In typical form, the theme-friendly Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities opens its summer gallery season with a trio of interconnected shows that seem to go with the flow of summer by exploring family relationships, the lure of the road and teen rites of passage, respectively. Included are Family Impressions, an installation-like group show of mixed-media works by Bill Amundson, Malinda Beeman, Antonette Rosato, Charmain Schuh and Melanie Walker, and Summer Vacation: On the Road With Artists, which, in addition to works by six artists, features an interactive component. Teenagers in Their Bedrooms, an exhibit of photographs by Adrienne Salinger, rounds out the roster with a strong presentation of storytelling images. An opening reception takes place tonight from 7 to 9 at the center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.; all three shows continue through mid-August. Call 303-431-3939.
We don't mean to brag, but Westword staff writer Robin Chotzinoff is off and running with her second book of eccentric profiles. People Who Sweat: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Pursuits explores everyday athletes across the nation in typically personal style. Chotz brings her real-life characters to life during a reading tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; for details call 303-322-7727.
How does one describe the Adrian Legg mystique? He looks like a corner shopkeeper who'd be most comfortable in an apron, with a manner tipped unevenly in the direction of subtle. But he also plays the bejesus out of an acoustic guitar, executing finger-style licks with devilishly superhuman skill--but only after getting his audience to roll in the aisles with a sneakily funny story. Legg's amazing to watch, but he's also a really nice, literate guy--see and hear tonight at 9 at the Soiled Dove, 1949 Market St. Admission is $12; call 303-830-TIXS.
It's baaaack! After a successful inaugural season last summer, Haunted Carnival: Boulder's Festival of Fantastic Film returns to the college town, offering a full month's worth of sci-fi, fantasy and horror film classics (and--face it--not-so-classics) at five venues, including CU's International Film Series in Muenzinger Auditorium, the Boulder Public Library Auditorium, the Boulder Theater, Chautauqua Auditorium and Boulder's Outdoor Cinema. This year's fete will include an appearance by veteran sci-fi author Ray Bradbury later in the month, as well as tributes to Stanley Kubrick and B-movie classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but there's plenty to occupy your mind in between. Things get under way tonight with screenings of Yog, Monster From Space at the BPL, 1000 Canyon Blvd., and Until the End of the World and Mighty Peking Man at CU-Boulder. There's also a kickoff masquerade party with music by Jerry C. and the Zukes of Zydeco tonight at 8 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St; for tickets, $5.25, call 303-786-7030. For showtimes and more detailed information, see the weekly film listings in these pages or log on to www.colorado.edu/FilmStudies/haunted carnival.
Denver has its own clockwork, and the annual advent of the Capitol Hill People's Fair is, without question, how it chimes in the summer season. It's a monster of a street festival that started out small in the Seventies before ballooning to its present size and stature: six nonstop entertainment stages, more than 500 vendor booths, a hands-on Backpacker Magazine Outdoor Village, kids' activities, carnival rides and more, all sprawled out in Civic Center Park at Colfax and Broadway. Attend the fest from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow; admission is free. Call 303-830-1651.
Nobody understands that the pen is mightier than the sword better than Paul Conrad, who for decades has been known as one of the world's leading political cartoonists. The three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and master of the satirical jab will sign copies of Drawing the Line: The Collected Works of America's Premier Political Cartoonists, a career retrospective that's also an illustrated history of world politics since the Sixties, today at 1 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St. For details, call 303-436-1070.
They're all that is Austin--non-conforming, laid-back, folksy, rootsy, rocky and damn funny. So it's no wonder the Austin Lounge Lizards were voted Band of the Year at the 1996 Kerrville Music Awards and are perennial favorites with the Austin music community. Get a taste of Texas bohemia when they perform tonight at 8 at Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 E. Yale Ave.; for tickets, $14 ($12 members), call 303-777-1003.
It's turning out to be the summer of the bug, it seems, with major insect-related events coming to the Denver Botanic Gardens later in the month and a mega-bug mural going up in downtown Denver, but the Denver Museum of Natural History is first in line with today's Infested Festival, a day of buggy doings from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that includes insect cookery, a creepy-crawly touchy-feely insect zoo, a giant bug parade and a film festival. And, for the intrepid, there's even an after-dark Things That Go Hunt in the Night Hunt with spider expert Dr. Paula Cushing, beginning at 9 p.m. Festival admission ranges from $8 to $16; call the museum, 2001 Colorado Blvd., at 303-322-7009, for reservations.