Groovy, Man

Posters from the hippie era radiate good vibes

SAT 5/17

They were different times, to be sure. During the psychedelic heyday of the hippie movement -- when denizens of San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium and Avalon Ballroom (and Denver's Family Dog) were rocking, not to mention floating sky-high on just about every drug in the universe, and scruffy kids were camping out in Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park -- a form of graphic art as freewheeling as the culture developed in a haze of pot smoke and acid tests.These days, collectors covet the stuff: Day-Glo posters and handbills, blob-fonted promotional eye candy rooted in graphic movements ranging from art nouveau to the mind-blowing brain tricks of op art. These originals, which plastered the walls and phone poles of places frequented by counterculture sorts, advertise shows by the likes of Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service. The posters now command a pretty price, and they made famous, at least in the underground, the names of such artists as surf-and-hotrod imagists Rick Griffin and Stanley Mouse, psychedelic-comix pioneer Victor Moscoso, seminal Family Dog house artist Wes Wilson and Bill Graham's graphic collaborator, Lee Conklin.

These creative minds and more will be represented when the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, 400 Quail Road, Longmont, hosts Feelin¹ Groovy: Rock ¹n¹ Roll Graphics, 1966-1970, an enormously popular touring exhibit that originated at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. There, gallery curator Shannon Dillard Mitchell compiled a definitive visual primer of the psychedelic era. And, oh, what a long, strange trip it'll be for those who treaded the tracks of psychedelia over thirty years ago.

Erik Mason of the Longmont Museum says the community gallery chose to display the exhibit in hopes of attracting new audiences, and there's little doubt that it will work: Though the show officially opens today, nostalgia-seekers are expected to amass on May 28, when the museum throws a family-friendly bash featuring live, vintage surf music by the Beloved Invaders at 6:30 p.m. The mini-skirted Tootsies go-go dancers will complete the package, evoking memories of TV's Shindig and Hullabaloo. Feelin' Groovy continues through June 22; admission is free. Call 303-651-8364. -- Susan Froyd

Transatlantic race caught on tape WED 5/21

For a guy who grew up in Miami and later earned a film degree in San Francisco, Bruce Borowsky chose an odd place to start sailing: Colorado.But Borowsky, a Boulder video producer, has logged considerable nautical miles since he began sailing five years ago. And last year, the 42-year-old lived a seafarer's wet dream after he won a magazine essay contest that earned him a berth in a transatlantic boat race from England to Boston.

Borowsky captured his adventures on digital video, and an edited half-hour version of 18 Days, 16 Hours -- the duration of the journey -- will premier at 7:30 tonight at Changes in Latitude, 2525 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder.

Borowsky was part of a fifteen-member volunteer crew under the guidance of two professionals, sailing against five other boats. And his craft crossed the finish line first -- a full eight minutes ahead of the runner-up in the Challenge Transat 2002 held last August and September.

Did he encounter any danger along the way? Pirates? "It depends on how you define that," Borowsky replies. "We did run into a hurricane."

Works for us. And although he was one of a very few Yanks on a cruise heavily dominated by Brits, nobody threatened to keelhaul him. Details of the odyssey will unfold at the screening, where Borowsky will also talk about the joys of sailing in Colorado, particularly at Chatfield Reservoir, where he sails every Wednesday night. For more information, call 303-786-8406 or log on to www.bruceborowsky.com. -- Ernie Tucker

Art Trek
THUR, 5/15

Partake in a veritable buffet of art at the fourth annual East Boulder County Studio Tour. Twenty-four diverse artists from Lafayette, Louisville and Longmont are opening the doors of eighteen creative spaces because they want to meet you, the art lover. And they probably won't mind if you bring your checkbook along. There's plenty of wild stuff along the self-guided circuit: Lafayette's Carol Balliet makes striking paper sculptures out of recycled cotton and linen fabric; down the road, Jeff Becker shows off his handmade journals, which feature carefully hand-tooled leather covers and meticulously stitched bindings. Others offer up pottery, jewelry, copper sculptures, photography and good, old-fashioned paintings. Organizer David Beumee reports that artist participation in the event has nearly doubled since its inception. While the tour itself takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, art hounds can mix and mingle with the artists at a reception tonight from 6 to 8, at the Dove House, 1055 South Highway 287 in Lafayette. Admission is free -- the only thing you have to buy is the go-juice for your car. For a map and more information on the artists, go to www.bouldercountyartists.com. -- Melanie Haupt

What a Trip
People's Fair poster showcase spans thirty years
FRI, 5/16

You may already know that the Capitol Hill People's Fair is an annual arts-and-crafts festival held in Civic Center Park each June (thanks for staying off the grass this year). You may have admired the posters touting the event from time to time, posters that capture the spirit of Denver and its residents, created by Denverites themselves. It's only during the past decade or so that each annual image has been selected via a contest.

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