Arts

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Local artist encourages Art Walk participation with new multi-gallery exhibit

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 1:24 PM

First Friday Art Walks are always good fun, but one local artist has added an extra element to this month's event. Spica Stolfus, known around town simply as Spica, has created art of all sorts throughout his life including painting, poetry, film and interactive art installations. His latest project includes gifting 14 galleries between downtown and Old Colorado City with 14 plants, creating something that is part art exhibit and part scavenger hunt.

This is the last time all 14 planters will be together - SPICA STOLFUS
  • Spica Stolfus
  • This is the last time all 14 planters will be together

He challenges each person attending Friday's Art Walk to search for the plants as they visit their favorite galleries, hoping to encourage participants to stop into places that they may not normally go.

"The multiple gallery idea was actually an attempt to get away from the segregation of the sole gallery chauvinism and address the overall experience people have of the Art Walk," he says. The intention behind this outside-the-box, multi-gallery exhibit is what drives it, yet each of the planters is a work of art on its own as well.

Each planter contains a rock from one of Colorado's 54 14ers, all of which Spica has climbed. They are also inscribed with haikus "from Japanese masters selected from hundreds that I researched and chose for their reference to trees and mountains," Spica says.

Since the planters are gifts, Spica hopes they will remain in the galleries long after Art Walk.

Want to know where to find them? Well, the mystery is part of the fun. Explore galleries throughout downtown and Old Colorado City on Friday, Aug. 5, and see if you can't find the entirety of Spica's exhibit.
  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pending CC/FAC alliance already adjusting plans

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 4:57 PM

As updated here just one week ago, from an earlier teaser of plans to "forge a future together" back in January, Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center remain in the final phases of a negotiating a new alliance. 

The FAC's financial situation at present has meant understaffing woes on the curatorial side. A hook-up with CC should shore up funding for significant growth. - COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • The FAC's financial situation at present has meant understaffing woes on the curatorial side. A hook-up with CC should shore up funding for significant growth.
FAC President and CEO David Dahlin has said to expect a decision before summer's end, but one bit of personnel-related news has already become public ahead of the seemingly imminent merger. And unfortunately, it undoes something the arts community, including Dahlin, has been looking forward to since last November. 

Contrary to the prior plan for her ascension, Joy Armstrong will not become the FAC's new executive director and chief curator for the long term.

That's the case even though the FAC still has asked Armstrong to step in as an interim ED and chief curator once Blake Milteer departs, soon. At that point, she will be the sole curator for an undetermined amount of time.

Bear in mind Dahlin thinks of Armstrong, who began volunteering with Milteer in fall 2009, as a "rockstar among us" and "an exceptional talent." She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Denver, studying Studio Art and Mass Communications, and earned a master’s degree in Art History from Kent State University.

But apparently — and we don't have all the details yet due to tight lips surrounding the final negotiations — Colorado College as the new boss has a desire for a Ph.D.-credentialed curator in that position at the FAC. 

Leslie Weddell, CC's director of news and media relations, offers this much of an explanation: 
If an alliance between Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is finalized, we expect we will be adding new resources to the museum. We would go through a strategic planning process that involves the FAC, CC and the community that would help to guide those allocations.

We will need a director with the background and credentials to integrate the academic mission and programs while continuing the community mission. Most likely this person would be experienced in working with an academic program in a museum.
"We’re looking at a different structure than what we were considering when we initially asked Joy to take on that position," says Dahlin. "The future position will be significantly different. Not to minimize Joy at all, because she's very well educated at a master's level, but in the academic world, they value terminal degrees." 

We could digress here in an old debate about the necessity of Ph.D.'s and contemporary calls to reinvent our college models, and there may be such factors at hand as the potential to win more and larger sums of grant money via the power of those three letters at the end of one's title. 

CC's Cornerstone Arts Center sits just across the street from the FAC. Students and staff won't have to go far for expanded academic programming the merger will usher in. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • CC's Cornerstone Arts Center sits just across the street from the FAC. Students and staff won't have to go far for expanded academic programming the merger will usher in.
But as some see it, in order not to look a bit like the big bad wolf or calloused new overlord, CC will owe the arts community and early supporters of Armstrong more explanation of their decision-making process. With her strong curatorial background, why not train her into the academic side, or hire other curators to meet that role? 

"We're on hold with what the organizational structure will look like," says Weddell. "I know Jill [Tiefenthaler, CC's president] is planning for a year of a strategic planning, and listening to community input."

But to the making of lemonade with lemons, Dahlin quickly points to positives that the CC acquisition might offer Armstrong: "This will allow Joy to focus on modern and contemporary art, and maximize her role in that regard. We’ve been understaffed for many years. Our curators have had to be jacks of all trade. She and Blake haven’t gotten to do all they could have because they’ve had to wear so many hats. The future state of the FAC will allow Joy to focus on her expertise. This can be long-term good thing for Joy. It can suit her strengths and she can totally thrive in that role." 

Zooming out to the bigger picture of impact on a legacy institution and our high-rated liberal arts school, Dahlin reiterates the "win-win" result for broader Colorado Springs. 

"We’re hoping and expecting to add additional curators, gain depth, attract research and research grants in our future state," Dahlin says, adding that "more robust programming" will ultimately be "a treat to the community."

Still, it's a bummer all that excitement looks to be built upon a first move that equates to a rug-pull for our "homegrown talent" who'd already been selected to lead the museum side of the FAC into the new era. It feels a bit like opening a blockbuster exhibit but hanging the fan-favorite piece in the stairwell. Nobody will find Joy in that. 

  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Art on the Streets returns for 18th year

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 8:10 AM

Artists present at the event, from left to right: Ümit Turgay Durgun, Sandy Friedman, Scottie Burgess, Elizabeth Akamatsu, Kendra Fleischman, Chico Santos. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Artists present at the event, from left to right: Ümit Turgay Durgun, Sandy Friedman, Scottie Burgess, Elizabeth Akamatsu, Kendra Fleischman, Chico Santos.
2016 marks the 18th year for the Downtown Partnership's Art on the Streets program in Colorado Springs. This year, downtown Springs has been graced with eight new pieces of art, produced by artists ranging from local to international.

But first, unfinished business from 2015. Each year, locals get to vote on their favorite Art on the Streets piece, and the artist gets a prize of $1,000. The winner of that prize is Salida artist Jimmy Descant, whose sculpture, "Chief Eye-Heart-Gut," is now on display in Evergreen, CO. As part of the program, a jury of local art luminaries picks their top two for further cash prizes. The winner was Ümit Turgay Durgun of Carrara, Italy. His abstract sculpture, "X-axis," stands tall in the median of Nevada at Costilla. Durgun will take home $10,000 as a prize for his work. The honorable mention and $1,000 went to Springs-born Denver-dweller Scottie Burgess for "Civic Treasures," a series of loving tributes to famous Springs sights like Kissing Camels. He's also built this website for the piece.

In addition to the eight Art on the Streets piece, the Downtown Partnership has brought in three new pieces to the Transit Gallery at the Downtown Transit Center. The Judy Noyes Memorial Purchase Fund bought a new sculpture titled "Sum," created by local Pard Morrison, to the corner of Tejon and Costilla.

And in case that's not enough reason to explore downtown, last year's jury winner, "Poly Poly," is going back up later this summer, made sturdier to better resist the weather. Sean O'Meallie's vinyl scarlet macaws was selected by Americans for the Arts to be part of its Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review. It's the first time a piece in Colorado Springs has been recognized by the PAN Year in Review, which is the only national program dedicated to recognizing public art.

So, lots of new art about, and the weather is nice enough to check it out. For a complete list of the pieces and a map of where to find them, click here.
Jimmy Descant with the 2015/16 people's choice winner, Chief Eye-Heart-Gut - MICHAEL PACH, VIA DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP
  • Michael Pach, via Downtown Partnership
  • Jimmy Descant with the 2015/16 people's choice winner, Chief Eye-Heart-Gut

Art on the Streets jury winner "X-axis" by Ümit Turgay Durgun of Carrara, Italy. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Art on the Streets jury winner "X-axis" by Ümit Turgay Durgun of Carrara, Italy.

Brazilian artist Chico Santos' fiberglass constructs colonize a log from a local tree, representing how human civilization colonizes nature. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Brazilian artist Chico Santos' fiberglass constructs colonize a log from a local tree, representing how human civilization colonizes nature.
Scottie Burgess paid tribute to three iconic local sights in his three-part piece, "Civic Treasures," which won Honorable Mention. - MICHAEL PACH, VIA DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP
  • Michael Pach, via Downtown Partnership
  • Scottie Burgess paid tribute to three iconic local sights in his three-part piece, "Civic Treasures," which won Honorable Mention.
O'Meallie at work installing 'poly poly' - PHOTO BY MARY BERGER, COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Photo by Mary Berger, courtesy of the artist
  • O'Meallie at work installing 'poly poly'

  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Monday, June 20, 2016

UPDATE: FAC releases non-update on alliance with CC

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 5:03 PM

FAC President and CEO David Dahlin reached out to the Independent to clarify the non-information in the statement. The issue is that CC and the FAC are still negotiating details, and until the organizations' lawyers greenlight everything, nothing is set in stone.
So from the outside, the statement means that the parties involved are still working on the partnership. They haven't nailed everything down, but Dahlin says that all involved are trying to build an institutional plan that will honor the FAC's priorities. He adds that the plan they're working on is transitional, and the relationship after a year will likely differ from the relationship five years down the line.
In short, all we can derive is that the FACCC train has not derailed and will arrive in its station in due time. Eventually.

——ORIGINAL POST 12:17 P.M. MON., JUN 20, 2016——
Today, the Fine Arts Center released a statement on its website announcing that their and Colorado College's Boards of Trustees "have voted to take yet another important step forward in developing an alliance." It's the first news we've had since the FAC announced plans to "forge a future together" back in January.
Read the full text below:
Statement from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Colorado College
Monday, June 20, 2016
The president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, David Dahlin, and the president of Colorado College, Jill Tiefenthaler, announced on Monday, June 20, 2016, that the respective Boards of Trustees for each organization have voted to take yet another important step forward in developing an alliance between the Fine Arts Center and Colorado College.
Leaders of both organizations continue to discuss the potential structure of such an agreement to ensure the greatest success for each organization, their respective stakeholders, and for the benefit of the Colorado Springs community.
“This is a big undertaking and we want to do it right,” said Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler. “This idea came from the community, and we recognize the significance and benefits of the alliance. We are committed to creating a partnership that respects the history of both institutions, and that secures an enduring legacy for the benefit of the Fine Arts Center, Colorado College, and the residents of this region and beyond.”
“I am excited for what this means for the future of the Fine Arts Center and our community. We don’t have all the details worked out but I’m confident that we can create something together that is far superior to what we could do alone,” said Fine Arts Center President and CEO David Dahlin. “Our boards are supportive of pressing forward to formalize an agreement that assures the ongoing mission of the FAC for generations to come and that increases our ability to deliver world-class arts programming.”
An agreement is expected to be finalized later this summer, and an announcement of the formalization of the new relationship will be provided when the information is available.
John Gaw Meems Fine Arts Center, built in 1936, was the first of its kind in the United States.
  • John Gaw Meems Fine Arts Center, built in 1936, was the first of its kind in the United States.
It's hard to ignore the fact that this statement says exactly nothing about what has been decided, voted on, approved or actioned. We spoke with Amanda Weston, Media Relations for the FAC, but she was unable to provide us with any details. Whatever happens between these two titans of local culture will likely have a massive effect on the local arts scene, which makes every non-event worth paying attention to.
Still, should we have concrete information, we'll share it here. Until then, keep your eyes peeled for, to paraphrase John Cleese, the next superb display of inertia. 
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

'Mega mural' complete — let's party

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Concrete Couch and friends have put the finishing touches on their spectacular 4-by-98-foot mosaic and ceramic tile mural on a wall in Penrose Library's lower parking lot. 

According to director Steve Wood, the Penrose Library All Community Mural concept has been 22 years in the making. Hundreds of volunteer hours over the last few months from several working "hub groups" around town ultimately made the whole effort happen, in conjunction with the recent Community Built Association conference held here. 

This evening at 5, the nonprofit will host a celebration at the mural site if you haven't been by to check it out yet. (Hey, maybe you can return that overdue book on the way.) 

Here's a look at the finished product, plus some photos of progress along the way courtesy Concrete Couch. 

A volunteer puts some of the final touches on the Mega Mural Monday morning. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A volunteer puts some of the final touches on the Mega Mural Monday morning.
img_1425.jpg

img_2323.jpg

img_2364.jpg
img_2046.jpg
img_1663.jpg
img_2169.jpg


  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Monday, May 16, 2016

Fine Arts Center announces 2016/17 programming

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 9:50 AM

From Peter and the Starcatcher, a highlight of the 2015-2016 FAC stage season. - FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Fine Arts Center
  • From Peter and the Starcatcher, a highlight of the 2015-2016 FAC stage season.
Thought the Fine Arts Center's current season doesn't end until autumn, they've done us all the kindness of announcing the next season's programming. To get a little insight on the always-exciting FAC theater season, we got Executive Director of Performing Arts and Producing Artistic Director Scott RC Levy on the phone to talk about the lineup. We also spoke with Curator Joy Armstrong about the museum lineup, further down the page.

“Musicals, plays, dramas comedies — we’ve hit it all this season," Levy says. “[It's] marked by a lot of really, fantastically fun productions.”

The main stage programming kicks off with Shear Madness, one of the longest-running non-musical plays on the stage. It's an interactive, spontaneous murder mystery that promises to be different every night. The landlady of a unisex hair salon has been killed, and everyone on the premises is a suspect — and the audience gets to decide who's responsible.

Levy says that the FAC alternates between Christmas plays and family-friendly spectaculars for the holiday season, and Shrek the Musical lands in the latter category. This humorous tour-de-force promises to be just the thing for kids from 9 to 99.

To spotlight the FAC's substantial female talent, they've lined up Enchanted April for February. It's a classic romantic comedy — thus the February slot — following four women on vacation in Italy.

The Tony-winning rock musical Bye Bye Birdie will line up with Larry Hulst's rock photography exhibit in the museum. It ties into the FAC's ongoing efforts to explore multidisciplinary themes — rock music in this case. This musical will feature in part the talent of the FAC's conservatory training program, now in its 19th year. As such, the teenagers in this Elvis-era show will be played by actual teenagers.

To wrap the season, a classic: Man of La Mancha, the musical take on Miguel de Cervantes classic Don Quixote

"The most classic song from that piece is called 'The Impossible Dream,'" says Levy. "In a way, if I were to say there were a theme to the season, that would be it, that we're making the impossible dreams a reality."

The Fine Arts Center's second stage found a niche in hour-long musicals for kids based on literature, Levy says, and they've got two plays in that vein this year. Between The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and Junie B. Jones: The Musical, they have the young audiences locked down. The former is based on Jon Scieszka's irreverent take on classic fairy tales, published in 1992. The latter is based on the long-running children's book series, which follows a precocious kindergartener.

Less directed at the young'uns, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind challenges the actors to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes, with the order determined by the audience.
 
"The audience shows up, they get a menu numbered one through 30 with the titles of 30 plays, the audience screams out a number to the actors," says Levy. "The actors have a clothesline with paper that says one through 30, they pull down the number [the audience calls out], and they perform that play while there's a stopwatch going on."

Expect also the premiere of the newest piece by the folks at WYNOT Radio Theatre, dubbed The Other Coast Caper. No doubt the guys and gals in this troupe have cooked up another evening full of thrills and chills, with a few laughs thrown in besides.

Wrapping up the season, Souvenir is the story of Florence Foster Jenkins, known as the worst opera singer in the world. The play follows her along the path to, ultimately, selling out Carnegie Hall.

"In the piece, she often refers to going to rehearse in the music room," Levy says. "Our second stage space is called the music room, so it seemed like a really perfect fit." 

Now, moving on to the museum, Joy Armstrong says the new season is "exemplary of what the FAC does at its best. We have a really beautiful gamut of artists from local to international, from works we are bringing into the museum to works being created specifically for the museum.”

The season begins with a show by Carbondale-based artists James Surls and Charmaine Locke, titled All I Ever Wanted. Surls and Locke have been married for over 40 years, but they've made their names as artists independently. This show will reveal their own prolific works, but sharp-eyed museumgoers will no doubt note the subtle ways these two have influenced and inspired each other over the years.

Next, Claudia Mastrobuono and Jodi Stevens will be creating a site-specific installation titled Limen. Made from flimsy, disposable materials, Limen will mimic the natural environment of the Colorado Springs area — no doubt, one of the overarching themes makes itself clear already. They'll also be building a unique installation at GOCA 1420.

Overlapping Limen, the museum will host three concurrent exhibitions. As noted above, Larry Hulst's Front Row Center is an exhibition of rock photography, selected to line up with Bye Bye Birdie. Armstrong is also toting out permanent collection works from local artist Mary Chenoweth, which will make up the bulk (but not all) of the Works on Paper exhibit. Finally, Don Coen's The Migrant Series will use photos to look at the critical role that oft-forgotten laborers play in American agriculture. 

Somewhat recently transplanted to Denver, Drs. Morton and Tobia Mower have a legendary collection of Rembrandt etchings, classic impressionist pieces and modern works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. They're putting a selection of their legendary private collection on display for the aptly-named From Rembrandt to Warhol: Selections from the Mower Collection.

Finally, locals Wendy Mike and Delane Bredvik are collaborating on an installation called Ragnarök, named for the Norse apocalypse which translates roughly to "the death of the Gods." They'll be tying these epic, apocalyptic themes into the fires and floods that have beset the region in the past few years. But Armstrong says that, despite any doom and gloom, the piece will ultimately be hopeful.

Read the full lineup and press release below. 
Award‐Winning Theatre, Exhibitions and Art School Offerings
Slated for the FAC’s 2016‐2017 Season
COLORADO SPRINGS (May 6, 2016) — The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) has announced the
line‐up for the 2016‐2017 season which starts Sept. 1 and will include world‐renowned artists such as
James Surls, life‐changing workshops like the Military Artistic Healing program, and award‐winning
theatre productions such as Shrek The Musical.
The FAC has experienced tremendous success in previous seasons. The 2015‐2016 theatre season,
coming to a close in June, will be the most attended season in FAC history. And recently named Best
Museum, Best Theatre Company, and Best Summer Arts Camp in Colorado Springs, momentum is far
from slowing at the FAC. Continuing with this upward trend, the 2016‐2017 season programming
schedule is an impressive line‐up that will delight every person who walks through the FAC doors.
MUSEUM PROGRAMMING
 James Surls and Charmaine Locke: All I Ever Wanted (Oct. 15, 2016‐Jan. 15, 2017)
 Claudia Mastrobuono and Jodi Stevens: Limen (Jan. 28‐May 7, 2017)
 Concurrent exhibitions ‐ Larry Hulst: Front Row Center; Mary Chenoweth Works on Paper; and
Don Coen: The Migrant Series (Feb. 18‐May 21, 2017)
 From Rembrandt to Warhol: Selections from the Mower Collection (June 24‐Sept. 17, 2017)
 Wendy Mike and Delane Bredvik: Ragnarӧk (July/Aug. 2017‐Jan. 2018)
THEATRE PROGRAMMING
2016‐2017 Mainstage Theatre Season
 Shear Madness by Paul Portner; Colorado Premiere! Sept. 22 – Oct. 16, 2016
 Shrek The Musical Music by Jeanine Tesori, Book & Lyrics by David Lindsay‐Abaire Dec. 1, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017
 Enchanted April by Matthew Barber, from the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim Feb. 9 – 26, 2017
 Bye Bye Birdie Book by Michael Stewart, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Lee Adams March 30 – April 23, 2017
 Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, Music by Mitch Leigh, Lyrics by Joe Darion May 25 – June 18, 2017
2016‐2017 Second Stage Theatre Season
 The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by John Glore Sept. 30 – Oct. 30, 2016
 Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind by Greg Allen Oct. 21 – Nov. 19 2016
 WYNOT Radio Theatre in The Other Coast Caper by Cory Moosman Jan. 13 – 29, 2017
 Junie B. Jones: The Musical Book and Lyrics by Marcy Heisler, Music by Zina Goldrich Feb. 24 – March 26, 2017
 Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins by Stephen Temperley April 28 – May 21, 2017
FAC’S BEMIS SCHOOL OF ART PROGRAMMING
 The partnership with PPLD’s Library 21C will continue throughout 2016‐2017
 The award‐winning Military Artistic Healing program will continue throughout 2016‐2017
 Award‐winning documentary film maker, Tom Shepard, will return to teach two documentary
workshops Summer 2017. Tom Shepard has produced and directed four award‐winning feature
documentaries that have broadcast nationally on PBS. His films have won top awards at the
Sundance Film Festival and have screened at hundreds of film festivals, theatres and universities
around the world.
 Molly Lord, acknowledged as an elite teacher and visionary, will be back for another Tuned‐In
Workshop Fall 2016 – discover the secret formula to your toughest and best life questions
through music.
 Continued to offer hundreds of enriching classes year‐round to all ages and skill levels
Fine Arts Center
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s (FAC) story began in 1919 as the Broadmoor Art Academy (BAA). After the Great
Depression hit in 1929, the BAA looked at diversifying further, expanding into an entire arts district under one roof. And that’s
how the FAC came to be, as it is known today. The name was changed to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and an
expansive building was created to house a multi‐disciplinary center for the arts. The FAC, a privately‐funded, nonprofit
organization, opened the doors on the exciting architectural treasure in 1936 as an art museum, professional theatre company,
and arts education center. The FAC building is considered an architectural landmark in the Rocky Mountain region, designed by
John Gaw Meem, and is listed on the National Register for Historical Places. For information, visit csfineartscenter.org.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Warka Water wins World Design Impact Prize

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 1:32 PM

In January, we spoke to Italian architect Arturo Vittori, creator of Warka sculptures, as part of our coverage of Hydro-Logic: Artists and Designers as Change Agents for Water at Colorado College's I.D.E.A. Space.

In that article, we mentioned that Vittori would be venturing to Taiwan in mid March as one of three finalists for the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design's World Design Impact Prize.

As it turns out, Vittori won the award, which "seeks to increase awareness of industrial design driven projects that are making a positive impact on our social, economic, cultural and/or environmental quality of life."

A big congrats to Vittori and his team. 
Vittori receives the prestigious World Design Impact Prize. - COURTESY ICSID
  • Courtesy ICSID
  • Vittori receives the prestigious World Design Impact Prize.
Villagers in Ethiopia gather fresh water captured from a Warka tower. - COURTESY ARCHITECTURE AND VISION
  • Courtesy Architecture and Vision
  • Villagers in Ethiopia gather fresh water captured from a Warka tower.

Arturo Vittori inside of CC's I.D.E.A. Space gallery in early January. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Arturo Vittori inside of CC's I.D.E.A. Space gallery in early January.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Friday, March 4, 2016

Commonwheel to reopen Sunday

Posted By on Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Lynn Lemmon-Oliver was the first artist to move her works back into the office. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Lynn Lemmon-Oliver was the first artist to move her works back into the office.
As you may or may not know, the Commonwheel Artists Co-Op closed for renovations in mid-February. They let me in to snap a few photos before their grand reopening, happening Sunday, March 6.

Expect to see new fabric paneling for wall art, plus UV- and heat-resistant coatings on the windows, as well as new carpeting, new paint and some spackle.

"The building is over a hundred years old, and there are some cracks that need to be patched," says Juanita Canzoneri, Commonwheel's marketing manager.

She says this renovation has been a long time coming — the members have been planning for between 15 and 18 months, timing the closure of two-and-a-half weeks with the slower season.
 
After the renovation, Canzoneri says that Commonwheel will continue to work on its guest gallery, dubbed the Creekside gallery. In the past, an unclear divide between member works and visiting artists' pieces has caused some confusion among visitors. The Creekside gallery will allow Commonwheel to give visiting exhibitors a separate exhibition space.

The Creekside gallery will open on March 18. Its first exhibitor will be Pueblo artist David Caricato, presenting a selection of sculptures and figure paintings titled "Journey to Nowhere." Caricato recently won both the eclectic class and the professional best in show at the 2015 Colorado State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition for a 23-painting exhibit titled “The History of the Nude in Art.”

All of these changes are part of a "new energy" Canzoneri hopes to foster in the co-op.

Here's a peek at some of the work:

GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
Kathy Sullivan, lining up a bird she's going to fill with birds. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Kathy Sullivan, lining up a bird she's going to fill with birds.
GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell

  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Friday, February 26, 2016

Be part of Concrete Couch's "mega mural"

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Come the week of April 25, Penrose Library will benefit from a new "mega mural" created by Concrete Couch and large groups of volunteers. 

The installation is happening as part of the Community Built Association 2106 Conference and Bootcamp — Concrete Couch is hosting the Oakland-based nonprofit, devoted to the transformation of public spaces.  

Here's a complete schedule of events:
CBA-2016-Conference-Flyer-2-20.pdf
But work's already underway with five Hub Groups who are creating the individual panels of the larger mural — meetings take place once a week (schedule below) and are free to participate in (those under 13 require an adult helper — please RSVP with alex@concretecouch.org or 561-400-2275). 

Concrete Couch encourages families to attend though, and helpers will learn how to design and create a mosaic and ceramic tile mural; there's also opportunities to work on a metal relief element (Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Manitou Art Center). 

Here's the Hub schedule:

Mondays:
Manitou Springs High School, noon to 1:40 p.m.
PPCC-Downtown Studio, 6 to 7:30 p.m. 

Tuesdays:
Community Prep School, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Will Rogers Elementary, 2:45 to 4 p.m.
Colorado College, Morale House, 6 to 7:30 p.m. 



The large wall in the parking lot will be transformed in late April. - COURTESY CONCRETE COUCH
  • Courtesy Concrete Couch
  • The large wall in the parking lot will be transformed in late April.

An example of Concrete Couch's mural prowess. - COURTESY CONCRETE COUCH
  • Courtesy Concrete Couch
  • An example of Concrete Couch's mural prowess.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, January 22, 2016

FAC and CC 'forging a future together'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Yesterday, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center posted the following statement on its website:

Statement from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Colorado College
January 21, 2016

The president of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, David Dahlin, and the president of Colorado College, Jill Tiefenthaler, announced on Thursday, January 21 that the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Colorado College have entered into substantive conversations about the possibility of forging a future together. The organizations began discussing the potential synergies after being approached by members of the community who are longtime supporters of arts and culture. The two institutions share a long history and have collaborated in both formal and informal ways since the founding of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1919.
The boards and senior leadership of both institutions are involved in a process of determining if, by joining forces, both institutions would better be able to fulfill their respective missions. Leaders of both institutions are optimistic about the potential, and are approaching these discussions diligently and thoughtfully. At this time, no official decisions have been made other than to continue these conversations and explore the possibilities.
Further information will be provided as it is available.
I received a call later from executive director of advancement Erin Hannan, directing me to the statement and confirming that there are no further details at this time. 

The two institutions have been close allies in the past. One example of that relationship is when the FAC gifted CC most of its library collection a couple years ago, including around 6,000 of FAC co-founder Alice Bemis Taylor's books.

As noted in a CC Bulletin posting, the Bemis family has a "deep-rooted legacy" at Colorado College. 

Good neighbors: CC's Cornerstone Arts Center is visible through the FAC's grand hallway. - COURTESY FAC
  • Courtesy FAC
  • Good neighbors: CC's Cornerstone Arts Center is visible through the FAC's grand hallway.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Friday, December 18, 2015

Free Days at Sangre de Cristo Arts Center

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Brooke Shaden's Shadows We Follow, part of the Sangre de Cristo Art Center's Beautiful Grotesque exhibit. - BROOKE SHADEN
  • Brooke Shaden
  • Brooke Shaden's Shadows We Follow, part of the Sangre de Cristo Art Center's Beautiful Grotesque exhibit.
Good news for art fans young and old: the Sange de Cristo Arts Center and Buell Children's Museum (210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo) is waiving admission fees the second Sunday of every month in 2016. Haven't had the chance to see the Center's tribute to Michelangelo's models, Touched by the Hands of God? Your first chance to see it and other exhibits free of charge will be Sunday, January 10. For a full list of what will be at the center, click here.


Read the full press release below:

Second Sundays are Now Free Days at the Arts Center
Businesses and Individuals Support the Arts Through Partnership in 2016

The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center and Buell Children’s Museum offer an unforgettable experience for those who visit, and now every second Sunday of the month during 2016 is free. “Community access is a priority for the Arts Center, and we try very hard to be inclusive,” says Executive Director Jim Richerson. “These opportunities would not be possible without leaders in the community like Carolyn Jackson, daughter of Bob Jackson, who has sponsored Sunday, January 10, 2016 and Parkview Medical Center who has sponsored Sunday, June 12, 2016. Together, we are strengthening and elevating our community. The Arts Center is grateful for all the donors, members, and supporters who make the sharing of our permanent collections, exhibitions, and programs available to visitors from around the world.”

Free days during 2016 are January 10, February 14, March 13, April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13, and December 11. Sunday hours of operation for the Buell Children’s Museum and Helen T. White Galleries are from 11 am - 5 pm. Sponsorship opportunities for these special days are still available. If an individual or business is interested in providing community access to the Arts Center through sponsorship of a day, please call (719) 295-7200 ext. 7235. 

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, December 7, 2015

Light the Drake cancelled, for now

Posted By on Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Earlier this summer, Andy Vick, executive director for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR), proposed a large-scale art project that would have utilized lighting to illuminate the Martin Drake Power Plant's unsightly omissions. The initiative was called Light the Drake

Opponents were quick to step forward, essentially calling the idea tone deaf, for glorifying toxic coal-fire emissions that harm public health

Vick defended his position, saying he was making an artistic statement, and that he wasn't interested in "making a political issue about it." 

Read some of the back-and-forth as well as my own contextualizing of the situation here

Flash forward to today, when the Colorado Springs Utilities Board has finally set an arbitrary 2035 deadline to close Drake, in the face of strong opposition from the business community and beyond to shut it sooner. 

Perhaps some of that pushback inspired the decision to not move forward with the art plan, at least for now, as we received a statement emailed by Vick yesterday indicating that it is on hold. (Vick is traveling today and not available for further comment at the moment.)

Here's the statement in full:
After carefully considering the input and guidance from the COPPeR Board of Directors, our elected officials, the members of the project committee, and other community stakeholders, a decision has been made to table the Light the Drake initiative at this time. The project still has many community development benefits, and may be revisited at a more opportune time in the future. All further inquiries may be directed to info@coppercolo.org.
Don't expect any illuminated smoke stacks soon on Martin Drake. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Don't expect any illuminated smoke stacks soon on Martin Drake.



 
  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Denver calling on Colorado composers for theme song

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 5:20 PM

onime/shutterstock
  • onime/shutterstock
Much like superheroes, cities need theme songs. Or at least Denver does.

The Mile High City will be spending $5,000 to commission a composer for its official “City and County Building Chime.”

Proposed signature tunes need to be uplifting, lively, positive, and celebratory — none of that “Phantom of the Opera” or “Bells of Rhymney” stuff — and they must also be limited to 10 notes (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, B flat, C, and D).

Entries are restricted to Colorado artists, and must be received by Friday, January 15.

You can find more rules — lots of them — here.
  • Favorite

Tags: ,

Monday, November 23, 2015

Astronaut samurai punks — read all about it

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 2:30 PM

When Jonas McCluggage draws something, we'll probably talk about it. 

That dates back to The Lofty's Comic in 2011, as well as the more recent The Adventures of Jonas publication. 

McCluggage is among a small group of Springs-based or Springs-launched illustrators who're doing us proud in the comic marketplace. 

And his latest effort, now on sale, is a limited-print effort about ... well, read all about it below:

22572.1.0cb2931a94cef5a90dcf0f9869286454.jpeg

  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Friday, November 13, 2015

Joy Armstrong named next FAC exec director/curator

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 1:25 PM

Those excited by the fresh energy of the recent El Mac graffiti exhibition inside the fine-art setting of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center will be thrilled to learn that the curator behind it, Joy Armstrong, has been named the FAC's new executive director and chief curator. 

Armstrong replaces Blake Milteer, who is soon moving to Scotland after bringing consistently wonderful and dynamic programming to the FAC since 2007.

Meet the FAC's incoming executive director and chief curator. - COURTESY JOY ARMSTRONG
  • Courtesy Joy Armstrong
  • Meet the FAC's incoming executive director and chief curator.
"We consider Joy a rockstar among us," says David Dahlin, FAC president and CEO. "She's a homegrown talent and she's quite amazing. If I was running a museum in some other city and saw the work Joy's done, and the arc of her career, I'd be thrilled."

Dahlin credits Milteer with developing Armstrong, saying "many chiefs wouldn't give a junior associate the latitude and faith he's given Joy. People aren't always that gracious. ... If I was Blake, I might say my single greatest achievement is Joy Armstrong." 

Armstrong — who graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Denver, studying Studio Art and Mass Communications, and obtained a Master’s Degree from Kent State University in Art History —  began volunteering with Milteer in fall 2009. By March 2010, she was hired on full-time. 

In the last five years, Armstrong says Milteer has "really supported my vision, and that's been critically important to me. He believed in me and supported the projects I've proposed. I feel that we've been tremendously successful as a team."

She points to the fall of 2013 as "a huge turning point in me stepping out on my own, on a grand scale," with Pamela Joseph's The Sideshow of the Absurd. "It was unlike anything we'd done up to that point. Blake really let me run with my ideas, and he was being super supportive of something that was a huge question mark as to how people would respond. It was a monumental moment for me."

Says Milteer, "When I hired Joy in 2010, that was the idea. She'd have a different skill set and vision than I would. I was hired in 2007 to move things forward, and I believe that we've done that with the resources we've had. We need to continue that momentum." 

Milteer adds that at the time of Armstrong's hiring, he knew he wanted someone who had the potential to become curator: "What I've seen with every project Joy's taken on, be it curatorial or administrative, she's taken it to a whole new level."

To be clear, the two still have months of work together ahead; Milteer isn't expected to depart until early next summer, tentatively. "We've got work to do here," he says. "I'm still full speed ahead on some projects that we began years ago," he adds, pointing to upcoming exhibits next spring. 

For her part, Armstrong says "Milteer's direction up to this point has been outstanding, especially the variety of exhibitions we've been able to bring. I expect that diversity of shows to continue." 

From volunteer to chief curator in five years, Armstrong's career trajectory is a bit surreal. - COURTESY JOY ARMSTRONG
  • Courtesy Joy Armstrong
  • From volunteer to chief curator in five years, Armstrong's career trajectory is a bit surreal.
Asked about her vision for the future, she says she'd love to work with some experts on the FAC's Taylor Collection, and "I'd love to see more projects that bring the artists here to do large-scale installation, like the Charles and Collin Parson show, or Sideshow, to activate the space. I want guests to see an artist at work and interact directly." 

Dahlin says the months ahead with both curators will be great for our community, presenting a smooth succession timeline.

Looking back over the last year-and-a-half, since he's arrived as CEO, Dahlin mentions the recent John James Audubon and Kevin Sloan show, saying Blake's strong suit has been "an ability to pair what's in our permanent collection, what belongs to our community, with contemporary works, and find the way in which they speak to each other." 

He also cites the recent Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit as "testimony to [Milteer's] and our reputation" in securing masterpieces "that don't just go anywhere ... it's a feather in his cap, and shows the position he's moved the museum into during his time here." 

Looking ahead, he says the FAC will try to balance historic and modern exhibitions: "We try to balance those things, and Joy's really good at playing with that balance."

Considering just how far the FAC has come since its $28 million expansion in 2007, Dahlin looks at the recent example of Armstrong's El Mac graffiti exhibition and the response he has personally received from older community members: "They were thrilled to see young people and diverse crowds inside the museum — even if it wasn't their thing in some instances. They were glad we were doing it. ... To thrive, we have to reach out to a broader demographic and shift our core." 

He says Armstrong has done that, too, via museum special events, such as the recent Halloween Bash and Sashay, a fashion, music and dance celebration. 

"Those events have her signature of being hip and cool and artsy. That's the theme I hear: 'Wow, I can't believe this is in Colorado Springs!'"

Yep, the FAC has definitely found the right person for the job. 


  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Most Commented On

Top Topics in IndyBlog

City Gov (13)


Local News (13)


Military (4)


Food & Drink (4)


Religion (4)


Most Shared Stories

All content © Copyright 2016, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation