As the Wool Turns

As evidenced by last fall’s Art Meets Beast event, at which a bison carcass was butchered before a fascinated audience of back-to-the-earth locavores, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver clearly wants to provide its visitors with the kind of hands-on experiences that stick to your bones. (After all, the two-day butchering event even included a dinner made from the bison in question.) That basic curatorial urge will go into overdrive this weekend during the Sheep to Shawl Craft Weekend with fiber artist Allison Smith, whose exhibition Piece Work is on display at the MCA through May 29.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. this evening with a talk and “craft-in” led by Smith (participants are invited to bring a craft project or work with the artist on a rug-in-process in the gallery), the event will culminate tomorrow with a full day of activities that include live sheep-shearing, a series of related fiber-art-related talks and a sheep-to-shawl competition pitting teams of professional carders, spinners and weavers against each other in a quest to create a beautiful shawl from raw material in one day. “It’s a great opportunity to see what goes into fiber production,” notes MCA programming director Sarah Baie. “People can see how things are made in a way they wouldn’t have access to otherwise and be put in touch with artisans and crafters. We hope to use craft as a way to talk about bigger ideas.”

MCA Denver is at 1485 Delgany Street; all aspects of Sheep to Shawl are free with regular museum admission ($5 to $10). For more information, go to or call 303-298-7554.
Fri., March 25, 6:30 p.m.; Sat., March 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd