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New art gallery opens imagination on Broadway

This is taken from a website two of my journalism friends and I started in September called On Broadway, where we cover all things that happen on Broadway in Denver. Check out the original posting here.

November 12, 2009 · Leave a Comment

By Clayton Woullard

The monsters came out to play.  And the kids came to play with them.

That was the scene at Illiterate Magazine’s brand new art gallery at Bayaud Ave. and Broadway on First Friday Nov 6.

The installation was Where The Wild Things Art, based on the popular 1963 children’s book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, which has recently been adapted into a live-action feature directed by Spike Jonze.

The book tells the story of young Max, who is sent early to bed with no supper for making mischief. He then becomes immersed in a world from his own imagination where monsters, called the Wild Things, roam and try to eat him.

He manages to tame the monsters and becomes “King of the Wild Things,” then dancing with them in a “wild rumpus” until he feels homesick and goes back to his bedroom.

Electronic music emanated from the basement while mostly young people, around 40 people at any given time, stirred around, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and wine and admiring the brilliant art, based on Max the King.

The installation took two months to put together and featured 28 artists, said Rachel Paton of South Denver, and comics editor for the magazine.

“It was such a great book in the ‘70s,” Paton said. “And with the movie going on we thought why not run with it?”

The opening was the debut for the art gallery, located at 87 S. Broadway, and was very much a do-it-yourself project she said. Pieces ranged from a few hundred dollars to $1,200.

Editor and founder of Illiterate Adam Gildar said the gallery is a dream, not yet a dream come true.

“People really took this theme and for lack of a better pun, they ran wild with it,” he said. “It was a call to action and they took action.”

The regular free literary magazine publishes photos, art, poetry and fiction. People can submit their work to the magazine’s website and the users of the site vote on them. The editors take the votes into consideration when printing the magazine.

David Sheets’ Let The Wild Rumpus Start, a purple piece featuring a boy riding a skateboard over a fountain as monsters lounge around piqued the interest of several onlookers, including Sarah Redfield of Boulder.

“I’ve never seen that technique before and the use of color really caught my eye,” she said.

Adam Sikorski of Denver, and a local artist himself, had his eye on The Melting King by Milton Melvin Croissant III, which depicted a king with what looked like fluorescent snakes spilling out of his face.

“It kinda scares me a little but at the same time that guy is awesomely weird,” he said.

Kaitlyn South of Denver was admiring Katherine Rutter’s untitled piece of six panels that stood out from the crowd. One panel featured and boy and a girl making hand shadows, another with a girl operating a bunny puppet and another more creepy panel with a boy with animal skulls on his hands.

“I feel that they’re the most unique and they took the most different interpretation of the showing,” South said.

Mark Sink, owner of the local Gallery Sink for the past 10 years, was one of many who showed up to help build the art gallery space and was impressed with how it came together.

“They really turned it from a beat-up space to a nice gallery,” he said.

Sandi Calistro’s untitled piece was a bit different in that it featured a girl donning a bunny suit in a boat encountering a fearsome dragon.

“It was geared more toward a female child rather than a male child,” she said.

“I think all of the artwork is amazing,” she added.

In addition to paintings and sculptures the gallery also sold necklaces of different colors shaped like divining rods and t-shirts, one with a funky design spawned by Paton.

Next up for the gallery is a fashion show put on by local fashionista Bailey Rose who will be featuring reconstructed fashion and fashion incorporating bicycle intertubes as part of her spring workbook from 7 to 11 p.m., on Nov. 21.

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