If you were raised Catholic or have ever been to the any of the historic cathedrals all over the world, you know that altars to saints were and are a part of life for the faithful.
However, it’s safe to say that subjects of local artist Shirlee Miyake’s new exhibit on display at the Thornton Arts and Culture Center won’t be added to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica anytime soon. Entitled Sinners and Recovering Catholics, the exhibit features altars to 17 figures, both historic and contemporary.
“I wanted something less gory than zombies walking around. Something family friendly, like the movie “Coco,” Miyake explained. “I tried to find iconic figures that people would recognize. I wanted diverse people and cultures represented.”
Figures who received an altar vary from Sacagawea and Elvis Presley to Aretha Franklin and Anthony Bourdain.
“We thought this body of work would be a great one to have in correlation with our Dia de Los Muertos event,” said Jesse Jimenez, arts and culture coordinator with the city. “The day is a whole celebration around people coming together to honor and remember our loved ones. And like the exhibit, the holiday has undertones of Catholicism to it.”
The city’s Dia de Los Muertos exhibit will go from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the center and will feature food vendors, interactive arts activities and Miyake will be on hand as well.
“There’s been a resurgence of interest in the holiday and our event has grown over the last three years,” Jimenez said. “At our first event we had only 20 people and last year we had about 250.”
Each altar Miyake made is incredibly detailed, featuring a variety of elements from the person’s lives, in addition to a drawing of the figure by the artist. For example, Bourdain’s altar includes a motorcycle, cigars, beer and coins from countries he visited as part of his travels. The details of each altar not only reflect Miyake’s dedication to the craft, but also reflect the humanity of the icons.
“I wanted people with flaws, because we all have flaws. We all want to be better, but that doesn’t always happen because life happens,” she said. “We know these iconic people’s flaws, but still look at them like they’re on a pedestal. We relate with them more than saints.”
The exhibit runs at the center, 9209 Dorothy Blvd. in Thornton, through December for more information, visit www.artsthornton.com.
Fall in L-O-V-E with the Allan Harris Trio
For romantics like yours truly, Nat King Cole is one of the best voices for truly expressing love in its many forms. Songs like “When I Fall in Love,” “L-O-V-E” and “Unforgettable” are standards that will never go out of style, and for good reason.
Internationally lauded vocalist, guitarist and composer Allan Harris and his trio will be coming to the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 to pay tribute to the legendary musician in honor of 100 years since his birth.
Harris will be joined by ArcoIris Sandoval on piano, Nimrod Speaks on bass and Karina Colis on drums, all jazz musicians of top-notch quality. The combination of their skill and Cole’s timeless tunes will make for an enchanting evening.
Get tickets by calling 720-509-1000 or at www.LoneTreeArtsCenter.org.
Take advantage of Night at the Museums
In my opinion, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend an afternoon than by exploring one of Denver’s many fantastic museums. No matter what your interest is, there’s a good bet the city and surrounding areas has something that will strike your fancy.
What makes this year’s Night at the Museums, held on Saturday, Nov. 2, special is the city’s best museums are open late and admission is free between 5 and 10 p.m. Since museums usually close up shop around 5 or 6 every day, this is a fantastic opportunity to see them in a new way.
Participating facilities include well-known locations like the Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Clifford Still Museum, and more local stops like the Black American West Museum, Molly Brown House Museum and Four Mile Historic Park.
Shuttle buses will be traveling four different routes between participating museums to make travel easy for visitors. Get all the details at www.denver.org/denver-arts-week/free-night-at-the-museums.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Kurt Vile at Mission Ballroom
Some music demands close attention to understand what the musician is trying to do. And other tunes can fade pleasantly to the background unless you want to bury yourself in it. Such is the case with the music of Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile.
The man’s albums are ramshackle rambles through a world of swirling guitars, chugging rhythms and stoned lyrical reveries. He definitely has some Grateful Dead in his style, as well as modern alt-rock like Dinosaur Jr.
Which means the pairing of Vile and Dinosaur Jr. at the Mission Ballroom, 930 W. 7th Ave. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 is going to be all kinds of fantastic. Get tickets at www.axs.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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