History by the Book

Artist Eric Matelski sometimes curates shows in non-traditional spaces — bars, restaurants, even the MacSpa, a business co-owned by his wife. He also admits to having a thing for Denver history — which helps explain why Art & Writing, a show of local art he puts together for the annual Lighthouse Writers Workshop Lit Fest, is one of his favorite exhibitions of the year. Lighthouse is headquartered in the historic Milheim House, a magnificent 7,000-square-foot structure famous for having been moved (on a trailer, down Colfax Avenue) from its original location, across the street from the Molly Brown House, to its present one, at 1515 Race Street, back in 1989. Matelski says the show, which features art vignettes in different rooms of the mansion, is an opportunity for him to really stretch as a curator.

The artists he’s chosen include some old favorites of his, as well as some he says he’s “been geeking out over, on the sidelines,” whose work somehow takes a literary or historical bent. Among the latter are painter of local neon signs Mario Acevedo, as well as Valerie Savarie, whose work often incorporates actual books — carved out into layered dioramas — as a medium. “I actually got to hand-pick the pieces according to the rooms where they’d be displayed,” Matelski says, and that includes placing Patrick Gerace’s nursery-rhyme posters in the parlor and Rene Farkass’s storybook series in what was once Mrs. Milheim’s bedroom.

Today, Matelski will take art lovers on a trip back in time when he leads them through the exhibit during an 11 a.m. guided tour. Admission is free, though donations for Lighthouse will be accepted; visit lighthousewriters.org for more information.
Sun., July 6, 11 a.m., 2014

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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

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