Today, Brett and Lauren Andrus announced they are starting an art school in the Ivywild School.
The co-owners of the Modbo and S.P.Q.R. galleries will offer classes for adults (which Brett already teaches in S.P.Q.R., one of which I attended), as well as teens and elementary-age children. Brett will continue teaching adult classes, while other local artists will instruct courses for the younger set, which will include at-risk youths, homeschoolers and kids with advanced art skills. However, anyone is welcome to sign up.
In addition, they hope to also add weekend seminars on art history, art marketing and the like. ModboCo won't focus as much on art exhibits; that duty falls to Holly Parker, who's working as an independent curator for Ivywild.
They hope to begin classes in August, after the rest of Ivywild is on its feet, and to coincide with the beginning of the school year.
Brett says the move is a big step for the pair, but with the growing popularity of their art classes (which includes beginning to intermediate courses on drawing and painting), this will allow them to offer more. He also adds that it may help fill a void left by FutureSelf, which folded in 2011.
The Pikes Peak Community Foundation will serve as the school's nonprofit umbrella, though Brett hopes to be able to launch the school as its own entity in the future.
As for the galleries downtown, they will continue to host exhibits, performances and concerts. For more information on the school, visit themodbo.wordpress.com.
Over the years, the food at Adam's Mountain Café hasn't been the only artful element of the restaurant. Over 50 original pieces of art by renowned Manitou Springs artist Charles H. Rockey also adorned the walls.
However, due to the flooding fears (which we've covered here and here) that swung into high gear with the rains last week, Rockey removed his works from the creekside restaurant. Adam's owner Farley McDonough understands the artist's concern, and hopes that the art will be back by September, but there's no agreement made just yet.
(As for the current location, McDonough is trying to stay prepared for the worst: “We’re just taking it one day at a time is, I guess, all I can say. I have to accept that it may be a reality, there’s no doubt about that. But we’ll just see what happens.”)
According to David Ball, who works as a graphic designer for Rockey, the works are all in storage, including those in his house, which is just down the road from Adam's.
A call in to the Cliff House confirmed that the works that hang there are still in place.
Adam's, however, was a major spot to see paintings and drawings by the somewhat reclusive artist. According to McDonough, they have always had a "super loose" arrangement: The works are loaned, there is no written contract, and they are not for sale. When McDonough bought the restaurant in 2001, the works came with it.
“I just sort of inherited this obligation to protect them," she says, "So we always have an alarm on them and our staff is instructed to care for them, to keep them dusted and polished and so we’ve always taken care of them that way. But other than that, there’s never been anything formal in place. Which is how he works.”
“It was very, very Manitou,” she says with a laugh.
For now, McDonough has hung a few personal pieces, as well as art that hung in the restaurant's original location 15 years ago in the Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant building. McDonough is hesitant to start up with a new artist, should Rockey return the pieces.
“I can’t just hang stuff up just because we need to have things on the wall," she says. "I have to really feel it and that’s how I am with Adam’s in almost every way.”
In an effort to effectively rebrand the state, Making Colorado isn't playing around. The initiative, launched just last month, wants to incorporate as much public input as possible. And in order to cast a wide net, it's enlisting the help of one high school junior from each of Colorado's 64 counties.
Each teen would be an ambassador of the program and keep their hometowns and county residents apprised of progress in the branding process. They'll publish information on MC on social media and also supply MC with a "multi-media story that showcases what makes their community special, which will be highlighted on the Making Colorado blog."
These go-betweens will not only learn some valuable ombudsman-esque experience, but interact with the MC branding team through webinars happening this summer "to learn about marketing and social media strategy from some of Colorado’s top professionals in the industry." And a lucky few will be selected to serve on MC's Making Colorado Brand Council, where they'll learn from the pros firsthand.
Being a junior and a Colorado resident are the only stipulations, and you can nominate teens (or yourself, oh precocious one) easily through the MC website. Applications will be accepted through June 6.
From the listings desk: There's more than enough art to go around, even more than we've got listed here, but here's some of what's happening tonight.
Big Arts Night, live music, art demonstrations, art exhibits and dance and theater performances; with free food and drink. Fri., May 3, 5-7:30 p.m. Pikes Peak Community College Downtown Studio Campus, 100 W. Pikes Peak Ave. 502-3135.
First Friday Art Walk — Pueblo, monthly art celebrations encompassing multiple galleries, a handful of coffee shops, the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center and other businesses. First Friday of every month, 5-8 p.m. Downtown Pueblo, pueblopag.org.
First Friday ArtWalk, month celebrations of the scene with new artwork, appetizers and drinks, artist demonstrations, the occasional live music and more. First Friday of every month, 5-8 p.m. Old Colorado City, 520-9494, bestartontheavenue.com.
Aha Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., #107, allheartart.com. New Work by Abigail Kreuser, Marie David and Carole Reece. May 3-31. Opening reception, Fri., May 3, 5-8 p.m.
The Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., thebridgeartgallery.com. Other Than Us, an exhibition in different medias, from a variety of artists, like Milo Abrams-Hicks, Robin Coran, Stuart Cross and others. Opening reception, Fri., May 3, 5-8 p.m.
Cottonwood on Tejon, 214½ N. Tejon St., cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com/tejon. A Celebration of Sculpture, works by David Knize, Pam Pappas, and Phil Vallejo. First Friday reception, Fri., May 3, 5-8 p.m.
Gallery 113, 113 N. Tejon St., gallery-113.com. A reception with Cindy Davies, painter, and Chi Leary, sculptor, with live gypsy music from Roma Ransom. Fri., May 3, 5-8 p.m.
GOCA 121, 121 S. Tejon St., #100, 255-3504, galleryuccs.org. Documentation, a photography show featuring works from three Colorado artists, who share their personal stories through each piece: Matt Chmielarczyk, Bill Starr and Andrea Wallace, the subjects of this week's calendar feature. May 3 to June 29. Opening reception, Fri., May 3, 5-9 p.m.
Kreuser Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., 630-6347, abigailkreusergallery.com. The 3 Muses, a multimedia collaborative show by Abigail Kreuser, Carole Reece and Marie David. In the Commons Gallery, paintings by Amanda Jean. May 3-31. Opening reception, Fri., May 3, 5-8 p.m.
The London Group, 731 N. Weber St., 473-7808. Art of Transformation, a showcase of work from regional artists Kim Estares, Dan Heidenreich, Jim Houk, Leslie Thomas and Amy Winter to benefit the Diabetes Community Center. Fri., May 3, 4-8 p.m. $10.
Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St., 633-4240, themodbo.wordpress.com. Clive Nyles, a series of new works from Nyles, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design whose "compositions utilize chiaroscuro value patterns along with geometric patterning to create subject emerging from light or subject being engulfed by darkness." May 3-31. Opening reception, Fri., May 3, 5:30 p.m. to midnight, with live music by the Bottesini Project at 9:30 p.m.
S.P.Q.R., 17 B E. Bijou St., 633-4240, themodbo.wordpress.com. Fluff, a solo show by local artist Lorelei Beckstrom, who depicts stuffed animals in scenes of Greek myths (like Icarus and Sisyphus) and humans wearing rabbit heads. Beckstrom's also the subject of this week's cover story. May 3-31. Opening reception, Fri., May 3, 5:30 p.m. to midnight, with live music by the Bottesini Project at 9:30 p.m.
Beckstrom has worked in multimedia, mainly, and started painting seriously a few years ago. Fluff, her exhibition, proves just how far she's come.
It began when she started painting stuffed animal faces for last year's holiday show at the Modbo. She then completed five stuffed animal-Greek myth works for a March show she shared with Brett Andrus and Nina Peterson (fellow members of the Modbo Collective) at the Eggman & Walrus gallery in Santa Fe.
But Beckstrom soon wanted to return to the human figure in her painting:
“Oh, and then after Santa Fe, I was like, ‘I miss painting the figure, so what’s next?’ And Brett and I were in Santa Fe and I’m walking across the street and suddenly I’m like, ‘Holy shit, I can combine them! I can combine the two ideas. I can meld the figure with the softness and creepy-sweetness of the stuffed animals.' So I got with Zeezos, they were awesome, I got a trade for costumes and I started doing photo shoots with the rabbit heads."
The shift perfectly suited her personality. "I love images of people sitting around eating, but somehow I turn it into a really damn creepy painting," she says. "There’s just a creepiness and a sweetness to it, and people have a lot of different connotations with seeing people in animal suits.”
She wants to continue working with the rabbit heads, just with more (likely, nude) people in the paintings. Interestingly, Beckstrom's style changes slightly in her exhibition, which includes works done months ago, and some that were just finished, like this one, which has a more graphic, unfinished quality:
Here are some other pieces you'll find at the show:
And lastly, this work from the stuffed animal series, which Beckstrom admits, gets to her.
“I’ve cried standing in front of that painting," she says. "I cry at my paintings a lot.”
Not to be overlooked, Fluff will open with a solo show by Clive Nyles in the Modbo. Nyles, originally from England, studied at the Savannah College of Art in Design. The Modbo describes his work this way:
"Nyles’ recent compositions utilize chiaroscuro value patterns along with geometric patterning to create subject (sic) emerging from light or subject being engulfed by darkness."
For more information on Nyles, click here.
We wanted to post pictures of this unusual art event happening tomorrow (Saturday), but we can't. To find out what artwork was created in a handful of homes throughout downtown, you'll have to be there in person.
That's the gist of Household Residen(t)cy, a project in which nine University of Colorado at Colorado Springs students, led by UCCS visual art instructor and Focus on the Beer blogger Eric Steen, have created artwork "for strangers and their homes."
Via e-mail, Steen did divulge some details:
Each has been placed in one of seven homes in a downtown Colorado Springs neighborhood and charged with the task of creating site-specific artwork for the household, with the household, and about the household. The project asks the artists to release traditional understandings of the role of the artist as a mastermind of an artwork by negotiating and collaborating with the people who, in the end, must “live with the art."
Some of the artist’s [sic] proposals have ranged from building a speakeasy bar in a basement, teaching a resident to play the guitar, to documenting family get-togethers, to inventing stories and creatures with one of the younger members of a household.
UCCS' Galleries of Contemporary Art did something somewhat similar a few years back, with former director Caitlin Green pushing exhibits outside gallery settings. AWOL, or Art Without Limits, encompassed Bus Chronicles, a multimedia project of poetry posted in city buses; Displacement: Cinema Out of Site, avant garde film screenings in a downtown parking garage; and Rotozaza, a three-part performance art series held in a grocery store, among other places.
But back to Household Residen(t)cy. You'll only get once chance to see/experience the works, and that's tomorrow for a 5 to 7 p.m. walking tour that meets at 1927 N. Corona St.
According to numerous sources, including Blake Milteer, museum director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the average person spends about three to 10 seconds with a piece of art. Some estimates go up to 15 seconds, but nothing exceeds a minute.
But there's a lot the average person is missing. A work of art doesn't unfold immediately; details take time and patience to notice.
Which is why art lovers are asking the world to slow down this Saturday as part of the aptly named Slow Art Day, first conceived by Phil Terry, founder of Reading Odyssey and CEO of Creative Good, in 2008. The point of Slow Art Day is to up that three seconds to 10 whole minutes.
Yeah, 10 minutes is a lot of time in front of a piece of art (even for me). But that's the idea. We all need to take our time. So what are we getting out of this kind of commitment? According to the Slow Art Day's website, intrinsic value, which sounds lame. But this notion they outline is powerful:
When people look slowly at a piece of art they make discoveries.
The most important discovery they make is that they can see and experience art without an expert (or expertise).
Still want a little more guidance? Milteer, with assistant curator Joy Armstrong and new media manager Nicole Anthony will lead a tour of the FAC current exhibit A Family Affair in which they'll view and discuss five pieces of art for five to 10 minutes each. Following that, the group will have lunch at Café 36 (if you needed any more incentive).
RSVPs are requested, and you can sign up here. Should you be reading this from some far-flung locale, there may be a Slow Art Day museum in your midst — 265 institutions are currently participating worldwide.
From the listings desk: If you're an artist who loves steampunk, you may want to be a part of Cottonwood Center for the Arts' upcoming Wily and Wonderful Things show, opening May 31.
Lear is a multi-genre artist of formidable skill in both technique and storytelling. His painting style is immediately recognizable — textured, quick and yet precise — and his subjects, Pinocchio's bad-boy friend Lampwick or a surly circus madam, are deeply expressive. You can read more about Lear in our 2012 cover story here.
Flood may be a new name though, and he too works in many genres, as well as materials. Perhaps most interesting though, is that Flood was chosen to oversee art for a capsule to be sent to the moon, as the Lunar Art Capsule Curator/Project Coordinator. OK, before we get ahead of ourselves though, this project isn't going anywhere too terribly fast. As far as the website goes, there's no set date for launch. What that does mean though, is that the project is still accepting artwork, so you could not only show in Wily, but on the desolate, dusty surface of Earth's lone satellite.
Here's how it'll work: The Lunar Art Capsule is simply a "payload of digital media" sent to "immortalize" life on Earth. The drive will deposited on the moon via a robot, the Tesla Rover.
Tomorrow, there's plenty of artwork to see in Manitou Springs as part of the town's Third Friday ArtWalk, starting between 5 and 6 p.m. Here's a preview of what you'll find.
Last week, we attended the Governor's Arts Award Luncheon at the Colorado Creative Industries Summit in Pueblo.
As you may already know, Pueblo, along with Aspen, each won the Governor's Art Award, a new and distinctive honor bestowed upon towns that have truly made a concerted effort toward funding and fostering creative development.
But more on that later. For now, the big announcement out of the luncheon is the search for graphic designers, copy writers and other creative types to help build a new, lasting Colorado brand. As it is, Colorado doesn't really have one — or maybe it does, but since no one knows what it is, it doesn't count — and, in order to become more competitive on the global market, attracting businesses, tourists and talent, we need it.
It's one of the five core goals outlined in the Colorado Blueprint, a state-wide economic development plan.
As Kennedy explained, the state had two options in building a new brand.
"We can do it the easy way, which is, hire the New York place branding agency," he said, adding he used to work for one. "The hard way to do it is, 'Made by Colorado for Colorado.' So we do it ourselves, and that’s the way we’re going to do it.”
That's where a creative team comes in. You can apply yourself, or nominate someone else for the job. Those who are chosen will work with Alex Bogusky and Dave Schiff, big names in the industry (Bogusky is the man behind Coca-Cola's polar bears and the anti-tobacco Truth campaign. Schiff launched Coke Zero in 2004. Both now work in Boulder for MadeMovement), who will oversee the project.
As the brand develops, Kennedy says that it will be vetted through the website, makingcolorado.gov, through surveys of citizens throughout the state, and other quantitative analyses both in and outside the Centennial State. Plus, an internal crew consisting of a brand advisory council and review board will review things. After all that, Kennedy will sit down with Hickenlooper and "fight it out."
They hope to launch the brand by the end of August.
“We want an engaging process that’s entertaining because we’d like to get a million people involved in this," Kennedy said, "from inside and outside Colorado.
"We want it to endure the test of time. We’re developing a brand that will hopefully not be replaced in three or four or five years. This is just really capturing the heart and soul of this place, and hopefully that won’t change much in the next 20 years.
"And we want to showcase the depth and strength of our creative community here, that’s a big part of why we’re doing it [this way.] And this concept of homegrown: Made by Colorado, for Colorado.”
Know someone? Know yourself? Sign up here.
Today, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation announced its new executive director, David Siegel, a Manitou Springs native who many already know from his music gigs about town either solo or with the jazz group Mango Fan Django.
Siegel, 23, will take up the job vacated by Susan Edmondson, who left earlier this year to lead the Downtown Partnership. Currently, Siegel works as a program associate for the El Pomar Foundation, and will work only part-time at Bee Vradenburg and El Pomar until January 2014, when he'll go full-time at the former.
Siegel was chosen over 50 other applicants, says the press release, adding that his local knowledge helped him land the job. Said board president Phil Kendall, "David brings a lifelong passion for the arts and commitment to this region."
Wednesday, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, with help from other organizations like the Pikes Peak Arts Council, hosted the 34th Annual Arts in Business and Education Luncheon, which honors arts education advocates and businesses that support culture in the Pikes Peak region. Those recognized spanned teachers, school administrators, businesses, individual artists and organizations.
Honorees included artist Senga Nengudi (who has work in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, by the way), Ballet Folklorico de la Raza (which performed at the presidential inauguration parade in January), Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli (who hosted the Hootenany for the Arts earlier this year) and many others.
For a full list, plus a recap of the event, read the Gazette's article here.
The Louvre in Paris may be a one-and-only in the world, but no longer just by name.
With hopes to open in 2015, Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the first "universal" (sometimes called "encyclopedic") museum in the Arab world, planted on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi's high-end cultural center, in the United Arab Emirates.
So in some ways, it's going to be something of a Louvre franchise in the Middle East.
OK, so a franchise isn't the correct term, but the idea is similar. In 2007, the governments of France and the UAE shook on a deal of long-term diplomatic agreement. With that came the notion of LAD, which paid $525 million U.S. dollars to use the name and be associated with the Louvre, plus another $747 million for "art loans, special exhibitions and management advice," according to Wikipedia.
A lot of people are unhappy with the partnership, and the motives of the Louvre itself, which some see as maximizing profits in a way that museums shouldn't. According to Wikipedia, Henri Loyrette, the president and director of the Louvre, said, "It's a fair fee for the concession of the name. This tutelary role deserves reward. It's normal."
LAD will have its own permanent collection. In fact, it's already started accruing a broad array of world art, with six distinct themes, according to an article from The National. They cover: figurative art, art of the ancient world, sacred art, "eastern image," "western gaze" and finally "cultures in dialogue," which means "artistic narratives are not bound to time and place."
A hundred-thirty pieces from the collection, as it stands, will be part of the upcoming show Birth of a Museum, opening April 22 on Saadiyat Island. Ancient Bactrian and Cypriot sculptures greet visitors next to a 20th-century painting by Yves Klein.
But that won't fill the whole place, which is why a group of French institutions are loaning works to LAD. Besides the Louvre, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée d'Orsay and Palace of Versailles will provide pieces.
The building itself will be a marvel of modern design. According to today's Mail Movement article, the place will be something of a "floating city" with pavilions, plazas, alleyways and canals covered by a giant concrete umbrella-like structure that will be "perforated with interlaced patterns so that the filtered light creates real magic." With a current opening date projected for 2015, LAD will be its own island, nearly 700,000 square feet in size.
And if that wasn't enough, Mail Movement also reports that LAD will have distinguished neighbors: the Zayed National Museum, set to open in 2016, and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, slated for 2017. Click here for renderings of the completed island.
Even though Over the River is on hold (or "temporarily postponed due to pending litigation," goes the press release), Christo is doing far more than sitting on his hands.
In fact, the 77-year-old just unveiled the world's largest indoor sculpture, "Big Air Package," in Germany.
The balloon-like piece reaches 295 feet high, is made from 219,000 square feet of semitransparent polyester fabric and 14,800 feet of polypropylene rope, and altogether weighs almost six tons. Naturally, all the materials will be industrially recycled when the exhibition ends.
"Package" was made specifically for the Gasometer Oberhausen, a Hollywood Records/silo-like building that was built in the 1920s to hold gases from coal and oil refining and later, that from coke ovens. It was bombed in World War II, but wasn't decommissioned until 1988 when coke was soundly replaced by natural gas. Now it's a contemporary art enclave, and one 384 feet high — perfect for Christo's work.
Of it he says:
"You are virtually swimming in light inside the Big Air Package," Christo said of his latest work of art. "The inner space is probably the most unique aspect of all the air packages that we did since 1966. When experienced from the inside, that space is almost like a 90-meter-high (295 feet) cathedral."
The project was conceived back in 2010, making this one fast turnaround for Christo, who, with his late partner Jeanne-Claude, routinely worked for decades to make a project come to fruition.
The work is on display now through the end of the year.
Artists, start your engines.
Trinidad artist and one-time local (legend) Rodney Wood announced today that he's heading up the first of what he hopes will be an annual celebration of culture in Trinidad: ArtoCade.
Set for September, Wood is calling for all Colorado artists to start decking out vehicles for the ArtoCade, which will be a parade, art car show, exhibits and all-around-merry-making extravaganza with music, dancing and lots of parties. Trinidad, Wood writes, has "charged me with the honor of creating a 'signature event' that will draw people to town from near and far. ... It will be the biggest art event to ever appear in southern Colorado."
Take these examples Wood supplied:
But he's seeking those cars. Have a beater that could just find new life as a mobile work of art? That rusty Geo with the sticky clutch that sort of looks like a giant pin cushion? Remember, the weirder, the better.
And basically, anything with wheels will do. If it doesn't drive, then it can be a float. Just as long as it's visual and creative. Certain artists can also apply for a stipend, if he or she lives within 250 miles of Trinidad and meets other criteria. All the information regarding that, and the registration forms are online. You can also contact Wood directly with questions at 719/334-0087.