Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to Know and Do Around the state May 24 – 26

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Courtesy of Colorado Stampede
The Colorado Stampede Rodeo.

Astor House opening in Golden

Golden, a city renowned for its outdoor recreation and craft breweries, is currently undergoing an arts and culture revival. The latest step in this revitalization is the Foothills Art Center, a $6 million project to transform two 19th-century structures into state-of-the-art facilities.

On May 25, the FAC will open its exhibition and performance space in the newly restored Astor House. The Astor House was originally built in 1867 as a hotel for miners and legislators during Golden’s time as the territorial capital. This historical sandstone building narrowly escaped demolition in the 1970s. Under FAC ownership, the Astor House renovation adds modern amenities, like an elevator, while preserving historical features.

The 20th Annual Mile High International Pastel Exhibition, Moose Cain-Rodenfels: Sjón – A Solar System of Vision, and John Taylor Wagner will be the first three exhibitions presented by the Astor House.

Courtesy of Louie Louie's
Louie Louie's Piano Bar.

Friday, May 24

Louie Louie’s Piano Bar Opening

Downtown Colorado Springs is about to get raucous with the addition of Louie Louie’s Piano Bar, a dueling piano bar co-owned by musicians Ron Wilson and Joey Hamende. All of the musicians play multiple instruments and their job is to excel at the ridiculous. Think comedy meets cross-genre live music, plus full crowd participation.

Louie Louie’s Piano Bar dueling piano show opens May 24 & 25. Shows take place from 7:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.

"Collective Nouns" at the Center for Visual Art

This new exhibition at the Center for Visual Art, MSU Denver, brings together diverse and distinguished artists working across a wide variety of media representing each artist’s unique experiences, influences, and interests. In conjunction with Collective Nouns, the 965 Project Gallery presents Art Unbound – featuring the work of student artists from Chung-Ang University in South Korea and MSU Denver. 

Collective Nouns opens with a member preview from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a public reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 24., The exhibition runs through July 19.

Bernie Taupin at Fascination Street Fine Art

Lyricist Bernie Taupin, best known for his work with Elton John, will meet fans at Fascination St. Fine Art in Denver. Taupin will be premiering his collection of contemporary artwork: “Reflections Redux,” which will include original works, hand-signed limited-edition prints, a series of one-of-a-kind works on canvas featuring excerpts from his extraordinary lyrics, and collages he’s produced from album covers and vinyl record of his own illustrious career with musical partner Elton John. 

There’s a VIP event on Friday, May 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a public reception on Saturday, May 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. RSVPs are required to attend both events.

Courtesy of the artist
"Saturday Night" (2024) by Bernie Taupin.

Saturday, May 25

Walsenburg Porchfest and Mural Fest

Returning for its second year, Porchfest features local artists and bands performing on porches and yards throughout Walsenburg. There will also be a main stage at Miner's Plaza, where headliner Los Mocochetes, a band from Denver, will play, along with supporting acts Birdshield and Desert of the Real. The annual Far Out Murals festival occurs the same weekend, with artists painting walls in downtown Walsenburg. 

For more see, Walsenburg Porchfest and the Far Out Murals festival. There are various stops in downtown Walsenburg.

The Estes Park Art Market

This art show presented by the Fine Arts Guild of the Rockies is held in downtown Estes Park. Organizers expect approximately 100 artists showcasing and selling their work. Formerly organized by the Art Center of Estes Park, the market is now overseen by the Fine Arts Guild, marking an expansion of the Guild's visual arts programming. 

The Estes Park Art Market in Bond Park in downtown Estes Park is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 25-26 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 27. 

Michael Ensminger
"Impossible Things," by The Catamounts theatre company.

The Catamounts present "Impossible Things"

This new immersive play is produced and developed by The Catamounts in collaboration with Hanzon Studios at the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Greenwood Village. The Boulder-based company’s motto is theater “for the adventurous palate.” The play centers around a character’s graduation party.

The Catamounts “Impossible Things” in collaboration with Hanzon Studios, It runs May 25 to June 16 at The Museum of Outdoor Arts in Greenwood Village.  Performances are capped at 48 guests.

"Uncanny Territory: The Topography of Ruin, Decay and Regeneration" (2024), by Natascha Seideneck,

Sunday, May 26

Pickin' in The Rockies 

This family-friendly festival in Western Colorado promises a whoopin’ and hollerin’, toe-tappin’, hand-clappin’ good time. This festival includes vendors, workshops, award-winning country and bluegrass music and more. Featured artists include  Keaton Brown, Peggy Malone, Caroline Owens, Williamson Branch, Rocky Mountain Ramblers, Carson Peters & Iron Mountain. 

Event gates open at 10 a.m. at Absolute Prestige Ranch.

All Weekend

Boulder Creek Festival

The 35th annual Boulder Creek Festival will feature a free Friday night concert with headliner Steely Dead on May 24, followed by three days of live music from over 30 bands, a farmers market-style shopping experience with over 200 artisans and local businesses, delicious eats from more than 20 food trucks and vendors, a skate park activation, family-friendly fun and more. 

The Boulder Creek Festival takes place along Boulder Creek from 9th Street to 14th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue on May 24-27.

William A. Cotton
The Bas Bleu Theatre Company rehearses their production of "Waiting for Godot," May 14 2024.

"Waiting for Godot"

The Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins presents "Waiting for Godot," by Nobel Prize-winning Irish author Samuel Beckett. Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, are lost souls and kindred spirits abandoned on the highway of life. The play is first and foremost about their life-long friendship.

The Bas Bleu Theatre presents “Waiting for Godot” May 24 to June 16 at the Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins.

The Colorado Stampede 

This PRCA rodeo in Grand Junction includes bareback riding, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

The Colorado Stampede is Friday, May 24 through Sunday May 26, starting at 7 p.m. at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

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.