Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Now, THAT'S Outdoor Art

The sculpture garden at the Museum of Outdoor Arts includes African artworks and bold modern works by Patrick Dougherty, but the overriding theme at Monday's evening bash was Lewis Carroll. To get to the reception area, we walked past a series of bronzes by Henry Marinsky portraying famous scenes from Alice in Wonderland: the Caterpillar confronting Alice from atop his mushroom, complete with hookah; the Mad Hatter's tea party; the imperious Queen of Hearts scowling down her nose. Real people in appropriate costumes played croquet. Over the loudspeaker, Grace Slick commanded us to go ask Alice. Even the water bottles read "Drink Me." You gotta love a literate water bottle.

But nothing could compare with the walk back through the sculpture garden once the sun began to set over the snow-capped Rockies. The modern art did its best to compete: Kaleidoscopic images were projected onto huge white globes; brightly colored lights flickered across geometric shapes. But guests who'd been hustling back to their buses stopped, stepped out onto the lawn and, in silence together, watched Denver's greatest art exhibition, on permanent display.

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