Steel Magnolias

There are no shrinking violets in the BACC's metalwork exhibit.

FRI, 5/6

Boulder Arts and Crafts Cooperative exhibit coordinator Ellen Spiller didn't have a feminine theme in mind when she asked eight Colorado women to take part in the new metalwork show Women of Steel -- but that's what she got. "It turns out that a lot of women are doing work inspired by a woman's figure and face," she says. "It's interesting to see how much commonality they really have as sculptors."

Yet there's a certain boldness that shines through in this strong showcase, which opens with a reception tonight from 6 to 8:30 p.m. To understand the real spirit of the show, look no further than Kristine Smock's "Silverware Woman," a funky, Road Warrior-worthy female figure created from recycled found objects, including silverware appendages. Ready for action, poised on one well-welded, spring-loaded leg, this spunky gal is afire with possibilities.

Notable Colorado Springs sculptor Edie Nelson's larger-than-life totem, "Bella Ave," also has a life of its own. "It's a primitive figure with interactive bolts and washers added to its appendages, so when they catch the wind, there's plenty of clattering and clanging," says Spiller. "Edie told me she really enjoyed transporting the piece from Colorado Springs to Boulder, because she got to have a conversation with it in the back of her truck."

Jeweler-gone-wild Sharon Schaffner, weary of working with the small and delicate, contributes large, airy wall sculptures that greatly expand on her typical imagery. One stunning four-by-four hanging features a primitive rendering of a woman's face with birds nesting in her hair. It's as if one of her charming brooches went elephantine.

Women of Steel continues through May 29 at the cooperative, 1421 Pearl Street in Boulder. For more information, call 303-443-3683. -- Susan Froyd

The Big Picture
Starz Global Lens showcases the world.
FRI, 5/6

The premise of the Starz Global Lens 2005 festival is simple: Six billion people share the common language of cinema.

The five-week series, which kicks off tonight at the Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway, supports that assertion by staging ten features from around the world. The works, culled by the Global Film Initiative, are part of a nationwide annual tour; they're intended to open people's eyes to universal themes and increase cultural understanding at a time of geopolitical strain.

"The Global Film Initiative is pleased to bring outstanding independent film from the developing world to Denver," says Susan Weeks Coulter, co-founder of Global Film, a New York City-based nonprofit. "We believe that every corner of the world has a story to tell."

The series begins with Whisky, a tragicomedy from Uruguay about two strangers who pretend they're married, and Uniform, a Chinese tale about a tailor who assumes a double life when a policeman forgets his outfit in the man's shop.

Admission is $5.50 for Denver Film Society members, $6.50 for students and $8.50 for non-members. For a complete schedule, call 303-820-FILM or visit www.starzfilmcenter.com. -- Ernie Tucker

Put on Your Derby
SAT, 5/7

The handicappers don't agree, but I'm pulling for Buzzard's Bay in this year's Kentucky Derby. John Asher and the other Churchill Downs Simulcast Network talking heads are keen on my second pick, Wilko, but I'm standing behind the Buzzard. He is long and lean and looks just like the horse I had growing up. What more could a girl ask for? Well, a Churchill Downs-worthy place to wager.

Crystal Sharpe has me covered. I'm heading over to the Kentucky Derby Gala being held in the gardens of her Holiday Chalet Bed & Breakfast, 1820 East Colfax Avenue, today from 3 to 7 p.m. The race will be played live on the radio, and Sharpe is presenting one of her famous She She fashion shows, along with a display of work by Colorado artist Mark Chalus. And, of course, no derby-worthy party would be complete without mint juleps.

Tickets are $40 per person or two for $70; the proceeds benefit Denver Kids. For more information, call 303-321-9975.

Run for the roses, Buzzard. -- Amy Haimerl

Sail Away
The annual Boulder Kinetics bash gets surreal.

Teamwork is critical in the annual Kinetics race -- but usually the team members know each other. Not so with the folks who'll be part of Surrealistic Sculpture, a new twist that calls for two teams assembled at random to meet at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Boulder Reservoir to create sculptures that will be float-worthy four hours later.

Surrealistic Sculpture is the brainchild of Paul Bailey, whose Cyclepathz have won Kinetics three times and will compete this year as Referees Upon a Further Review. Not everyone plans as far ahead as his group, he points out, and Surrealistic Sculpture "will give people who decide at the last minute a chance." Or close to the last minute, anyway: Bailey is taking e-mail applications at surrealisticsculpture@comcast.net through May 5, then will quickly put together two diverse teams. He plans to start them with enough supplies -- "pieces and parts donated by other Kinetics teams and our team," he says, "a stone-soup kind of deal" -- that both teams can come up with something to stay the course. If you don't make the cut, you can still watch the race, which starts at 11 a.m. (admission is $12). Bailey also plans to videotape the action for Channel 54, as the ultimate surreality TV show. For more information on Kinetics, visit www.kbco.com. -- Patricia Calhoun

 
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