Coming Attractions

Going beyond form and function

Recommended activities for the coming week


When many people think of art, they might picture something that just hangs on a wall or sits in a display case. But as Collin Parson, the Arvada Center’s exhibition manager and curator, sees it - there are all kinds of possibilities in the spaces where art and function meet and diverge.

“Our job at the Arvada Center is to educate patrons, visitors and art lovers about the range of art,” Parson said. “The world is very grey and so is the art world.”

The center’s, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., summer exhibition Blurring the Line: Form, Function, and Design, is aimed at exploring the creative and playful ways that artists and designers, well, blur the line between use and aesthetics. The show runs through Aug. 25.

“We could’ve done a show that just focused on well-crafted work, but we wanted to also play with form,” Parson said. “Our show features people who not only have these concepts by the craftmanship to bring them to life.”

Finding the right creators for the show proved to be a bit tricky at first, but Parson said he was able to approach artists and invite them to share their most utilitarian works and designers and craftspeople to display their most creative.

The resulting exhibition - split into creations for spaces in the Main Gallery and creations for bodies in the Upper and Theatre galleries - includes dynamic and unusual takes on everything from lights, desks, jewelry and cutlery to headdresses and a 34-foot couch that spells out the word “lies.”

Participating artists include the Michael Beitz, Donald Fodness, the collaborative duo known as Knomad Colab and the center’s own Bebe Alexander. From 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, there will be a free Thirsty Thursday event at the center, where attendees can meet the artists, join in on activities and enjoy a complimentary drink.

“I hope everyone who comes to see the show will look at function differently than they did before,” Parson said.

“I want them to experience the limitless possibilities when art meets function and function meets art.”

For more information, visit

Clarke’s Concert of the Week - The Avett Brothers at Red Rocks

For a band that doesn’t fit into any of the quote-unquote hip music genres like rap, pop or rock, the Avett Brothers have developed an absolute monster following over the years. Credit their success to top-notch musicianship, affecting storytelling and a masterful live show.

The group’s Red Rocks runs have become a staple of Colorado summertime, and they’ll be returning to the amphitheater, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 7.

As has become the norm, there will be a different opener for all three nights: Erika Wennerstrom on July 5, Nicole Atkins on July 6 and Lake Street Dive on July 7. They all make for great pairings, but Lake Street Dive’s take on vintage pop will breathe beautifully in the open air of Red Rocks.

The Avett Brothers are gearing up to release a new album, Closer Than Together, on Oct. 4, so it’s a safe bet they will be roading testing some new material along fan favorites. Get information and tickets at

Get catty with Dumb Friends League

The Dumb Friends League’s annual Catwalk event, held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at the League’s Quebec Street Shelter, 2080 S. Quebec St., was created for all those devoted to their feline friends.

Attendees will sample beer tastings from 10 local breweries while learning all about cats and the League’s programs that benefit felines in our community, according to provided information. There will also be local food trucks and cat merchandise, including 2019 Catwalk T-shirts, a Tito’s vodka cocktail and free cat food samples.

The event is a ticketed, 21-and-older event. Tickets can be purchased by visiting There are VIP options that allow for early access to beer tasting booths, a Catwalk T-shirt, a commemorative Catwalk beer glass and Catwalk bottle opener.

Baise meets Brother Ray under the stars

Some music sounds better under the stars, and big band jazz is absolutely one of them. All those instruments playing that music together needs some breathing room. That’s one of the things that makes the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra’s summer performances at the Arvada Center so special.

The CJRO will be heading to the center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 to play the music of Ray Charles and Count Baise Orchestra.

The pairing comes from the album “Ray Sings and Basie Swings,” which matched Ray Charles performances to recordings of the Count Basie Orchestra.

Head over to for all the details.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at


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