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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Mizel Museum wants your charms and sacred objects for a new display

Categories: Art, Events, Museums

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Gronk and Spronk from local gallery owner Ivar Zeile's personal collection.
Does your family have a special charm that gets passed down from generation to generation? Do you keep a rabbit's foot keychain in your pocket for good luck? If you have jewelry or an object that means something to you, the Mizel Museum would love to display it. As part of its permanent exhibit, 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks, the museum is looking for cultural objects that symbolize protection or carry special meaning for people in the community to display in an upcoming companion exhibit.

See also: Mizel Museum's Denver Collects series takes viewers into the homes of local art collectors

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Modern Masters distills the canon of twentieth-century art at the Denver Art Museum

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Photograph by Tom Loonan.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Le Carnaval d'Arlequin (Carnival of Harlequin), 1924-25. Oil on canvas; support: 26 x 35-5/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1940. © 2014 Successió Miró S.L./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
In a showing of neighborly solidarity, the Denver Art Museum turned to Dean Sobel of the Clyfford Still Museum to bring rare, twentieth-century riches from Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery to Denver. The resulting exhibit, Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons From the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, is the kind of show that will knock the wind out of you, a jewel-box of iconic images you rarely have the chance to see in person.

See also: Passport to Paris serves up French art with a side of history at the Denver Art Museum


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100 Colorado Creatives: Adam Lerner

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Photo by Richard Peterson.
#4: Adam Lerner

There's not much one can say about Adam Lerner that would truly do him justice. He runs MCA Denver with nothing resembling an iron hand: He's funny, impossibly smart, steeped in culture and a natty dresser, and he has a knack for surrounding himself with people of the same ilk. And he's made MCA, as he did the Lab at Belmar before it, a friendlier place where the intellectual processes of looking at and understanding art become both fun and more directly challenging. We're lucky to have Lerner at the helm of Denver's handsome contemporary-art palace, where serendipitous programming brings lightness to the work of appreciating art. Amen. Read on to see where Lerner is at and where he's going.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Nora Burnett Abrams


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100 Colorado Creatives: Nora Burnett Abrams

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Nora Burnett Abrams at an MCA public program with artist Dario Robleto.
#6: Nora Burnett Abrams

Nora Burnett Abrams makes exhibits happen, and that's not easy: As curator at MCA Denver, she can't just pick up artists at a supermarket. Instead, it's about developing a relationship -- with a little detective work on the side -- and getting inside each artist's head to figure out what's going on in the work. All of which she does beautifully, bringing a rich variety of artists, both local and from around the world, to show Denver museum-goers where art's going in the 21st century, while also providing an informational backdrop for what they see. It's no small accomplishment, and Abrams is the perfect complement to MCA's participatory, highbrow-for-the-people museum model.

We invited Abrams to share her curator's point of view in the 100CC questionnaire; read on for the whole story.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Nikki Pike


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Lake Steam Baths, gnomes on the range, and more drops in the 2014 bucket list

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Bucket lists, by their very nature, are a celebration of the ephemeral -- a wish list of fleeting activities to experience before the mortal coil goes into a death spiral. The following experiences, however, are united by a sense of enduring history, of continuing traditions that will persist past the expiration dates of our own lives.

See also:
Cruising Colfax, Casa Bonita and more drops in the 2014 bucket list

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Photos: Every poster tells a story in the Denver Art Museum's Drawn to Action exhibit

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Denver Art Museum
James Victore, Racism, 1993. Screen print. © James Victore. AIGA Design Archives: Gift of AIGA.
Every picture does tell a story, and that's why the bold graphics of poster design are powerful beyond words. There's solid visual proof in the 35 works that comprise Drawn to Action: Posters from the AIGA Design Archives, which opens Sunday, December 15 at the Denver Art Museum. Here's a sneak peek...

See also: Drawn to Action: Posters from the AIGA Design Archives


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MCA Denver selects finalists for Twelve & a Half Days of Xmas LIVE!

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Atomic Gracie
The results are in, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver's Twelve and a Half Days of Xmas LIVE! has selected the dozen performers who will rock the museum's modernist atrium throughout the holiday season. The performers each earn a $50 honorarium as they compete for the winning prize of $500, and with acts ranging from the holiday-inspired burlesque of Gigi D'Lovely to the self-explanatory Crazy Gorilla Drummer, the dozen days of Christmas should be filled with all sorts of appealing weirdness. We spoke with MCA director of programming Sarah Kate Baie to hear about how the museum found the acts in Denver's very diverse arts scene.

See also: MCA Denver seeking entries for holiday performance contest (no explosives, please)


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The Denver Art Museum will bring the bling in a home-grown Cartier exhibition next fall

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Photo: Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier.
Necklace worn by Countess of Granard. Cartier London, special order, 1932. Platinum, diamonds, emerald. Height at center 8.80 cm. Sold to Lady Granard. Cartier Collection.
The Denver Art Museum learned an important lesson when it brought 2012's Yves Saint Laurent blockbuster to town: The art of fashion is compelling, and not just to art aficionados, but to a wide cross-section of bling-lovers everywhere. Banking on a similar reaction, the DAM announced today that it will host Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, a house-produced exhibition of Cartier jewels and objects, put together with care by YSL designer Nathalie Crinière.

See also: Mona Lucero dishes on YSL and the magic of haute couture

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100 Colorado Creatives: Jaime Kopke

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Meigan Canfield
Kopke co-curated the design exhibition, Once Removed, in New York (2012) as part of ICFF.
#30: Jaime Kopke

Jaime Kopke hails from Massachusetts, but ended up in Colorado, bringing cultural gold in her pocket. She's helped spark more than a few creative projects here, from the city's ongoing Pecha Kucha series to the Denver Community Museum, a short-lived but brilliant pop-up people's reliquary that threw imaginative shows using the contributions -- and wishes, hopes and dreams -- of everyday folks. In her spare time, she kept the design blog, Designklub, and contributes to another at mocoloco.com. After shutting the DCM, Kopke took a break to complete her graduate studies, finally returning here in 2011 to a position at the Denver Art Museum, where she assists in adult programming and helps curate the museum's ongoing Untitled evenings.

We asked this born idea-maker to share some of her ideas via the 100CC questionnaire; read on to find out what makes her heart beat.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Christina Battle


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