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Sunday in RiNo: A mirrored fun house, unicorn sightings and hot metal

Burnin' hot metal at Ironton Studios.
Burnin' hot metal at Ironton Studios.

It was quieter in RiNo yesterday than you'd expect, considering there was a studio tour and a RiNo hunt going on for the last day of Create Denver. But it was nonetheless a perfect day to explore, and whether or not you discovered one of the 100 numbered ceramic rhinos left out for tourists to find (we didn't, but neither did we try too hard), the rewards were satisfying.

Our Mother's Day jaunt started at the home of artists Chris Perez and Viviane Le Courtois, where Perez's wet-plate collodion photographic portraits and Le Courtois's many experiments in natural growth and decay line the walls and shelves. Le Courtois, we learned, was at her portable studio in Sustainability Park, making disposable clay pinch pots for her ongoing exhibit at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, which you can still see through June 14.

We dropped by Laundry on Lawrence, the latest in a series of community studio enclaves managed by the Space Creators, to chat with Patrick Mueller of Control Group Productions about the building's black box theater, work | space, which Mueller shares as a home base with Brian Freeland and the LIDA Project.

Mona Lucero says "Cheese!" in a laser-storm at Hinterland.
Mona Lucero says "Cheese!" in a laser-storm at Hinterland.

And then it was on to the Dry Ice Factory and especially Hinterland, where Sarah Richter's mirrored installation Infinite Refraction offers disorienting fun-house eye-play to all who dare wander through.

Sarah Richter: "Infinite Refractions."
Sarah Richter: "Infinite Refractions."

Hinterland's Sabin Aell kindly turned the lights off for us, so we could experience it as a kind of fractured disco ball, pelted with green laser dots. Catch that show on First Friday in June, or by appointment.   The requisite stop for anyone in the 'hood yesterday was at Ironton Studios, where the day's focal point, an iron pour conducted by University of Colorado at Denver sculpture students, was under way, attracting humans like moths to an incendiary pyro performance involving pouring glowing melted iron into molds, letting them cool and shaking the finished pieces out into the dirt.

Sunday in RiNo: A mirrored fun house, unicorn sightings and hot metal
Sunday in RiNo: A mirrored fun house, unicorn sightings and hot metal
Sunday in RiNo: A mirrored fun house, unicorn sightings and hot metal

There was a drummer keeping the beat, ostensibly so the pourers wouldn't collapse from the heat and fumes, and people of all ages stood on the sidelines, staring as if hypnotized by the languid molten iron. There were also people lounging in the courtyard drinking beer, which might have had something to do with the general glassy-eyed condition of the crowd. If you haven't been to an iron pour, make a note the next time you hear of one being planned: It's very cool, in a steampunk sort of way.  

Sunday in RiNo: A mirrored fun house, unicorn sightings and hot metal

For us, the last stop was at DesignHaus, where our artist friend Corrina Espinosa was herding unicorns, displaying her 100 "Unicorn Sightings" Photoshop portraits on a big-screen. But even before we stepped inside, we got to meet the actual unicorn, carved by Espinosa out of a polished log and standing on pipe legs.

What you can't know about the unicorn from the pictures is that, along with being epic, it lights up and sings, thanks to some electronica installed in its unicorn maw. We've now seen a unicorn. What's left, world? The Unicorn will also be in the house at Su Teatro next weekend for Artistic Mamas: A Gathering of Women Artists, a multi-arts celebration.

To keep up with the Froyd's eye-view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.

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River North Art District

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