. What goes on in the mind of an artist whose alternative worlds defy grown-up gravity with an open-minded smile? Read Barton's 100CC questionnaire for answers.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Andrea Moore

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Ten best free fountains where you can get wet and wild on a hot Denver day

Beat today's heat. Where? Keep reading.

No need to sweat the rising temperatures: Your next kid-tastic adventure is just a fountain away. That's right, the Denver metro area boasts some of the coolest, child-friendly fountains known to man, most adjacent to day-trip-worthy family attractions -- and all free. What are you waiting for? Grab the kids, suits and swim diapers, and start splashing.

See also: Boulder's Meadow Music offers a fun way for families to connect with nature and each other

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Photos: The colors and cultures of Asia at the 2014 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Lions and dragons and boats took over Sloan's Lake Park this past weekend as thousands braved the heat to eat, shop and play at the 2014 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. The culture of the Philippines was showcased this year, but entertainment included everything from Japanese taiko drumming and martial arts to a wide, pan-Asian slice of traditional dances -- and, as always, the food courts were a major draw. Photographer Jake Shane caught the sheer variety of the fest in these photos and more.

See also: Top ten reasons a man will appreciate the Renaissance Festival

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Top ten reasons a man will appreciate the Renaissance Festival

Colorado Renaissance
The damsels of the Faire leave little to the imagination.
Most people think of the annual Colorado Renaissance Festival -- or any Ren Faire, for that matter -- as a medieval Comic-Con. But when we visited this annual blast from the past in Larkspur, we found the Renaissance Festival an ideal place for a strapping fellow to bear witness to epic battles, execute feats of strength and kiss a damsel or two. Here are the top ten ways a man can get his machismo on at the Renaissance Festival.

See also: 50 Best Costumes of the Colorado Renaissance Festival

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Kelly Shortandqueer on zines, storytelling and his transgender insurance-claim victory

Categories: GLBTQ

Courtesy of Kelly Shortandqueer
Kelly Shortandqueer has been a staple in Denver's creative community for over a decade. As a co-founder of the Denver Zine Library, a square dancer with the Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus, a victims' advocate for the Colorado Anti-Violence Program and, most recently, an award-winning drag queen, he has no shortage of ambitious projects under his belt. But using Colorado nondiscrimination law to win insurance coverage for his April 2013 chest surgery has been a landmark victory in equal rights-access for transgender people across the state. In advance of Shortandqueer's free July 23 workshop on his win at the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, Westword caught up with him to discuss the Denver Zine Library's move, storytelling and the future of transgender health access.

See also: Kelly Shortandqueer reflects on ten years of the Denver Zine Library and its hunt for a new home

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