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Well, I'll See a Horse's Ass!

In hindsight, "Mustang" is a real welcome to Denver.

If you think the new bright-blue "Mustang" at Denver International Airport, with its bony ribs and glowing red eyes, looks terrifying while you're speeding by on Peña Boulevard, then be glad you didn't attend the June 12 dedication ceremony for the 32-foot-tall fiberglass beast, which was installed in February. The event was held next to and underneath the sculpture, making for an up-close and very personal experience.

Still, the proximity of the mammoth horse's ass didn't appear to unnerve the select group of citizens, politicians and members of the media in attendance — even though everyone knew that the artwork had been delivered fourteen years late, and most realized that it had been responsible for the death of its creator, internationally renowned artist Luis Jimenez.

Mayor John Hickenlooper seemed in awe of the dynamic paint job, which he said gave the piece the "sensibility of lowriders." He also mused about its shining eyes, an effect that some cultures believe could work to "ward off evil spirits — a good thing to have at an airport," he noted.

So maybe "El Mesteño" is not a cursed figure, as has been rumored since Jimenez's death, but actually a gargoyle-like talisman on which to leave your fears before the uncertainty of flight. But then, what are travelers arriving at DIA — and there will be plenty of them this summer — supposed to make of the mustang's tortured rear end, complete with bulging veins and an anus the size of a satellite dish, that faces them as they head toward the city? Welcome to Denver!


Separation of church and staid: The Tattered Cover celebrates its second birthday on Colfax next week — but it's already gotten an early present: a new neighbor in the landmark church building next door at 1477 Columbine Street. The then-77-year-old, 19,528-square-foot structure had been put on the market in the spring of 2006, when it was occupied by Master's Bible Church, for a whopping $3,220,000. But when no buyer came through, a more enlightened deal emerged.

The church that now calls this building home, the interdenominational L2 Church, will share the facility, which will be renamed the Colfax Events Center. Rob Marshall of Road Home Concerts and Herb Allison (formerly of Healing Waters International and Thomas & Perkins Advertising) will manage the project; they plan to fill the 500-seat venue with art shows and events, as well as rent the facility to like-minded outside groups such as Swallow Hill Music Association, which already has a dozen dates on hold. Chuck Morris of AEG Live has been through, and Paul Epstein, who owns Twist & Shout next door, has given the project his blessing. "It's another opportunity to bring culture to this little corner of Colfax," says Epstein, who opened his store in the Lowenstein Theater complex in December 2006.

Marshall and Allison have been talking with L2 for a while, but the deal just came together this past month. "Sadly, most churches are exclusive enclaves that freak out when outsiders request use," says Marshall. "This is all about inclusivity, not exclusivity. Using a building owned by a church in this way is a unique, original and refreshing concept. This is good for everyone."

Just the 'fax, man.

 
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