Trained Eyes

Boulder celebrates the art of collecting art.

FRI, 8/5

"You don't need twenty thousand dollars to start an art collection with one piece," says Charmain Schuh of Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts. "If you can't afford the original paintings, like with Warhol, you can always have them in your collection through the print media. Printmaking is still the best quality for the money. You can get a Red Grooms print for a good price and build up your collection that way."

Tonight's opening reception of Private Eye: Inside 5 Boulder Collections Exhibit and Workshopscelebrates the people who collect art as much as the ones who make it. Choice works from five esteemed private Boulder collections, including those of Jane and Ron McMahan, will cover the gamut from mixed media to photography to computer graphics. Schuh has also managed to reserve wall space for world-renowned naturalist Andrew Goldsworthy. "He did a series called 'Melted Snowballs' where he put paper on the ground with a snowball on it, and as it melted, it left an image. That'll be in the show."

The opening reception runs from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. To facilitate the learning process of starting your own art collection, Lisa Tamiris Becker, director of CU's art museum, will launch a workshop series Wednesday, August 10, at 7 p.m.; two additional sessions, on Wednesday, August 24, and Friday, August 26, will feature panel discussions and gallery tours. Admission for each workshop is $10; for details, call 303-440-7826 or visit www.thedairy.org. -- John La Briola

Summer Lovin'
SAT, 8/6

There was a time (and it wasn't very long ago) when almost no restaurant in the city had a full house on a Saturday night. Tables were open, reservations were easy to come by, and owners were dancing naked on the rooftops just to get the attention of what few diners there were making the rounds on any given night. But those days are gone. So if you've found yourself stuck with no place to eat this evening, how about this? Rather than spending hours trying to beg reservations off some snooty host or greasing some nineteen-year-old maître d', head down to Fillmore Plaza in Cherry Creek, where the second annual Cherry Creek North Gourmet Series is wrapping up its final weekend. Beginning today at 10:30 a.m., the outdoor plaza will host cooking demos from some of the area's top toques; at 2:30 p.m., celebrity chef Rick Bayless of PBS's Mexico: One Plate at a Time goes on. The demos will be followed by a tasting event at 6:30 p.m. featuring food from seventeen of the Creek's best-known restaurants. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $65; everything else is free. For more information, visit www.ccngourmet.com. -- Jason Sheehan

Paper Chase
Make book at the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Fair.
FRI, 8/5

It's a unique breed of bookworm that develops a taste for rare and out-of-print publications. You can usually identify them by the unmistakable fragrance of book dust in their slightly rumpled clothing and their undying love for the taxonomy of books themselves. But with many book dealers turning their attention to online sales, once-plentiful used-book shops have been dying off in record numbers.

Bibliophiles fretting over the loss of such hangouts should head over to the 21st Annual Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Book Fair, today from 5 to 9 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Denver Merchandise Mart, I-25 at 58th Avenue. "There's nothing like the look and feel of the paper," says Rosemary Fetter, who does publicity for the fair. The event brings out nearly 100 book peddlers, who display everything from vintage books and maps to prints, photographs and paper collectibles. "People like to be able to see the autograph and touch the bindings," adds Fetter. "It's a very sensory experience."

Admission is $7, or $10 for a two-day pass. For further information, call 303-480-0220 or visit www.rmaba.org. -- Jared Jacang Maher

Write Away
Lisa See unveils the mystery of Nu Shu.
FRI, 8/5

Author Lisa See was already a veteran weaver of tales by the time she got around to writing her first literary novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Her award-winning family memoir, On Gold Mountain, spawned museum exhibits and an opera, for which she penned the libretto. She then wrote a trio of well-received thrillers. But this latest book combines scrupulous and detailed descriptions -- elements that propel all of her works -- with a fictional story based on a rare tradition that once thrived in a backwater of China's Hunan Province.

In 2002, See traveled to remote Jiangyong County, a region few foreigners are allowed to visit, to unravel the last remaining strands of Nu Shu, or "women's writing," a disappearing secret language developed there hundreds of years ago by women who were otherwise illiterate. Sequestered away in second-floor rooms, with painfully bound feet that precluded any sort of exploration outside their homes, the women used the spidery script as a form of expression, delicately painting messages to one another along the spines of fans or embroidering poems onto handkerchiefs. See's new novel, inspired by her research in China, is a first-person immersion into the culture of Nu Shu.

See reads from and signs copies of Snow Flower tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Cherry Creek, 2955 East First Avenue. For details, call 303-322-7727. -- Susan Froyd

 
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