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Untitled at the Denver Art Museum: After-Hours Arts Lab

Buntport stages a mini-play at Untitled.

Untitled takes over the Denver Art Museum after-hours on the last Friday of every month.

Behind the scenes at Untitled.

Live music is featured at Untitled.

The last Friday of the month, Untitled takes over the Denver Art Museum for an after-hours opportunity to gaze and gawk at the works of art, and do it any offbeat way you like.

Of course, every Untitled has a theme of some kind. Coming up this Friday (July 26) is the 59th in the series: Undercover.

Until 10 p.m., there are all sorts of off-kilter goings-on on the night's agenda: a great big sewing circle, a listening of the secret sounds of the museum and actors from Buntport Theater Company staging mini-plays near (and even in) the freight elevator, portraying Joan and Charlie as they discuss the night's theme.

"They've actually been on board since the beginning," says Ashley Pritchard, museum spokesperson, of Buntport's participation in Untitled. "It's always the saga of Joan and Charlie."Buntport stages a mini-play at Untitled.

That beginning was 2007, and 58 Untitled nights later, they have the concept down pat. "It's kind of an experiment, a laboratory for what can happen at the museum," Pritchard explains. "It's a different way to experience the museum. You can come in and curate your own experience."

Beyond Buntport, there are always interactive, hands-on activities (dubbed MakeARTtalk) and often performances. For #59, Humberto Duque's roaming performance piece, Lightning Blues Express, will take a break from DIA to wander DAM for the night.

The aforementioned secret sounds of the museum are part of the MakeARTtalk program. Expect to see (or hear, in this case) the museum in a different way, which is the goal. In February, MakeARTtalk's Andrew Novick "created four mini-replicas of artworks in the museum and made putt-putt golf out of them," including Fox Games and Wheat Fields, says Pritchard.

Another running element is Detour, "a tour by a non-art expert," says Pritchard. "We've had geologists, historians, a perfume-maker, and a jazz trumpeter one time."

Then for those who like their patronage of the arts with a mild buzz: The cash bar has a good selection of local microbrews and there's free food from the museum's in-house eatery, Palettes, two things that complement each other very nicely. And you get to see Spun: Adventures in Textiles, the first textile-only art exhibition at any major museum in the country. All for $10.Live music is featured at Untitled.

Pritchard says the original aim of Untitled was to attract a younger audience, but that hasn't necessarily been the case. "It's less about an age and more about a preference," she says. "People who enjoy engaging with an art museum in an offbeat way can be five and can be 95."

Read more articles by Eric Peterson.

Eric is a Denver-based tech writer and guidebook wiz. Contact him here.
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