Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year, More Art

It’s only January 10, but already 2010 is off and running with me trying to catch my breath and keep up with it and all the fun, artistic things there are to do here in Denver.

Johnathan McFarlane, Tim DeMasters, and Eric Matelski
Photo courtesy of Art Pimp

I spent the first Monday of the New Year attending First Monday Art Talk at Dazzle where Eric Matelski interviewed Johnathan McFarlane and Tim DeMasters, the directors of the Festivus Film Festival, “Real Indie Flicks for Real Indie Fans.” This year celebrates the 3rd annual festival and runs from January 14-17.

Visit for the festival schedule and to purchase tickets for this year’s four day event. Single Screenings are $8, a Day Pass (good at both venues – the Bug Theater and Oriental Theater) is $15, but a Festival Pass is only $40 and gives pass holders access to the Festivus Lounge where you can enjoy free drinks, mingle with the filmmakers, and relax between screenings.

The gallery at The Denver Art Society
Photo courtesy of Sean McGowan

Friday night I hung out at the Denver Art Society where I took in the art and enjoyed the musical stylings of local singer/songwriters Josh Jacobson and Julie Tiehen. Founded by local artist Sean McGowan, The Denver Art Society is a non-profit whose mission is to provide free art education to every child in Denver by the end of 2010. I’ll be volunteering my time there in the coming year to help raise money and awareness.

For more information about how you can support the Denver Art Society, please visit

Rick Dula and me, Marcella Nordbeck,
in front of his mural at the Denver Art Musem

Saturday I was introduced to artist Rick Dula at the Denver Art Museum (DAM). If you’ve checked out the Embrace! exhibit than you’ve seen Rick’s mural at the top of the stairs on the second floor. It’s like looking through glass at the inner workings of the $110 million dollar construction. Rick’s mural, like his smaller paintings, is so lifelike you’ll swear you’re looking at a photograph, if not the real thing.

After Rick and I discussed the techniques he used to paint the mural we walked a few blocks over to the William Havu Gallery, which represents him, and looked at his latest works currently on display including the painting “Hamilton Building Construction View” that was the inspiration for the DAM mural. Afterward Rick, myself, and the rest of our party, discussed the probability of the DAM keeping his mural over drinks and appetizers at the Cap City Tavern even though the Embrace! exhibits were not created with the intention of keeping them after the show ends on April 4, 2010.

To learn more about Rick Dula, visit

Check back next week as I’ll be reporting about my experiences “Rev’ing” up the New Year with Rev. Michael Beckwith from the movie The Secret, screening films at the Festivus Film Festival, and beginning my 12-week course of Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. 12 blogs in 12 weeks about my trials and tribulations as I attempt to write 3 morning pages each day, conduct weekly exercises, and schedule weekly artist dates with myself – all while working full-time, preparing for a couple upcoming art shows, organizing my own film screening, and writing an essay I intend to have published by year’s end – can I do it?

Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge is located at 930 Lincoln St, Denver, Colorado 80203. Go to for information on upcoming jazz acts and First Monday Art Talks.

Go to to learn more about Eric Matelski, his art, and the events he organizes to support other local Denver artists.

Support singer/songwriter Julie Tiehan by donating $15 at  for a presale copy of her new album so she can finish recording it.

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