Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scenes from the 2013 Business and Arts Luncheon

Posted by on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 3:34 PM

click to enlarge Rouse's work station and finished painting. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Rouse's work station and finished painting.
You have to hand it to Douglas Rouse: The man can paint. And choose music.

As part of the entertainment at today's sixth annual Business and Arts Lunch, Rouse painted a surprise (because he did it upside down), quick portrait of Andy Warhol to "Blurred Lines" in front of a crowd of 300 at the Antlers Hilton. It's not your average fare for a lunch like this, which included the more expected, but no less beautiful, Handel selections from the Pikes Peak Philharmonic or the a cappella performance by the Chamber Singers of the Colorado Springs Choral Society.

The point of the luncheon though — co-hosted by the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region — is to honor the organizations and individuals that bridge the realms of culture and businesses in three categories:

• Creative Workplace Award: The Ivywild School
Nominees: Poor Richard's Complex, The Space Foundation

• Philanthropy Award: The Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel
Nominees: Kratt Commercial Properties, Wells Fargo Advisors and Private Bank

• Business Leaders in the Arts: Ron Brasch and Una Ng-Brasch
The other nominees were: Martha Marzolf, Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli

The Brasches are a well-known local couple who are both incredibly active in the arts, as collectors, board members and participants. In January, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center announced that the pair has plans to donate their private collection to the museum (where Ron is a board member) upon their deaths. In an interview for a video announcing the winners, Una said, "A city without the arts isn't complete. It doesn't have a soul."

The Mining Exchange, meanwhile, won in part for it's professional love of local art. Besides Perry and Lorne Sanders' great endorsement of local artists (which we wrote about here), the Exchange has made itself the official hotel sponsor for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the FAC, while also back the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale Colorado Springs Conservatory through the 16th Note Society.

And the Ivywild School? Well, it would seem that building speaks for itself. 

Getting back to the entertainment, another highlight was a spoken word performance by Colorado College professor and poet Idris Goodwin, who shared the lively, hilarious story of his first name and the baggage that comes with it. To finish, he asked the audience to pronounce it after him (and, just so you know, it's Eee-dris). Personally, I can appreciate a name that stumps people.

click to enlarge Goodwin onstage. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Goodwin onstage.

In between the awards, other performers took to the stage, including those from Pikes Peak Community College's High Altitude Dance Ensemble, the Thin Air Theatre Company and Grass It Up.

Each table's centerpiece was also a work of art from the local pool. There were many small sculptures in metal and found items from K8E Orr, Joshua Williams, Jeremy Grant and Gary Weston, as well as paintings by Steve Weed and metal and glass works by Jodie Bliss, who also created the awards themselves. Like Rouse's paintings, all the table artworks are for sale.

click to enlarge A pottery vessel from Mark Wong. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • A pottery vessel from Mark Wong.

For information on last year's winners and performers, click here.

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