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RiNo Made to celebrate Warhol's 90th birthday

RiNo Made is celebrating renowned artist Andy Warhol’s 90th birthday with commemorative art, events and collaborations.

Each month, the RiNo Made store inside Zeppelin Station features an artist from the RiNo Art District. In August, RiNo Made is presenting a group show inspired by Warhol’s works. The show opens for First Friday, Aug. 3.

In addition to the new selection of art, RiNo Made also will debut its latest collaboration with Gelato Boy on its newest ice cream flavor, Candy Warhol. Guests will be able to sample the creation and see the winner of the artist competition to design the Warhol-inspired gelato container at the opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 4.

The celebration continues with RiNo Made and the Denver Public Library throwing a birthday party the night before Warhol’s actual birthday during Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. At the free event from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 5 at RiNo Made, Dr. Sketchy’s will have a model dressed as Warhol for artists to sketch. Birthday cake will be served between sessions.

 

New mural to be painted at History Colorado-inspired Center

A new History Colorado initiative — “We Are Colorado!” — will embrace the gathering and sharing of stories that celebrate the diverse communities of Colorado both past and present.

The first “We Are Colorado!” activity will feature “Self-Preservation,” a mural by local artist Anthony Garcia Sr. Garcia creates imaginative works on canvas, as well as mixed media, silk screening and urban art installations.

In celebration of Colorado’s long history of murals, Garcia’s painting inside the History Colorado Center will be inspired by the sarape, the colorful, blanketlike shawl worn traditionally in Mexico. Using culturally and artistically relevant and vibrant sarape colors and designs, “Self-Preservation” will represent the ways different cultures can work together to form a community. Garcia will paint his mural on site from July 9-20 at the History Colorado Center. Museum visitors are invited to watch the process and enjoy the artwork as it develops.

In the fall, History Colorado will begin an oral history collection project in the Globeville/Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.. By partnering with Garcia, who is from Globeville, History Colorado aims to incorporate community art as a way of highlighting the rich history of that Denver neighborhood.

Garcia also is director of BirdSeed Collective, a nonprofit organization that encourages local youth artists to showcase their talents by joining an art collective that promotes urban art and self-sufficiency through art workmanship.

Nominations sought for Mayor's Design Awards

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the city’s Community Planning and Development Department are seeking nominations for the 2018 Mayor’s Design Awards.

Since 2005, the Mayor’s Design Awards have honored projects throughout the city for excellence in architecture, exterior design and place making. The awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits and artists for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Many different types of projects are eligible. Previous award winners range from restaurants and galleries to private single-family homes to plazas and other shared public spaces. What each of the projects have in common is the imaginative and innovative way they enhance public spaces and create a sense of community.

“Every year, these awards are an opportunity to celebrate what’s special abou tthe character and community of our city,” Hancock said. “I look forward to seeing nominated projects from every corner of Denver.”

Nominations are due Sept. 7. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in late fall.

Three Denver installations honored during arts convention

Three Denver Arts & Venues projects were honored during the Americans for the Arts annual convention in Denver.

The honors are part of the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art chosen by a panel of public art experts.

“To be recognized by Americans for the Arts Public Art Network for three of our projects is an incredible honor,” Denver Arts & Venues Executive Director Kent Rice says. “It’s evidence of the strength and dedication of our Denver Public Art team, our public art selection panel and the artists, designers and fabricators involved with each project.”

The projects that were honored during the convention were:
  • The RAW Project Denver, which engaged more than 30 artists to paint exterior walls of Villa Park and Sun Valley elementary schools — Eagleton, Cowell and Fairview. Community members, teachers and students also participated, and artists went into classrooms to talk about the creative process.
  • Sky Song, an interactive installation designed and fabricated by Denver artists Nick Geurts and Ryan Elmendorf. The mirror-polished stainless steel 8-foot structure invites passersby to press any combination of its 33 buttons, which activate lights and tones on the Levitt Pavilion amphitheater building facade.
  • Ascent, a musical composition composed by Kevin Padrowski for the Denver City and County Building’s bell tower.
“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminat,” Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch says. “Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns and communities we inhabit and visit.”

Luckyleo dances into STEAM on the Platte

Custom ballerina garment company Luckyleo Dancewear is the latest company to sign a lease at STEAM on the Platte, a former warehouse that Urban Ventures and White Construction Group converted into office space in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood.

Luckyleo will occupy 3,253 square feet of space on the first level of STEAM, which is a short walk to two light-rail stations at Decatur-Federal and West Auraria and has easy access to Interstate 25 and Interstate 70.

“STEAM’s central location is a huge benefit for us, allowing us to reach fantastic employees within the radius of downtown and grow our business with the central Denver community in mind,” said Heather Walker, one of the company’s co-founders. “The Platte access and bike routes are ideal for us. We are so thankful to have found our company’s new home at STEAM in this period of growth.

Luckyleo joins rideshare company Lyft, technology consulting company NIMBL and Ohlson Lavoie Collborative + Davis Wince, LTD. Architecture as tenants at STEAM on the Platte. Girls Inc. of Metro Denver operates the Bold Beans coffee shop.

“Luckyleo is the perfect fit for our mix of entrepreneurial tenants,” Urban Ventures President Susan Powers said. “We’re delighted that the owners will be able to take their company to the next level at STEAM on the Platte.”

Walker, her sister Chelsea Early, both former professional ballerinas, and their mother, Karen Saari, founded the company in 2014 on the belief that each dancer is unique and deserves dance wear that is as distinct as they are. Every garment is entirely handmade in-house, a rarity in the industry. All of their prints and products are designed by Walker and Early and are exclusive to the Luckyleo brand.

The company, which has six employees, ships their handmade garments to individual buyers in more than 40 countries via its online platform. With their move to STEAM, they are anticipating expanding their wholesale business, which has garnered interest from the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets. The move to STEAM will enable Luckyleo to accommodate the expansion into Asia and double its number of employees.


“The move to STEAM has been a huge boon in projecting our company’s professional image,” Saari said. “What a perfect place for a growing, thriving business to build an enterprise in central Denver. By surrounding our continued growth with like-minded tenants who work alongside each other with mutual respect and a positive approach to business, STEAM is a daily shot in the arm for our entire company.”

Urban Ventures and White Construction Group acquired the property in 2014. The site, originally settled by Russian-Jewish immigrants in the 1880s, once had 25 homes and several businesses on it. It housed the Johnson and Bremer Soap Factory and a rag-baling facility. When Urban Ventures and White Construction purchased the property, there were two illegal marijuana grows operating, and the Evil Souls motorcycle gang had taken over one of the buildings as its clubhouse.

“We’re excited to be joining the community at STEAM,” Early said. “The history and dynamic of such an amazing space fits our business perfectly and provides a happy and energetic atmosphere where our growing design company can flourish.”
 

Bohemian Foundation, Illegal Pete's partner with Colorado Creative Industries

Bohemian Foundation and Illegal Pete’s have signed on as community partners for Colorado Creative Industries’ Career Advancement Grant.

Bohemian Foundation and Illegal Pete’s will contribute funds for the upcoming Career Advancement Grant cycles with submission deadlines on June 2 and Nov. 1.

Funding for musicians and music-based businesses will be provided by Fort Collins-based Bohemian Foundation in continued support and implementation of the Colorado Music Strategy. Illegal Pete’s, a Colorado-based restaurant group and record label, will provide support to the Career Advancement Grant, which offers reimbursable, matching funds up to $2,500 to help Colorado creative entrepreneurs and artists stimulate their commercial creative businesses.

“The Colorado Music Strategy, which we developed statewide over the past several years, helps us focus on ways we can continue to amplify these results and make connections with partners interested in helping musicians advance their careers,” Colorado Creative Industries Director Margaret Hunt says.

Colorado Creative Industries is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for the creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the organization’s mission is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, increase jobs and enhance our quality of life.
 

CRUSH WALLS returns to RiNo

Artists who want to participate in CRUSH WALLS — the largest urban art events in Colorado — have until June 15 to get their applications in.

Artists may apply as individuals or as a group. They must be Colorado residents or partnered with a resident to participate.

CRUSH WALLS, which showcases local and international talent, brings art out of the galleries and onto the streets. Last year, artists created more than 80 public art murals throughout the River North Art District.

Rooted in the “where art is made” ethos of the RiNo Art District, the Denver festival has been both a planform for creative expression and a catalyst for collective gatherings. Each edition has increased the festival’s power, attracting actors from the global artistic community and drawing locals and visitors alike to the expanding urban art movement. The goal of CRUSH WALLS is to support and engage the community through access, engagement and education through arts and culture.

All artists who want to participate in CRUSH WALLS must submit an application to participate. Emails and phone calls will not be accepted.

The online application will be open through 5 p.m. June 15. A committee comprised of local artists and community leaders will score the applications and make recommendations to the CRUSH WALLS 2018 event producers, who will make final recommendations on artist participation and placement. The artist lineup will be announced no later than July 10.


 

"Happy City" exhibit will help break down social barriers

Public art that will be installed throughout the city starting May 18 will bring together 11 artists’ perspectives that address ideas of happiness and wellness.

The project — “Happy City: Art for the People” — will provide unexpected art experiences in public spaces with the purpose of breaking down persona, emotional and social barriers. The art installation sites will be located throughout Denver and include streets, alleyways, billboards, video screens, Union Station and others. in addition to the installations, “Happy City” will offer programming such as conversations and a panel discussion to engage the community.

Produced by The Denver Theatre District, “Happy City” is under the artistic direction of Black Cube, a nonprofit experimental art museum that operates nomadically. Black Cube, which partners with artist fellows to commission popup art experiences, describes itself as an unconventional museum pursuing the most effective ways to engage audiences while supporting individual artists with critical professional guidance.

“Through the artists’ diverse lenses, the ‘Happy City’ experience will focus on creating stronger communal ties and ask important questions about what it means to be happy,” says Cortney Lane Stell, Black Cube's artistic director. “The art interventions are inquisitive in tone and offer many perspectives on the topic of happiness, from practical through playful.”

Participating artists include Colorado artists Theresa Anderson, Matt Barton, Carlos Fresquez, Kelly Monico, Zach Reini, John Roemer, Joel Swanson and Frankie Toan. Also joining the exhibit are Milton Melvin Croissant III of New York, Vince McKelvie of California and Stuart Semple of the United Kingdom.
 

Kid visits to DAM up 51 percent

More than 200,000 children and youth visited the Denver Art Museum in 2017 — a 51 percent increase in youth visits to the museum over the previous year.

The spike in youth visits can be attributed to a partnership between Bellco Credit Union and the DAM in support of the museum’s Free for Kids program, which launched in March 2015 with a five-year gift from museum trustee Scott Reiman. The program offers free general admission to all visitors ages 18 and younger.

Bellco became a presenting sponsor of Free for Kids in 2016, bringing additional support to the program, including enhanced learning and engagement opportunities and materials for youth visitors, as well as funding for outreach to underserved communities. The program also offers free general admission for school tours and other youth group visits, such as summer camps and community-based youth programs.

“Thanks to Bellco’s financial support, the Free for Kids program has provided thousands of kids and teens with access to the arts,” says Christoph Heinrich, the Frederick and Dan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Bellco’s commitment to ensuring that young people have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of the arts is truly inspiring. It is because of this commitment that we were proud to nominate Bellco for a 2018 Business for the Arts Award through the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.
 

RiNo Made store offers local art at Zeppelin Station

With the opening of RiNo Made at Zeppelin Station, there’s now a permanent place for artists in the RiNo Art District to show off their creative talent.

The 600-square-foot store will sell a rotating inventory of 2D artworks, as well as ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, books, stationary and other handmade gifts and homewares. RiNo Made will host a featured artist each month on the main gallery wall in the store.

“We are thrilled to be able to showcase all the amazing artwork and products created in the RiNo Art District,” says Tracy Weil, the district’s creative director. “Our goal is to tell their stories to our customers, while communicating the importance of buying local art as it helps our artists make a living at what they love to do.”

The RiNo Made store features work made exclusively by artists and makers within the RiNo Art District. Its goal is to display the work of artists and makers in the district at a permanent location, as well as create a broader platform for creative businesses to showcase their work. As part of the effort, the district will provide monthly salons dedicated to helping artists and creative entrepreneurs kick start, grow and strengthen their businesses by providing with tools and educational opportunities.

Artists will receive 60 percent of the sale of their work, with the RiNo Art District receiving 40 percent for store operations and other artists initiatives in the district.

“When visitors buy art from our artists at the RiNo Made store, they are directly supporting our vibrant artist community,” RiNo Art District President Jamie Licko said.

Located in the newly opened Zeppelin Station at 3501 Wazee Street, the district’s new store is the first retail storefront to open in Denver’s chef-driven food hall. The district’s new headquarters and office space is located adjacent to the storefront.
 

Colorado opens first women's history center

The Center for Colorado Women’s History opened this month at the Byers-Evans House Museum.

The center is the first state museum focused on the past, present and future achievements of Colorado women. Opening during National Women’s History Month, the Center for Colorado Women’s History honors women who are shaping Colorado’s history, community, economy, culture and heritage. The museum focuses on scholarship, research, public programs, narrative, lectures, school tours and exhibits that expand the understanding of the history of women in Colorado.

Fun facts about Colorado women’s history include:
  • Colorado was the first state in the union to enfranchise women by popular vote.
  • In 1894, Colorado became the first state to elect women to the state legislature.
  • Before and after statehood, women were critical in building Colorado communities, including schools, libraries and places of worship.
  • Today, the gender ratio in Colorado is almost equal, with 100 women to 101 men.
  • Today, Colorado ranks ninth in the country for women-owned businesses.
The Byers-Evans House is located at 1310 Bannock St.
 

Major collection donated to Denver Art Museum

The Berger Collection Educational Trust has donated a major collection of British masterworks to the Denver Art Museum.

It’s the largest gift of European Old Masters since the museum received the Kress Collection in the 1950s. The gift, consisting of 65 works, will enrich the museum’s collection of European art, currently strong in early Italian Renaissance and French 19th-century artworks. The donation is part of the museum’s effort to strategically grow and enhance its encyclopedic collection in anticipation of its North Building’s 50th anniversary and revamped collection galleries, that set to reopen in 2021.

Core works from the trust have been on long-term loan since 1996, and the gift will now dramatically increase the museum’s holdings of 14th- through 19th-century European art. Major genres important to the British School, including portraiture, landscape and equestrian subjects, represent the bulk of the Berger trust gift.

“We are grateful to receive this important donation of British art from the Berger Collection Educational Trust, which will enable us to tell new stories with our collection,” says Dam director Christoph Heinrich. “Art inspires a greater understanding of and connection with our world, and we believe the acquired works will enhance and deepen the experiences of visitors into the future.”

The gift spans six centuries of paintings, drawings and medieval works. One of the earliest gifted artworks is a 14th-century Crucifixion, one of the best-preserved religious panel paintings of its period. Doroty, Lady Dacre by Sir Anthony van Dyck and Portrait of a Lady by Sir Peter Lely represent significant works by two 17th-century masters of portraiture.

“We’re delighted to integrate this significant gift into our collection of European art,” says Angelica Daneo, painting and sculptor curator at the DAM. “This is a transformational gift that complements and strengthens our existing holdings and allows us to offer our visitors a richer and broader narrative through focused and engaging juxtapositions, as well as educational programs and learning opportunities.”

The Berger trust gift is part of a larger donation that includes 12 Winslow Homer artworks that were donated to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. To date, the gift made to the DAM and the Portland Museum of Art is the largest donation made by the trust in its two-decade history.

“William and Bernadette Berger were exceptionally committed to this city and community, to the arts and to education,” says Arthur Lipper, chairman of the Berger Collection Educational Trust board. “With this gift, the BCET trustees are fulfilling not only the mission of the trust but also the philanthropic intent of these visionary patrons. It is hoped the museum’s already excellent educational programs will be expanded.”

 

Celebrate public art with selfies

Denver Arts & Venues is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Denver Public Art, a program that sets aside 1 percent of every municipal capital improvement project over $1 million for the creation of public art, by inviting people to share photos and videos of how they engage with the collection.

Denver residents and visitors can share their photos and videos through social media using the hashtag #DenverPublicArt30.

“The Denver Public Art collection is an anchor of the city’s cultural landscape,” Mayor Michael Hancock said. “This will be a celebration that encourages residents and visitors to engage with and celebrate the collection by finding and interacting with some of Denver’s iconic artworks, as well as those pieces located in their own neighborhoods.”

The social media campaign will encourage people to focus on 15 themes — two per month — and 30 favorite photographs from these posts will be displayed at the end of the year at Buell Theatre. Favorites will be selected by Denver Arts & Venues staff and Denver artists. All submissions will be highlighted on PublicArtDenver.com.

“There are some pieces in the collection that everyone recognizes,” says Denver Public Art Manager Michael Chavez. “But by identifying themes, we hope people will seek out the art hidden in plain sight.”

Monthly themes are as follows:
  •  March: Art in Cold Weather, and Women’s History and Heritage
  •  April: Animal Art, and Public Art Selfies
  •  May: Memorials and Statues, and Asian and Pacific American History and Heritage
  •  June: Summer-Time Art (Picnics and Park Fun), and Find Art in Your Neighborhood
  •  July: Denver International Airport Collection, and Light or Kinetic Art
  •  August: Urban Arts Fund, and Indoor Art
  • September: Latino and Hispanic History and Heritage
In addition to the public art funding ordinance which was created in 1988, the Denver Public Art Collection of more than 400 pieces includes several donated artworks, many of which are more than 100 years old. Denver Public Art also offers free, year-round tours in addition to other Public Art related events, and manages the Urban Arts Fund (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year).
 

New reality: Arts organizations compete at Art Tank

Five local arts organizations will compete for $55,000 during Colorado Art Tank 2018, a creative variation of the Shark Tank concept to be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at Gates Hall in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Performing Arts.

Each group will present a concept for an innovative, artistic project with the power to inspire, educate and engage the community. A panel of judges, as well as the audience, will vote to determine the winners.

Colorado Art Tank 2018 finalists Control Group Productions, Think 360 Arts for Learning, ECDC African Community Center of Denver, Phamaly Theatre Company and the Trust for Public Land were selected from a competitive group of applicants from across metro Denver.

Now in its fourth year, Colorado Art Tank takes a “business unusual” approach to finding and funding innovative, creative programs. The event is presented by The Denver Foundation’s Arts Affinity Group in partnership with Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, Denver Arts & Venues and the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts. The 2018 grants will bring the total awarded by the Arts Affinity Group, since its inception in 2013, to $300,000. Past recipients include Arts Street, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Access Gallery and Warm Cookies of the Revolution.

Tickets to the event are free.

Side Stories exhibit debuts on RiNo buildings

Coming soon to a building near you: Side Stories // RiNo, a large-format outdoor film installation on the exterior of River North Art District Buildings from Feb. 21-March 2.

The immersive event will project digital works from 10 Colorado artists onto outdoor walls in east RiNo, creating a walkable art experience through the neighborhood. The Side Stories website will provide an augmented realty, allowing visitors to follow an interactive map and audio tour of the event, complete with historical RiNo highlights and block-by-block suggestions about where to stop for a warm drink and a bite to eat or to shop along the way. A printed version of the installation also will be available.

Each participating artist was matched with an exterior wall and received a $5,000 grant to create a site-specific, three- to five-minute film loop inspired by RiNo’s historic neighborhoods. Film genres include live action, documentary, historical, motion graphics, animation and experimental.

“Side Stories supports local artists, enlivens a neighborhood and small businesses during winter evenings and creates an experience to encounter art while exploring our city," says Fiona Arnold, president of Mainspring Developers, who had the initial idea for Side Stories. “Our goal is to combine all three elements together in a new way that we hope will be interesting, inspring and just plain fun.”

Side Stores // RiNo will launch as a partnership between Mainspring Developers; Mary Lester/Martin Family Foundation; RiNo Art District; the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media; and the Denver Film Society.

The installation will be located through the area between Broadway to 36th Street and Blake Street to Larimer Street. Visitors are encouraged to bring their smartphones and earphones.
 
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