Halloween is over, but fall festivities have just begun. Today marks the start of both Denver Arts Week and the Day of the Dead, so this weekend will be packed with activity. From First Friday art openings to a comedy show full of the best local talent, there's plenty to do this weekend that will be fun and easy on the wallet, too.
We list ten of the best options below; for more, see our online calendar, and if we missed any bargains, let us know in the comments section below.
"In The Wild" group art show opening at Black Book Gallery, Friday (free) Tonight Black Book Gallery is opening the first in a series of exhibits focusing on the history of nature and the earth. This show includes work by artists like Cycle, Scott Belcastro, Nicky Davis, Melanie Pruitt and more. At this First Friday gathering, you can take in vivid illustrations of wild animals and maybe enjoy some wildlife of your own.
Out Of Context: New Works by TJ Raygun at Lowbrow, Friday (free) Visual artist TJ Raygun unveils a new series tonight, one mixing humor and symbolism in an accessible way. While you're at the opening at Lowbrow, check out this great multi-purpose space on Broadway that sells art supplies, hosts workshops and is home to some excellent work by ocal artists.
Grand Opening at The Curtis Club, Friday (free) Since the building's eye-popping makeover from dive bar to swanky spot, the Curtis Club has been the talk of the town. Tonight the bar and restaurant will throw a grand-opening party with complimentary first drinks, concert ticket giveaways and more. Admire the craftsmanship and detail of this fancy room's decor or just get down to business and order off a menu of locally sourced food at this old-West style gastropub. (And for a chance to win $50 in food and drink and a table up front, see our contest here.)
Grand opening at Valkarie Gallery, 445 South Saulsbury Street in Lakewood, Friday (free) Frank Farrar, Valerie Savarie and Karrie York are all Denver art-scene veterans, and now these amazing forces have combined to open a gallery. Just in time for Denver Arts Week, Valkarie Gallery will be showing off new work by the founders as well as visiting artists and members. Check out Westword's interview with all three gallery owners for more insight into this new space.
Monsters of Mock at 3 Kings Tavern, Friday, ($8) Halloween is over, but these bands aren't done dressing up. Catch some of your favorite local groups play the part as they pay tribute to big rock stars of the recent past. Fool for a Day becomes Faith No More, The Skulls transform into The Misfits and more as 3 Kings becomes a time warp for raging fans looking to rock hard. Mile High Soul Club at Beauty Bar, (free before 10 p.m., $3 after) Holding it down every first Saturday night, Mile High Soul Club brings the best in Northern soul, Motown, funk and plenty of rare tracks to Beauty Bar for its adoring fans. DJs Dogboy, Tyler "Danger" Jacobson and "Creeper" Steve Cervantes will have you doing the Twist, the Bird and Wutusi all over the dance floor.
Baby Hair Mega-Party at Mutiny Information Cafe, Saturday (free/donation) Formerly an open mic night, Baby Hair has now become a fully curated gathering of art, music, spoken word and unexpected performances. Hosted by local musician Sara Century and creative cohort Erica Adams, the evening will showcase the intellectual side of queer and women-centered arts -- but everyone is invited to be a part of the night.
Pilgrims & Pranksters comedy show at Jake's Food & Spirits, Saturday ($5) Just five bucks gets you a hefty taste of Denver's burgeoning comedy scene, with Nathan Lund of the Fine Gentleman's Club, local funnywoman Terri Barton Gregg, favorite Jordan Doll and more. Out-of-stater David Testroet joins this line-up for a night of sure-fire laughs and plenty of fun.
Muertos Mart at Pirate: Contemporary Art, Saturday and Sunday (free) If you're looking for a taste of a Día de los Muertos celebrations or you're ready to start early holiday shopping, the Muertos Mart is the spot. This pop-up shop offers art, jewelry and other handmade items by local artists and schoolchildren, right in the middle of the Day of the Dead action at Pirate, one of Denver's longest-running Muertos holiday destinations.
Sight & Sound Showcase: Part Deux at Groundswell Gallery, Sunday ($5 donation) Art and music collide at this second installment of the Sight & Sound Showcase, which connects live compositions by local musicians with the projections of found footage by visual artists. Kevin Costner Suicide Pact will perform; there will also be the 16mm stylings of Curt Heiner and more from creative forces on the local scene. Get to Groundswell early -- the space is small and the room sells out.