“How would the work week begin differently if you spent time on Sunday getting inspired and making something unique with your friends?” This is the question that inspired this creative brunch concept that highlights the exploding creative sector in Colorado. It’s called Sculpture Brunch. It’s the brainchild of Jami Duffy, Laura Bond and Mel Aman, a trio of friends who count among them an impressive collection of resumes — Aman is a film producer (the Hip Hop Project and a slew of Disney’s Baby Einsteins to her credit), who owns local gallery and promotions shop DenverMind Media, Bond was the Backbeat editor for Westword for several years, and Duffy is the Executive Director of Youth On Record.
French Davis: What is Sculpture Brunch?
Jami Duffy: Sculpture Brunch is a really fun variation on Sunday brunch, complete with cocktails, delicious food and a really fun activity. It takes the canvas-and-cocktails style concept to a higher level of creativity and uniqueness. Working in teams of 2–6 people, participants craft one-of-a-kind pieces from an array of found materials — stuff we find at thrift stores, yard sales, basements and our back yards. It’s interactive unique “upcycling,” which makes for fun team building.
FD: What kind of Sculptures are people making?
Mel Aman: We’ve seen all kinds of beautiful and unusual things — all different and reflective of the imaginations of each team. Every team gets a “survival kit” that includes tools like glue guns, hammers, wire cutters, etc. From there, they choose six materials from the art bar —which can be anything from wood blocks, leather and seashells to mannequin busts, metal pipes and a giant Kermit the Frog head. We’ve had abstract works that look like portals to other dimensions as well as more representational stuff that look like crazy creatures and people. They’re all different, which is a huge part of the fun.
FD: What happens with the sculptures after brunch?
Laura Bond: Teams are free to take their sculptures home if they choose. However, the winning team gets to display their creation at Syntax Physic Opera (554 S. Broadway, Denver, www.physicopera.com) for the month following Sculpture Brunch. The other teams have the option of sharing their work at DenverMind Media (1430 W. 27th Ave., Denver, www.denvermindmedia.com), a wonderful gallery and boutique in the Navajo Arts District that celebrates the work of local artists.
FD: And the “brunch” portion?
LB: Jonathan Bittz at Syntax Physic Opera does a great job of curating a brunch buffet that includes yummy brunch offerings, both sweet and savory, using organic and local ingredients. There are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings. Last time, the chef made homemade corn tortillas that we’re still dreaming about. The Bloody Mary bar is incredible, with everything you can think of, all mixed with spirits from Colorado distilleries. And of course we have coffee and non-alcoholic drinks, too.
FD: Any fun anecdotes from previous brunches so far?
MA: Some of the sculptures have been silly, and some have had very moving backstories: We had a team create a sculpture in honor of their friend who passed away. Another team created a sculpture to celebrate survivors of breast cancer. One of the winning sculptures was created by a newly married couple, neither of who had ever done any kind of “art-making” before. The piece is now proudly on display in their home.
The next two Sculpture Brunches are Jan. 17 and Feb. 14, locations TBD. Tickets are $45, which include brunch and supplies. Follow Sculpture Brunch on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sculpturebrunch for details and tickets as they go on sale.
Deb Flomberg contributed to this article.