Best TV Newscast 2015 | 7News | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

At times, the term "newscast" can seem like a misnomer, since so much of what fills too many thirty-minute shows doesn't actually qualify as news. But 7News swims against the tide. The anchor team of Anne Trujillo and Eric Kahnert do their best to keep the focus on events, incidents and happenings of significance, supplemented by an ace investigatory crew featuring John Ferrugia, Theresa Marchetta and Keli Rabon. On a nightly basis, 7News newscasts earn the name.

Readers' choice: 9News

Downtown Aurora Visual Arts has been providing at-risk kids from the neighborhood with mentoring and positive art experiences for more than twenty years. Late last year, DAVA hit the jackpot by being selected to receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award — a $10,000 grant awarded annually to just twelve programs across the nation — for its Job Training in the Arts wing, which teaches older kids art-related work skills. DAVA director Susan Jenson and thirteen-year-old student Boris Cochajil traveled to Washington, D.C., in November to receive the award directly from the hands of First Lady Michelle Obama, who also gave Cochajil a neck rub and some advice on how to loosen up.

The hoopla in February over the opening of the touring exhibit 1968 at History Colorado overshadowed El Movimiento: The Chicano Movement in Colorado, a locally produced 1968 side trip that debuted at the same time, but its impact is no less stunning. Put together with help from local movers — from muralist Emanuel Martinez and CHAC co-founder Carlos Santistevan to Chicano power couple Daniel and Maruca Salazar, who've participated in the Chicano-rights movement here from the very start — the exhibit traces an important and underappreciated part of Colorado history. Then, to add a splash of color to history, Maruca Salazar, director of the Museo de las Americas, organized Chicano, an art exhibit designed to wow viewers with wit, installations and imagery — and to convey a real sense of why the movement has never really gone away. Los Supersonicos (the artist tag team of Carlos Frésquez and Francisco Zamora), photographer Delilah Montoya and filmmaker/installation artist Daniel Salazar show the movement through artistic eyes; Salazar's film installation even gives viewers a chance to take a selfie against a moving backdrop of marching protesters. Both exhibits continue through May.

Dancer and RedLine resident Tara Rynders is on a global mission to bring her moves right out into the streets, and she's been doing it, country by country, since 2011, when she launched You & Me, an ongoing series of site-specific interactive performances that has been on the road ever since. The model is both simple and a little complicated, but it all comes together in a magical way: Last year, in a Denver-based version, guests moved from one individual, multidisciplinary, artist-led experience to another during an evening that kicked off with a dance in an empty lot and culminated in a community dinner that was an art experience all its own. (

Processus is one of several projects that have opened in the newly renovated Temple building. It consists of a community workshop with a multi-use wood and sculpture shop, a darkroom, a clean room for printmaking and a small gallery space, well equipped with tools and equipment. And it's all available to members who pay a reasonable $100 monthly fee or people who purchase $200 punch cards good for eighteen hours of workshop time. The dream of Denver artist couple Viviane Le Courtois and Christopher Perez, who put months of hard work into fundraising for the project, Processus will soon add lectures, gallery shows, hands-on workshops and pop-up events.

Iraqi war veteran Curtis Bean found healing in art and yoga, and now he's helping other soldiers find peace through his Art of War Project. Bean founded the homegrown art-therapy program in 2013, through the Denver VA Medical Center. Last summer, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1 purchased a space on Santa Fe Drive where Bean could expand his program to include yoga, photography classes and film nights. Everything is free for veterans and their families, and aspiring artists are given gallery space and a chance to show their work to viewers on First Fridays.

Denver's galleries and museums are top-notch, but art lovers can also view premier work at other venues. Many bars and coffee shops celebrate our town's talent, filling their walls with dedication and a careful eye. But Kaladi takes that up a notch, rotating the work of quality artists — whose pieces are often affordable and approachable — on a frequent basis and making the shop feel like as much like a pop-up art space as a coffee spot.

The original intention of Open Press: Celebrating 25 Years of Printmaking was to toast Denver's premier print-atelier master printer Mark Lunning. But the show also turned out to be a salute to the Denver art scene during the last quarter-century. Of the fifty artists included — which was a who's-who list — most still live and work in the Denver area. The enormous show was the keystone event of the inaugural Mo'Prints: Month of Printmaking, a biennial that alternates with the more well-established Month of Photography. It's hard to imagine how next year's print-event organizers will be able to top this riveting extravaganza dedicated to Open Press, a genuine Denver treasure.

The thing that immediately set Stephen Batura: Stream apart from its peers was the fact that once viewers were inside the gallery, they were completely surrounded by landscape paintings, mostly set along the Platte River. Interestingly, the exaggerated horizontal views depicted in the show's seventeen works didn't have continuous compositions, so the images didn't flow from one to the other. To further the point that each panel was a separate work, Batura gave each a distinct palette. The paintings are based on amateur photos by Charles Lillybridge that Batura found at History Colorado; he used the Lillybridge snapshots as preliminary "sketches" for the paintings but only loosely responded to the photos, changing their details at will. Using historic images as a source for these landscapes pushed Batura's work into the realm of conceptual realism — and created a truly extraordinary visual experience.

It turns out that landscapes depicting Alaska's Denali and the surface of Mars look a lot like those of the scenery in the West. That was confirmed by the marvelous Far North & Outer Space, which featured the work of Beau Carey and Lanny DeVuono. Carey, a former Coloradan who now lives in his native New Mexico, was represented by paintings of the frozen north that he conceived of during an Alaskan residency for the National Park Service. DeVuono, who moved to Denver from Washington State, has based her paintings on satellite photos of the Red Planet's surface. Though both artists captured the recognizable details of their chosen landscapes, they also conflated representation with abstraction, each in an individual way. It was these differences as much as the similarities that made Far North & Outer Space jell.

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