While graffiti and tagging are most commonly seen in alleys and on the sides of buildings and highway overpasses, the spray-paint works showcased in Rhythmic Chaos: Graffiti As Art, will hang on the walls of the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center. The exhibit, which opens today, is the result of a two-year collaborative venture between the center and Longmont Youth Services aimed at raising awareness of the positive aspects of graffiti art.
"I wanted to find a way for kids to do graffiti in a legal fashion," says Lory Ohs, youth-program specialist for Longmont, who helped organize the program. "To show people that kids can express themselves through graffiti and turn it into something more."
Eleven local teenagers, ages fourteen to seventeen, have spent months learning the origins of graffiti art while mastering advanced spraying techniques with the help of two metro-Denver professional graffiti artists, Marc Anthony Martinez and Andy Mason.
"Spray paint is a tough medium; you've got to be quick about it or you make a mess," says Mason. "But I was definitely impressed with what the kids created. I wish I had had this kind of instruction and guidance when I was younger."
Rhythmic Chaos includes one large portable mural and two mounted educational panels that highlight the history of graffiti as a timeline. There are also canvas blocks created by each of the artists.
"If you give kids a place to do something that they love to do, it's going to turn out good. I like to help them channel their creativity in a positive way," says Ohs. "I don't think that tagging is going to be good enough for these kids anymore; they're looking at graffiti in a higher light."
The exhibit opens today with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. and will hang through February 22. The Longmont Museum & Cultural Center is located at 400 Quail Road. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For further details and museum hours, call 303-651-8374 or log on to www.ci.longmont.co.us/museum/.
"For me, the most rewarding thing about doing this was getting to know the kids," says Mason. "They all have a lot of talent." -- Julie Dunn
David Taylor Dance Theatre grooves to cinema
Dancers will glide across the stage with the grace of Gene Kelly and strut with the sassiness of Roxy Hart and Velma Kelly at this evening's A Night at the Movies, a program of dance choreographed to movie soundtracks and presented by the David Taylor Dance Theatre. "It just seemed like it was a great way to introduce people to dance and entertain them in a different way than they're used to," says David Taylor, artistic director of the professional contemporary ballet company. "We're going to cover a lot of different film genres and themes."
The performance will feature scores from Bram Stoker's Dracula, An American in Paris and several James Bond films, along with a piece from Chicago, performed by Parker Dance.
"The music is all really incredible," says Taylor. "It's a really fun show. I think that audiences are going to love it, because there is a lot of variety."
A Night at the Movies will take place tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at the Parker Mainstreet Center, 19650 East Mainstreet in Parker. The family-friendly show is appropriate for all ages.
Tickets, $12 for adults and $6 for seniors and kids ages eighteen and under, can be purchased at www.parkeronline.org/cultural or by calling 303-805-3275. For more information on the David Taylor Dance Theatre, visit www.dtdt.org. -- Julie Dunn
Talking About a Good Cosby
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Theo Huxtable on the hit '80s sitcom The Cosby Show, will kick off Metro State Student Activities and CU-Denver Student Life's Distinguished Lecture Series today with a lecture called Growing Up Cosby. "He's going to talk about what it was like being a childhood star and how he was able to avoid some of the pitfalls that other childhood stars have experienced," says Brooke Dilling, associate director of student activities at Metropolitan State College of Denver. "And he'll touch on what it was like being on The Cosby Show and the major effect that the sitcom had on network television."
Warner, who can currently be seen on UPN's Malcolm & Eddie and is releasing an album with his jazz band, Miles Long, will follow his 45-minute free talk with a question-and-answer session. Open to the public, Growing Up Cosby takes place this afternoon at 1 p.m. in the Tivoli Turnhale on the Auraria campus.
Upcoming speakers in the Distinguished Lecture Series include authors Randall Kennedy, William Katz, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez and Elizabeth Wurtzel. For more information, call 303-556-2595 or 303-556-4247. -- Julie Dunn
Ties That Bind
Woven Dreams showcases fabric from Borneo
Catherine Fitzgerald, a University of Denver graduate student in anthropology, had the good fortune to travel last year on a study grant to Kalimantan, the Indonesia-governed portion of the island of Borneo. The far-flung wilderness is home to orangutans, as well as the tribes and subtribes of the Dayak, onetime headhunters who now practice more socially acceptable customs. One of these, Ikat weaving, is the subject of Woven Dreams: Women and Weaving in Indonesian Borneo, an exhibition mounted by Fitzgerald at the DU Museum of Anthropology, Sturm Hall 102, 2000 East Asbury Avenue. "A lot of weaving traditions were on the decline in Borneo because of the availability of cheaper-made, mass-produced cloth," Fitzgerald says. But in 2000, a local priest encouraged tribeswomen to revive the tradition by forming a craft cooperative. "Ikat," she adds, "is a style that's done throughout Southeast Asia, but this is the specific type done only by the indigenous people of Borneo for hundreds of years." Twenty such works, bearing abstract storytelling patterns often drafted from personal dreams, will be on display at the museum through March 12.
The exhibit opens with a reception tonight from 5 to 8 p.m.; Fitzgerald hopes to also include a sale of crafts to benefit the co-op. Call 303-871-2688. -- Susan Froyd