Artists were less starving than usual at Pancakes and Booze on Saturday night

Colors collided on the brick walls at the Lucid Gallery on Saturday night, with styles of art from photography to 3-dimensional figurines created by over fifty Denver artists, while yet more artists created live paintings mid-floor, using about fifteen nude volunteers as canvasses -- girls wearing nothing but panties and purple paint who smiled politely for the camera. And then there was the enticing smell of banana pancakes. Talk about sensory overload. The Pancakes and Booze Art Show stems from LA-based curator and filmmaker Tom Kirlin. "He does art shows all over the nation," said Alex Palacio, one of the featured graffiti artists, who does live art shows around Denver and has a booth on the 16th Street Mall. "Pancakes and booze attracts many different types of people and many styles of art not just on canvas. You never know who you will run into," she says.

I was literally "running into people" as I squeezed through the crowd of viewers ages 21 to 71, eating fruit-filled pancakes and sipping beer and liquor.

The pancake bar featured strawberry, blueberry, and banana pancakes, all made right in front of the guests, free of charge (although there was a $5 cover). This might have taken a little edge off the potent drinks the bartender was slinging in the back room. As for expression, there was a lot of it: nude photography, graffiti, brush paintings, sculptures, framed glass, caricatures and more. Ashley Bauer, a painter attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, spoke about the importance of art. "Most of my work deals with how the social affects the individual. The pieces I had up for this show dealt with issues with stereotypes and self-fulfilling prophecies based on the limited range of individual identity allotted to specific groups within the media. I took actual ads and changed how different products were advertised according to who would be using them and for what purpose," she said. For her, art is all about going "beyond words" and expressing yourself "without speaking a specific language. It's about giving a piece of yourself back to the world," said Bauer.

Certainly, though, pancakes and booze couldn't hurt.

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