FRI, 8/8

Loveland: the vortex of internationally acclaimed sculpture. Who knew that the unassuming town happens to be a hotbed of artistic expression? Lots of folks. And art aficionados will have a unique chance to get up close and personal with all manner of three-dimensional works at not one but two outdoor events, making for a sculpture-palooza weekend: The 12th Annual Loveland Sculpture Invitational Show & Sale starts today, and the 20th Annual Sculpture in the Park opens tomorrow.

It seems that Sculpture in the Park, a juried show, got too much response from artists interested in displaying their work and couldn't accommodate them all (180 artists are involved in this year's event, making it the largest outdoor juried exhibition of sculpture in the United States). The Invitational grew from the remaining artists, who were eager to show and sell their stuff but were without a venue; this year it will feature 325 artists from across the country.

That's no small feat, mind you; many of these sculptures aren't cutesy tabletop figurines (though there will be plenty of those at both events, too). Some artists work on such a grand scale that they have to commission a flatbed truck to bring their wares.

"Occasionally, there have been some that have just been so huge, it's like, 'Oh, my God, where are we gonna put this?'" laughs Invitational organizer Denise Erbes. She's still reeling from the acrylic buffalo that one sculptor brought last year. As Erbes recalls, the behemoth bison was "at least five times" bigger than a life-sized buffalo. They had to anchor it down so it wouldn't tip over and crush some poor unsuspecting patron.

This being Colorado, traditional sculpture fans will be pleased to see the requisite Western-themed bronze statues displayed. Plus, there will be scads of nudes and bare-breasted ladies in various states of undress. (What is it about naked women that says "Immortalize me in bronze!"?)

Sculpture fans will witness much more, with subjects ranging from wildlife to military to fantasy. Many of the works are created from a time-intensive process called "lost wax," in which the artist sculpts the piece in clay, then creates a wax mold of the work. Hot metal is poured into the wax mold to create a form that must still be pampered and patinaed into perfection.

And you thought the clay ashtray you made in art class was an achievement....

The Sculpture Invitational Show & Sale, at Owens Field near Loveland High School, and Sculpture in the Park, at Benson Park, will both run through Sunday, August 10. Admission for each is $5 for visitors fourteen and older. For information on both, call 1-970-663-7467. -- Erin Kindberg

Cut and Paste tour slices through Denver
MON, 8/11

Lately it seems like everyone has something to say. But zinesters -- creators of those hand-bound, Xeroxed and folded manuscripts tucked into the corners of coffeehouses and record stores -- say it in style. Zines explore everything from the Zapatista rebellion to the risks of gastric-bypass surgery. Common links between the snipped and clipped mimeographed mouthpieces (besides typos and copyright infringements) are a DIY, anti-establishment ethic and the reoccurring mantra of "Create your own media."

So when Portland-based invisible presser Microcosm Publishing was looking for a Denver stop for its Cut and Paste Zine Tour, the Breakdown Book Collective, 1409 Ogden Street, was an easy fit. Breakdown is a non-profit space that shelves over 2,000 items in its free-lending library.

Tonight Dave Roche, author of the zine On Subbing, will share heartwarming tales of the trials and tribulations of being a punk-rock special-education substitute teacher. Joe Biel, Microcosm Publishing founder and author of CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting, will present a subculture speculation on the involvement of the CIA and the FBI in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Zen and the Art of Brownie Baking's Josh BrownieKid promises a poetry slam that incorporates politics, tae kwon do board breaking and pastry baking. Alex Wrekk (Brainscan/Stolen Sharpie Revolution) will wrap up with a presentation resembling something from an anarchistic Martha Stewart of DIY culture, including zine etiquette and crafting tips.

Cut and Paste hits the fan at 7 p.m. and is free, although donations are encouraged. Visit or call 303-832-7952 for more information. -- Kity Ironton

A Killer Account of Camping
TUES, 8/12

Two friends embarked on a camping trip in a remote canyon in desolate Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the summer of 1999, but only one came out alive: When he was found, dehydrated and confused, that man, Raffi Kodikian, claimed he killed his companion, David Coughlin, out of mercy. Coughlin, he claimed, begged him to do it; fearing they'd never leave the canyon alive, Kodikian complied. But an ensuing investigation uncovered inconsistencies in his story, and eventually Kodikian -- the only person who really knows what happened -- came out of it with a two-year prison sentence. It's a true-crime scenario that could produce one of two kinds of book: a quick, forgettable airplane read or a memorable page-turner executed with journalistic skill above and beyond the call of duty. Deftly penned by Jason Kersten, a rising star in the journalism world, Journal of the Dead: A Story of Friendship and Murder in the New Mexico Desert is resoundingly unforgettable. Kersten -- whose account of the notorious case skillfully re-creates the tale's desert milieu and opposing points of view, with riveting results -- will sign copies tonight at 7:30 at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder. Call 303-447-2074. -- Susan Froyd

The Gang's All Beer
Central City raises the bar on brews
SAT, 8/9

Central City puts the fun in fundraiser today with The Central City 500, an attempt to break -- okay, set -- the world record for drinking 500 beers. All the swilling is for a good cause: raising money for the renovation of the Belvidere Theater, which was built back in 1875 -- three years before the famed opera house made its debut in the then-booming mining town. Coors Brewing, another Colorado landmark, has donated 31 cases of Coors Original to the cause, and cans start popping at exactly 1 p.m. A stopwatch will determine how long it takes to drain 500 cans (the four left over are allotted to "spillage"). The more participants, of course, the faster the beer will disappear. And is there an official record to beat? "Not that we know of," says organizer Lew Cady. "But there will be later that day." It costs only $10 to join in the fun, and that buys you not only all the beers you can drink until they run out, but also a T-shirt with the slogan "I drank 500 beers in record time on August 9, 2003." Simply show up with the cash, your ID and a big thirst shortly before 1 p.m. at the Belvidere, across from the Big Triangle free parking lot in Central City. -- Patricia Calhoun

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun
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
Kity Ironton
Erin Kindberg