Art

Free for All: The Five Best Free Events This Week

Kayla Marque headlines Open Music Sessions at Denver Open Media on Friday, December 7.
Kayla Marque headlines Open Music Sessions at Denver Open Media on Friday, December 7. Jake Holschuh
The season of giving is fully under way, and our gift to you is five free events you won't want to miss. Since this week includes Colorado Gives Day — which falls on Tuesday, December 4 —  several of our picks have decidedly magnanimous intentions, as well as plenty of entertainment potential. Celebrate private and public art, enjoy a charitable chuckle or two, and support vital local institutions during the days ahead. Here are the five best ways to do it:

click to enlarge COURTESY LAWRENCE ARGENT ESTATE
courtesy Lawrence Argent estate
#DenverPublicArt30 Opening Reception
Monday, December 3, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Buell Theatre

Party down in arty town at the #DenverPublicArt30 Opening Reception, a thirtieth-anniversary celebration for a program dedicated to beautifying the Mile High City. Founded in response to a 1988 executive order by Mayor Federico Peña, Denver’s Public Art program subsequently fostered the creation of some of the city's most Instagram-able icons, including Lawrence Argent's "I See What You Mean," aka "the Big Blue Bear." In preparation for this municipal milestone, Denver Arts & Venues issued a challenge to local photographers to share their favorite arty snaps under the #DenverPublicArt30 hashtag for the chance to be put on display in a staff-selected exhibit of the best thirty shots. Visit Denver Arts & Venues' Eventbrite page to register for this free reception and find out more. 

click to enlarge MELANIE STEINWAY
Melanie Steinway
Conduit Art Opening
Monday, December 3, 7 to 9 p.m.
Watercourse Foods

A veritable menagerie of lovingly sketched cryptids awaits at Conduit, an exhibition of the pyrography and illustrations of local artist and tattooist Melanie Steinway. Distinguished by her fondness for obscure mythological beasts as well as a mastery of sharp lines and spooky shading that evoke her tattoo parlor-hewn precision, Steinway's work befits the animal-loving whimsy of Watercourse Foods, a vegetarian eatery and reliable patron of the arts. Marvel at Steinway's latest creations, shop for take-home prints or merely nosh, sip and mingle through an opening reception for an installation that remains on display throughout December. Visit Watercourse Foods' Facebook events page for more details.

click to enlarge DERRICK MONTOUR
Derrick Montour
Taco Tuesday Dinner
Tuesday, December 4, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center

Feeling philanthropic? Contribute to one of your most cherished local institutions in honor of Colorado Gives Day, an annual orgy of charitable giving. While the full list of participating nonprofit organizations is too large to supply here, only Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center is plying donors with a steady supply of toothsome tacos. Showing support for Su Teatro's theater season as well as popular annual events like the Chicano Music Festival and the XIcanIndie Film Festival never tasted so good. Admission is free, but the whole mission of the day is giving. Visit Su Teatro's Facebook events page to learn more.


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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham