Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to know and do around the state May 10-12

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Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Cinnamon Kills First, a somatic therapist who co-wrote “Breathing Healing Into The Banks Of Sand Creek” with Control Group Productions, stands in front of the bus that takes her audiences to scenes across the city. May 5, 2024.

New exhibit explores Clyfford Still’s relationship with abstract expressionism

The Clyfford Still Museum's "Dialogue and Defiance" exhibition delves into the complex relationship between Clyfford Still and the abstract expressionist movement. Despite his self-proclaimed independence, Still participated in several key exhibitions alongside notable artists. The show explores how these interactions influenced his work and the conversations within the art community. Through artworks, interactive features, and archival displays, the exhibition sheds light on the nuances of Still's engagement with his contemporaries and the impact on his artistic trajectory.

Courtesy of Fireside Production
Valerie Hellstein, the guest curator for the "Dialogue and Defiance" exhibition at the Clyfford Still Museum.

Valerie Hellstein, the guest curator for the exhibition, said it was inspired by Still's 1952 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, although the paintings from that show are not in the museum's collection. “They're all in private collections or other museums. So that was a bit of a surprise for me, but still having so many examples to choose from was just a real gift,” Hellstein said.

“Dialogue and Defiance” follows a chronological display of Still’s works in the Museum’s first four galleries. The exhibition will run from May 10 to January 12, 2025.

Friday, May 10

Breathing Healing into the Banks of Sand Creek (starts from North Denver)

Breathing Healing into the Banks of Sand Creek is a four-week performance series and healing journey in collaboration with artist Cinnamon Kills First. The series will take place at various sites throughout Denver and Boulder, and will culminate in a full-day pilgrimage to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Southern Colorado. The journey aims to map the buildup to the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre and provide healing to those affected by the tragedy.

Cheyenne artist-activist Cinnamon Kills First said the goal of this play is to lead audience members towards direct action. “So we want to face this history. We're inviting people to feel it in their body. We want them to reckon with their place in ongoing colonization, release any emotion around it that keeps particularly white bodies in freeze, right? They hit the guilt or the fragility and stop there,” the artist said. “But this show is really designed to move them through that, into accountability and action. And that's a message that we're holding throughout is that this didn't just happen in the past. These issues are still ongoing in the present.” 

Breathing Healing into the Banks of Sand Creek in Denver and Boulder May 2-19.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Control Group Productions actors David Ortolano (left to right), Bill Tall Bull, Patrick Mueller and Laurie Rugenstein perform a scene from "Breathing Healing Into The Banks Of Sand Creek" around a nearly hidden historic marker at the west end of the 8th Avenue bridge. May 5, 2024.

Saturday, May 11

The 43rd National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

Over 130 veteran artists will converge in Denver to participate in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, which celebrates the therapeutic power of art for veterans. The festival showcases veterans' artistic achievements and demonstrates the progress and recovery made through art therapy. The VA incorporates creative arts into its rehabilitation programs nationwide, and the festival serves as a testament to the contributions of veterans in the arts. The week-long event culminates with the Stage Show Performance and Art and Writing Exhibition, both of which are free and open to the public.

The festival is hosted by VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System and co-sponsored by VA and the American Legion Auxiliary. The week of events culminates with two events that are free and open to the public.

The Stage Show Performance, May 16, at 7 p.m., at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts’ June Swaner Gates Concert Hall at the University of Denver, 2344 East Iliff Ave.. Reserve free tickets for Thursday’s performances by visiting the NVCAF.

On May 17, from 4-6 p.m., the public is invited to the Art and Writing Exhibition at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St. This event does not require registration.

Amanda Tipton
Teller House in Central City.

The Central City Opera Summer Festival Preview

Central City Opera hosts a free preview of its 2024 Summer Festival at the Teller House. Attendees will enjoy selections from Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance," Puccini's "The Girl of the Golden West," and Kurt Weill's "Street Scene" as performed by CCO Touring Artists. The concert will take place at Rouge in the Teller House, and a post-show reception with wine and snacks will be held at the Gilpin County Arts Association. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the festival's new artistic director, Alison Moritz, at the reception.

The 33rd Annual Colorado Governor's Art Show & Sale

The Colorado Governor's Art Show & Sale showcases artwork by 62 Colorado artists and aims to support local charities and arts education. The event features artist meet-and-greets on Saturdays from May 11th to June 8th. Proceeds benefit rotary-sponsored projects, including scholarships for art students and support for families experiencing homelessness. 

The 33rd annual Colorado Governor's Art Show & Sale runs from May 11th to June 9th, at the Loveland Museum and Gallery.

Fort Collins Symphony 100th-anniversary concert, "Maestro's Musings," with livestream

The Fort Collins Symphony is celebrating 100 years of exceptional music in Fort Collins with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s entrancing “Piano Concerto No. 2.” However, the season finale concert on Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. is already sold out. To make sure everyone gets a chance to enjoy the concert, the Fort Collins Symphony is offering discounted $10 livestream tickets. The pre-concert talk, "Maestro's Musings," will start at 6:30 p.m.

Fort Collins Symphony 100th-anniversary concert livestream tickets can be purchased at using the discount code "Music."

The Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures

In celebration of Mother's Day, the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures in Fort Collins is offering free admission for mothers and grandmothers. The museum houses four galleries, where one of them displays unique collections such as uranium glass and fossils, while another showcases inspiring women from Northern Colorado. Additionally, there is a music room that features international instruments, a doll house exhibiting Tibetan dolls, and a gnome treasure hunt.

Mother's Day at the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures is Saturday, May 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

National Train Day at the Grand Junction Union Depot

The Grand Junction Union Depot hosts an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring live mural painting by local artists, a silent auction with railroad-related memorabilia, and entertainment by Canyon Grand Quartet. Guests can also indulge in food and visit booths hosted by the Museum of the West, Grand Valley Model Railroad Club, CDOT, and Grand Junction Historic Preservation Board, all for free.

Celebrate National Train Day at Grand Junction Union Depot Saturday, May 11, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sunday, May 12

Cellist Monica Council

Located in the heart of Olde Town Arvada, La Dolce Vita is a cozy coffee shop that features live music on the weekends. To celebrate Mother's Day cellist Monica Council will play from 10a.m.-1 p.m.

Mother's Day at Treasure Island

The Treasure Island Demonstration Garden is situated next to Lake Laku, along the Poudre River Trail, south of Eastman Park in Windsor. On Sunday, volunteers will give tours of the garden. You can bring your mom along to witness the sight of beautiful flowers in bloom, plants of various shapes and sizes, and learn about the upcoming plans for this season.

Treasure Island Demonstration Garden 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., in Windsor.

All Weekend

American Violinist Stefan Jackiw joins the Colorado Symphony

Courtesy of Stefan Jackiw
Violinist Stefan Jackiw.

Violin virtuoso Stefan Jackiw joins the Colorado Symphony from May 10-12 to perform Sergei Prokofiev's “2nd Violin Concerto” under the direction of Jun Märkl. The program also features Ethel Smyth's “Prelude” and Brahms' “Symphony No. 3.” Jackiw, a highly acclaimed violinist, recently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City with The Junction Trio.

Colorado Symphony with violinist Stefan Jackiw is May 10-12 at Boettcher Concert Hall.

Other arts and culture events around Colorado

How we pick our events: CO Arts Spotlight highlights events around the state to give readers a sense of the breadth of Colorado’s arts and cultural happenings, it is not — and can not possibly be — a comprehensive list of all weekly events. Entries are not endorsements or reviews. Each week’s list is published on Thursday and is not updated. Some groups that appear on the list may also be financial sponsors of CPR, but have no input into our editorial choices.

Editor's Note: Some groups mentioned in the Spotlight may be financial supporters of CPR News. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.

Denverite reporter Kevin Beaty contributed to this story.