Living Color

Childhood Remembered gives voice to women's history

When invited by the City of Broomfield to put on an art exhibit in the building shared by its library and public auditorium, members of the Women's Caucus for Art made certain the theme fit the environment. As an enhancement for the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library's summer reading program, caucus members submitted story-related works for Childhood Remembered: Movies, Myths, Fables and Stories, a celebration of the narrative that's especially geared toward families and children. One advantage to putting on a group show of this nature, notes curator and participant Jean Smith, is the conceptual diversity: The endless variations on a theme complement one another while differing wildly in style and media. But somehow, there's also something inherently female in every piece, an unspoken walk on the wild side that's lyrical, dreamy, sometimes funny and always peacefully testosterone-free.

Artist Annette Coleman, for instance, took both the cinematic and mythological themes seriously, basing her four-panel entry on the film Whale Rider, in which a Maori girl grapples with new ways of dealing with the age-old patriarchal traditions handed down by her culture. And more myths reappear in other artists' works: Linda Everson contributes a fragmented wall sculpture of handmade paper and wisps of fiber depicting the wings, torso and feet of Icarus, while Leslie Aguillard's mysterious painted wooden box, "Road to Magdalene," features an Atlas figure and the heavens on the cover and a spiritual pathway through cathedral-like woods inside.

Works by Beverly Geiger and Lisa Michot take divergent routes in papier-mâché, with Geiger mining Egyptian imagery to create whimsical life-sized figures and Michot revisiting a global village of mythical deities in a series of wall-hung masks and figures. Sue Crosby Doyle revisits old tales, too, by including her own childhood drawings from Little Red Riding Hood, and Tamera Duris relates to young viewers with "Innocence Reclaimed," a rotating, life-sized symbolic bust encrusted with grass, like some fabulous Chia animal displayed in the Broomfield children's library. "Having children interact with it is a rewarding culmination to the work that went into the creation of this piece," Duris says.

Myths are revealed in Childhood Remembered.
Myths are revealed in Childhood Remembered.
A documentary traces the cultural impact of 
Tupperware.
A documentary traces the cultural impact of Tupperware.

View Childhood Remembered through August 14 at the Broomfield Auditorium/ Library, 3 Community Park Drive; a public reception takes place at 5 p.m. on June 8. Call 303-469-3301, ext. 7999, or log on to www.ci.broomfield.co.us/cultural. -- Susan Froyd

Fantastic Plastic
Tupperware! unseals a phenom's tale
THURS, 5/27

What's made of plastic, burps, and lives in refrigerators? Well, duh! Everyone knows it's Tupperware, the ultimate housewife's friend and indelible symbol of mid-century Americana. Interestingly enough, the stuff actually works. It keeps food fresh in the fridge, one reason it's endured over the decades and remained a true phenomenon -- not to mention the seminal stuff of house-party marketing. While researching the rise of plastic products in the Smithsonian archives, filmmaker Laurie Kahn-Leavitt first stumbled onto the intertwined history of Earl Silas Tupper, who invented the ingenious post-war product, and the woman -- Brownie Wise, a divorcée with an eighth-grade education -- who turned it into a national success story. Although Kahn-Leavitt had a more general film in mind, she knew a good story when she saw one, and her documentary, Tupperware!, was born.

"Here were these two rather incomplete but ambitious people -- a tinkerer and a woman who's a divorced mother," she explains. "And neither of them really succeeded until they met up." To tell their story, Kahn-Leavitt uses rare footage, old television commercials, firsthand accounts by a legion of former salesladies and the homey narration of actress Kathy Bates.

Tupperware! kicks off the Starz FilmCenter's new FilmReal Doc Nigh series tonight at 7 p.m.; Kahn-Leavitt will attend the screening. Starz is in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus; for information, call 303-820-3456 or log on to www.starzfilmcenter.com. -- Susan Froyd

The Bigger Picture
THURS, 5/27

Jason Bosch believes that the revolution will be televised. A human-rights advocate and an artist, Bosch was inspired to create an independent film series after watching a documentary on war crimes in Sierra Leone: "I didn't even know Sierra Leone was a country. I needed to conduct an evaluation of my own ignorance." Hoping to enlighten others as well, Bosch rolls the Argus Free Film Series every Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. These rebel flicks -- thought-provoking documentaries that examine corporations and human rights -- aren't broadcast by the mainstream media. "You are not going to get the major networks to show the type of film that criticizes their own corporate structures," Bosch says. "Obviously, it's detrimental to them."

Tonight, activist Naomi Klein's NO LOGO: Brands, Globalization & Resistance will screen with Money for Nothing: Behind the Business of Pop Music, narrated by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. "We are headed for a really scary time," cautions Bosch, "and historically, you can't leave it up to the leaders to do the right thing. The public needs to be aware, because we are one of the most important checks and balances of our system."

For information and a series schedule, call 303-294-9281 or go to www.argusfest.org. -- Kity Ironton

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