September 2012: 23rd Annual Friendship Powwow, Up, Up & Away Now Boarding Family Day, El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa Opens, and Other Highlights

One of the Denver Art Museum’s (DAM) longest-running events, the 23rd Annual Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration on September 8 will

feature American Indian dancers, drum groups, working artists, hands-on activities, vendors and more. The DAM’s Friendship Powwow is a celebration of the vitality of American Indian cultures. Gourd dancing will begin at 10 a.m. with the powwow grand entry at noon. Throughout the day, visitors can watch colorful dance competitions, bead with local artist Denise Litz, paint a Hopi tile with artists Crow Medina and Grams Castro, work with Walt Pourier of the Strong Hold Society on a community mural or enjoy their first (or 101st!) piece of fry bread. Don’t miss the American Indian art collection on level three of the North Building. All powwow activities and general museum admission are free.

El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa Opens September 9

The first retrospective of El Anatsui’s work, this exhibition includes important sculptures in wood, ceramic and mixed media as well as major pieces from his

El Anatsui, Sacred Moon, 2007. Aluminum and copper wire; 103 x 141 in. Photo courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery.
bottle-top series. The approximately 65 works cover all phases of the artist’s career, from his early work in Ghana utilizing traditional symbols to found driftwood works made in Denmark to sculptures made using the chainsaw as a carving tool. This is the first opportunity for audiences to see how the artist’s ideas have developed over four decades. El Anatsui has gained widespread international acclaim in recent years for his stunning metallic wall sculptures made from liquor bottle caps. El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa will be on view through December 30. The exhibition is included in general museum admission.

Logan Lecture: El Anatsui

September 5, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)

A master of materials, Ghanaian-born El Anatsui transforms the discarded and overlooked—from driftwood to bottle tops—into art that tells personal and universal stories. For more than 40 years, his poignant works have included sculptures, wood trays, ceramics, and the luminous metal wall sculptures that have brought him international acclaim. His Logan Lecture is being presented in conjunction with the retrospective exhibition, El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, opening at the DAM September 9. Tickets are $8 students, $12 DAM Contemporaries members and artists, $15 DAM members, $18 non-members. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 720-913-0130. Sponsored by Vicki and Kent Logan, DAM Contemporaries and the Douglas Society.

Untitled #51 (Second Life)

September 28, 6–10 p.m.

In September, the museum’s final Friday event, Untitled #51 (Second Life), celebrates the work in El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa. Visitors can dive into the world of upcycling and repair, get a behind-the-scenes peek at the museum’s own fixer-upper projects, take part in a detour, watch the latest installment of Buntport Theater’s Joan and Charlie Discuss Tonight’s Theme, listen to local music and more. Untitled is included with general admission, which is two-for-one with valid student ID during the event. Cash bar. For details, visit Untitled made possible by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

Art Courses Offered to Complement Becoming Van Gogh

Timed and dated tickets are on sale now for the world-exclusive exhibition, Becoming Van Gogh, which will open to the public on October 21. In addition, an art history course and a studio painting class are being offered. Registration for fall classes begins September 4 at 10 a.m. (DAM members may register beginning August 28). Register online or purchase exhibition tickets on the museum website,, or call 720-913-1030. (Service fee added to tickets purchased by phone.)

Vincent van Gogh: The Development of a Signature Style

Sundays, October 21–November 11, 1–2:30 p.m.

Delve into the world that shaped a young and intense Vincent van Gogh in this 4-part course. In the first session, join DAM curator Timothy J. Standring and senior researcher of paintings at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum Louis van Tilborgh to examine the main themes of Becoming Van Gogh. In following sessions, art

Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, 1887, Oil on canvas, 16 1/8 x 13 inches (41 x 33 cm); Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation); F: 469, JH: 1310
historians will discuss the forces, people and places that, along with the artist’s commitment to teaching himself, influenced the development of Van Gogh’s unique style. $75 DAM members, $85 others.

Van Gogh’s Brush: Exploring Brushwork in Oil Painting

Thursdays, October 4–November 8, 2–4:30 p.m.

This studio class will use the inspiration of the exhibition Becoming Van Gogh to explore how Van Gogh used brush stroke to convey energy and emotion. Artist Chuck Ceraso will guide you in discovering brushwork techniques and applying them in your own painting, no matter your skill level. Classroom visits to the ticketed exhibition Becoming Van Gogh and materials included. $188 DAM members, $205 others.

Garry Winogrand: Women are Beautiful Closes September 30

Garry Winogrand photographed in crowds and on the street from his early days as a New York magazine freelancer in the 1950s to his last years in Los Angeles. “Winogrand is one of the great American photographers who changed the way we thought about photography,” said Eric Paddock, curator of photography at the DAM. “His photos of unposed subjects act as small windows into a time of great change in our society.” Winogrand often focused on women—in parks, getting into cars, at parties, exiting stores—creating photographs that highlighted the changing role of women and, at times, the uncertainty of their new place. Garry Winogrand: Women are Beautiful includes nearly 50 photographs from the museum’s collection drawn from the hundreds that Garry Winogrand took of women on the street, a selection of which were published in the 1975 book of the same title. Women are Beautiful closes September 30.

Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge Closes September 2

For this exhibition, the DAM invited the community to participate in an inspired design challenge. The museum asked any Coloradoan—no matter their age or skill level—to get creative and transform an object or material into something that makes their neighborhood a better place. Now these designs—from neighborhood free libraries to light fixtures made of repurposed plastic spoons—can be seen in Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge. Come see what Colorado’s creative community came up with before the exhibition closes September 2.

CelebrARTE: ¡Viva!

September 16, 1–4 p.m.

¡Bienvenidos al CelebrARTE! Bring toda la familia and drop in any time to the DAM’s new monthly, bilingual program. Hoy en CelebrARTE—¡Viva! Nuestra herencia, nuestra cultura, nuestro arte. Celebrate our heritage, culture and creativity. See the música y baile from Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra, Dancing Across Cultures, Ballet México Mixto, and Asociación de Charros Las Delicias and make your own art project while you watch. Create with a maestro (master artist) in the Taller (tay-yair), our artist’s workshop, or follow the History Hunter as his magic guitar explores the collections in an interactive family tour. All CelebrARTE activities are included in general admission. Reservations are not required. For more information, contact Madalena Salazar at or 720-913-0054.

Up, Up & Away Now Boarding Family Day

September 29, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Tour with a pilot, get your ‘wings,’ design paper planes, design your airport of the future and get advice from local architecture experts. Create your own art at the Sketch Up and Africa Hotspots in the galleries, check out a Family Backpack or Art Tube at the Family Activity Cart and play in the Just for Fun Center and Kids Corner. Free admission for kids 5 and under.

Create Playdate: Moo

September 12, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Drop in with your little ones, aged 3 to 5, and meet up with other tots and their grownups as we spot Theodore Waddell’s cows. Make your own animal, listen to stories and play art games in the galleries. Free with museum admission; children 5 and under are always free. Reservations are not required. For more information, e-mail or call 720-913-0130.

Conversation with Curator: Alice Zrebiec

September 7, 4 p.m.

Join curator Alice Zrebiec for a discussion of the work of 14 contemporary alchemists of textile materials and techniques in Sleight of Hand. All Conversations with Curators, which feature lively discussions with different curators on the first Friday of every month, are free with general admission. Reservations are not required. Meet on level six of the North Building in the Neusteter Textile Gallery. For information, call 720-913-0130.

Free First Saturday

September 1, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

On the first Saturday of every month, you can enjoy our art collections and non-ticketed exhibitions without spending a dime! Free general admission tickets are available on-site starting at 10 a.m. Free First Saturdays are sponsored by Target and made possible by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).