Edge Gallery

Edge Gallery underwent some transition last summer when many longtime members quit and were replaced by a group of new ones. Heralding this change was Conceptually Scattered, featuring work by the new generation of Edgesters, almost all of them up-and-coming artists new to the scene. The majority of the pieces showed tremendous talent and great skill, with all of the artists having contributed things worth looking at. The show included pieces by Nouman Gaafar, Faith Williams, Michael McGrath, Jessica Loving, Dennis Stowell, John Cross, Rachel Prago, Genevieve Yazzie and Frederick Pichon. Edge has long been one of the co-ops in town, and surely the secret to this success is the way it constantly reinvents itself.

The MCA's Adam Lerner has a thing for art propelled by socio-political movements, and that predilection threw him in the direction of Devo musician/composer/artist Mark Mothersbaugh, a man who Lerner says is the most creative person he's ever met. Those are strong words to describe a pop-culture anomaly who can't let a day pass without churning out twenty or so postcard-sized drawings (he's been creating them for dozens of years). In the interest of sharing Mothersbaugh's postcards, quirky compositions and installations with the public, Lerner coaxed the object of his obsession to let the MCA put together the show Myopia. This will be Mothersbaugh's first-ever exhibit in a museum — in fact, at a series of museums, since it will travel to other venues after its inaugural run at the MCA this fall.

Mark Mosher organized the Boulder Synthesizer Meet-Up to connect with others interested in using technology in music. He found kindred spirits in internationally touring trombone player Darren Kramer and Victoria Lundy of the Inactivists and the now-defunct Carbon Dioxide Orchestra. The trio played through Mosher's audio rig, with Kramer processing his trombone through analog and digital devices and Lundy joining him on her theremin. Playing separate sets with a collaborative performance at the end, Kramer, Lundy and Mosher presented a tour de force on the current state of electronic music and its future.

Without officially branding its programming a feminist endeavor, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art brought women into the spotlight in force in 2013. As part of its Present Box series, BMoCA invited bridal dressmaker Maggie Evans to sew live and artist/lawyer Vanessa Place to present her confessional performance art. The museum's fall series, Craft Tech/Coded Media, gave multiple generations of technology-based artists a great platform for their multimedia work, and companion events like Femcees: Lyrics Decoded brought female musicians into the mix. BMoCA showed that curation doesn't have to be labeled in order to be empowering, engaging and effective.

Sie FilmCenter

Join nearly 55,000 film lovers making their way through more than 200 films at the Starz Denver Film Festival, Denver's preeminent, audience-friendly movie event of the year — for thirty years! Whether you want to watch future Academy Award nominees or gems that might never again see the light of day, the Denver Film Festival has got you covered. And where else in town can you rub elbows with Hollywood directors, brave documentarians and independent auteurs talking about their craft and showing off their latest work? Even without the bonus red-carpet events, multiple parties and panel discussions with film-industry players, this fall festival is a chance to pack a year's worth of movie viewing into ten glorious days.

Ethan McCarthy is best known for his work as a musician in extreme-metal bands like Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire, Keep and Primitive Man. He's also had experience running the DIY venues Kingdom of Doom, Blast-O-Mat and Aqualung's Community Music Space. A disarmingly gregarious and compassionate person, in seeming contrast to his bleak, aggressive and sometimes forbidding music, McCarthy has been a truly positive force in the local music scene. Recently he's gained notice for his visual art, as well. The dark, detailed and imaginative fliers he's made for various shows immediately pull you in and make you curious as to what event could warrant such powerful imagery.

Landmark Greenwood Village

Have you ever gone to a movie theater and pulled a refillable popcorn bucket and soda cup out of a trash can, washed them off, then sheepishly approached the concession line saying, "I'm here for my refills," praying that the gawky kid behind the cash register won't bust you? To avoid that humiliation, check out the Landmark Greenwood Village, which doles out free popcorn and carbonated corn syrup for every ticketed customer. The quality of the popcorn and the soda selection are better than average, and you can fearlessly fill up to your heart's content — even beyond it. The comfortable theater also has a selection of pub grub and drinks for VIP customers — but it's the UIP (unimportant people) who really get a good deal.

City Park
As Andrew Orvedahl and Robert Rutherford, hosts of the Narrators, will assure you, storytelling is an art -- not just an opportunity to spew random reminiscences. In front of an audience, the storyteller must impart drama, give a sense of time and place, and even hit the funnybone once in a while to achieve real success. Over the last few years, the duo's knack for curating stories has gotten better and better, and the monthly series is settling comfortably into new, beer-friendly digs at Deer Pile. At 8 p.m. every third Thursday of the month, Narrators regulars and newbies alike take the stage to riff on a changing theme; the result is magical, profound and believably unbelievable. It's also free -- and that's no fairy tale.
Crash 45

Not many film screenings come with syringes full of human blood. But that's the sort of thing that makes "BloodThirsty Theresa" Mercado's seasonal horror-film series at Crash 45 so special. The impeccably curated films, which show on the first Tuesday of the month and are grouped into Cruel Autumn, Cruel Winter and Cruel Summer, run the horror gamut — from classics like 1974's Texas Chainsaw Massacre to more obscure flicks like the ridiculous alien-abduction movie Xtro to Kathryn Bigelow's vampire tale Near Dark (when those syringes were handed out). Mercado creates handmade souvenirs tailored to each free screening, and the bar concocts movie-themed drink specials to enjoy along with the scares.

Best Fresh Take on the Western Tradition — Group

Western not Western

For Western not Western, Bill Havu and his assistant, Nick Ryan, surveyed the many artists in the gallery's stable to find pieces that use Western-art vocabularies but aren't traditionally Western in style. They included straightforward realists like Jeff Aeling, James Cook and Rick Dula, as well as Tracy Felix, Sushe Felix and Tony Ortega, all of whom pick up Western subjects and then push them through their own individual sensibilities. There were even artists who do abstracted landscapes, among them Sam Scott, Lui Ferreyra and Jeremy Hillhouse, and two, Emilio Lobato and Nancy Lovendahl, who do pure abstractions. The show was right on time, because contemporary art with a Western twang is currently a hot topic.

Best Of Denver®

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