At the Norwest Bank Atrium, 1740 Broadway, the Asian Pacific Development Center hosts its first annual Artists of Asia Showcase, a benefit exhibition of works by five contemporary Chinese artists. Age-old themes and techniques mix with modern sensibilities in the pieces, which remain on view through September 18. Two of the artists will be on hand for a 6 p.m. fundraising reception featuring appetizers provided by the Imperial Restaurant; tickets are $35. For details call 303-393-0304.
The Denver Art Museum gets into the autumnal act with its Fall Antiquities and Art Show, a major four-day event rounding up twenty of the best contemporary Native American artists currently working in the United States, as well as a national cross-section of antique dealers offering everything from pre-Columbian objects to American folk art. The event kicks off tonight at 7 with a preview party benefiting the DAM's Douglas Society, a group that focuses on educational programs to promote native arts; the show and sale then get under way Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with artist lecture/demonstrations at 1:30 daily. Finally, the show culminates from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday with the DAM Friendship Pow Wow, an annual event with lots of colorful dancing and costumes. The museum is at 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.; admission is $75 for the opening-night benefit and $10 on show days ($8 members; $15 for a three-day pass). Call 303-640-4433 or log on to www.denverartmuseum.org.
Contemporary work by an artist who began as a member of New York's famed "Group of Ten" before diverging from his companions' abstract-expressionist bent to follow his own unique path is the subject of Ben-Zion: In Search of Oneself, which opens today at the Mizel Museum of Judaica, 560 S. Monaco Pkwy. Ben-Zion's representational abstractions based on biblical themes go on display at a 7 p.m. reception; the show continues through November 30. Call 303-333-4156.
Yee-haw!--yet another reason to love living in the West: The Morrison Cowboy Celebration, a nice little two-day gathering with singing cowboys (and cowgirls), range poets, yarn-spinners and even a bit of a Mexican serenade on Saturday, begins tonight at 7:30 at the Morrison Town Hall, 110 Stone St., Morrison. A second program follows at the same time tomorrow; $12 steak dinners are being served pre-concert at the nearby Blue Cow restaurant either night. Concert admission is $12 and seating is limited; call 303-697-2314 for reservations.
Environmental issues don't just affect the white majority--people from all ethnic backgrounds are concerned with the conservation of natural resources. Justice for All: Racial Equality and Environmental Well-Being, a conference sponsored by CU-Boulder's Center for the American West, will tackle the subject today and tomorrow at the Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec St., with a well-rounded slate of speakers led by National Park Service director Robert Stanton, the first African-American to hold the post. Representatives of Native American and Hispanic points of view will also be on hand for the fascinating conference, which includes a bus tour to Rocky Mountain National Park. The symposium costs $75 for both days; for information or to register, call 303-492-4067 or log on to www.colorado.edu/ArtsSciences/CenterWest.
It may seem a little early for spooks and ghouls to make their autumn appearances, but in some of Colorado's most famous old mining towns, specters are apparently in season. You can take your pick between two cemetery tours this weekend, both of which feature costumed historical figures who pop out from behind tombstones to tell their stories. In Victor, the two-day Colorado History Group Fall Rendezvous gets under way this morning at 9:30 with much more than the average yard crawl--a full schedule of mine excursions, saloon visits and even an outhouse tour will fill the hours before tomorrow's event-capping trek among the vaults of Mount Pisgah Cemetery. Admission is $20 daily; for reservations call 303-355-0211. And your other opportunity for an educational scare? Central City's Masonic Cemetery plays host to historical hobgoblins during the Gilpin County Cemetery Crawl, beginning at 2 today; tickets are $5 (children twelve and under free). Call 303-582-5364 or 303-914-8431.
Here's a great example of people getting together to give something enriching back to their community. Whittier Community Day is a family-oriented neighborhood celebration without any fancy trimmings except for this: It includes the unveiling of the Whittier Renaissance project, for which Whittier Elementary School students and neighborhood adults teamed up to create giant string dream-catcher sculptures. Today's festival-goers can "check out" individual sculptures, which will be further decorated with poems and symbolic objects during the day, to display on their lawns in a show of community spirit. The small, sweet event takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Fuller Park, 28th Ave. and Williams St.; call 303-282-9717.
Being in one of Ireland's best unknown bands, Stockton's Wing, has been like a required internship for more than a few Celtic-music whizzes since its inception over twenty years ago. In addition to offering the usual dazzling displays of musicianship self-evident in all the best Celtic combos, Stockton's Wing is a good example of how traditional Irish bands never seem to die, break up or fizzle out. Instead, their members just seem to pass the torch quietly. See Stockton's Wing tonight at 8 at the new Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 E. Yale; for tickets, $15, call 303-777-1003 or 303-830-TIXS.