Vail Film Festival, Doors Open Denver, RiNo’s new ArtPark and more things to do this week

Wet, and maybe a little wild

Friday-Oct. 30. Evergreen’s annual Rocky Mountain Watermedia Exhibition this year sourced its 65 entries from an impressive 485 submissions representing 25 states. It speaks to the prestige of the event, which focuses on not only on traditional, transparent watercolor paintings but also materials such as acrylic, egg tempera, gouache, and mixed media in a variety of artistic styles. Subjects range from wild animals to the domesticated environment and lots in-between.

The free, opening reception from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, at The Center for the Arts Evergreen includes food and drink (beer and wine available for purchase) and free tours of the exhibit at 4 and 5 p.m., led by Sara Miller, CAE’s senior director of exhibitions. Painter and teacher Steve Griggs, the juror for the show, will also hand out 20 awards for the top pieces.

Stream it on Zoom or attend in person at 31880 Rocky Village Drive in Evergreen. 303-674-0056 or

ArtPark: Denver’s newest outdoor hangout

Friday-Sunday. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re happy the creative minds behind the River North Art District’s ArtPark did it right. The new, manicured open space at 1900 35th St. transformed an otherwise gritty industrial lot into one of Denver’s most attractive new hangouts and art-making centers.

From Friday, Sept. 24, to Sunday, Sept. 27, organizers will hold a grand opening celebration with art projects and workshops, tours of the on-site library and artist-workspace, live music and more. Artists Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios (with help from Tres Birds Workshop) will unveil their latest works at a 4 p.m. dedication ceremony on Sept. 24: three industrial cement mixers that are now sculptural works, according to a press statement.

Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, offer more free, all-ages activities — Ethiopian coffee, books and zines, live music, bilingual paper flower and piñata making, yarn-bombing, food trucks — and a 6-9 p.m. Lawn Salon fundraiser ($150 per ticket). Other events are free and open to the public. Visit for the full schedule.

An open, architectural invite

Monday-Oct. 17. This year’s 17th Doors Open Denver understands that some of us may not be able (or want) to get back out there and experience its architectural exemplars in person. As a result, the celebration of Denver’s built environment is bringing back its free, on-demand virtual tours from 2020, which mimic the live events.

This year’s new tours, which launch Monday, Sept. 27, include the 200 block of South Lincoln Street’s Historic District, Daniels & Fisher Tower, Loretto Heights’ Pancratia Hall and the NCAR Mesa Laboratory, as well as a dozen archived virtual tours (Freyer-Newman Center, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, etc.). The 2021 live tours will visit the Clyfford Still Museum, Historic Elitch Theatre, Historic 11th Avenue Hostel and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

Times vary, and the event runs through Oct. 17. Virtual tours are free; in-person tours are $25 for members and $30 each for nonmembers.

High-country film fests

Through Sept. 26. Following a year of painful, if nimble, virtual programming, at least one film festival is returning this weekend with select in-person screenings. The 42nd Aspen Filmfest, which started Sept. 21 and continues through Sunday, Sept. 26, has titles screening in Aspen and Carbondale. Tickets are relatively steep ($25 per screening — and it only goes up from there) but well worth it if you can afford it and/or enjoy supporting Colorado film organizations.

Also this week: Vail Film Festival, which kicked off Sept. 23, continues through Sept. 26, has gone virtual again with 80 titles representing a diverse, global class of filmmakers. Visit for the full program.

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