This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, January 27

As the burgeoning Latino community continues to make its mark on American culture, its artists continue to negate the stereotypical labels they've been saddled with over the years by weaving together popular and ethnic imagery with a scathing, satirical eye. Leaving Aztlán: Rethinking Contemporary Latino and Chicano Art, a group exhibit that opens today and continues through April 23 at the Center for Visual Art/MCSD, 1734 Wazee Street, spotlights that effort with a treasury of contemporary works by artists from the western half of the United States. Special events in conjunction with the exhibit include an artists' reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on February 24 (guest curator Kaytie Johnson and celebrity collector Cheech Marin will speak at 6 p.m. the same night; admission is $10) and a day-long symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on February 25 ($20 to $30, by reservation). For more information, call 303-294-5207 or visit www.mscd.edu/news/cva.

Friday, January 28

The William Havu Gallery begins its 2005 exhibition schedule with a show of great weightŠand depth: Three Dimensions explores new directions in three-dimensional media through the works of three established Southwestern sculptor/educators. Denver's Lawrence Argent -- whose recent public art offerings include the enormous green metal blades of grass that welcome drivers on South Broadway to the city of Englewood and an equally gargantuan, soon-to-be-unveiled blue bear that will peek into the new Colorado Convention Center -- contributes two sculptural pacifiers (also larger than life), along with additional small works and photographs. Austinite Stephen Daly offers bold arrangements of cast-aluminum forms and multimedia works, and Mary Bates Neubauer of Tempe, Arizona, chips in a series of organic, fossil-like cast-bronze objects finished with natural-looking patinas. In addition, tubular steel sculptures by emerging local artist David Mazza -- an Extreme Makeover -- Home Edition commissionee -- will be on display outside the gallery, at 1040 Cherokee Street. The exhibit opens with a reception tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. and continues through March 12; for details, call 303-893-2360 or log on to www.williamhavugallery.com.

Saturday, January 29

The Front Range has its share of strong-voiced women who grace local stages, though it sometimes seems as if these elusive songbirds warble for just a select few. Like intrepid birdwatchers, only those willing to make the trek get to see and hear the true rarities. Well, toss out your waders, music lovers: Tonight's Women in the Round show at Swallow Hill Music Hall brings a bevy of Denver folk divas together for your enjoyment, including New Orleans native and longtime Coloradan Liz Barnez, soulful and sexy Boulderite Rebecca Folsom, singer-songwriter Mary Huckins (the blonde in the local Americana trio Dakota Blonde) and sweet-voiced, Nashville-bound Celeste Krenz. The musical foursome takes the stage at 8 p.m. at Swallow Hill, 71 East Yale Avenue; for tickets, $15 to $18, call 303-777-1003 or go to www.swallowhill.com.

Sunday, January 30

Even if you can't adopt a homeless pet, there are ways to help the thousands of animals who annually end up at local shelters. One of the area's largest, the Denver Dumb Friends League, is the beneficiary of today's Pledges for Pets telethon, 2 to 6 p.m. on KTVD-TV/UPN 20. Tune in to make a donation and meet a whole pack of adorable, adoptable dogs, cats, rabbits and other small creatures. This is also the last day to bid on items at the league's online auction, which offers fun trips, jewelry, artwork and more -- including a selection of pet-specific finds, from massages to pet-friendly landscaping. When it's all over, you might just change your mind about not being able to adopt that pet. For information, call 303-696-4941, ext. 1378 or log on to www.ddfl.org.

Monday, January 31

Nothing beats the start-of-the-week doldrums like a good shot of funny, and there's no game in town sillier on a Monday night than the Improv Hootenanny, 7:30 p.m. at the Bovine Metropolis Theater, 1527 Champa Street. The event welcomes a variety of theatrical improv styles and features a changing roster of three troupes weekly, so you'll be entertained by a raw cross-section of local talent. Tonight's trio includes '80s Ninjas, Stick Horses and Comedy Helper. Admission is $5; call 303-758-4722 or go to www.bovinemetropolis.com for a complete schedule.

Tuesday, February 1

Ever wonder how many gardeners suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? Winter hits them with a double whammy, after all. Not only are the days dark, short and dreary, but most gardens lie fallow for a while, with nothing but a few dried-up stalks and seedheads sticking up starkly as a reminder of sleeping roots and bulbs ever-so-slowly replenishing underground. There's nothing much out there to prune, feed or look at. But help is here: Just when the seed catalogues start to hit your mailbox, Horticulture magazine brings its 2005 symposium, Beyond the Garden Gate, to the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York Street. Nationally known speakers Christopher Bradley-Hole, Marc Peter Keane, W. Gary Smith, Nicholas Staddon and Keith Wiley will lecture on such subjects as "Combining Art and Nature in the Garden" and "Wild Styles: Distilling Inspiration from Natural Landscapes" today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 1-877-436-7764 or visit www.hortmag.com to make reservations. The registration fee of $119 to $129 includes handouts, refreshments and a boxed lunch. For information about the DBG, call 720-865-3500 or go to www.botanicgardens.org.

Wednesday, February 2

Colorado's bawdy and romantic past comes to light just in time for Valentine's Day with the release of Denver native Rosemary Fetter's entertaining Colorado's Legendary Lovers: Historic Scandals, Heartthrobs and Haunting Romances, a compendium of stories about such memorable Rocky Mountain couples as Baby Doe and Horace Tabor, Mollie Dorsey and Byron Sanford, and Cort Thompson and Mattie Silks. History was never so much fun! Sashay on down: Fetter will discuss the book tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 East First Avenue; for details, call 303-322-7727 or visit www.tatteredcover.com.

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