The Fax Sets the Night on Fire

The newly renamed Aurora Arts District has had a tough time of it. Formerly the East End Arts District, the downtown Aurora area that roughly extends a block either way from Colfax between Clinton and Geneva streets, has been faithfully hosting Second Friday art walks without getting much of a draw, laments AAD board president Crystal Gardner, and it’s time for that to change. Beginning this weekend, the AAD is launching a double-fisted art attack, beginning with tonight’s Art on the Fax and continuing with tomorrow night’s unprecedented Fire Arts Festival and live iron pour. Both were envisioned as a lead-in to Sunday’s Colfax Marathon leg through Aurora.

“This is our kickoff,” Gardner says. “We’re out to change the perception that there’s not really art in Aurora.” And she’s right. There is art in Aurora, represented by entities as diverse as the co-op-style Other Side Arts, the at-risk-youth art haven at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, the Red Delicious print studio and the fine craft and jewelry emporium East End Applied Arts, as well as a horde of public artworks. In addition, plans are in the works for even more impetus to visit the area. Explains Gardener: “We’re developing four different art festivals for this year. After this event, we’ll have Art on the Fax every month beginning in June; the Original Aurora Renewable Art Gala in July; a mural project with kids in trouble for graffiti in the 18th Judicial District in August; and a City of Aurora lighted gateway installation festival in September.” Nice chutzpah, Aurora.

Tour Aurora galleries from 5 to 8 p.m. during Art on the Fax; tomorrow, stroll the Fire Arts Festival on Elmira Street at Colfax from 4 to 9 p.m. For details about these and other events planned for the weekend, visit www.auroraartsdistrict.com.
May 13-14, 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