Who really knows, other than a sculptor, what goes on in a sculpture studio? It's actually a loud, messy business -- with machinery buzzing and dust flying -- but it's also an endeavor that undergoes many stages of evolution between drawing board and finished work. Most of us never see this. When all of the aforementioned debris settles, we get only the big picture: the completed bronze, the chiseled stone, the metal components flying in the wind. Lakewood Cultural Center gallery curator Robin Anderson had the same question in her mind last summer while working with local sculptor Charles Parson, who also teaches at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (which recently moved to new digs in Lakewood). Parson had come to her with a proposal for an outdoor sculpture show, and Anderson caught the fever. "I was excited about working with the school," she says. "Actual Lakewood artists are hard to find. So she put two ideas together: "I said to Chuck, 'What if you show us how it's done?'"
Parson jumped at the idea and gathered together four sculptors he'd mentored at RMCAD -- Douglas Trujillo, Andrew Sweet, Daniel Crosier and Sue Quinlan -- to participate in Inside Look at Outdoor Sculpture, which opens today at the center, 470 South Allison Parkway, and continues through March 26. In the spirit of the exhibit, each artist will be represented by a unique mélange of photographs, tools and materials, sketchbooks and maquettes of works in progress, as well as completed smaller works. What really makes this show stand out, though, is its companion venture: a series of actual studio tours on January 31, February 21 and March 13. Admission to each is $5, and pre-registration is recommended.
In addition, the artists will give a slide presentation February 7, and a reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. February 13; for information and reservations, call 303-987-7876. -- Susan Froyd
Form and Function
The Vessel: Voyage & Contain a new show opening tonight a the William Havu Gallery, explores vessels in a multitude of shapes, sizes and mediums, with oil paintings by Joanne Kerrihard and sculptures by Michael Clapper, Martha Daniels, Margaret Haydon, Margaret Josey, Darlene Nguyen-Ely, Anthony Sarenpa and Bernice Strawn. "We have so many artists who work in vessel-type forms that we decided to put them all together," says gallery administrator Kate Thompson. "The show has a lot of ceramics, but there are also wooden and limestone pieces. We're very excited about it, because it's pretty different from what we normally do."
Opening with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m., The Vessel will be on display through February 21 at Havu, a contemporary gallery at 1040 Cherokee Street in the Golden Triangle. Call 303-893-2360 or visit www.williamhavugallery.com. -- Julie Dunn
Your Table's Waiting
Doug Fleischmann probably has a choice seat reserved for you in heaven. Beloved restaurateur Fleischmann was called away from the table all too early when he was killed in a car accident last June after a great night at the two Denver restaurants he owned with Frank Bonanno, Luca D'Italia and Mizuna. While Bonanno oversaw the kitchen, Fleischmann worked the front of the room, giving everyone a smile, a hug, a feeling that they were someone special.
Fleischmann certainly was. And in his honor, some of Denver's top restaurants have teamed with Johnson & Wales University to launch Doug's Birthday Bash. Over fifty local eateries -- including 1515 Restaurant, Vega, Adega, Barolo Grill, Venice, McCormick's Fish House & Oyster Bar, Brasserie Rouge, the Painted Bench, Mel's Bar & Grill and, of course, Luca and Mizuna -- will donate 10 percent of today's food sales to the Doug Fleischmann Memorial Scholarship Fund at Johnson & Wales. The university, which offers a bachelor of science degree in food-service management, will match all donations.
For more information, call 303-355-3838. And don't worry: Doug will save you a spot. -- Patricia Calhoun
A tip of the hat to cowboys
The cowboy hat is as much a part of the West's history as horses, six-shooters and boots. And it may be the most important myth created by Western movies, in which white hats equaled good guys and black hats symbolized villains. But Ritch Rand, whose family has been making cowboy hats for three decades in Billings, Montana, knows the truth beneath the myths, and he offers them in The Cowboy Hat Book, recently updated from the original tome, printed in 1995. The hat man will be at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 East First Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. tonight to bring everyone up to date.
According to Rand, this essential piece of gear had its beginnings with John B. Stetson, the son of a Philadelphia hatmaker, who conjured up the first one as a joke on a hunting trip in 1865, making it out of soft felt and giving it both a wide brim and his name. And while the good old ten-gallon hat never really went out of style, it experiences periodic revivals when Hollywood types, business moguls and other celebrities decide the look suits them -- even if they're not in the mood to punch cattle.