You know, for all the hullabaloo about downtown — stadiums, homelessness, bars, economic revival, etc. — it's easy to forget how pretty it truly is. Sometimes, on a clear, blue-sky day, it's just striking: Green trees, grand sidewalk gardens, tons of sculpture, bleached white clouds and vaulting mountains. Rose-colored glasses or no, you have to admit that much.
Which is why the Urban Sketchers
program sounds so cool. Starting Friday, Aug. 2, the Downtown Partnership
and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
will launch the new program, which will put artists to work drawing or painting downtown, en plein air
, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. After that, the artwork will be for sale at the Pioneers Museum, with proceeds benefitting it. The artists, who haven't yet been named publicly, will be on Tejon Street at Colorado Avenue, as well as Pikes Peak Avenue, Kiowa Street and Bijou Street.
Urban Sketchers will run monthly through October, and the Partnership is still seeking artists to participate. If you're interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on Friday, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region will unveil its second Art in Storefront Projects
, which puts pop-up exhibits in empty storefronts. (Read our coverage on the inaugural year here
.) In its newsletter, COPPeR notes that "Four of the five vacant storefronts from last year's project are no longer vacant, an exciting validation of the role the arts can play in economic development and helping people to re-envision spaces."
The six juried works by Daniel Alvarado
, Gypsy Ames
, Lacey Carter
, Ryan Lomax
and Courtney Matthews
(vetted by judges including Jon Khoury
of Cottonwood Center for the Arts
, Noel Black
, Gundega Spon
of G44 Gallery
, and myself) will stay up through the end of the year. For details and locations, click here
Lastly, the Partnership has also released the rest of the August schedule for its also-new Sidewalk Stage,
a performing arts series featuring music, circus acts, all set — obviously — on the sidewalk. Click here for the calendar
For other First Friday events and openings, click here
, or read the Partnership's press release after the jump.
Urban Sketchers Join First Friday Downtown August 2
FREE and open to the public, First Friday Downtown includes venues, galleries, and retailers throughout Downtown Colorado Springs, featuring artwork and cultural activities the first Friday of every month. The following are highlights for August 2, 2013, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Urban Sketchers provide art in action experience
Artists will capture downtown’s “vibe” with original artwork, created onsite at several locations throughout downtown. The sale of artwork will benefit the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, and be available for purchase at the museum store. Artists will be sketching along Tejon Street at Colorado Avenue, Pikes Peak Avenue, Kiowa Street and Bijou Street. This special addition to First Friday Downtown was developed as a partnership between Downtown Colorado Springs, Urban Sketchers Colorado Springs, and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
Street performances join August line up
As part of the Sidewalk Stage street performance program, three locations will entertain as part of this month’s First Friday. Taiko drummers, Flies with Buffalo (music): on Colorado Avenue, between Nevada and Tejon;
Taiko Society (drumming): on Pikes Peak Avenue, between Cascade and Nevada; and Jason Bennett (guitar) and Hear Here Spoken Word, at the corner of Tejon and Bijou, from 4 to 7 p.m.
· Bridge Gallery Reincarnation, an exhibit by sculptor Carl Brandenburg and weaver Barbara Berger. Located at 218 W. Colorado Avenue.
· Boulder Street Gallery In the Clouds, a series of Sky Paintings by Deb Bartos. Located at 206 N. Tejon Street.
· Colorado Expressions gallery Experience the Days of Old, an exhibit of Navajo artwork by Allen Mose, the jewelry of his wife Annie and the handmade accessories of their son Ash. Mose will be on site to sign prints. Located at 122 E. Kiowa Street.
· Cottonwood on Tejon, Featured artists Suely Beccaro and Wilhelmina Steenberger.
· Dream Catchers Insta Art collaborative of photos. Also Paint & Sip class (RSVP required). Located at 103 S. Wahsatch, Suite 106.
· Gallery 113, new works by Mary Gorman and Karen Standridge and live music by Jason Bennett. Located at 113 N. Tejon Street.
· Kreuser Gallery and AHA Gallery, Tijah, an invitational show of 10 local artists with various works. 218 W. Colorado Avenue.
· The Modbo Fog of War (paintings) by Holly Parker Dearborn. Located at 17b and 17c E. Bijou, in the alley.
· S.P.Q.R. Works of Roy Linton. Located at 17b and 17c E. Bijou, in the alley.
· GOCA 121 Visual Environments, an exhibit with works by Colorado artists Pattie Lee Becker and Suchitra Mattai. 121 S. Tejon Street, Suite 100.
· The Colorado Native Live at Studio Bee free concert series will feature Mark's Midnight Carnival Show and The Mailbox Conspiracy. Located at Studio Bee at the Pikes Peak Center, 109 S. Cascade Ave. Doors open at 5:30, show at 6:30.
· Sonic Landscapes, public concert on an outdoor stage next to GOCA 121 and COPPeR. Located at 121 S. Tejon Street, Suite 100.
· Sparrow Hawk Cookware. Work by local artists Phil Vallejo, Diane Vallejo, and Langdon Foss. Plus, a selection of original animation art from Disney Studios, Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbera. Located at 120 N. Tejon Street.
· Pikes Peak Chocolate & Ice Cream. Featuring hand crafted dimensional work by Mark Bowers. Located at 125 ½ N. Tejon Street.
All downtown metered parking is free every day after 6 p.m. Several City parking lots offer parking for only $1 in the afternoons and evening, including:
· Bijou/Cascade Parking Garage, 215 N. Cascade Avenue: $1 after 3 p.m. and all day weekends
· City Admin Building Parking Garage, 130 S. Nevada Street: $1 after 4 p.m. and all day weekends
· Kiowa Street Parking Garage, 127 E. Kiowa Street: $1 after 2 p.m. and all day weekends
Galleries located in the Depot Arts District provide parking in gallery parking lots.
About First Friday Downtown
First Friday Downtown features FREE monthly cultural events throughout downtown Colorado Springs. Galleries, museums, cultural organization, and retailers host art openings, artist receptions, performances, and more the first Friday of each month, from 5 - 8 p.m. Additional details including images is available at http://www.downtown80903.com/arts-and-culture/first-friday-downtown.
Downtown Colorado Springs is designated by the State of Colorado’s Colorado Creative Industries as a Prospective Creative District. Included in the district are cultural landmarks, award-winning outdoor sculpture; independent galleries, and other one-of-a-kind cultural and entertainment opportunities. For more information visit www.downtowncs.com, or contact Downtown Colorado Springs at 719.886.0088.