Localized: Adam Lerner wants to save SoCheese

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Almost a year after taking on the role of director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Adam Lerner is settling into his role. In addition to combining forces with The Lab at Belmar, the MCA has hosted five new exhibitions and spawned the innovative Mixed Taste lecture series under the guidance of Lerner.

The museum's latest show, Looking for the Face I Had Before the World Was Made , opens Friday night at 8 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art. There will be booze, and it cost 10 cents, which is a fancy way of saying we'll be there. We talked to Lerner about Denver for our new feature, Localized.

Name: Adam Lerner Age: 43 City/Neighborhood: Denver/Lower Highlands In a sentence, what's your job? I am the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and chief animator in the department of structures and fictions, though that last part is largely a joke. What's your favorite place in Denver? Squeaky Bean. What thing/creation/accomplishment are you most proud of? Mixed Taste: Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics, where I pair two completely unrelated topics in the same evening. It's the only really good idea I have ever had. What was the last show (art, music, fashion, theatre, whatever) you saw? I saw Looking for the Face I Had Before the World was Made just outside my office. Great show but the curator's a bit weird. Before that I saw Colin Parson's light exhibition at Pirate Gallery. Coors or New Belgium? Are you serious? Ski or snowboard? Yoga. LoDo (lower downtown) or SoBro (South Broadway)? I love the organic quality of SoBro but a city needs both. It's very easy to see authenticity in a place like South Broadway, but the test of Denver's greatness will be our ability to invent forms of authenticity in newly renovated places like LoDo. If you weren't doing what you do, what would you be doing? I think I'd like to be a rabbi -- or maybe a bar owner. What's the best meal you've ever had in Denver? Again, Squeaky Bean. Maybe it was the Seared Kajiki, maybe all the Proximus tequila but I think it was sharing all that with great friends in a cozy neighborhood joint. You have to blow up all of Colorado but one neighborhood. Which do you save? Arapahoe Acres because I don't want us to lose the hope of modernism. The rest we can rebuild. I'd also like to save SoCheese, which is south of Cheesman Park, only because I want people to start using that abbreviation and I want them to someday trace its origins to this interview. Is there one you would target? Can I use precision bombs? If so, I'd target the Beauvallon and the Prado buildings.

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