Junk, beautiful junk: For some creative types, junk is the very stuff of creation. There's no end to the wonderful contraptions you can assemble from someone else's cast-off junk -- you can sculpt it, build with it, sew it together or grind it into pulp and make paper out of it. And that's only the top of the rubbish heap. See for yourself this weekend, at one of the area's best showcases for what's formally known as recycled art, Artful ReCreations. The annual art show and auction benefits the Eco-Cycle/Broomfield Recycling Center while displaying an amazing wealth of things you probably never imagined could be fabricated from trash. The creations that result when artists waste time with waste will be auctioned tonight at 7:30, at Renaissance Suites at FlatIron, 500 FlatIron Boulevard, Broomfield. Tomorrow, a free Artful ReCreations Street Festival will feature recycled art by kids, along with artist booths and demonstrations, from 10 to 9 in the Village at FlatIron Crossing, 1 West FlatIron Circle, Broomfield.
Eco-Cycle's Eric Vozick says this year's entries are incredibly diverse and include work by artists of all ages from across the Front Range, as well as from Aspen, New York, Louisiana and Georgia. The media used are even more diverse, he gushes: There are clocks made out of computer parts, a quilt composed of old dresses, scrap-metal sculptures, functional art and refurbished, one-of-a-kind chairs. Waste not, want not!
Get ready to bid, then: Public radio's e-town eco-talk-show hosts Nick and Helen Forster emcee tonight's event, joined by special guests Maggie Fox of the Sierra Club and U.S. Representative Mark Udall. Admission is $25 in advance or $30 at the door; you can also opt for a VIP dinner and art-show combo for $150 ($250 for couples). For information, call 303-404-2839. -- Susan Froyd
Medicinal marvels in LoDo
Do spring allergies have you in a haze? Stumble by Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy for some Chinese herbs, aromatherapy or even prescription Zyrtec to clear your head right up."We're an intermingling of everything natural plus modern Western medicines," explains Pharmaca pharmacy manager Darrin Pyle. "We have the best of both worlds."
And Pyle is based in the coolest LoDo space imaginable. From its Boulder origins, Pharmaca has now spread to eight locations across the West, all featuring homeopathic medicines, dietary supplements, organic makeup, a reference library, a full pharmacy and more. "People are definitely searching out alternative medicines," says Pyle. "Hopefully, we can help keep people healthy."
The LoDo Pharmaca, at 1527 Wazee Street, marks its one-year anniversary with a May Day Celebration: From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, visit the store for free bone-density and blood-pressure screenings, chair massages and a slice of birthday cake. For further information, visit www.pharmaca.com or call 720-932-5510. Here's to your health! -- Julie Dunn
We'll Drink to This
Raise that frosty mug. Today is one of the few worthy, congressionally recognized holidays: National Homebrew Day! To honor this auspicious occasion, the Boulder-based American Homebrewers Association is asking home brewers and non-brewers alike to unite in a simultaneous toast at exactly 11 a.m. MST as part of its sixth annual Big Brew."We always toast to Jimmy Carter," says the AHA's Gary Glass. For the former president's humanitarian works? His love of peanuts? (They go so well with beer.) Not quite. Notes Glass: "In 1978, he issued a presidential directive repealing the federal law against home brewing that had been in place since Prohibition."
Last year, more than 2,000 participants worldwide brewed a total of 5,235 gallons of beer in honor of the special day. For a complete list of local festivities, visit www.beertown.org. Cheers! -- Julie Dunn A Real Ad-Vance
Local history on display
Every year, Historic Denver Inc. does its bit for National Historic Preservation Week by hosting a series of city-specific tours that encompass an engaging mishmash of guided walks, house tours, local-history presentations and second looks at well-known landmarks. This year's events continue this fine tradition, with everything from an evening stroll in Park Hill to the lecture "Women's History in Denver" at the Denver Women's Press Club folded into the mix. Our pick, though, is tonight's "Ask the Curator Tour" at the Vance Kirkland Museum, 1311 Pearl Street, a recently refurbished little ray of mid-century sunshine in the heart of Capitol Hill.The museum is housed in Kirkland's old studio, as well as in an addition that's been painstakingly constructed to blend with the original structure. Surely one of Denver's gems, it features not only Kirkland's magnificent works, but a who's-who selection of pieces by other Colorado artists, as well as functional and decorative objects that include ceramics, furniture and more. The collection is so immense that museum spokeswoman Jen Schneider calls it "one of the best on view in the nation." No doubt of that: It offers a complete look at the shape of things artful in the blossoming years of the twentieth century.
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Admission to the tour, featuring the expertise of Kirkland conservator Hugh Grant, is $25 ($20 for Historic Denver members) and includes a copy of the Historic Denver guide Molly Brown's Capitol Hill Neighborhood. To reserve a spot, call 303-534-5288 or log on to www.historicdenver.org. -- Susan Froyd
Cinco de Mayo is ready to roll
Denver wouldn't be Denver without its whopping-big Cinco de Mayo celebration in Civic Center Park, touted to be the largest such festival in the nation. Those are some mighty grande zapatos to fill each year, but host organization NEWSED and other participants are constantly honing the event to better represent its unchanging theme: "Celebrate Culture." And do they ever!Latino pride will be heavy in the air at the weekend-long fest, as proud kids wheel out their spit-polished, detailed lowrider bikes; mariachi and norteño bands blare; artists hawk retablos; Aztec dancers wave their headdresses; and the margaritas and cervezas flow. But the Cinco celebration is more than that. It's our throaty birdcall to spring...and the summer around the corner. It's the perfect (and first) opportunity to mingle outdoors, enjoying life with our brothers and sisters. And it doesn't get much better than that.
For information, call 303-534-8342 or log on to www.newsed.org. -- Susan Froyd