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31 Wednesday

click to enlarge Bovine Bliss; The Art of the Cow
  • Bovine Bliss; The Art of the Cow

From milk to steaks to alien abductions, cows roam freely across the American cultural landscape — especially in the West. So much frontier mythology is rooted in the cowboy and, consequently, the business of raising and herding cattle. Local artist Tracy Miller has assembled an exhibit to pay tribute to the glorious cow. Bovine Bliss: The Art of the Cow, closes on Tuesday, Sept. 6, so this is your last week to swing by Tracy Miller Gallery and celebrate these fluffy beasts. 16 Ruxton Ave., 650-0827, tracymillergallery.com. — Griffin Swartzell

Film

1 Thursday

click to enlarge Five Thousand Meters: Nothing Comes Easy
  • Five Thousand Meters: Nothing Comes Easy

Ever wondered what it takes to be the kind of runner who can knock out a 5K in under 13 minutes? Besides being amazing and slightly crazy? Join the Independent Film Society of Colorado for a screening of Five Thousand Meters: Nothing Comes Easy, a documentary created by Colorado College filmmakers that follows nine athletes as they push their bodies to achieve a coveted slot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team. Through personal interviews and exhilarating full-length footage of the qualifying race, you'll experience the excitement, determination and heartbreak of striving for gold. The IFSOC is also excited to welcome guest Olympians Leonard Korir (specializing in the 10K), Shadrack Kipchirchir (10K) and Hillary Bor (3K steeplechase), who will be in attendance. 7-9 p.m., Tim Gill Center, 315 E. Costilla St., free, socialmedia@ifsoc.org, ifsoc.org. — Bridgett Harris

Bikes

1 Thursday

click to enlarge Bike Jam
  • Bike Jam

Cycling doesn't just give you a great ass and an enduring sense of joy, it's also fantastic for the environment. As part of a campaign to create awareness of this fact (the environment stuff, not the joy and nice butt part), the UCCS Office of Sustainability has been hosting Bike Jam, a yearly bike-to-school event that kicks off UCCS Bike Challenge Month. This year, however, it's gotten really special, welcoming friends and neighbors to come along for the ride. Start with coffee and an energy bar at one of 10 meet-up spots, ride to UCCS for breakfast, then enjoy a flat tire repair clinic, lunch, a BMX stunt show and even more community rides. All you have to do is RSVP, because it's totally free. Yes, even the food. In short, do good, look good, feel good, bikes. 6:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., El Pomar Plaza, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., free, RSVP at tinyurl.com/hvyloqj, ride info at tinyurl.com/habeql8. — Bridgett Harris

Music

2 Friday

click to enlarge Riot Fest
  • Riot Fest

Multiple stages can be a mixed blessing. Consider the beleaguered fans of classic indie-rock who have to decide between Riot Fest's opening-night headliners: Jane's Addiction... Deftones... Descendents... Who can choose? The rest of the weekend's late-night offerings have less genre overlap: Ween vs. Underoath, Nas vs. The Misfits. And with an average of 25 acts a day, no one's going to feel too deprived, especially with such diverse artists as Sleater-Kinney, Tyler the Creator, DeVotchKa, Yo La Tengo, Julian Marley, Wolf Parade and Death Cab for Cutie. Today-Sunday, National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver, tickets and showtimes at riotfest.org. — Bill Forman

Denim

3 Saturday

click to enlarge Own Your Denim
  • Own Your Denim

Every common object has an origin story. Denim, for instance, has been used in working people's clothing since the 18th century — either a French attempt at imitating Genovese corduroy or an English fabric with a faux-French name to make it seem exotic. Whatever the case, the sturdy cotton has been the fabric of choice for working people ever since, from wagon covers to overalls and blue jeans. Marlon Brando, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe only made it popular for the middle class in the mid-20th century, which brings us roughly up to date. Tonight is the night to Own Your Denim at Mountain Fold Books. Denver creative type Solomon Words will be setting up a pop-up version of his pending web-store, Left Hand Twill, to vend "vintage and finely curated" denim clothes to all comers. Enjoy music from DJ J-Uno while you browse. Mountain Fold will also be serving a selection of adult beverages, just to make this an Occasion. 121 E. Costilla St., 375-3378, mountainfoldbooks.org. — Griffin Swartzell

Festival

3 Saturday

click to enlarge Commonwheel Labor Day Arts Festival
  • Commonwheel Labor Day Arts Festival

This space is too small to list all the possible reasons to visit Commonwheel's 42nd Annual Labor Day Weekend Art Festival. Showcasing fine art, crafts and local musicians — paired with local foodstuffs and a beer garden, of course — this end-of-summer festival is pretty close to the be-all and end-all of local art events. Shop juried art from local and regional artists in a variety of mediums, with artists on hand to talk about their works, and get the creative juices flowing in your young'uns at the kid-friendly activity booth or Millibo Art Theatre's space with Jim Jackson and his giant bubbles. Can't make it today? The good times roll through the weekend at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs. Sept. 3-5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 502 Manitou Ave., free to attend, commonwheel.com. — Craig Lemley

Painting

4 Sunday

click to enlarge Victor Celebrates The Arts
  • Victor Celebrates The Arts

We're lucky here in Colorado to have some pretty neat historic destinations within driving distance, plus cool ways of experiencing them. Artists are always flocking to Cripple Creek and Victor to paint not just the landscape, but these beautiful towns in the mountains. This weekend's Victor Celebrates the Arts En Plein Air Art Show and Sale celebrates their artwork with live painting events all throughout town. Registered artists will paint "en plein air," meaning out in the open, and exhibit and sell their work all weekend. Visit the website for a full schedule of events, which include live music, an award presentation and more. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 3-5, Victor Elks Lodge, 181 Third Ave., victorcelebratesthearts.org. — Alissa Smith

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