There's more to art than meets the eye. The new exhibit Beyond Visual, created by the kid-oriented Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, expands the sensory scope of artistic expression -- and makes a big stink in the process.
"They smell like mint, orange, strawberry, blackberry and cinnamon," says DAVA gallery manager Viviane Le Courtois of her own contributions to the exhibit. Carved from melted soap infused with essential oils, her sculptures resemble enormous chunks of candy -- but the message she's conveying isn't sugarcoated. "It's a criticism of contemporary culture and habits," she explains. "So many people eat junk food, especially kids. The sculptures also relate taste and smell to color, especially all the artificial coloring in foods."
Beyond Visual will also feature works by Heather Bussey, David Zimmer, Rian Kerrane, Mark Guilbeau and Jim Green that incorporate everything from fibers and ceramics to sound samples and found objects. And just to round out the five senses, edible art made by young DAVA members will be available. "People don't always relate to art that's only visual, especially if it's abstract," Le Courtois notes. "We want to teach people that there's more than one dimension to contemporary art."
The opening reception for Beyond Visual kicks off at 4:30 today and runs until 10 p.m., with a 9 p.m. multi-media performance by electronic musician Danny Womack in DAVA's parking lot at 1405 Florence Street, Aurora. For more information, visit www.davarts.org or call 303-367-5886. -- Jason Heller
Hit Red Room for a literature-and-boozed-fueled pick-me-up.
"Writers tend to hide away and write at a distance from their community," says Gary Norris, founder of the Burn Out Reading Series, held twice a month on Thursdays at the Red Room, 320 East Colfax Avenue. He conceived Burn Out as a DJ residency years ago, but after becoming an English teacher at Metro State, Norris switched his focus from music to letters. He still spins an eclectic mix of garage and soul, but only before the main attraction: readings by local authors and poets.
Tonight's featured writers are L. Charlie Moss and Houdini Cedillo, students at Colorado State University and Metro, respectively. Norris wants to expose such fresh talents to more people by placing them in a social -- not to mention cocktail-conducive -- environment. "Denver has such a rich literary heritage," he points out. "I think we need to cultivate something that exists outside of the scholarly community."
The Burn Out readings are free, and the literary imbibing begins at 9 p.m. For more information, call 303-725-2637 or visit www.burndenverdown.net. -- Jason Heller
Cut and Paste
Grommets meet ribbons. Goth turns pretty. Anything goes in deconstructed/reconstructed clothing, which has been a fashion staple for the past five years. Designers everywhere are ripping out seams and cutting up old clothes to create something new and fresh. But if slashing an old DEVO concert T-shirt and turning it into a wearable work of art seems too intimidating for a solo project, hit the Wednesday Night Workshop series tonight at Pod & Capsule, 554 Santa Fe Drive, where Sara Mesmer, the style behind clothing line Marianne and Ginger, will be teaching "De/Reconstructing Clothing." "She takes thrift-store clothing and reconstructs it into something new," says Pod owner Lauri Lynnxe Murphy. "A lot of people are doing the reconstructed clothing, but she really goes a lot further." The class costs $25 and runs from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information or to register, call 303-623-3460. -- Amy Haimerl
A night at the talkies.
One rarely thinks "hottie" in relation to classically trained musicians; that's why the orchestra pit was invented. But even if members of the Colorado Music Festival Chamber Orchestra aren't a smiling gang of Hollywood pinups, neither are Hollywood hits the stars of Moving Pictures Night at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder.
Tonight's event will pair music composed by Philip Rothman with University of Colorado film student Andy Busti's Chronicle, and composer Mark Grey's music with Morgan Russell's Pursuit, which was a finalist in last year's Boulder Shoot Out 24-Hour Filmmaking Festival. Rounding out the short films is Alfred Hitchcock's silent thriller, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, accompanied by a new score by composer Joby Talbot.
And should your eyes happen to stray to the chamber orchestra musicians, be sure to check out the girl on the oboe. Hot-tie.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets, $10-$45, are available at www.coloradomusicfest.org or area King Soopers. -- Adam Cayton-Holland