Corwin Bell's solo exhibition "Sacred Water" takes the viewer through a multimedia journey meant to cleanse, heal, and inspire spirituality with its portrayal of water as an element that stimulates culture. Bell, who lives by a back-to-the-land philosophy in Eldorado Springs, juxtaposes a primitive artistic approach (wood carvings and ceramics) with a skilled grasp of animation technology to create this wildly varying body of works. The highlight of the exhibit space is a 30-minute experimental film in which Bell interprets the many forms of water in a way that blends virtual imagery and reality to captivate the viewer.
Sacred Water: Through Feb. 16, Museum of Outdoor Arts, Englewood
When Things Aren't What They Seem
Illusionist Nick Felix won't pull rabbits out of hats during the regional premiere of his show Depth of Illusion—his brand of showmanship is a far more sophisticated one. Felix, a self-taught master, weaves magic, deception, and mystery into metaphorical vignettes that hold audience emotions captive. With dramatic lighting and music to rival a rock concert, the intense routine darts from levitation scenes to severely dangerous escape moves à la Houdini, including one stunt that only three in the world can perform. It's not what people are used to, Felix says, but it is powerful.
Depth of Illusion: Through Dec. 9, New Denver Civic Theatre
Not since the Rotary Club's Artists of America show—one of the city's most prestigious art events for 20 years until it folded in the '90s—has Denver seen a collection of talent like that showcased in this month's American Art Invitational. Cherry Creek's Saks Galleries has invited more than 45 internationally sought-after artists—some affiliated with the high-caliber "Denver School" of the '60s—to showcase their representational paintings and sculptures during the month-long show and sale. Artists include Glenna Goodacre, master of the bronze and creator of commissioned works such as Philadelphia's Irish Memorial and the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and John Asaro, whose "Paris Opera Ballet" recalls the genius of Degas.
American Art Invitational: Dec. 1-31, Saks Galleries
More Naughty Than Nice
The funny folk over at the Bovine have done it again with their holiday sketch comedy show, featuring seven comedic actors who piece together holiday skits and songs in the Bovine's signature sketch style. The actors devise their own lines, both scripted and on the fly, which make for some spot-on zingers about relationships, family time, and Christmas and Hanukkah traditions. To wit: Three Wise Men arguing over the re-gifting of the Christ Child, Santa selling out to a corporate toy giant, and a woman whose love for gingerbread mocha leads to an unrequited lust for the Starbucks barista. It's not your classic jingle-bells-festive performance, but the stage shenanigans are worth it for the laugh factor.
I Know What You Did Last Christmas: Through Dec. 22, Bovine Metropolis Theater