What: Playing with light, depth, and reflection, Pagosa Springs artist Kate Petley created Fringe Element: My Piece of the Sky to mimic a clear blue sky. Now, the giant blue plastic installation, which looks like a modern architect’s version of a hula hoop, opens to the Denver public.
Why: The cities of Houston, Kansas City, and Pasadena so love Petley’s work that each has commissioned an installation. Check out the style this Colorado girl is stamping all over the country.
Bonus: Thursday’s opening night reception (5:30-8 p.m.) unveils not only Petley’s work but also Sky Tent, the installation project she developed with Valdez Elementary’s third, fourth, and fifth grade girls.
Details: Through Apr 18. Tue-Sat, noon-4 p.m. PlatteForum, 1610 Little Raven St., Ste. 135. Free. For more information, call 303-893-0791 or visit www.platteforum.org.
What: R&B hardly gets more soulful than Etta James and The Roots Band. Listen to this diva’s slow, smoky voice roll over notes, fill words, and empower songs.
Why: The 70-year-old songstress and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has three Grammys under her belt.
Bonus: James’ 2006 All The Way album includes covers of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Hear her belt one of these songs, and you’ll swear you’ve never heard it before. She puts sophistication into pop music.
Details: Sat 8 p.m. Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl. $39.75-$75. For more information, call 303-830-8497 or visit www.livenation.com.
What: Author of 30 Days to Better Health and founder of Women’s Adventure magazine, Michelle Theall speaks about healthy living and international adventures.
Why: Theall’s impressive personal story of using exercise to combat multiple sclerosis will inspire us all into better living.
Bonus: Recent trips to Africa and Alaska have left Theall full of stories and pictures. Watch her multimedia presentation where she dishes all.
Details: Wed, 6:30 p.m. Outdoor Divas Denver, 2717 E. Third Ave. Free. For more information, call 303-320-3482 or visit www.outdoordivas.com.
FOOD & WINE
What: With ski season slowing down, the summer festival scene ramps up. Taste of Vail promises to make the seasonal transition with plenty of wine and gourmet eating. Catch a demonstration cooking class, a glass seminar, or a five-course dinner.
Why: The Mountain Top Picnic, complete with an igloo martini bar, and 4th annual Colorado Lamb Cook-off parties will certainly beat skiing crusty spring snow.
Bonus: This year, Taste of Vail runs simultaneously with the Vail Film Festival (www.vailfilmfestival.org). For the ultimate date, drop in for a festival film before a Taste of Vail dinner.
Details: Apr 2-5. Wed-Sat, times vary. Vail Village, exact locations vary. $25-$420. For more information, call 970-926-5665 or visit www.tasteofvail.com.