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Even as an art history major, walking through an art museum is a daunting task. I feel guilty speeding past pieces to focus on paintings because they have bright colors or naked ladies. But over time I’ve learned that it’s OK if you don’t appreciate art in every form or from every artist. Even big name artists can be full of hooey. As long as you encourage development in some aspect of artistry, you’re good in my book. And in my opinion, the best arts to support are also the easiest arts to support: local. Local artists produce a better product with more heart and a lower price than any big name out there. Plus, advocating for Boulder’s artists helps strengthen our community and who doesn’t want that? If you’re interested, here are a few opportunities to celebrate the community and local art this weekend.

If you have only ever referred to BMoCA (Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts, 1750 13th Street) as the “brick building by the Farmers’ Market,” then you absolutely have to check their Whole Planet Benefit out tomorrow night from 5-9 p.m. Although BMoCA shows art from all over the world, their commitment to Boulder is overwhelming and they should be acknowledged for their involvement. Come check out the space, enjoy hors d’oeurves and a wine bar as well as other activities sponsored by Whole Foods Boulder. Tickets are $45 in advance and include a full year membership to BMoCA; almost half the price of admission goes to the Whole Planet Foundation.

Information at bmoca.org/2011/03/whole-foods-market-and-bmoca-present/

OpenArts is a nonprofit dedicated to opening the studios of local artists to community members for observation and inspiration. Next Wednesday starting at 6 p.m., OpenArts is teaming with FLIC Boulder to showcase the work of several local artists and feature the Oscar nominated documentary, “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” about renowned graffiti artist Banksy. The party is at the Absinthe House, 1109 Walnut Street–come early to enjoy cartoons, happy hour and mingling before the movie starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12/$10 for students. (Learn more about FLIC on Page 11.)

Tickets on sale at flicboulder.org.

Another great local organization is the Boulder Kiwanis Club. This Sunday from noon until 5 p.m., join them at Twisted Pine Brewery, 3201 Walnut Street, Suite A, for a benefit to support their Service Dogs for Kids program, which raises and trains canine assistants for children with special needs. There will be a silent auction and beer Olympics — dogs allowed on the patio! Stop by and help contribute to the days sales, 30 percent of which will go to the charity.

For details call 303-786-9270.

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