You know Edward James Olmos for his moving portrayals as an actor, in everything from television's stylish cop show Miami Vice to the inspirational film bio of a tough barrio high school teacher, Stand and Deliver. But Olmos is also a tireless activist for Latino causes, and it's in that capacity that he helped edit Americanos: Latino Life in the United States, a all-encompassing, lushly illustrated overview of Latino-American culture from the street to the movie screen. Olmos drops by the Tattered Cover Bookstore tonight at 7:30 to discuss and sign copies of the book; free tickets for a seat and a place in line will be available beginning at 6:30. For details call 303-322-7727.
Uh-oh. Midweek culture crisis? Why not visit a gallery or two--or three--and wash away all traces of the rat race, at least for a couple of hours? A good place to start--or end--might be with a brew and a gander at the Celebrate Colorado Artists Preview, a selection of works by artists chosen to participate in a new all-Colorado arts festival debuting Memorial Day weekend at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The sneak-peek show can be viewed through May 26 at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th St.; call 303-297-2700. Not far away at Ron Judish Fine Arts, 1617 Wazee St., hangs Layers, a three-person show of paintings by Rob Douglas, mixed media by Norah Krogman and photography by Ron Pollard, tied together by their use of textural and conceptual strata. See the show through May 8; call 303-571-5556. Also in LoDo, Studio 1818, 1818 Blake St., features The Paper Chase, a selection of new works on paper by emerging artists at the Open Press printmaking studio (hanging through April 25; call 303-296-9132), and, across the tracks, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1513A Boulder St., touts its own with Selections From the Permanent Collection, through May 8. Call 303-433-9591. Keep heading north, and you'll find yourself at the Ground Works Art Gallery, housed inside the neighborhood coffeehouse Common Grounds, 3484 W. 32nd Ave., where the espresso flows and Cosas del Corazon, an exhibit of Madonna-faced glazed tiles and other Latino-themed works by Patricio Córdova, continues through April 29. Call 303-458-5248. Or head uptown to the Colorado Vintage Poster Gallery, 138 W. 12th Ave., for a germane glimpse at Contemporaries of Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, an antique graphics show on view a few blocks from the art museum through April 24. There, now. Isn't that better? Call 303-436-0225.