Art, Dance, Education, Free Events, Music, Youth

Spring Arts Preview: Doors Open Denver, Museo, PlatteForum, and Edge

By Theresa Anderson

McNichols Building, Denver, CO

McNichols Building, Denver, CO


Denver Architectural Foundation

Doors Open Denver is one of Denver Architectural Foundation’s most popular events that support the organization’s dual purpose to increase awareness and appreciation for the impact of architecture on quality of life. Doors Open Denver is an annual event, but creates year-round discussion through related educational programming, conferences, and historic renewal efforts that tend to refocus debate.

Noting that preservation and renewal is a well-documented way to “spur downtown revitalization, create jobs, promote tourism, increases property values,” there is still the negative connotations to be overcome,” as too many in our communities “still deride preservation and renewal efforts as a threat to private property rights, an impediment to progress, and an inefficient strain on resources.” The Denver Architectural Foundation asks us to consider that not only does preservation and renewal push economic development, it also has a huge impact on the individuals who live, visit, and work in the affected areas.

Denver Mayor Hancock has focused this year’s Doors Open Denver back to the City Beautiful theme. Originated in the 1890’s as a way to improve quality of life in cities where overcrowding issues had become rampant, Hancock is pushing Denver citizens to think even further towards improving and capitalizing on civic and public infrastructure.

As an example, this year a set of distinctly different buildings from decades of growth and expansion will be open in the Golden Triangle during Doors Open Denver. The newly renovated McNichols building (originally Carnegie Library), the almost brand new Clifford Still Museum, the 100 plus year old Byers-Evans House Museum, the imposing 1971 Denver Art Museum – Ponti Building, and multiple city government buildings will be open for expert guided tours.

Also included in the tour is the Civic Center Park that holds the Greek Theater, Voorhees Memorial, and the Broadway Terrace/Esplanade. At the core of the Golden Triangle this park receives quite a bit of media attention that varies from the 2012 Occupy Denver protest, to this year’s designation of the park as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior.

Disturbingly though, most days of the week, the park sits at the center of these urban gems neglected and disconnected. Right now the park seems to be the last and most important place in the Golden Triangle to get into line. How will Denver connect the Denver Art Museum Ponti building that sits imposingly on the North face of the museum district to the McNichols building, and then on to the 16th street mall? Expect in the next year to be hearing much more about innovation in place-making and it’s connection with quality of life and economic renewal.

Denver Art Museum, Ponti Building

Denver Art Museum, Ponti Building*


*To hear more about the Denver Art Museum Ponti Building go here:

Saturday + Sunday, April 13 + 14, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily; participating sites may have differing hours
Free and Open to the Public
For More Information See: Denver Arts & Venues – Doors Open Denver Web Site


Ernie Gallegos "Falls Creations" 2013

Ernie Gallegos “Falls Creations” 2013

Zuniga, Luis Abarca & Denver Chicano Artists

Zuniga, Luis Abarca & Denver Chicano Artists


Museo de las Americas

The Legacy Project at Museo de las Americas brings together a significant part of the Luis and Martha Abarca collection into an exhibition featuring the artists Emanuel Martinez, Arlette Lucero, Stevon Lucero, Daniel Salazar, John Encinias, Carlos Martinez, Ernie Gallegos, and Carlos Sandoval. This project documents and explores the role of successful Mexican immigrants such as Luis Abarca on the vitality of Denver’s arts community and within the wider hybrid culture.

The Denver businessman Luis Abarca’s commitment to the arts and culture of his homeland and his success as an immigrant entrepreneur has produced one of the area’s largest private collections of Mexican fine and folk art. The curator, Maruca Salazar, chose artists who are interwoven together and with the Abarca family. Each was an early pioneer of the hybrid society where food, fashion and art intermixed, and Mexican food would escape the niche category to become a staple menu item for families of all ethnic backgrounds.

The artists were involved with, and invited to, the Abarca families salon style meetings in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Abarca’s went on to become distinguished collectors and patrons of Chicano arts. The Legacy Project features photographic, painting, and sculptural works varying from impressionistic to iconic imagery of Mexican history. The pieces, each from the Abarca collection, creates a discussion around the role and continued importance of the hybrid culture in contemporary life.

Museo de las Americas 861 Santa Fe Drive, 
Denver CO 80204

The Legacy Project February 7th -May 26th, 2013
Opening Reception: February 7th, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
February 28th, Conversación Contacto, The Legacy, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Spanish Happy Hour, Every Third Friday of the month
(Feb 15, March 15, April 19, May 17)
April 25th, Momento Interactivo, Zuñiga vs. Moore, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 
Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm to 5:00 pm
, Closed Mondays
$5.00 General Admission
$3.00 Students/Seniors
Members and Children under 13 are Free


Kwende “Memetic” Kefentse  in residence

Kwende “Memetic” Kefentse in residence

Ian "pho" Swain

Ian “Pho” Swain


Platteforum Creative Residency

The two latest artists in residence are Kwende “Memetic” Kefentse and Ian “Pho” Swain. Kwende “Memetic” Kefentse is the DJ and host of TimeKode, one of Ottawa’s most respected and longstanding music and dance parties. Ian “Pho” Swain is a producer, multi-instrumentalist, and one-half of the acclaimed Toronto indie dancehall soul Bonjay.

The residency brings together the two artists, who live in separate cities, to produce a beat-oriented mixtape project called Brothers. Two-fold, the project has applications within their own live performance as DJ’s, as well as use by other rappers and singers to make original music. The work falls into the general genre of dubstep that is part patterned beat, samples, and vocals. Currently the artists are busy in studio creating two beats per day that are then arranged into larger song tracks with intros, bridges and b-parts. Alongside the artists, the ArtLab teens are learning basic software and to work with MIDI controllers. The residency will end with a live performance on March 7, 2013.

While this exhibition opens March 7, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., 2013, I’d encourage visitors to explore Memetic + Pho’s process during open studio anytime Tuesday-Saturday, noon – 4:00 p.m., or by appointment during February and early March.

Platteforum 1610 Little Raven Street, Suite 135, Denver, CO 80202 303.893.0791 

Starjam Crowd

Star Jam Crowd


The unGala: A 10-Year-Anniversary Bash & Dance party for PlatteForum

Join Platteforum in celebration of their award-winning work in the community on Saturday, March 9, 2013.
Infinite Monkey Theorem is hosting the unGala.

Live performances include past and present creative residents, DJ performances by Memetic + Pho, slam poet Andrea Moore, abstract drawing with Homare Ikeda, live demonstrations by Hollis+Lana, and many more.

Ticket prices include lots of goodies to eat, two complementary glasses of fabulous wine by Infinite Monkey Theorem (and cash bar), and then close out the night with the best dance party ever!

Register at
$75 General Admission

$140 Duo

$45 Artist/Student (email to unlock this code)

@ Infinite Monkey Theorem

3200 Larimer Street Denver
, CO 80205

6:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
 Saturday, March 9, 2013
All proceeds support PlatteForum’s programs. Must be 21+.


Estee Fox "Rock Piece" Performance Still

Estee Fox “Rock Piece” Performance Still


Edge Gallery

There’s a set of pretty lively and controversial performance pieces coming up this month at Edge Gallery. Last year Dave Sole and Estee Fox were juried into Edge’s month long performance art event, Residue Denver. This year, between the two artists, there will be on-site performance, remnants of performance, as well as two and three-dimensional works.

Estee Fox has completed a series of How To performances which include How To: Plant Popsicles, How To: Eat a Raisin, and How To: Become Full. The latest in the series- How To: A Pretty Vagina goes beyond the video camera generation and DIY into the super political. The piece, reminiscent of 70’s feminism, is hyper real, difficult, and will be very controversial. Similar to video pieces I’ve seen in London museums, it should come with viewer warnings!!

Dave Sole will also have a set of work titled, Fun With Paranoia. Typical with performance artists, he’s pretty mum on his plans but, last year his, Let’s Go to the Beach, was reminiscent of a bear in drag at the beach with lots of fun toys and sand. It’ll be interesting to see his riff on the paranoid.

Estee Fox and Dave Sole February 1- 24, 2013

Artist Reception Friday, February 1, 2013, 6–10 p.m.

Fridays 6–10 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 1–5 p.m. or by appointment

Edge Gallery 3658 Navajo Street, Denver, CO 80211, 303.842.5859

Dave Sole "Fun at the Beach"

Dave Sole “Fun at the Beach”

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  1. Doors Open Denver- This Weekend! | Theresa Anderson Art - April 11, 2013

    […] published as part of Spring Arts Preview: Doors Open Denver, Museo, PlatteForum, and Edge on the Scen3 visual arts blog by Theresa […]

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