If you go

What: Mile High Rock Poster and Art Expo

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 11

Where: Aloft Hotel, 8300 Arista Place in Broomfield

Tickets: $5

More info: RockArtExpo.com

BROOMFIELD -- It's not difficult to see where John Borghi, one of the organizers of the Mile High Rock Poster and Art Expo, got his passion for rock posters. His first concert was Cream's farewell show at Madison Square Garden in 1968.

"I was 14. My mom and aunt chaperoned us," Borghi said.

His second concert was the Doors, with his dad. His third was Jimi Hendrix.

He got his first rock posters at a head shop in Greenwich Village. Over time, he stopped going to as many concerts but kept collecting posters.

"Posters show what tribe you belong to," he said.

Now, he and his partner Bryce Hall, of Posterscene in Boulder, are putting together a poster show at the Aloft hotel in conjunction with the Phish concerts Sunday through Tuesday at the 1stBank Center.

The origins of the modern poster date back to the development of modern color lithography in 1870s, leading to the famous Moulin Rouge posters by Toulouse-Lautrec. Rock posters started to come into their own with Globe posters, which featured musicians such as James Brown, and then took off with the 1960s psychedelia.


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"The '60s was the first golden age of rock posters," Borghi said.

He started his own company, rockcandyposters.com, to sell work by some of his favorite artists.

With Phish coming to town and the "phans" who come with the band, Borghi said it was a perfect time to have a show.

"Phish has a rabid fan base, and there's a group of artists who are Phish-related artists, and we're going to have three or four of those at our event," Borghi said.

Hall said poster collecting also started as a hobby for him.

"I'd pull them down off of telephone poles, collect them and save them," he said.

Now he runs a store, at 1138 13th St. in Boulder, that exclusively sells new and vintage concert posters.

"This is just something (Borghi) and I have been wanting to do for a long time," Hall said, "and with Phish coming, we figured now was the time to jump in and do the show."

There are only three national poster expos done with any regularity, and Hall said he would love for it to become a regular thing.

"It's great for artists to get the exposure and for people to recognize this as a viable art form," he said.