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Different Strokes

The idea that all significant art in America is made on the East Coast held sway for a long time. But over the last twenty years -- and increasingly in the past few years -- people in the know have promoted the concept that the West, including Colorado, is an alternative capital of American culture. As proof, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is offering the ambitious West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-77.

The exhibit was put together by co-curators Adam Lerner, the museum's director, and his wife, Elissa Auther, associate professor of contemporary art at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Auther sees West of Center as a game-changer for our view of Western culture. "The extraordinary things that people in Colorado and the West did in the `60s and `70s formed the basis of so much of our current culture," she muses. Adds Lerner: "This exhibition is the first attempt to look beyond psychedelia and protest art, and to tease out the broad connections between art and the American counterculture."

West of Center opens today at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, where it runs through February 19. For more information, call 303-298-7554 or go to
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 10. Continues through Feb. 19, 2011


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