Things to Do

Countdown to Denver Arts Week: Ravi Zupa at Black Book Gallery

Denver Arts Week, which kicks off Friday with a special Know Your Arts First Friday, is really a big magnifying glass: Denver boasts a vibrant First Friday tradition every month of the year; this annual event just turns on the spotlight. As with any First Friday, the real trick is to plot your course. So for the rest of the week, we'll be sharing a few of our favorite picks, beginning with One Million Things, a swarming solo show from Denver artist and Westword MasterMind Ravi Zupa at Black Book Gallery.

See also: - Denver Arts Week - Update: Lindsay St. Antoine and Ravi Zupa's big, beautiful mess - Studio Shots: Ravi Zupa - Meet the MasterMind Class of 2009

Zupa's show will feature more than 100 works, from block prints to paintings, all drafted in his illustrative signature Tower-of-Babel style, which Zupa himself best describes in this exhibition statement:

This has been a frenetic, intense and satisfying year for me. I have had several successful shows including a nearly sold out show in London. My friend Sam found one of my paintings at Goodwill for $4.99 as well, imagine that. This show represents a full return to my life. I've had a rough few years of angry, messy, emotional entropy. Now I'm back to cleanness in my mind and it's a relief. Many of the images here are an exploration of that frantic resentful period. Others are about a hopefulness and clarity that I feel now. As always, the central intention of this show is one of bringing together. Combining images and ideas to create controlled experiments aimed at finding things universal. 15th century Dutch painting, Hindu and Buddhist iconography from the Himalayas, 19th Century Anatomical illustration, Japanese screen paintings and Hand painted barber signs are the predominant inspirations throughout the work. This show is an attempt to wrap my fingers around one million things and lay them out flat, onto wood and paper, for you to look at.

One Million Things opens Friday at Black Book with a reception from 6 to 11 p.m.; all of Denver's Art District on Santa Fe will be hopping, with Dia de los Muertos celebrations spilling into the streets. For more about Ravi Zupa, visit his website; surf to Denver Arts Week online for a complete schedule of events planned through November 10.

Continue reading for more photos from One Million Things. Continue reading for more photos.

Find information on hundreds of other arts and entertainment events in our online Calendar.

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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