Now in its 18th year, Artopia is a signature event showcasing a wide array of Denver's music, art, performance, food and more. At several venues along Broadway this Saturday, February 23, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., dozens of the city's cultural components will come together as they share their creative energy and recognize Westword's 2013's MasterMinds in a grand celebratory ceremony.
To help prepare you, here's a round-up of just some of Artopia 2013's stars: From slam poets and painters to DJs and performance artists, we've got it all. (For the full schedule including performance times, visit our official Artopia page.)
See also: - 100 Colorado Creatives: Artist and Westword Artopia star Eric Matelski - 100 Colorado Creatives: Sculptor and Westword Artopia participant Jeff Erwine - 100 Colorado Creatives: Artist and Westword Artopia participant Kym Bloom
Live art by Eric Matelski, Art Pimp In addition to being an arts community supporter and spokesperson, Eric Matelski is also a creator in his own right. Known for his chalk art and as-they-happen concert paintings, Matelski brings his live interpretations to the canvas tomorrow for everyone to see. Check out our interview with Matelski from our 100 Colorado Creatives series.
Slam Poetry from Slam Nuba A class of 2011 MasterMind winner and National Poetry Slam champion, Slam Nuba is a poetic force to be reckoned with. While participating in bouts across the country and cultivating a rich and fervent slam community here in Denver, Slam Nuba continues to bring it on all levels. Team member Suzi Q. Smith helped to organize the Women Of The World Poetry Slam in Colorado in 2012.
Selected readings from My Teenage Angst Diaries are best for keeping secrets, but as My Teenage Angst proves, those secrets are better when shared in front of a live audience. Megan Nyce will head up this communal gathering of hilarious and forthright souls as a handful share the pages of their journals past with complete strangers.
Dance floor bangers from DJ Narky Stares One of the co-founders of Damn Gurl!, a GLBTQ-inclusive dance night -- which, in its short run has broken themed-party conventions with an incredible Paris Is Burning tribute -- Narky Stares puts it down. A lone wolf bent on breaking the confines of gender and style, the DJ brings avant garde sounds and booty bass together to unify her dance floor.
Visual art from Kym Bloom Taking pop art to a three-dimensional level, Kym Bloom's candy-coated style is instantly recognizable. Whether the artist and gallery co-owner is melting hard candy with a blow torch or manipulating her own digital photography, Bloom brings intense color and subtle humor to each piece of work.
Continue reading for more of the evening's highlights.
Stand-up comedy from Kevin O'Brien Denver's comedy scene has been brewing for quite some time, and key players like Kevin O'Brien are helping it gain national exposure. Along with co-host Taylor Gonda, O'Brien talks music, pop culture and comedy and everything between on the duo's original podcast, These Things Matter.
Visual artist Valerie Savarie A key player in the co-op art scene, Valerie Savarie works with other creative minds in the community to keep the Navajo Art District front and center. A member of Zip 37 Gallery, Savarie's work is a combination of beautifully mutilated hardcover books and imaginative character sketches with telling facial expressions. Read more about Savarie in our 100 Colorado Creatives series.
Live songscapes created by Wasabi Drench Headed up by multi-instrumentalist Colin Ward, Wasabi Drench is an extension of the local musician's work he does as Alphabets: searing, chattery synthetic compositions that mutate on the spot.
Live performance from Mane Rok and DJ Tense, a.k.a. Stay Tuned Making a first-ever appearance as the newly renamed hip-hop duo Stay Tuned, Mane Rok and DJ Tense bring some necessary street style to Artopia. For the two Denver music scene staples, this latest moniker change-up isn't the only thing that's fresh: Soulful and witty, Rok is ferocious on the mike while Tense is impeccable on the beats.
Sculptor Jeff Erwine Coming from a master at utilizing reclaimed, rescued and recycled materials, Jeff Erwine's work is a sturdy feat of creativity and craftsmanship. The metal-worker designs beautiful outdoor sculptures, home furniture and signage for stores and galleries across the city. Read more on Erwine in our 100 Colorado Creatives series.
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Don't forget to use the hashtag #Artopia to tag your conversations on Twitter and Instagram. To buy tickets to Artopia, visit our Ticketfly site. Use the promo code ARTOPIA to get $5 off!