Vance Trance

FRI, 11/21

While his contemporaries flocked to New York and Paris, twentieth-century painter Vance Kirkland chose to spend more than fifty years living and working in Denver. He was not only an innovative artist who painted his way through five major periods, but also an educator -- teaching art at the University of Denver and later at his own Kirkland School of Art -- and a collector of decorative arts objects, from Tiffany candlesticks to modern glassware. His studio became a social center where Kirkland would host modern-music salons.

"He led a life permeated with the arts," says Judy Steiner, co-curator of a new exhibit, Vance Kirkland: A Colorado Painter's Life, Early Works and Beyond. She hopes that Kirkland's impact on the area will be brought out by the show, an educational blend of historical background, paintings and objects that opens today at the Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway. Steiner says the exhibit's power owes much to the curatorial participation of Vance Kirkland Museum director Hugh Grant, an unashamedly dedicated Kirkland devotee who not only oversees the late painter's personal collection, but continues to add to it by searching out related artifacts and works.

"Many years ago," she relates, "I got to know Hugh Grant when he was gracious enough to lend us some artifacts for a previous show. The more I learned about Kirkland from Hugh, the more I realized how important Kirkland was to Colorado history." That realization led to the inter-museum collaboration, a centennial tribute that goes far beyond the limits of a regular art exhibit.

Vance Kirkland continues through April 4, 2004; call 303-866-3682 or log on to for information. -- Susan Froyd

Fresh Faces
The Global Lens presents very foreign films
FRI, 11/21

When was the last time you saw a movie from Tajikistan? If the answer is never, you can remedy the situation with The Global Lens, a program opening today at the Starz FilmCenter that showcases ten feature films from developing nations such as Tunisia, Iran and Algeria. "They're human stories by developing cinematic talents," says Starz spokesman Eric Beteille. "When your nation only makes a handful of films each year, I think that you make a more powerful statement about what is important to you."

Starting with tonight's 7 p.m. screening of the Palestinian film Ticket to Jerusalem, each film will be shown for two nights, through December 14.

"These are serious films by young filmmakers. I'm really proud that we're bringing this series to Denver," says Howie Movshovitz, local film critic and Starz education director, who is sharing the films with high school students.

Tickets are $8 per screening; multi-film passports range from $35 to $70, with discounts available for students, seniors and Denver Film Society members. Starz is located in the Tivoli, 900 Auraria Parkway. Visit or call 303-820-FILM for a complete schedule. -- Julie Dunn

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Julie Dunn
Contact: Julie Dunn
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