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Denver cultural mover and shaker Deborah Jordy has known Henry Lowenstein since she was a kid, enamored even then of his many quality children's productions at the city's fêted Bonfils Theatre on East Colfax Avenue. And she grew up a true believer in the magic Lowenstein, who was the creative light and driving force behind the venue for more than 25 years, brought to the city as the theater's general manager. But many of his erstwhile fans might not realize that Lowenstein didn't just work in the front office. A talented artist and illustrator, he also designed sets and costumes for hundreds of productions during his stay there, rendering his ideas brightly in gouache, ink and pencil. When former DOCA chair Noël Congdon approached Jordy with the idea of unearthing the hand-wrought images for public perusal, Jordy jumped at the chance.
"I liked the idea of showing Henry in a different light as a designer and strong promoter of the arts in Denver," she says. And after culling through some 800 images in Lowenstein's collection, The Art of Henry: 25 Years of Scenery and Costume Design opens today in the Gates Reading Room, Level Five, of the Denver Central Library, 10 W. 14th Avenue Parkway, where they'll be a sight to behold. "Personally, as a former curator at the Denver Art Museum, I see them as beautiful," Jordy elaborates. "They're quick, lively works of art."