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Ever wonder what to do or what’s going on around town? Me too. That’s why I’ve created this easy cheat sheet for Denver Events running from July through October. You’ll find arts and culture, music and barbecues, pet-friendly gatherings and social soirees at your fingertips. Print it out, save it to your phone, grab your sunscreen, a blanket, a friend (furry or not), pack up the family or head out alone to any and all of these great events. They’ll remind you what makes living in Denver so spectacular!
Oh, and if you’d like to beat the heat looking at houses in Denver’s hot real estate market, we can do that too! I’m air-conditioned.

Denver Events July-Oct 2016 - TShaffer [219493]

rsz_okeeffe_georgia-chama_river_ghost_ranchThere’s nothing like a room full of O’Keeffe to make me want to take a road trip and the “Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam and the Land” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum is no exception. Horizontal landscapes of rugged terrain, softened under pastel lights and sharpened on the shadow stimulate my need for the wide and the wild. When Georgia O’Keeffe came to the badlands of Abiquiu she was already an established and successful New York artist. The untamed West, rendered by a soul who’d found her place on earth brings serenity to every city wall she hangs on. Heavy with landscape, the exhibit takes us away from the larger, more familiar cow skulls and flowers of our collective remembrance and sits us down on a rock at sunset. Shapes, shadows, fine strokes and drama draw the viewer deeper down the river. Hopi influences aside, or perhaps front and center I found myself transported to a different time and place, staring at a church or a chasm as if alone in the enchantment.  O’Keeffe crowds solitude with the thick heat and thin air of the high mesa desert, in a tone-on-tone moment that contains life and death without judgement.
“I longed for quiet, a sense of personal attachment and a place that held meaning”, Georgia said of New Mexico.  Not only did she find it she became it, inspiring us as layers of light call to the mind to open up, to share.  A pencil sketch becomes an intimate whisper, the high blue mesa a best friend. Georgia O’Keeffe is the retreat you long to give yourself, and now she has come to you.
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Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsnim & the Land at the Denver Art Museum through April 28, 2013

The current exhibition of works by prolific African artist El Anatsui at the Denver Art Museum is a visceral manifestation of the ancient storytellers. Using what the immediate has to offer, Anatsui’s wood work, metal sculptures, clay pieces and installations whisper deep into the soul. Shimmering tapestries of bottle caps hang and drape the Hamilton gallery space like stained glass windows for everyman. One of the artist’s quote stenciled on a wall “Rather than recounting history, my art is telling about what history has provoked” resonates within me as a playwright, while others make me want to scrawl them out large on my children’s walls… or perhaps my own.
Pull from your personal history for inspiration
Look for materials in the immediate environment
Travel, and bring your travel experience to bear in your work
Allow for the possibility of something unexpected and wonderful to happen
A professor for many years at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Anatsui teaches a way of seeing the world—a process rather than a particular style. His advice to his art students reveals much about his own art and his connection to a timeless wisdom.
Read more of my journey through this grounding and uplifting exhibit.

Had such a great time at the SaddleUp!Foundation Denver Suitcase Party last summer, it’s time to polish up my vintage ACME Kickers boots, toss a toothbrush in my bag, and pony up again!
The bash is held in a decked out private hanger at Centennial Airport as the sun sets in glorious Colorado style. Mingle, nosh and bevies (and no that’s not a law firm) start the night out right and this year’s entertainment, country music singer Jessie James, is sure to get my saddle-sore fanny to the dance floor. As the evening settles in to the blue light of evening, guests whip out their raffle tickets to check the winning numbers as the stars light up the sky. Lucky winners board Chuck Latham’s Westwind II (hence the toothbrush) and jet off for a two night stay in 5-star accommodations at the Trinchero Winery in Napa Valley.
Tickets include a raffle entry and extras can be purchased at the door, $25 each or 5 for $100. 9 News anchor, Cheryl Preheim and Jonathan Wilde of 92.5 The Wolf’s “Jonathan and Mudflap Mornings” will keep the party going, and who doesn’t like a party for a great cause?
SaddleUp! Foundation is dedicated to empowering individuals with special needs through equine assisted activities and therapies provided at a family-friendly ranch. They bring their mission to life by upholding the highest level of equine facilitated activities and therapies for the mentally, emotionally, and physically challenged, including but not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD/ADHD, Traumatic Paralysis, Muscular Dystrophy, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis.
Hmmm….what to pack? Black, of course. White, of course, red lipstick, toothbrush… I think that about covers it!