Down the Rabbit Hole

Years ago, when Denver sculptor Maureen Hearty (aka Mauxheart) created Lilyanna, she debated whether or not to develop the "awkward, gangly, ugly" skull-headed character into a children's book. She decided against it, and considering the psychedelic world of "crazy metal plants," kleptomaniacal jellyfish, Venus flytraps and raunchy blobs where Lilyanna has her adventures — and the fact that contemporary audiences are less likely to accept magic potions and hallucinogenic mushrooms as acceptable plot devices in their children's storybooks — this was probably a shrewd choice. "It's sort of this Odyssean, Alice in Wonderland kind of journey," Hearty says of the ten 3-D scenes she's installed in the 3 Kings Tavern art gallery (located in the basement). Each scene has been reproduced as a diorama with characters made of ceramic, metal, sewn plastic and foam.

"It will feel like some alternate reality down there," Hearty says, "but there's also a zine that will help viewers get the idea that they've just stepped into a storybook. So they won't just be standing there like an outsider — they'll all of a sudden be part of the adventure, immersed in the story."

The Adventures of Lilyanna opened June 1 and runs through the end of the month at 3 Kings, 60 South Broadway. Get more information at or 303-777-7370.


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