Artist Corrina Crazie Espinosa finds her inner unicorn in all the strangest places

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The trees talk to Denver artist Corrina Espinosa, whose work often starts with a piece of wood; a carver with a deep soul, she's made art out of stumps and branches, and whole trees shaded her Metro State College of Denver senior thesis exhibition, Hybrid Zoetic. The finished pieces sometimes seem like strange and twisted metaphors for the vagaries of life and the slow growth that comes with change. But at other times, they're just plain whimsical. Her latest creature, a large unicorn consisting of a polished log body, pipe legs, a hand-carved horn and mop-like mane, goes both ways in perfect harmony -- it's a unicorn, for Pete's sake -- and doubles as Espinosa's own personal metaphor. "I have this thing for unicorns at the moment," she explains. "It has to do with my life of pursuing the art dream, which feels a lot like chasing unicorns. I made a life-sized wood unicorn and wanted an alternative to photographing it in the usual gallery or studio setting. But instead of taking it on a tour in my truck, I took a tour through Google's images and let my imagination and my unicorn run wild!"

She's about halfway through the resulting hundred-image Photoshopped body of work, which she calls Unicorn Sightings, and the collection is already sublimely hilarious. Eventually, she'll post the entire series on her website.

You'll have a chance to experience a unicorn sighting yourself this month, when Espinosa's work turns up at three different shows: At DesignHaus Denver, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 13, in conjunction with the RiNo Open Studios Tour and Create Denver Week; as part of the show Mindpool, which opens May 18 at Next Gallery and runs through June 3; and at the Artistic Mamas Spring Showcase, beginning May 18 at Su Teatro.

And in the meantime, here are a few of our favorites, with commentary by the artist:

Waterfalls, mariachis and tacos... this one is a no brainer! Guess who does NOT love Unicorns? That's right, republicans =( Look at the pride on Romney's face as this majestic creature bleeds out its rainbow blood on the White House lawn... sad, so very very sad. "The good man is the friend of all living things, especially Unicorns." Gandhi. "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the Unicorns with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."--Isaiah 40:11 Unicorns just say "pass" when it comes to smokin' grass, but they've been known to graze about in the fields for a while. Everyone knows Unicorns are loving ♥ creatures, and nothing brings it out more than a lovely moonlit sky. Yep! Unicorns love rainbows and parades, so Unicorn Sighting #16 - Pride Parade should come as no surprise. Not only was he constantly playing that colorful music, but he had an endless supply of sugar cubes! Unicorns Love Star Trek ♥ Did you know that Lil Wayne is the #1 contributor to the Feed The Unicorns Foundation? (Look carefully in the reflection and you'll see the other astronaut feeding a Unicorn some delicious dehydrated space food.) Seriously, what are the chances of getting all this in one shot? Unicorns are not amused by, affiliated with or interested in narwhals. Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection...

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