Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Absolute Vinyl, Bart’s new Shack keep the music playing in Boulder

It seemed like Boulder was bereft of record stores. Second Spin was long gone from the Hill, and just a few months ago Bart’s closed shop on the 11thish block of Pearl.

But the music plays on. Bart has reopened in a new location (and it’s really Bart at the helm again), and a new store had actually opened in January but so quietly you’d be excused if you didn’t know it. Both shops are a bit off the beaten path from a downtown Boulder perspective, but both are definitely worth the hike.

Absolute VinylHead north on Broadway toward the area now known as “Uptown” and you’ll find Absolute Vinyl at 4474 N. Broadway. You can think of it as Broadway and Violet, but you have to go almost all the way to the north end of the long sunken parking lot on the northeast corner of that crossing.. Absolute Vinyl has a good collection of records, from the mundane to the highly collectible, as well as a small offering of used phonographs. At the same address is Little Horse Books, a truly eclectic collection of music-related books and magazine back-issues, local-interest books, classics, and undoubtedly more which this chronicler’s eyes missed upon the first visit.

Also, you’re not crazy. There really is no upstairs.

Phone: (303) 995-1519
Hours: 7 days a week, 11 AM to 6:30 PM

Bart's Music Shack, Porch View

Bart Stinchcomb has returned to the music-store scene, opening Bart’s Music Shack at 236 Pearl Street. Do the math and you’ll realize this is no longer within reach of a brief lunch-break walk from downtown; so what? Take your bike instead. Or hop aboard the 206. When you see the small interior you will be amazed at how many records are on the shelves, in the boxes, on and under the tables, along with a rack of CDs and a shelf of DVDs just to round things out. And Bart tells us there will be more, lots more, in the months to come.

According to the Colorado Daily (linked at the beginning of this article), you should be on the lookout for a grand opening with live music at some unspecified date to come. Watch Bart’s Facebook page (linked in the previous paragraph) for announcements.

Phone: (303) 444-1760
Hours: 11-6 Tuesday through Sunday

Parking spaces become human spaces in downtown Boulder

The construction equipment trucks were making the rounds this morning, heading slowly down Pearl Street and turning the corner on 14th. At certain businesses, here and there, they stopped to unload chevron-style barricades and orange traffic cones. They erected barriers around those parking spaces labeled “Special Event 10AM – 2PM”. Business owners and staff waved their thanks–and began making magic happen inside the barricades.

In front of 14th Street businesses Tee & Cakes, Cefiori, and Kristen Lewis Architects, tall pennant-style flags went up on telescoping poles. Real grass turf unrolled to turn four angled parking spaces into a barefoot-inviting lawn. Deck chairs and picnic tables under a portable shade tent presented coffee, cupcakes, and information about the solar power that was chilling the spring water in the wagon parked to the side.

It was all part of Park(ing) Spaces Day in Boulder, when businesses reclaimed parking spaces and showed how they could accommodate humans rather than cars for a few hours. The resulting atmosphere was something like a sidewalk sale, what with the free samples and discounts and informational brochures, but also something like Earth Day, what with the theme of ecologically responsible practices. And of course the whole celebration was part of the annual Walk & Bike Month festivities, which will be going on all during June. Bike to Work Day, specifically, will be June 22. (More about that as we get closer to the date.)

Park(ing) Spaces exhibits will be up until 2:00 PM today. The Cycling in Boulder blog has made a map available showing where all the exhibits are; there’s also a list up at both the Tee & Cakes blog entry and the event announcement previously linked. Get out there and enjoy it before everyone packs up and goes back to parking as usual!

“Standards of Ethical Conduct” Now Online For Your Viewing Pleasure

Just a quick post today to alert y’all to an online development you might find interesting. So, last year, early Junish-or-thereabouts, Denver saw the premier of locally produced office comedy Standards of Ethical Conduct. Did you manage to get out there and take it in? If not, you aren’t too late. Now you can watch it online. As filmmaker Roman Hargrave puts it, “It will finally be seen where it was intended to be seen – while sitting in your cubicle.”

Economists fret as worker productivity is in an unprecedented free-fall, while bandwidth usage is skyrocketing. Office managers around the country are also reporting higher than average hostility towards human resource managers….

In “Standards of Ethical Conduct”, a 45-minute office comedy, filmmaker Roman Hardgrave presents the story of Heff, a cubicle-dweller who finds himself in conflict with his company’s nightmarish Standards of Ethical Conduct after an unfortunate incident at the annual company Halloween party. “Last Comic Standing” semi-finalist Chuck Roy co-stars as Heff’s stoner roommate, a man pursuing a very different sort of American Dream.

The movie has an extensive online presence, with the official site at, the director’s blog at, and a YouTube Partner channel at

I can’t give you my own review yet, because I still haven’t sat down and watched it. Which is absurd, in that I work from home and don’t have to worry about the boss catching me goofing off. But there it is. I am remiss, and have only a self-imposed daily grind to blame for it.

However, I ran over to the Doza Pictures blog, and I have to say I’m intrigued by Roman’s guerilla marketing strategy.

Creativity Workshop This Sunday in Broomfield

If you’re up Broomfield way this weekend, and if you’re an artist of any stripe, there’s a workshop going on Sunday with your name on it–

Wait. Back up a step. “If you’re an artist”–don’t let that phrase exclude you. Perhaps it’s better to say, “If you’re an individual with a creative bent–”

But, see, even that can be daunting. For every working artist out there, whether putting together his or her latest literary venture in a coffee shop or blazing out strokes of vibrancy on the canvas, there’s the friend or acquaintance or stranger who watches them and says, “I wish I was creative like you.”

They’re only a change of mind away from having their wish, because they already are creative, if only they would believe it! We all are creative. You are, too. Look: You are an individual human being. Being human means being a creator. And original? Of course you’re original. No one else speaks with your voice, takes in the world with your physical sense, parses that data with your brain. Every single one of us, and that means you and you and you–we are each a storehouse of creative works, of art, that only each one of us can bring to life.

Hence, this workshop, aimed to reconnect participants with that drive to create, because creating things is fun and is the natural human response to the world.

Loosening Your Creative Voice: An Interactive Workshop
Sunday, March 28, 2010, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Broomfield Auditorium Lobby Gallery
3 Community Park Road, Broomfield

Join us for this two-hour workshop that will nourish and loosen our creative voice, that inner conversation which too often is squelched by the busy demands of our everyday lives.

During our time together, we will explore activities that call attention to who we are and how we express our individuality. We will write, create a sand tray scene, listen to music and poetry, and connect with the physicality of creative expression.

There is no right or wrong here – just fun, introspection, and a sharing of our discoveries in a safe place. We’ll learn more about how we observe and how we respond to the immediate world, both around us and within us.

Workshop facilitators are my good friend Karen Douglass, an exquisite poet whose most recent book is The Great Hunger (Plain View Press, 2009); and musician and visual artist Ellen Laverdure, whose works in watercolor and pastel you can see at her website.

Workshop fee of $20 may be paid at the door, but do please register ahead of time to reserve your spot by call the Broomfield Cultural Affairs, 303-464-5835, or by calling Ellen, 303-495-3150.

Bears By the Cottage Door

Welded bear sculpture and shed door

Welded bear sculpture and shed door

Construction on the east side of 30th Street at Pearl has made the walk from my house down to Walnut Plaza a bit of an obstacle course. So I’ve been doing a bit of “urban bushwhacking” instead–going off sidewalks, out the backs of parking lots, sight-seeing in the industrial mini-districts of near-east Boulder.

Today I followed the train tracks south from Valmont. These bears are sitting beside the tracks on the south side of pearl, in a lot I tend to think of as “The Gay Stoner Shipping Yard.” There used to be a pale blue shipping container sitting here, labeled with low-tech block stick-on letters that spelled out something like “GA STONE” or “GAL STONE COMPANY.” Some wit with a paint can made the obvious alteration.

The shipping container is gone, along with whatever company it pertained to. Now there are bears: Welded iron bears with glass stone eyes. And a bunch of free-standing shed and yard equipment that may have escaped from the Sutherlands yard or perhaps from somewhere more exotic.

Bears! One of the many wonders brought to you by Feet!

Welded bear sculpture

Welded bear sculpture

Free Days at Colorado History Museum!

Currently the Colorado History Museum is in the process of moving and is “giving away” the opportunity for one and all to come visit and enjoy!

I had heard about the free day via a tweet, gotta love how much you can learn about the goings on in denver via twitter!

And these are just the few that are in my current stream!

But I digress…  Today the husband and I took a trip to the museum to check out the Imagine a Great City: Denver at 150 exhibit!

We had never been in and decided a free day was as good a day as any to see what the museum was all about!
The volunteers at the front desk were friendly and helpful and sent us on our way into the exhibits.

The main exhibit took up most of one side of the museum with lots of placards and info spots.  Down stairs there was another exhibit on Allen True’s West. Also downstairs is where they restore artifacts and they do it in a large glass room so everyone can see – now obviously they are simply packing everything up to prepare for the move, but hopefully in the new location there will be the same sort of thing! I bet that would be really cool!

It will be free until March, so pop in and take in some history!

Denver Art Week at the Zoo

Last weekend I enjoyed the first weekend of Denver Art Week (#denverartweek). I went to the Zoo and watched the Elephants paint pictures!!!
Yes – Paint Pictures!!  How cool is that??!!
The handlers – brought the elephants into the main inside area, they went through some of the basic stuff – checking feet, teeth etc. It was super cool that they could balance on their left feet and raise their right feet – wow! Amazing balance!

Once they finished that, the main show started! Each elephant got to paint some of the painting. The finished product was definitely interesting!!

Beginning of the painting More paint! Final Painting
Once the new area for the Pachyderms is finished this paintings will be hung on the outside of their building! They get to decorate their own house! Yeah!!

David Sedaris at the Buell

David Sedaris visits Denver,  to  a packed house at the Buell.

The stage was still set for Wicked, but he looked great under the giant dragon!

I last saw him years before out in Southern California – so I didn’t feel the need to pay the big bucks to see up his nose!

We were waaaay up in the balcony – 3 rows from the back! We could see pretty well, but of course the fun of “seeing” David Sedaris is to hear him read his stories.

He read a couple excerpts from his next book! We hope he calls it “Animal Stories” – you’ll have to wait and see when it comes out!

NPR – KUNC (did you know they do a 1 day donation drive? how cool is that)  and The Tattered Cover were there to support him and he supported them right back!Very cool!

His suggested reading this time around was “Our Dumb World

It sounded hysterical and I think at least one person might be getting if for christmas this year!

He also suggested a weird recommendation for TV or internet viewing was a show on BBC called The Specials – Sounded interesting…Weird, but interesting.

The crowd was well behaved, creepily well versed in Mr Sedaris’s life, family and habits, and just happy to have him in their midst! The hour and a half flew by and we all moaned when he left the stage.

As seen on twitter…


I wanted to introduce you to DENVER 2 for 1 TIX,
Great savings for you on last-minute tickets from all around Denver, Colorado, including Arts, Theatre, Culture, Attractions and more.  Sign up for DENVER 2 for 1 TIX emails at



I saw a snippet on twitter about 2 for 1 tickets in Denver and since we are all counting pennies these days, I immediately gave it a click!

Love the idea, last minute tickets, cheap prices! With this and groupon (i know you know about groupon) I should be far from bored and have more money in my pocket to buy drinks!  The above email I could send to all my friends, but i decided to send it out to all the Denver Metblog followers instead!

Three Cups of Tea and a Second Wind Walk

Today was a busy day.  Early this afternoon, my wife and I joined two of my colleagues – Maarit Kaaihue and Bill Fukui from Page 1 Solutions on a 5K walk in support of the Second Wind Foundation of Metro Denver – an organization dedicated to preventing teen suicide.  At Page 1, we have been supporting Second Wind for two or three years and were very pleased to see so many people turn out at the Jeffco Fairgrounds for the Walk/Run/Bike event.  Organizers said that there were 4,000 people this year – up from last year’s record of 3,000.  This year the walk seemed easier and shorter – probably because I have been doing so much hiking all summer.  It was a lot of fun.

This evening my wife and son went to the Journey of Hope Benefit Concert at Red Rocks.  The event featured several bands and the Colorado Childrens Chorale – along with Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea.  The event was inspiring.  In addition to Greg Mortenson, the stars of the show were his daughter and five other children who had started foundations help impoverished children in the US, Africa and South America.  The foundations included the Little Red Wagon Foundation, Peruvian Hearts, and Africaid, among others.   Pennies for Peace sponsored the event.

There were a number of messages throughout the evening, but the central theme seemed to be that each of us can make a difference.  Even if we only help one child learn to read, that is one more literate child who will grow up to make a difference.  Bottom line, if each of us acts, we can change the world.

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