Denver's Independent Comics & Art Expo

The artist-centric event, Denver's Independent Comics & Art Expo (DiNK), is a celebration of independent artists, writers, creators, zine makers and publishers, and will be taking over all three floors of the McNichols Civic Center Building April 14 & 15, 2018. The event is comprised of entertainment, panel discussions, craft sessions, adult coloring, art auctions, comedy shows and the Mountain-West's first Comic and Art Awards ceremony 'The DINKy's.' This year, Dink Denver welcomes screen actor, creator and writer John Leguizamo of HBO series Ghetto Klown. Fans will get to meet Leguizamo through a series of meet & greet opportunities, panel discussions and even selfie sessions!

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"Sophisticated yet never dull, DiNK sources talent that has both wit and grit, with topics ranging from social justice to the antisocial and everything in between." More than art, displayed works include published books, manuscripts, zines, paintings and graphic novels. DINK provides an outlet for a talented cast of independent artists, creators, urban and tattoo artists, zine creators and graphic novelists to showcase their work for two days in the Mile High City each representing the counter-culture and the independent spirit of art in its many languages and styles. 

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Loaded with late night and adult programming, cocktails, and two complete days of activities, DINK prides itself in providing a vessel for fans to converse and imbibe with the art creators in a unique, intimate environment. Free admission for ages 17 ans under. For adult 2-day passes, VIP upgrades and additional experiential ticketing opportunities check out DinkDenver.com
 

Artopia | A Collective Showcase of Art, Music, Fashion, & Local Vendors 

The Artopia fashion show was full of local designers and models was a was a high energy showcase of approachable fashion statements. However, the fashionable aspect was lost in many of the audience members and attendants of the event. Has no one gotten the fedora memo? Some audience members were wearing suits, some were wearing jeans, and this was only the beginning of the clearly undefined vision of this event.

Admittedly, the vendor part of this event felt unnecessary.  It fell under the category of another kitschy Denver market where you can find standard Colorado gear, sunglasses, snapbacks, locally made soaps, jewelry, and overpriced, thrifted clothing of course! 

I will say that some of the artists exhibits stood out. But much of the work seemed kitschy, poorly curated, and not representative of what is actually present in the Denver art scene, which is wonderful, progressive art and the people behind it. On the flip side, when the leftover fashion show mess was cleaned up 45 minutes later, live painting began to happen and redeem some of the earlier work we saw. 

A silent disco on the top floor was also a twist we weren't expecting, nor were we expecting it to go so well. Three DJ’s played simultaneously while guests wore headphones that they could tune into any one of the three channels and dance in chaotic synchronization. People danced in synchronized chaos while actual chaos ensued around them.  Too many people and mix of things happening on every floor, made moving around feel like we were cattle being herded, unable to enjoy each element to the fullest.

Live music is a factor that in most scenarios makes everything better, and in this case the variety of genres kept the night lively and evolving. Overall, I think this is an event with a lot of potential if executed better, and we look forward to watchingArtopia evolve.

By Lina Skrzypczak

Colorado Crush: Taking Street Art To Another Level

Amazing artwork on display at Colorado Crush (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The block was hot! (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Colorado Crush couldn’t have been more properly named; every street artist literally crushed it during this year’s art party. We perused through the dog walkers and art aficionados, breathing in the paint fumes, the aromas of street tacos and the sweet, sticky scent of the rich Rino art culture. We couldn’t have been more impressed with the artists performing the live paintings (seeing as how we struggle applying paint to canvas in the privacy of our own apartments) but countless creative souls braved questionable ladders and scaffolds,, oil slicked alleyways and innumerable prying eyes to beautify the Rino district. 

Dope piece by Instagram users: @scribeswalks and @mikeroane (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Instagram user and the talented Mr @Detour303 (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The seventh annual ‘The Crush’ drew in artists from all corners of the globe, showcasing those with more traditional street art talent alongside those who err on experimental. With densely saturated pigment in the style of fauvist expressionism, neons akin to the city streetscape and urban jungle also serving as their canvas. Giving the artists a full week to complete their own masterpiece, the seven day stint gives us all fresh art to enjoy for a full 365 days. After the winter comes, leaving this year’s works weatherbeaten and shodden, the next Colorado Crush will inevitably roll through town, presenting artists another chance to perfect the Rino landscape. 

Denver Arts | Appreciating the Greatness of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci was a man of many hats and a master of numerous skills. Aside from being an artist, he was an inventor, a mathematician, and a writer, among other pursuits. Works of art such as ‘The Last Supper’ and the world famous ‘Mona Lisa’ are considered timeless pieces that have influenced fellow geniuses of the past and continue to inspire countless artists up to this day.
It’s safe to say that Da Vinci is a bona fide Renaissance man. In other words, he was Tony Stark way before Stan Lee first penned the billionaire-slash-engineer-slash-playboy-slash-superhero Iron Man.
You know how great an artist is if his or her works still remain influential even to this day. So much so that even an online gaming platforms incorporate his likeness into their games. For instance, Spin Genie recently launched ‘Da Vinci Diamonds modeled after the famous painter. The popular game features some of his iconic creations including ‘The Lady with an Ermine’ and ‘Portrait of a Musician’. Even here in Denver, a city 5,419 miles away from his birthplace in Italy, people got to appreciate the immensity, the significance, and the beauty of his masterpieces – only this time in real life.

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Back in 2012, the Mile High City got a taste of Leonardo Da Vinci’s works when the traveling ‘Da Vinci Machines Exhibit’ made stop at the Denver Pavilions shopping center. The spacious bargain-hunting hub on the 16th Street Mall housed the loan from the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, Italy, and highlighted close to 70 handcrafted exhibits made by third-generation craftsmen. Every display was a replica built from Da Vinci’s 500-year-old designs, half of which were interactive.

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Just late last year, Denver also hosted the world premier of ‘Da Vinci & Michelangelo: Titans Side by Side Original Museum Theatre Performance’. The show ran from November 27, 2015 to the 3rd of January at the Glitter Dome Event Center in the RINO Arts District. It showcased a blend of a classic museum experience and a live state-of-the-art multimedia theatrical presentation. Like the abovementioned exhibit, this ‘Museum Theatre’ production was interactive, thanks to the enduring vehicles that took guests on a trip through the Italian Renaissance period. All in all, these are just simple testaments of Leonardo Da Vinci’s importance and popularity in the modern era. Though Denver may not be at the top of the list in terms of arts, culture, and lifestyle cities in America, it still knows how to value and put a stamp on greatness.

Lifestyle | Music & Art Pioneers Come Together For A Collaborative Gallery Opening Red Bull House of Art Synesthesia

The Red Bull House of Art Synesthesia Galleries are a celebration of multidisciplinary artists in Denver whose creative sensibilities have led them to express themselves through fine art.  We are bringing together visual artists and the musicians who inspire them.  Each visual artist will present their original works and the musicians will perform live in an immersive, abstract experience that brings the creative process full-circle.  

In Denver, the intersection of art and music will take place on Thursday, November 12th with a curated roster of 6 local, visionary artists and 6 local, live performances.  Hosted at Exdo, 1399 35th Street, the innovative gallery space is set to unveil the exclusive works of Jon Strieby, Thomas Evans, Jaime Molina, Matt Alberts, Andrew Hoffman & Jesse Frazier.  This is the first time these works have been exhibited in public. 

The public gallery opening is Friday, November 12th from 8pm-12am. Unlike most gallery shows, Synesthesia will feature each artist creating live during the event.  The first exhibition kicks off at 8pm.  It is free & open to those 21 and older.  For up-to-date information about Red Bull House of Art Synesthesia, visit win.gs/HOADEN or

It is curated by Pedro Barrios and will host the talented:

JON STRIEBY - Jack-of-all-trades, but master of none. http://www.jonstrieby.com/ @striebeast

THOMAS EVANS - My current art focus is all about connecting music and fine arts through traditional methods and technology. www.iamdetour.com @IamDetour303

JAIME MOLINA - Began at a very early age and continues to draw epic battles, houses, people and animals on paper and walls across the globe. www.cuttyup.com @cuttyup

MATT ALBERTS - I want to make pictures that you can brag about that also make your friends and family laugh and cry. www.thelifersproject.com The Lifers Project

ANDREW HOFFMAN - I’m Andrew. I’m an artist, illustrator, designer and teacher. www.andrewhoffmandesign.com@andrewhoffman84

JESSE FRAZIER - Raised on a steady diet of horror movies, comic books and ROCK N’ ROLL, Jesse Frazier is a one-man pop art blitzkrieg. @faimworldwide