Audiences aren’t the only ones missing cultural events like art shows during the pandemic shutdown - the creatives have also been missing the opportunities to have their work seen and connected with by viewers. Which is one of the reasons the Thornton Arts and Culture’s newest exhibit, Nations United: Bringing Communities Together, is so thrilling.
The exhibit - presented by Thornton Arts, the Denver American Indian Festival, the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council (CHAC) and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Chicana/o Studies Department - features American Indian and Latinx works.
“This is our first live show in a long time, and we’re so excited about it,” said Brenda Garule, executive director of CHAC. “It’s been difficult deciding to terminate so many of our shows, especially with no income coming for many of our artists. We’re so happy to have this chance to showcase our artists at Thornton.”
The in-person exhibit is hosted at the OZ Gallery, 9209 Dorothy Blvd., and runs through Friday, June 25. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome with a maximum of 10 people in the gallery at one time, or guests can secure a timed entry ticket.
CHAC, located in Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District and committed to supporting the creativity and history of Chicanx and Latinx people, has been coordinating with the other organizations on the art for the exhibit. Pulling from such an assortment of artists, including Metro students and senior citizens, means that the works on display are as nuanced and varied as the people themselves.
“This is one of the most diverse exhibitions we’ve had, and it all started through a connection with the Denver American Indian Festival, which has been held in Thornton for years,” said Alisa Zimmerman, Thornton Arts and Culture manager. “It’s a real feast for the eyes, with vibrant colors and subject matters. The mediums include everything from metal sculpture and oil to mannequins dressed in traditional clothing.”
According to Garule, about 25 artists are participating in the show. Not only does this highlight the wide range of talent in these communities but provides a much-needed creative outlet during what has been an extremely trying time. And that outlet will hopefully educate and inspire others.
“We hope this exhibit provides more exposure for these artists in our community, and we’re happy that Thronton is the place where all these different groups can show their work together,” Zimmerman added. “A show like this shows the richness of cultures in our community, and we hope it piques their interest in seeing more.”
Details and tickets can be secured at ArtsThornton.Eventbrite.com.
A car seat murder mystery
Any mystery fan knows that few things are more fun than a good whodunnit - and Westmisnter’s Orchard Town Center, 14780 Delaware St., is giving people an interactive who murder mystery that can be enjoyed and solved from their car.
The live-film production of “A Midnight Masquerade” by The Murder Mystery Company will be hosted from 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24. The drive-in and -family-friendly mystery will be a staged Zoom projection onto a 40-foot screen and audiences try to solve the crime. Guests will even receive clues through their phones, and by using all the information they will make a guess as to who the perpetrator is. Those who get it right will be entered to win an $150 gift card to Target.
Costumes are encouraged and tickets cost $45 per car (which includes a $20 gift card for dinner from an Orchard restaurant). Buy your ticket at www.eventbrite.com/e/dinner-and-a-murder-tickets-142909246403.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Raboys from Schuba’s Tavern
Chicago’s Ratboys certainly aren’t going to win any awards for their name choice, but their blend of emo, alt-country and indie rock makes for a bewitching brew that is only getting stronger with each release. Their most recent album, 2020’s “Printer’s Devil,” had the misfortune of being released right as COVID-19 started shutting things down. So, you should look it up if you’re one of those who missed it - it’s one of the year’s best.
In celebration of a decade as a group, Ratboys will be hosting a livestream performance and retrospective film from Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. The event begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, and will feature the band performing songs from across their discography and telling stories about their time together.
Visit https://ratboys.bandcamp.com/ to get a spot.
Streaming style - ‘The Great Gatsby’
To my mind, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” is one of the handful of books that actually lives up to the hype. Zachary Andrews, who adapted “Dracula” into a radio play format in October for the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., is returning for this new production of the classic novel. In addition to adapting the book, he also created original music and sound design. Sydnee Fullmer joins Andrews in the performance.
The radio play runs through Saturday, May 15. Once a ticket is purchased, it has unlimited listening until the end of the run. Visit https://arvadacenter.org/events/the-great-gatsby-a-radio-play for the details.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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