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Putting The Art In Party

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Belly dancers. Pirates. Mardis Gras beads. Fire-weilding ladies in metallics silver ensembles.

No, it wasn’t a Halloween party, but last night’s Artopio at Vinyl nightclub. The four-level art party was off the hook last night, with a huge crowd of Denver’s downtown scenesters — plus a hefty contingent of metro area art lovers — all eating, drinking, dancing, and viewing eye candy of all shapes and sizes.

They had a floor for visual arts. I’m in love (and trying to figure out if I can afford) two paintings by local artist Laurie Maves. My husband loved the series of photos of all the martini signs, neon and otherwise, from bars around town; the artist made even the shabbiest little martini sign look glamorous and exotic. Another floor offered three live local bands, with Something Underground pulling off a decent set of funk rock despite the crappy sound levels (apparently not the fault of the sound guy, or so I was told. Guess the band needs to work on the levels on their end.) Probably doesn’t help that the basement’s solid rock walls and long rectangular shape isn’t conducive to great sound, but the crowd didn’t really care. They were tipsy, happy, and rockin’ to the beat.

The rooftop was home to fire dancers and an “urban jungle” themed fashion show. I made it through the dancers and the lingerie show by Sirens in Cherry Creek (great stuff) but standing thisclose to a hundred strangers while barely being able to glimpse the show got old pretty quickly. We moved back to the main floor to find the belly dancers.

The main floor offered tastings from metro area restaurants, which were also scattered around the second level as well. The food was mostly good but standing in a crowded room with a cocktail and little plate with no place to sit, or put a drink down, or throw away any leftovers, made for a series of awkward moments. Still, you can’t argue with free food and an open bar. Naturally, since the open bar ended at 10 p.m., by 10:15 the entire crowd had sloshed back as many freebies as possible, making for a thoroughly lubricated, slap-happy party scene.

Overall, a great event. Even the little goodie bags they handed to departing guests rocked, with a stack of discount offers for everything from Aveda salons to local boutiques and a slew of restaurants extending half-price deals. Not a bad way to spend a Friday night.

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