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Artistic bounty

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Make your Motion!

The Norse god Ullr may be withholding the fluffy white stuff from our fair climes, but the endless sunny weather has apparently inspired Greek deity Apollo, god of the arts.

First Thursday Art Walk

Over the next several days, there are at least a dozen artistic events across this region worth your time; more, if you add in all the first First Thursday Art Walk exhibits on display in downtown Telluride tonight, from 5-8 p.m. Among the highlights are “Body of Work,” the Ah Haa School’s annual juried regional exhibit which celebrates the human form. Four cash prizes will be awarded to local artists whose work is on display at the depot; Baerbel Hacke, Julie McNair and David Holbrooke will be the judges.

Nor are humans the only ones whose forms will be celebrated: equines get their turn as well, in two exhibits from Telluride Arts. Nancy B. Frank depicts horses in her figurative paintings at Gallery 81435, and Lara Branca evokes them abstractly, against a backdrop of sprawling landscapes, in “Wind of Heaven” at Telluride Arts’ HQ.

Also on exhibit at Art Walk this month: the works of students from Robert Weatherford’s perennially popular studio art classes (see these at Baked In Telluride); “Telluride Ink,” outlined painted objects by Mike Doherty in an exhibit curated by Kellie Day, on display at La Cocina de Luz; and original silver gelatin photographs by renowned photojournalist Dan Budnik from two bodies of work, “Marching to the Freedom Dream: Civil Rights Movement, 1950s-1960s” and “Picturing Artists,” Budnik’s depictions of artists in their studios during the 1950s-1970s.

UpstART Theater’s “Hedwig”

The multi-award-winning musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” written by John Cameron Mitchell with a rip-roaring rock ’n’ roll score by composer Stephen Trask, will be performed a total of four times by the UpstART Theater Company in Ridgway this weekend. Denver-based actors Drew Horwitz (Hedwig) and Dayna Geiger (as Hedwig’s bride, Yitzak) play the leads. The performance will be directed by self-proclaimed 1980s rock aficionado Kate Kissingford, with a live, very loud, rock band on board.

“Hedwig” is an exception to a surprising and annoying trend. As New York Times critic A.O. Scott has put it, “Attempts to marry rock with musical theater have resulted in a lot of bad musical theater.” Not so this musical, whose numbers deliver the emotional and narrative heft “that show tunes are supposed to do” in songs inspired by everyone from David Bowie and Lou Reed to Yoko Ono and (even) Kenny Rogers. (Plato and Dr. Seuss are in the mix, too.) “Hedwig” will be performed tonight (Feb. 1) through Saturday at the Sherbino Theater beginning at 7 p.m., with a final, 2 p.m. matinee performance Sunday. Go to sherbino.org to learn more.

Japanese Film Series

Telluride Film Festival’s Cinematheque begins a new series next week, “Contemporary Japanese Cinema,” with Takahata’s “Grave of the Fireflies” (1988), an antiwar film and “an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation,” Roger Ebert wrote. It screens on Monday at the Wilkinson Public Library at 6 p.m. The series continues on March 5 with Yoji Yamada’s “The Twilight Samurai.” Ebert gave this one five (out of five) stars.

Foucault Redux

His subjects are “God, desire, wilderness and loss.” A favorite in this region with numerous appearances at the Ride Festival and a star turn in Ridgway last May, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault returns for a performance at the Sherbino, “a great little theater and bar we found last spring,” as he puts it on his website, next Thursday, Feb. 8. (If you miss him in Ridgway, depending on your travel schedule you can catch Foucault on subsequent evenings in Basalt, Fort Collins and Boulder.) While many in this region are mourning a lack of snow, Foucault is looking forward to warmer days, partly because he loves to fish. He offers a lovely narrative — part reverie, part fever dream — on his website about an epic day last summer involving rainbow trout, Hemingway, and the importance of allowing enough time to take everything in. “It’s deep winter, the rivers are locked up under a foot of ice, and I’ve been off the road for a month,” he writes. “I’m 42, I have a new record finished, and due out in June. Here’s to summer green, the river of real time and wild things caught and released.” Here is also to new records released: Critic Greil Marcus called Foucault’s recent CD, “Salt As Wolves,” “A country plea, a blues reach for facts beyond sound, the sense of immediate doom that only a slide guitar can make in its hesitations … scary in the bend of the first note.”

Foucault takes the stage at the Sherb next Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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