Ravi Zupa: In an era of everything being so precious — bridle-leather backpacks, carved wooden iPhone cases, sage and coriander soap, hand-knit fingerless gloves, shoe-box banjos — Ravi Zupa continually drops art in our lap that we may be afraid to touch. He lacerates us with paint, brush, video and puppetry, leaving our precious guts to spill on the floor so we can all see what kind of shit we are really stuffed with.

Mario Zoots: Mario accesses the multimedia world as if he were Peter Pan sucked off the island of lost boys into the digitalized world of TRON. He has no regard for the sanctity of images found online, and unapologetically has his way with them. Truly an artist of our time, Mario realizes that everything is accessible and everything can and should be manipulated.

Yonnas Abraham: Yonnas is the MC/producer of the hip-hop outfit Pirate Signal and BLKHRTS. There are very, very few musicians who give 100 percent every time they perform. Sometimes they bring it; sometimes not so much. For them, it's a choice. When Yonnas is on stage, he has no choice. He becomes possessed by a demon. I have never seen a Pirate Signal show where Yonnas gave 100 percent. Yonnas always gives more.

When you go out, what's your favorite cultural activity? Going out for culture is like going out for a good time. When you expect it, it's never there. Cultural activities that I have participated in and enjoyed recently are as follows: ComicCon; the showing of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Museum of Nature & Science; DeVotchKa and the CSO; Film on the Rocks; Arvada Center's performance of Twelfth Night; Carry On, with Paper Bird and Ballet Nouveau; the Untitled events at the Denver Art Museum. What's so great about all of the aforementioned events is that I attended them with my two sons, Charley (age fourteen) and Henry (age eleven).

Events that I wanted to go to but couldn't get it together: the parking-lot events next to Tattered Cover and Twist & Shout; Don't Look Down, the Sunday-evening events at the MCA; anything at Leon Gallery; and more events at L2.

The cultural event that I participate in the most is the eating and drinking scene in Denver. Certain Denver bars and restaurants are the salons of our times.

What's the one thing you'd like to see happen to improve the local scene? The one thing I would love to see more is Denverites buying fucking art. C'mon!


Eric Matelski, a Westword MasterMind, has a solo show titled Urban Sprawl coming up at Tennyson Street Coffee on October 5 and The Bogeyman Show at the MacSpa opening October 4, with a second reception before the Zombie Crawl on October 20.

Who is doing the most interesting work in Denver right now? I think the following people are really working hard to keep the scene alive: Jennifer Mosquera, Michael Reiger, Ken Hammel, James Baily, Lenny Chernilla, Broox Pulford, Jazimin Montano.

When you go out, what's your favorite cultural activity? I really enjoy going to neighborhoods. We like to go out for dinner, window-shop and find entertainment — all with a nice walk between activities. Favorite areas include South Broadway, Platte River and Tennyson.

What's the one thing you'd like to see happen to improve the local scene? Denver has a great art scene. I would like to see a unity between districts. In Phoenix, they have free public transit on First Fridays. This would really cut back on parking problems and allow all art districts to gain more business. I also feel like it could make the art scene more of a tourist destination.


Chip Walton founded Curious Theatre Company in 1997 and has served as producing artistic director ever since; he's the director of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, which runs through October 13.

Who is doing the most interesting work in Denver right now? I really admire the creativity and artistry of Garrett Ammon at Ballet Nouveau — with regard to both their artistic work and their innovative cross-disciplinary collaborations. As an artist, I find their work very invigorating.

When you go out, what's your favorite cultural activity? I just love Red Rocks — who doesn't? Summer shows there just seem to embody everything wonderful about living in Colorado! It's such an honor to live and work and create art here in this community, and Red Rocks always reminds me of that privilege.  

What's the one thing you'd like to see happen to improve the local scene? I think that Denver as a community has always been very supportive of the largest cultural organizations in town, but I think what makes a truly vibrant cultural community is support for smaller and mid-sized organizations, as well. And by community, I mean audiences, funders and government alike. And we've certainly benefitted from that kind of support here at Curious over the past fifteen years, but I still think that a lot of times, the largest institutions benefit "by default." So what I'd like to see happen is for our community to take more chances culturally — for audiences to go try someplace that they've never been before, for funders to diversify the portfolio of their support to a broader spectrum of organizations, and for the city to support performing arts in the way that they support visual arts. That would go a long way toward making Denver a true cultural mecca.

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Don't show artwork at Forest Room 5. I had pieces in there years ago for a special show and they lost half of them. There staff didn't seem to care either. Avoid St. Mark's Coffeehouse as well to hang art. Their baristas are rude basically throw your art in the trash.