A sculpture by Li Hardison.

Denver ArtsWeek: Art finds you at the Platte Forum

For months, I'd been hearing about a community museum on Little Raven Street by the Millennium Bridge that my friend, Jamie Kopke, was helping to start. The idea was a temporary museum that would host art created by the community. Last weekend, as part of Denver ArtsWeek, they held a "Pop-Up Denver" event to create a giant pop-up scene.

I was eager to stop by and see what other great things they were up to, but sadly, when I arrived yesterday, the museum was still closed. Turns out I'd mixed up the Thursday and Friday times, and the museum already has very limited hours: 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

On the cold trek back to my car, I noticed signs for the Platte Forum, tucked into a hidden corner of the complex. Curious, I walked in and was immediately greeted by Judy Anderson, the Artistic and Founding Director of the space. From a brief tour, I learned that Judy had started the forum six years ago to help bring underserved youth together with established artists in the hopes of exposing them to a world they may never have known otherwise.

The current artist in residence, Li Hardison, has been working two days a week with a group of mostly homeless nine- to twelve-year-olds from the Colfax Community Network by teaching them how to make relief sculpture. The session will last six weeks, and at the end, they will have a show on display from December 18 through January 9 entitled "Homage to Judith Jamison and the Earth." Hardison is taking care of the very detailed Judith Jamison sculpture (Jamison is the dancer shown in the photograph above), and the kids are all working on pieces representing the earth.

It's amazing how many opportunities for art and creativity are tucked into the nooks and crannies of our city. Sometimes you find them, but oftentimes, art in the city has a way of finding you. For more information on the Platte Forum, visit www.platteforum.org. -- Aubrey Shoe

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