Coming Attractions

The power of Wood.Works at the Arvada Center

Recommended activities for the coming weeks


Wood has proven to be one of the most reliable and dynamic materials humanity has made use of over the centuries. It has been employed to make everything from weapons and transportation to shelter and - as the Arvada Center highlights in its newest exhibits - art.

“In our research we found that the oldest wooden sculpture - the Shigir Idol - is about 11,000 years old, which is around when the human race was coming out the ice age,” said Collin Parson, director of galleries and curator. “Wood is a lot like paper - a creative development used to record the stories of history.”

Wood.Works and Carley Warren: Three Pieces both run through April 25 at the Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. The galleries are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. To allow for physical distancing and capacity monitoring, an advance free reservation is recommended.

Wood.Works is a follow up to 2017’s Paper.Works exhibit, and Parson said the center is already considering ways to continue to explore material-themed shows in future exhibits. It is housed in the Main and Upper galleries and features 24 regional artists who use wood as their main medium.

“We have large installations, elegant sculptures and detailed wood reliefs,” Parson added. “We’ve created a kind of forest in the galleries with artists exploring their fascination with wood.”

To compliment the Wood.Works exhibit is Carley Warren: Three Pieces in the smaller Theatre Gallery. According to provided information, Warren has been creating art with wood for about 50 years, and in this exhibit she’s creating with a set of self-imposed rules: three consistent shapes can be used and each connection between the pieces must be made at a straight angle.

“Between the two exhibits people will get a broad understanding of the range of the material - one of most important to humans,” Parson said. “I hope people who come to the exhibit will see the limitless possibilities of using wood, and those more familiar with the material will have their eyes opened and curiosity sparked.”

For more information and to make reservations, visit


Carne y Arena brings refugee stories to vivid life

It is one thing to experience a story on a screen or the page but being fully immersed in one provides a whole new perspective. That’s what Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) — a virtual-reality installation from Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu - offers to visitors at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 N. Dallas St. in Aurora, through Saturday, Jan. 30.

The 20-minute exhibit brings guests up close to the stories of immigrants and refugees fleeing the violence and threatening conditions of their hometowns who seek asylum in the United States. It uses cutting edge technology to guide guests through the harrowing trials and tribulations of refugees’ journeys to gain freedom and safety for themselves and their families. Most affecting of all, the stories are based on real experiences.

Carne y Arena premiered at the 70th Cannes Film Festival as the first virtual reality project to be featured in the festival’s history. Secure a ticket at


Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Jeff Tweedy from Constellation

As the lead figure in Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, Jeff Tweedy is responsible for some of the best alt-country/rock of the last more than 20 years. In the last decade or so, he’s taken to making solo albums, often getting quieter and more experimental than he would with the band.

His most recent album, 2020’s “Love is The King,” is perhaps his loveliest yet and is received a physical release on Jan. 15. To celebrate, Tweedy will be performing live from Constellation in Chicago with his local bandmates: Spencer and Sammy Tweedy, Liam Kazar, Sima Cunningham and James Elkington. The livestream will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, and includes a live question and answer portion.


Visit to get a ticket.


Streaming style - ‘Audrey: More Than an Icon’

To my mind, there are movie stars (both past and present) and then there’s Audrey Hepburn. There’s a reason her name has taken on a meaning unto itself - one that speaks of elegance, timeless beauty and an irrepressible warmth that infuses everything. The adoration so many have for Hepburn is all over the new documentary, “Audrey: More Than an Icon.”

The film traces Hepburn’s journey from war-torn Europe to the pinnacle of Hollywood, and then all over the world as an UNICEF ambassador. The documentary wisely spends as much time exploring her personality and guiding philosophies as it does on her fashion sense or ability to light up the screen. What emerges certainly isn’t the complete portrait of Hepburn - she was notoriously private about certain areas of her life - but it provides a window into a woman who was far more complex, indomitable and loving than most could imagine.


There will never be another like Audrey Hepburn — watch this film to on services like Vudu and Amazon to see why.


Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at


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