Thursday, January 22, 2015

ModboCo heading back to the alley

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM


After 17 months in the spacious basement area of Ivywild School, the ModboCo School of Art is going back to its home gallery of the Modbo downtown.

Described as a "pragmatic financial decision" by owners Brett and Lauren Andrus, the ModboCo will finish its current program of classes at Ivywild and then pick up its next slate in late February at the gallery. The schedule will be posted within a week online, and will still include classes for adults and kids in a similar format as before.

Despite increased participation in classes, Lauren says, it wasn't enough to cover the overhead of the location. That said, Lauren hopes the increased visibility of the Ivywild location will translate back to the alley. "And the truth of the matter is, we taught at the gallery for five years, and we're fine," she says.
The ModboCo the weekend of its grand opening. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The ModboCo the weekend of its grand opening.

ModboCo opened at Ivywild in August 2013, with classes six days a week and the occasional weekend seminar on art history. Brett told the Indy at the time, "It immediately terrified both Lauren and I." Yet he remained inspired by his alma mater, the Savannah College of Art and Design, which mushroomed in size quickly and transformed the surrounding city.

Luckily this is only a "re-consolidation" of one aspect of the Modbo realm. Both it and twin gallery S.P.Q.R. are faring well and the Andruses are preparing for the year ahead at the galleries, with exhibits and events planned for most of the year, beginning in March.

"I think it was worth a try, and we're glad that Ivywild's doing well and it was worth a shot," Lauren says. "We're just better off just keeping to our little arts alley."

Taking over the old space will be an expansion of EpiCentral Coworking, which recently signed the lease there.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New numbers show current supply, demand and motivation in the arts

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 4:12 PM

The NEA reports show interest in the arts is there, but not always put to use. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • The NEA reports show interest in the arts is there, but not always put to use.
Monday, the National Endowment for the Arts released findings from three studies that detail consumer behavior in the arts. The studies measured why people attend art events, how they participate, and — the biggie — the economic value of the arts. 

The splashiest finding, picked up by the Washington Post, was that half of all American adults participate in the arts, which is great. But there was bad news for the likes of classical music, jazz, ballet, theater and art museums (so ... a healthy chunk), where participation was found to be dropping.

Study 1 reveals that in 2012 (the year in question for all three reports), the main motivations for arts attendance were: to socialize, to learn new things, to experience culture, and to support the community, in that order. Barriers were time (largely defined by parents with young children), followed by cost, access (largely defined by retirees and those with physical disabilities) and "no one to go with." (Aw, really?)

The NEA writes, "Thwarted interest, rather than lack of interest, may be the cause for lower attendance rates among some audiences." Thus, the search is on for these "interested non-attendees," also called "the missing audience," of about 31 million people. Shifting demographics play a key role, but there's also "a lot of competition for leisure activities," as NEA director of research and analysis Sunil Iyengar told Pacific Standard.

Study 2 takes from a vast sample group of 37,000 adults and compares findings with similar surveys done as far back as 2002. It finds that adults who attended museums or performances as children are three to four times more likely to do the same as adults. "Exposure to the arts in childhood turns out to be a stronger predictor of adult arts participation than education, gender, age, or income."

Except for a few categories, women participate in the arts at higher rates than men. The exceptions? Men are over twice as likely to use electronic media to create or perform music, and are more likely to create visual art online.

Now then, Study 3, the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account — the first federal effort to analyze the arts against GDP. It revealed that "the arts are a bigger driver of GDP and jobs than previously estimated." For instance, in 2012, the arts eclipsed both construction and transportation/warehousing in contributing to the economy. It brought in $698 billion (or 4.32 percent of the GDP), compared to construction's $586.7 billion. According to SFGate, it also raked in more than tourism and agriculture.

Not bad. Plus, on top of the 4.7 million workers in the arts and culture sector, studies show that for every "100 jobs created from new demand for the arts, 62 additional jobs are also created."

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Federal court OK's Over the River

Posted By on Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 11:42 AM

A Sept. 23, 2014 shot of the Arkansas River taken at the Pinnacle Rock Recreation site, a portion of the river that could see Christo's installation. - BRADLEY FLORA
  • Bradley Flora
  • A Sept. 23, 2014 shot of the Arkansas River taken at the Pinnacle Rock Recreation site, a portion of the river that could see Christo's installation.

Huge gains were made last Friday for Over the River champions. A federal judge dismissed charges that the Bureau of Land Management had violated its own rules in approving the project, brought to court by OTR's main opposition group, ROAR.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported that U.S. District Judge William Martinez didn't find the BLM violated any laws, and in his 30-page ruling, wrote: "As long as an agency has complied with the procedural requirements of NEPA, the court should not second-guess that agency's decision. ... BLM engaged in a thorough consideration."

ROAR can appeal the decision, and in a release sent from the group, says that it is reviewing its options. Should it decide not to appeal, only one suit still lies between Over the River and the chance to start the process, which is now being heard in the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Though the Chieftain article speculated that, given the three years lead-up needed for the project, it could happen as soon as August 2018, Christo's camp won't give a possible date, saying they are waiting for "successful resolution of the legal process before identifying the Over the River exhibition date."

Yet they are very encouraged by this recent ruling, since the BLM's approval has been reviewed and upheld by both the Interior Board of Land Appeals and the federal court, adding that this ruling in particular "makes a strong statement about why all prior challenges to the federal permit have now been rejected. Any appeal would be nothing more than another attempt to delay the installation of Over the River."

No doubt ROAR will try. "Christo’s lobbying has been effective and persuaded countless public officials from Colorado to Washington, D.C., to essentially rubber stamp the project despite the officials having no real understanding of exactly what the project entails or how destructive it will be," ROAR's release reads. "They have bought Christo's hype at face value."

Click the jump to read the rest of the reaction releases from both ROAR and OTR.

Continue reading »

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Eric Bransby, "latrine painter," on NPR

Posted By on Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 12:50 PM

  • NPR
This weekend, NPR profiled a 98-year-old artist, who recalled his days under the tutelage of Thomas Hart Benton, the decades when his beloved figure painting was woefully out of fashion, and his time in the military when he stole out to the latrine to paint at night. It was the only place illuminated after lights out.

That would be local legend Eric Bransby, the subject of an interview by Chloe Veltman that comes with a nifty visual tour of his works throughout the Front Range and the Springs area (the amount of works it shows that have since been "destroyed" really sucks).

The article covers the particulars of Bransby's long career, as well as his fine attitude toward art and life. Bransby discusses his need to draw between two and eight hours each day, or his time at Camp Leavenworth that earned him the nickname "latrine painter." It's a great read, and if you're up for more, you can read our coverage of Bransby here (dig the photo of him with artist Jean Charlot), here and here.

Perhaps most exciting of all, Bransby is currently working on a new mural for Colorado College, which he hopes to complete by his 100th birthday.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

FAC lands $20K NEA grant

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Sloan's "Disassembling the Past," 2014 - COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • Sloan's "Disassembling the Past," 2014

To help with its upcoming John James Audubon and Kevin Sloan exhibit, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center received a $20,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This is the first NEA grant the FAC has been given in nearly five years.

Art Works grants were awarded to 919 nonprofits nationwide including: the Denver Art Museum, which received $25,000 for its upcoming Super Indian: Fritz Scholder 1967-1980; $60,000 for the Detroit Institute of Arts for a Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo exhibit; and the usual biggies, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Los Angeles Country Museum of Art and Washington D.C.'s Phillips Collection.

Back at the FAC, A Naturalist and an Artist: John James Audubon and Kevin Sloan opens March 7 and will feature over 40 large-scale hand-colored engravings by Audubon, along with works by Sloan, a contemporary realist painter from Denver who will not only help museum director Blake Milteer pick the Audubons, but create a new piece "in direct response to one of the Audubon selections."

Per the press release: “The idea of expanding from the familiar into unfamiliar realms and creating completely original works for — and sometimes, during — exhibitions is becoming a hallmark of our work at the FAC,” Milteer said. “Bird fans, of course, will love this exhibit, but so will those who appreciate the intersection between realism and contemporary art.”

I, for one, can't wait.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Art on the Streets 2015 is coming

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 4:30 PM

The call for artists is up, and the jury has been selected. The 17th year of Art on the Streets has begun.

The jury this time around will again feature an architect, and a past winner. David Tryba, a Colorado Springs native and the mind behind the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's expansion (among many high profile projects), will join 2014 winner Andy Tirado, along with longtime juror FAC museum director Blake Milteer, and newcomer Daisy McConnell, director at the Galleries for Contemporary Art.

The four will choose from the applicants what to display in the 40-square-block downtown district as well as the winner, which comes with a $10,000 prize.

Artists interested in applying have until Feb. 16 to submit their proposals, for just a $25 fee. The 12 chosen will be given a $1,000 honorarium to complete the work and install it publicly. Those works will begin to be installed in May or June next year, closing a year after that.

Find more information and read the juror bios after the jump.

Tirado's "Lacuna," last year's winning piece. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Tirado's "Lacuna," last year's winning piece.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sangre artwork going into the 2015 Catholic missal

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Cash's "Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe." - SANGRE DE CRISTO ARTS CENTER
  • Sangre de Cristo Arts Center
  • Cash's "Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe."
"Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe" a painting by Marie Romero Cash that belongs in the permanent collection of the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, has been chosen as one of 21 images to go into the 2015 Roman Catholic Missal.

The missal, which is used in masses around the world, and according to Sangre, is mandatory in the United States, contains prescribed prayers, chants and other sacred instructions. Cash's work was chosen by the Conference of Catholic Bishops and approved by the Holy See in Rome. It will be used in the section devoted to the day of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, set for Dec. 12.

Cash, a New Mexican artist, has created religious art since 1975, including commissions from the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe to create the 15 Stations of the Cross that was followed by a similar, smaller commission from Albuquerque's The Cathedral Church of St. John.

Cash's work was donated to Sangre by Bishop Arthur Tafoya as part of a group of 63 santos (images of saints or angels) he gave to the museum in 2011. It's part of Sangre's hefty collection of such artwork. "Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe" depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe (who appeared before Juan Diego in 1556, according to the official Catholic account) in vegetable paint on wood with a tin frame. Sangre will put it on display in 2015, with a copy of the missal.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Your art here — on a Navy ship

Posted By on Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Seriously, now. How many times do artists get the chance to design a masterpiece that will grace a U.S. Navy ship for the life of that ship?

That's exactly the opportunity available to artists in Colorado regarding the USS Colorado, now being built back east. Seems odd to name a ship after a land-locked state, but oh well. There's already a USS Denver and others named for states that, too, are land-locked.
The newest Navy nuclear submarine, USS Colorado (SSN 788), is conducting a Ship’s Crest art competition. The winner will have the honor of their artwork being prominently displayed throughout the 30-year lifetime of the ship. Curious about being a part of our nation’s history? Act now before the March 1st deadline. Check out for submission details.

The State of Colorado has been honored by the naming of the U.S. Navy’s newest nuclear submarine after the great state of Colorado. USS COLORADO (SSN 788) is currently under construction at Electric boat Shipyard in Groton, Conn. and is expected to be delivered to the fleet in late 2016. She is the 15th of the Virginia class submarines and the fourth ship named Colorado, the last being the Battleship COLORADO (BB-45) which was commissioned in 1923, over 90 years ago.

A United States Navy tradition is that each ship have an individual emblem, commonly referred to as the “Ship’s Crest”. These crests are prominently displayed on many high visibility areas to include uniforms, plaques, awards, stationary and media throughout the life of the ship. It is the responsibility of the ship’s commanding officer to develop this crest. Our state’s USS Colorado (SSN 788) Commissioning Committee has offered to assist the Commanding Officer by conducting a statewide contest to propose a crest for the commanding officer’s consideration.

The contest is two-tiered: a Senior Division contest, which will have the potential award of a $1,500 scholarship for the winner, plus a round-trip for two to the submarine’s commissioning ceremonies in Groton, CT. Submission requires a print-ready digital graphics image file and a $10 entry fee. The Junior Division contest is directed toward younger children and is to be submitted on standard size paper not larger than 8.5 X 11”. The entry must be accompanied with the submission form found on the Committee’s web site, Students in Middle School (up to and including 8th grade) may opt to compete either in the Junior Division or the Senior Division.

Submissions are currently open with a close on midnight March 1, 2015. Submission details are provided on the Committee’s web site:

Individual contributors may email questions to 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lottie Prize winner Jessie Pocock leaving GOCA

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 8:45 AM

  • File photo
  • Pocock
She said she had a lot on her cosmic to-do list, and Jessie Pocock has already proven her point. Earlier this week, one of the Indy's inaugural Lottie Prize winners announced that she's leaving her post as development and events coordinator at the Galleries of Contemporary Art at the end of November.

Pocock is starting her own business, called Off to Work, which will act as a vendor for the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, specializing in job placement, recruitment and coaching for individuals with developmental disabilities, she writes via email. Her husband Jacob will help recruit businesses for employment opportunities while she'll do "on-the-ground work with clients."

"As you know, this is a community I have worked with and absolutely love working with. Its actually pretty full-circle given that I started my career working with folks with various abilities all the way back before the Club of Arts days," she says.
GOCA's social media announcement from yesterday.
  • GOCA's social media announcement from yesterday.

While the new pursuit isn't exactly in the nonprofit sector, Pocock assures that she'll still remain active in the community through volunteering. But Off to Work has its own "social profit twist," she says. "Work is such a critical component of identity, community and contribution. Establishing opportunities for employment is social justice, it’s advocacy in action which is another reason it's so kick-ass."

Pocock's last event with GOCA as a staff member will be this Friday's Lunch Beat. Those interested in applying for her vacated position can find more information here.
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Friday, November 14, 2014

News from the arts inbox

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Here's a variety of news, including something you can do tomorrow:

GOCA will screen two episodes from the seventh season of Art21, a Peabody Award-winning show on PBS, tomorrow at 3 p.m. GOCA is the only southern Colorado site to hold an Art21 screening. Season seven, which debuted in October, profiles 12 artists; Wolfgang Laib and Katharina Grosse are the subjects of the episodes to be screened at UCCS. Between episodes, Marina Eckler and Sean O'Meallie, who both have works now in the GOCA galleries, will lead a talk-back with the audience. It all takes place in Centennial Hall, room 103/203. Find more information here.

Looking ahead, Dec. 3 will see the grand reveal of "Alan's Odd Duck," the new Acacia Park sculpture stationed next to the Uncle Wilber Fountain. Although it's been standing there for over a month now, it wasn't entirely finished, with the base still needing some final touches, as well as the duck's tail. That Wednesday, arrive at 5:30 p.m. for the formal celebration, with music by Crystal and the Curious and mini crepes from Coquette's Bistro and Bakery.

Further into December, the WYNOT Radio Theatre will do something a little different with its Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center run, with a different show each of the three weeks it's open, "obviously, a cheap ploy to get fans to come back week after week to enjoy multiple episodes," according to the FAC's press release (gotta appreciate the honesty). Dec. 11-14's episode will be "Death Wore Elevator Shoes;" Dec. 18-21, "It Came Upon a Midnight Deadly;" and Dec. 26-28 "The Smoking Gun Affair." Tickets are $20.

The FAC also recently announced that the theme for the Rough Writers New Play Festival: Georgia O'Keeffe. In honor of the FAC's Year of Georgia O'Keeffe, submissions are tasked with writings that relate to the artist's life and/or work. "The plays may utilize Georgia O’Keeffe as a character, use her art as a springboard for the story or, in a larger sense, explore the lives and art of groundbreaking women."
Submissions for this year’s festival are due by March 1. The submissions may be full-length, one-act or 10-minute plays or musicals. Submissions must be in a state of development and not have a history of productions. The Rough Writers New Play Festival will be held between June 4 and 14, 2015. Please send cover letter and copy of formatted script (along with Demo CD for musicals) to: Nathan Halvorson, Associate Director of Performing Arts c/o The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903, or via email at:
Matisse has lent a big hand in Sangre's successful fall.
  • Matisse has lent a big hand in Sangre's successful fall.
Lastly, the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center announced today that it saw a record-breaking fall season, thanks to the Picasso | Matisse | Chagall exhibit. 

"Compared to the fall season of the past four years in the Helen T. White Galleries, the current exhibit has generated ten times as much revenue for the Arts Center. On top of this, the number of visitors walking through the Arts Center’s doors has quadrupled," says the press release. "In the month of October, the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center saw over 1,000 visitors per week."

Hopefully the streak will continue; the show's up through Jan. 11, 2015.
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A sneak peek at the Denver Art Museum's Brilliant

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Sunday, the Denver Art Museum will debut its newest blockbuster, Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century. This unique exhibition of Cartier jewelry made between 1900 and 1975 features 250 pieces gleaned from the company’s own collection as well as private lenders.

I was able to attend the media preview, and here’s a peek at what’s to come. Find a full write-up on Brilliant in next week’s Indy.

Many of the pieces have rarely been on display, including a large selection of smoking accessories from the early part of the century. Cartier, as the show illustrates, was a company with a competitive edge toward trend-setting design, while also informed by the “spirit of the times.” For instance, as smoking became more widely accepted, accessories like lighters, ashtrays, cigarette cases and the like emerged as popular gifts.

But cigar cutters and men’s wristwatches (a Louis Cartier invention) aren’t exactly showstoppers, nor is it the “precious objects” — “mystery clocks,” portable vanity cases (for makeup), desk sets and the like — encrusted in the finest sparklers though they are. Really, your jaw drops at the jewelry, for the wealthy, royalty, and celebrities. Witness early on Marie of Romania's 478-carat sapphire pendant, and a 1928 bib of jewels once owned by the Maharajas of Patiala. That’s the stunner below.

Yet all the ice does in fact grow a little cold (I couldn’t help myself). The history of the wearers helps, but Brilliant is most humanized by a lovely section devoted to the workshop, with stations devoted to each position in the making of a custom piece: designer, stone cutter, polisher, among others. The DAM assembled a jeweler’s desk and the tools of each team member’s trade, showing the humble, yet intricate process of creating the works. For polishing alone, only wild goose quills were used, along with strands of fine cotton to buff the in-between parts. Carefully, always carefully. Put this way in the show text:

"You're pushing but you've got to control the pressure, it's an iron hand in a velvet glove. You have to concentrate and not be stressed." Hervé L, stone setter at Cartier 28 years.

Necklace created for Sir Bhupindra Singh, Maharaja of Patiala. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Necklace created for Sir Bhupindra Singh, Maharaja of Patiala.
Detail of the necklace above. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Detail of the necklace above.
Dolphin bangle from 1969 with gold, emeralds and 1,028 diamonds. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Dolphin bangle from 1969 with gold, emeralds and 1,028 diamonds.
The jeweler's workspace. Note the flap to catch falling pieces. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • The jeweler's workspace. Note the flap to catch falling pieces.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Arts Month in review: A great start

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Vick sees Arts Month in baseball terms. He was hoping this year's would step up to the plate and get a solid single, but instead it hit a double. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Vick sees Arts Month in baseball terms. He was hoping this year's would step up to the plate and get a solid single, but instead it hit a double.
You saw the logo, and you probably saw the banners or the billboards, or encountered the ads. But looking back, just how did the city's inaugural Arts Month go this past October?

That's what COPPeR wanted to know today in a public meeting it held this morning. With a crowd of about 25 people nestled in the Deco Lounge at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, COPPeR executive director Andy Vick broke down the outcome of this initial drive. (Learn more about its background and goals here.) 

As far as funds are concerned, COPPeR spent all $12,700 set aside for the campaign (which came by way of an anonymous donation, $10,000 from the Anschutz Foundation and a few others) on advertising, incidentals and its events. This was about as expected, and then further helped by matching ads from KCME, KRCC and Lamar.

Vick was further enthused about the general buzz around the month (which included endorsements from City Council, El Paso County as well as Manitou Springs and Monument), and the amount of events individual organizations either moved to October or promoted with the Arts Month cache. In particular, the CHORALaborative concert on Oct. 19 that packed the Pikes Peak Center and the premiere of local filmmaker Pete Schuermann's The Creep Behind the Camera, which Schuermann scheduled for October.

"That's exactly what we hoped would happen," Vick said. " And we wound up having a really robust calendar of events."

Jon Khoury, executive director at Cottonwood Center for the Arts said that with the help of Arts Month, which it pushed hard, he said, Cottonwood was able to set a record in art sales that month, bringing in over $35,000. "We're really grateful," he said. "We really attribute it to this helping tell the story."

Not everything was as successful, Vick admitted. He hoped for a greater spike in the online realm, either on or COPPeR's social media pages, but it was only a modest increase. Vick also felt that outreach to the north and east parts of town could have also been better. 

The analytics for Arts Month's success are also still in question. Vick's in the process still of looking at data sets and determining what key figure will benchmark Arts Month's efficacy.

However, Vick said he is still quite proud of this first year and that between the lessons learned (including building a more specific message that COPPeR hatched mid-month: "Have at least one new cultural experience in October") and the ground gained by rallying the arts community around a centralized concept has positioned Arts Month quite well in 2015. In fact, he applied to speak on the Colorado Springs version of Arts Month (which is a national campaign begun in 1993) at next June's Americans for the Arts conference; he's that confident.

The rest of the meet was open for discussion, in which ideas about promotion, messaging, best use of funds, etc. were tossed around. Vick was eager for input (which you can give here) and has opened up the opportunity for volunteers to join the Arts Month committee for next year.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Miro and Wyeth coming to the DAM next year

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Miro's "Woman Entranced by the Escape of Shooting Stars"  from 1969. - MUSEO NACIONAL CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFÍA. © SUCCESSIÓ MIRÓ / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK / ADAGP, PARIS 2014.
  • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. © Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2014.
  • Miro's "Woman Entranced by the Escape of Shooting Stars" from 1969.

Oh my lord, it's so exciting. Here are the details:

• Joan Miró: Instinct & Imagination (March 22 through June 28, 2015)

This show will focus on the Miró's later career, between 1963 and 1981, and is largely composed of paintings, drawings and sculpture. It's organized by the Seattle Art Museum and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid (I've been there, and it's lovely) — the latter's the source for all the artwork — and will bring over 50 works into the United States (such as the one above), including sculpture that rarely travels outside Europe.

Miró, who often stands in the shadow of 20th century Spanish great Picasso, usually hits people in the "whimsy" categories, and that's not untrue, but it made him less popular in the decades following his death. Jonathan Jones, who covers art in The Guardian, came to his defense in 2010 in advance of a retrospective happening at the Tate Modern:
He was a genius. To follow his paintings from his early hyper-intense Catalan landscapes in which the earth teems with manic life to his primordial abstractions that seem to reach to the very bottom of the ancestral seas where life evolved, as if all the universe and its history were buried in the cells of our brains, is to see an artist of fantastic power and raw vision penetrate the remotest corners of human knowing.
Miró's best known for works like "Carnival of Harlequin," which actually came to Colorado this past year as part of the DAM's Modern Masters show that borrowed from the Albright-Knox Gallery (read what we wrote about that show here).
  • © Andrew Wyeth. Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection
  • Andrew Wyeth's "Faraway"
• Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio (Nov. 8 through Feb. 7, 2016)

Perhaps your main entree into the work of Andrew Wyeth is Snoopy's purchase of one following the loss of his Van Gogh when his doghouse burned down. But Andrew Wyeth is in a class all his own, mastering the extraordinarily tough media of watercolor and egg tempera to create hyperrealistic depictions of the lonely beauty of his home in Chadds Ford, Pa. He is best known for his Helga painting series and the iconic "Christina's World" that resides at the Museum of Modern Art.

His son, Jamie, is also an artist, and makes up the third direct generation of Wyeth artists, beginning with Andrew's father N.C., who was also a well-known illustrator.

This "unprecedented" show is organized by the DAM and "the first exhibition to deeply examine the common threads that run through their works, while illuminating each artist’s distinctive practice," goes the press release. With over 100 works (including "Faraway," above) in media ranging from pen and ink to watercolor and drybrush to mixed media, oil paint and graphite, the show "explores the connection between two artists who are inextricably linked by their shared artistic habits of mind, while each maintaining his own unique artistic voice,” says DAM curator Timothy J. Standring (the man behind 2012's Becoming Van Gogh) in the release.

Following the premiere in Denver, the show will travel to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid (also a beautiful institution — and if you haven't guessed it by now, Madrid is an art historian's dream).

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eric Bransby retrospective happening in Denver

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:59 AM

  • David Cook Galleries
This fall, longtime local artist Eric Bransby will celebrate his 98th birthday. He's the man behind many local murals, including those at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Colorado College's Cossitt Hall and the specially commissioned Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center 75th anniversary mural. (Click here and here for more about that.)

Now, he'll be showing in Denver for Transcending Figuration: Bransby in Retrospect at the David Cook Galleries. The show — and sale — runs Nov. 13 through Jan. 3, with an opening reception Thurs., Nov. 13, 5:30-8 p.m. and an open house Sat., Nov. 15, 1-3 p.m. (RSVP to attend either).

Beyond Bransby's 70-decade career that will be represented in the show, there will also be works from his mentors and peers: Thomas Hart Benton, Boardman Robinson, Mary Ann Bransby (his wife), Jean Charlot, Herbert Bayer, Jose Clement Orozco, Josef Albers and others. Any of the above names you'd find in a museum, which just goes to show how good Bransby is.

The show will be accompanied by a catalogue, with an essay from Henry Adams, an expert in American art and author of Eric Bransby and the American Mural Tradition.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Winners from yesterday's Pikes Peak Arts Council awards

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 4:05 PM

  • Pikes Peak Arts Council

Last night, the Pikes Peak Arts Council held its 14th annual awards for excellence in the arts at Library 21c. The sold-out affair had doubled in attendance from last year. Below are the winners, as deemed by a panel of 25 local jurors. Find a list of nominees here.

Special Category Award Winners

Aventa Credit Union Spirit of the Arts Award: Linda Nicholos of the Six Women Playwriting Festival
(Read our review of this year's Festival here.)

PPAC Rising Star: Bailey Francisco, student filmmaker

Eve Tilley Lifetime Achievement Award: Martile Rowland, founder and director of Opera Theatre of the Rockies
PPAC made a video of Rowland's career with congratulations from her peers, including this from James Allbritten, general director of the Piedmont Opera: "I mean, what other woman could play the Metropolitan Opera and then walk into Ted's Montana Grill and say, 'Make me a biscuit.' And after closing, they make it for her!")


Outstanding Technical Achievement: Christopher Sheley and Holly Anne Rawls for The Wizard of Oz at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
(Read our review of the play here.)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor: Michael Lee for The Servant of Two Masters at TheatreWorks
(Read our review of the play here.)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress: Sue Bachman for Death of a Salesman at TheatreWorks

Outstanding Production: Venus in Fur from TheatreWorks
(Read a preview of the play here, and a review here.)

Visual Art

Curatorial Excellence/Creative, Intriguing & Astonishing — Visual Art: Joy Armstrong for Pamela Joseph's Sideshow of the Absurd at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
(Read our preview of the show here.)

Art Champion of the Year — Visual Art: Dr. Michael Maddox, executive director of Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts

Artist of the Year: Richard Pankratz for 70th Birthday Retrospective at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts
A photograph from the PROTEST! performance.
  • A photograph from the PROTEST! performance.

Outstanding Choreography: Ormao Dance Company, UCCS Peak FreQuency Creative Arts Collective, UCCS' Galleries of Contemporary Art, for PROTEST!

Innovation in Dance Production: Opera Theatre of the Rockies for Lakme

Outstanding Dance Programming: Christian Keesee and Larry Keigwin for the Green Box Arts Festival/Keigwin + Company

Outstanding Poetry Promotion & Programming: Luanne Ducet

Outstanding Performance Poetry: Colorado Springs National Poetry Team

Classical Music

Outstanding Performance by a Large Ensemble: Opera Theatre of the Rockies for Lakme

Outstanding Performance by a Small Ensemble: Veronika String Quartet for Transfigured Night

Outstanding Performance by Classical Music Duo: Victoria Hansen and Susan Grace for Bon Appetit

Popular Music

Outstanding Performance by a Solo Artist — Popular Music: Daniel James Eaton

Outstanding Performance by a Group — Popular Music: Knight in Colors

Outstanding Promotion & Advocacy — Popular Music: Bryan Ostrow

Student Film

Outstanding Student Filmmaking: Kai Dickson and Gunnar Rejard for The Summit

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