Denver 2014

Was in Denver visiting a friend of mine, K, for a few days.  We met as fellow FEMA volunteers in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, figured we were cousins as we have the same last name (also cousins with Tony Blair), and have stayed in touch.


Wesselmann-Smoker_releaseStarted with the Denver Art Museum.  Two exhibits were particularly spectacular.  One was Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective. Fantastic immense paintings, collages, and sculptures.  This is one of my favorites, Smoker, 1 (Mouth, 12).  (All photos from the museum website as we were not allowed photos of this exhibit.)  This “sculpture”,  Still Life #60, which is a grouping of paintings, each supported from behind, is 25 feet long.


Then there was Daniel Sprick‘s Fictions: Recent Works.  (My own photos.)  The center of each portrait looks like a photograph – but you can tell they’re paintings as you look at the edges of the hair or the bottom of the painting.  Totally awesome!  Sherry and Hone Philip.

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Denver Dallas 005There was another exhibit,  At the Mirror, Reflections of Japan in 20th Century Prints.  My favorite was a color woodblock print by Masami Teraoka.  This is one of his series, 31 Favors Invading Japan.  (Sorry about the reflection in the glass.)

31 Flavors Invading Japan Series in the 1970’s … reflect my cultural heritage from Japan. The Ukiyo-e or wood block print tradition represents my cultural identity. Geisha and samurai images I use are a way to depict traditional-thinking Japanese people.  masamiteraoka

Many years ago (’93?) my brother had taken me to an exhibit at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and there were two huge paintings by Masami Teraoka, one of a traditional samari, but then you noticed he was wearing golf shoes and wielding a golf club.  The other was a traditional geisha, but then you noticed that she was holding a hair dryer.

Denver Dallas 058In addition to these temporary exhibitions, I saw all of the exhibits, African, Oceanic, Western American, Modern & Contemporary Art, in the new, very modern Hamilton Building by architect Daniel Libeskind, photo here.  (You have to click on this gallery cross sections below to read the exhibits.)


Denver Dallas 015In the Western American Art exhibit there was a Deborah Butterfield horse that hadn’t first been made out of driftwood, then cast in bronze, which I’ve seen dozens of times in museums and airports.1

Deborah Butterfield  is an American sculptor… known for her sculptures of horses made from found objects, like metal, and especially pieces of wood.  Deborah_Butterfield

Then Northwest Coast, American Indian, Pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and Asian Art in the North Building (by Italian architect Gio Ponti) until I was tuckered out.  I have tons more photos, but here is this view from one of the museum windows.

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Denver Dallas 054Anyway, not too tuckered out to take in the large-scale sculptures outside, such as the 35-foot high Big Sweep by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, a husband-and-wife team (two of my absolute favorite sculptors – especially their Shuttlecocks2), nestled under the museum’s angle (see the size of the door behind), and Mark di Suvero’s soaring outdoor sculpture, Lao-Tzu, (thirty feet tall and weighing in at 16 tons) seen next to the museum in the photo above.  (Click to see it larger.)

rod & gabIn the evening we went to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which is spectacular, posed in the hills above Denver.  We had high enough seats to see the city lights as strings of flickering beads above the stage, to see Rodrigo y Gabrielaa Mexican acoustic guitar duo whose music is influenced by a number of genres including nuevo flamenco, rock, and heavy metal.

After they had played their sets they were joined by Metallica pal, bassist Robert Trujillo.  (Both guys looked great in their tight T-shirts and tight jeans, Sanchez in denim blue, Trujillo in black – but I enjoyed the music too.  Hadn’t taken my camera, as I assumed it would be too dark for photos, so these from the Net.)

Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been playing together for more than fifteen years. First as young thrash metal fans in their native Mexico City, then as innocents abroad and street musicians in Dublin, Ireland at the turn of the millennium, and finally as the globe-straddling, film-scoring, record-breaking artists they are today.


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Denver Dallas 069In the morning we hiked in Eldorado Canyon State Park.  We drove by the technical rock climbers on “Eldo’s” golden cliffs to the visitor’s center.

Then K’s cute broken-coated Jack Russell Terrier pulled me up the Eldorado Canyon Trail, which gains over 1,000 feet in elevation and has fabulous views. (View from the trail, above, and K with pooch.)  I let K handle her on the way down.

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That evening we went to the Denver Botanical Gardens, which had an incredible installation (all through the gardens) of Dale Chihuly‘s glass work.  We stayed until after dark to see it lit up.

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I told my cousin’s wife, M,  that I would feature her warnings about the chemicals in our everyday products in my blogs.  (My cousin has beaten cancer three times and looks fabulous.  Until he got grey hair I though that he had an aging painting in his attic, a la Dorian Gray (a scarey movie I had seen in my youth based on Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray3).

M found parabens listed in my sunscreen and the gop I put on my face every night for my inherited rosacea.

Parabens is a term used within the vernacular of the specialty chemicals industry to describe a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid (also known as 4-hydroxybenzoic acid). Parabens are widely used as preservatives by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup, and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, the long history of their use, and the inefficacy of some natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract (GSE), probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. They are becoming increasingly controversial, however, because they have been found in breast cancer tumors (an average of 20 nanograms/g of tissue). Parabens have also displayed the ability to slightly mimic estrogen (a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer). No effective direct links between parabens and cancer have been established, however. Another concern is that the estrogen-mimicking aspect of parabens may be a factor in the increasing prevalence of early puberty in girls.


This is just cute, from one of my friends’ Facebook pages.  As a retired English teacher, I know how she feels.


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2 Responses to “Denver 2014”

  1. Jim Says:

    Enjoyed seeing all this, Lynne.

  2. Kim Says:

    I had lots of fun! Hope you did too! Maggie says hi. 🙂

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