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The Denver Botanic Gardens is living in the past this summer, beginning with the installation of dinosaurs, or at least a bevy of life-sized sculptures of same, which are strewn about the gardens in scary proximity to the pathways. And while Jurassic Gardens: Evolution and Extinction is clearly just there for fun, the DBG also takes on the idea of extinction from a more serious point of view with the May 23 opening of Extinction: Artists Respond, a fine-art exhibit of works by Colorado artists that was juried by two of the town’s high-profile art mavens: Simon Zalkind of the Mizel Arts Center’s Singer Gallery and Ivar Zeile of Plus Gallery.

The hardest part of putting this show together, both jurors agree, was the difficulty of picking and choosing from online submissions, and while both obviously looked for works that stood out aesthetically, they had to go a bit further in hoeing a virtually weed-free garden. “I had to ask myself what the obvious choice would be versus how something fit into the parameters of the concept in a different way,” Zeile notes. This process led both jurors to look for unique interpretations of extinction and how it relates to the unexpected endangered places of modern life beyond the natural world: newspapers, for instance, or the classic Volkswagen Beetle. The seventeen chosen entries, Zeile adds, only begin to tell the story.

Expect this to be a small but very good show. The exhibit continues through July 26; an opening reception takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. May 28 (RSVP at For details, log on to or call 720-865-3500.
May 23-July 26, 2009


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