Artopia 2015 Artist Curator Jolt

On Saturday, February 21st, local artists and art enthusiasts are invited to leave reality behind by slipping down the rabbit hole into a wonderland of art, music, culture and fashion at this year’s Artopia featuring Whiteout.

The collaborative event, curated by Jolt of the creative consulting firm Guerrilla Garden, will incorporate the talent of more than 50 local artists, restaurants and musicians and will also celebrate the return of Westword’s annual Whiteout runway fashion show.

In this carefully constructed creative realm, event goers will be immersed in a tangible Lewis Carroll daydream complete with visual, audible, tactile, olfactory and gustatory installations and creations that span the entirety of City Hall throughout all levels and rooms to showcase the best of the best in the art and fashion community.

“We’ve created a magical trip down the rabbit hole through various event elements, but most of all, I can’t wait to see the collections come together on the runway.” – Jenny Baker-Strasburg, Whiteout Producer

Happy hour attendees will enjoy a restaurant sampling from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. including a range of local restaurants such as Saffron Grill, Dead Dog Chocolate, Fiocchi’s Pizzeria & Bar, BurgerFi, LaMar’s Donuts and more. Happy hour will be followed by general admission access and a VIP reception.


Image © Westword

Live musical performances will feature more than 15 local acts including The Reminders, Dragondeer, DJ Hollow, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Plume Varia, Venus Cruz and more. Participating Artopia artists include visual artist Lauri Keener, tattoo artist Ben Thompson, hip-hop dance artist Bboy Factory, body painter Mythica von Gryffin, photographer Mark Sink and more than 20 additional Colorado creatives.

With a mix of food, drinks and spectacular entertainment, the unique signature event will also highlight exceptional local fashion with this year’s widely anticipated Alice in Wonderland-themed Whiteout runway show featuring the custom and event-exclusive designs of 7 premier Denver designers and boutiques.

“I’m beyond excited to see our Alice in Wonderland theme come together,” proclaimed Whiteout producer Jenny Baker-Strasburg in a CRAVE Magazine exclusive interview. “We’ve created a magical trip down the rabbit hole through various event elements, but most of all, I can’t wait to see the collections come together on the runway … To see the collection come to fruition is incredible. I’ve been working with a few of the designers for three years now and am constantly amazed by the sheer beauty of their collections. Whiteout features a very talented group of individuals.”

After producing two previous Whiteout fashion shows with Westword, Baker-Strasburg said she is especially thrilled to see the outcome of this year’s collaborative effort.

“Whiteout merged with Artopia this year, which has given us the opportunity to get really creative with theme, hair and make-up. What you see on the runway will be more overstated than previous years,” Baker-Strasburg said.


George Peele- Image ©Eric Tsao/303 Magazine

Whiteout emcee George Peele, perhaps best known for his wild stilt performances and collaborative emcee gigs with local personalities like Chris Parente and Kathie J, said he is also anticipating a more-than-stellar runway performance.

“The amount of planning and preparation that’s going into Whiteout is a dream come true,” he said, adding, “I do know I have been wowed many times by Colorado designers in the past few years. We’ve come a long way as a fashion community.”

“I am most excited to perform my original tune ‘Dress Up’ as the opening number.” Peele continued, “It is a cheeky, largely autobiographical song that I believe will resonate with festival goers… Whiteout marks its public debut.”

In addition to happily weaving Alice in Wonderland references into his Whiteout commentary, Peele said he has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Baker-Strasburg and

[co-host] Brandi Shigley.

Baker-Strasburg reciprocated the good vibes. “I feel very lucky to be working in the field alongside so many gifted individuals I admire. Whiteout is an incredible event. Everyone that touches it from backstage dressers, to the emcees, to production is 100% invested in developing a dynamic event with a lasting impression. This is one event you don’t want to miss.”

Designers to be showcased in Whiteout include Fashion Design Center, RMH, Imminent Rise, Equillibrium Clothing, Gino Velardi and D’Lola Couture. Boutiques Whorl, Fancy Tiger Clothing and True Love Shoes & Accessories will also be featured.

Ticket prices for Artopia 2015 featuring Whitout are $30 & up.
For more info, visit the Westord Artopia event page.

DLola Couture

D’Lola Couture Image ©1World Studios