Nothing says lovin' like a really big pair of men's briefs painted in a festive theme. Although you've missed the opening-night reception, there are still many quality items left at the Zip Bazaar, a holiday invitational at the cooperative gallery that shares a northwest Denver intersection (not to mention the 80237 Zip code) with Pirate, Edge and the Bug.
For this annual art extravaganza, Zip 37 members could each invite an outsider to show his or her works. And so you find lovely, homey tiles and paintings by regular Kate McPhee alongside bright ceramics by Rose McPhee, any one of which would make a perfect Christmas gift for your eclectic, tasteful sister. The big underpants come courtesy of Zip stalwart Jennifer Melton, who's also offering a few remnants from her last show of painted high heels: Surely there's someone in this town who needs that wonderful plate of high heels painted and presented like fruit (a bargain at $150).
Other familiar artists featured in this often bizarre bazaar include Jerry Simpson, with his upbeat -- and offbeat -- assemblages; Jean Smith, who presents hand-tinted photographs and more ceramics; Martha Keating, who specializes in tilework (and is partly responsible for the neighborhood's impressive public-art projects); multiple-personality expert Phil Bender, who creates art here by lining up rows of old playing cards; Chandler Romeo, long known for her sculptures and paintings but now embroidering napkins (Romeo and her husband, painter Reed Weimer, own several of the nearby buildings that house alternative art); and Zoa Ace and Louis Recchia, another husband-and-wife pair of painters.
In addition to larger, but still affordable, pieces that feature his trademark tinsel painting and elaborate frames, Recchia has an assortment of pins for sale, many of them featuring pop icons or copies of artistic masterpieces, as well as Recchia's own handiwork. At just $3 a pop, these could present the best opportunity you'll ever have to collect work by a Colorado artist who's in the Denver Art Museum's permanent collection.