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10 May 2009

THE ARTS: Far Out Groovy Rock Posters





Denver Art Museum’s current exhibit “The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area 1965-71” draws a crowd of people who might not otherwise darken the doors of a stuffy art museum. Rock music from the era sets the tone in the normally hushed galleries.




The exhibit includes the interactive Psychedelic Side Trip, where visitors can make their own posters, create light shows, and watch videos of rock concerts. Groovy! Interestingly, in A NEW EARTH, Echardt Tolle credits the hippies with bringing in a heightened consciousness for all humanity: peace, love, and understanding.

I turned nine the Summer of Love. One of my older sisters, Karen, strung a necklace of love beads for me. After seeing the vibrant posters at the DAM, I remembered my joy in the box of crayons containing fluorescent colors introduced sometime in the Sixties. I thought the hippies were cool: the music, the clothes, the freewheeling ways. A wanna-be flower child, I let my hair grow long; wore hip-hugging bell bottoms and embroidered gauze shirts—that is, when I wasn’t forced to wear my plaid pleated Catholic school jumper. I really had no clue what was going on, and I never knew any real hippies, but I had my aspirations to go to San Francisco and wear flowers in my hair.

Make art, not war

These images feature posters by Bonnie MacLean, in the second shot, and in the third and fourth shots, by Victor Moscoso, who studied color theory at Yale. Moscoso went on to break orthodox graphic arts rules by combining vibrating colors and creating practically illegible type. More than being read, the posters were deciphered.

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