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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Sample the arts with Stage Flight

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 2:54 PM


I have always enjoyed buffets (clean ones!). Sample a little of this, a little of that. Flights are like that too, of wine, beer and now, performance art.

Through Oct. 24, TheatreWorks, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center will offer Stage Flights, a $99 three-pack to performances at each. For each three-pack ordered, you receive a ticket voucher to each organization, which may be redeemed to the following shows:

Colorado Springs Philharmonic: Wicked Divas (Oct. 31); Beethoven and Bruckner (Nov. 15-16); Nutcracker (Nov. 28); New Year's Eve (Dec. 31); Sea to Shining Sea (Jan. 9); Cheyenne Jackson: American Songbook (Feb. 6); Music of the Who (March 6); Brahms 1 (April 19); The Miraculous Mandarin (April 25); Disney Fantasia (May 8).

TheatreWorks: The Lying Kind (Dec. 4-21); Detroit (Jan. 22 to Feb. 8); The Shadow (March 5-15); Happy Days (March 19 through April 5); The Liar (April 23 through May 10).

FAC Theater Company: Reefer Madness (Feb. 12 through March 1); 4,000 Miles (March 26 through April 12); Guys and Dolls (May 21 through June 14).

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Make your own election ad

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 3:11 PM

At this point in election season, a lot of people have stopped caring about who wins and who loses. They just want those stupid campaign ads to go away.

But what if you had the chance to make your own stupid ad? Because, actually you do. Secretary of State Scott Gessler is currently hosting a contest for 30-second ads that encourage people to register to vote. You have until Oct. 24 to get your submission turned in. If enough people like your ad, it could end up on the Secretary of State's web site.

Gessler Announces Video Challenge, Starring You

Deadline extended for video submissions

DENVER, October 14, 2014 – As a competitive state, Coloradans are inundated with political ads every other year. This year, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler wants to give voters their shot at producing a political ad focused on voter registration.

“We’re always looking at creative ways to reach Colorado citizens to get them registered or remind them to update their registration,” Gessler said. “Here’s an opportunity for Coloradans to share their story or encourage their friends and peer groups to engage politically.”

Aspiring directors and videographers have until October 24 to submit their 30-second videos to the Secretary of State for posting. The videos must share information about Colorado’s voter registration requirements and include a mention of the state’s online voter registration system at

Voters will have a chance to cast their preference for their favorite ads and the winner will be announced after Election Day.

To qualify, your video must:

Be your original work
Be no more than 30 seconds long
Be G-rated (no violence, offensive language, or sexual activity)
Mention that voters must be: over 18 years old, United States citizens and residents of Colorado
Tell voters that they can register, or update their registration, at
Must not endorse or mention any candidates or issues on the November 2014 ballot

How to enter:

All entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm on October 24, 2014
Post your completed video on YouTube
Send a link to your video to

What happens next?

If your video meets the criteria, it will be posted on the Secretary of State’s web site. Make sure to send your friends and family to the site to see your work and vote using YouTube’s thumbs up icon. After the election, the votes will be cast and we’ll declare a winner.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Scenes from the 2014 Business & Arts Lunch

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 12:56 PM

  • Edie Adelstein
Yesterday, COPPeR and the Regional Business Alliance honored the partnership between arts and business with its annual lunch, which included awards and performances over a plate of hotel chicken.

Not that anyone's there for food anyway. This particular lunch, though, was notable for the number of public servants who attended (it's an election year), including: Irv Halter; John Suthers; Bernie Herpin; three members of Council, Jill Gaebler, Val Snyder and Jan Martin; all five county commissioners; officials from the town of Monument; Reps. Pete Lee and Tony Exum; and Mayor Bach attended briefly for a short speech.

This was the first year for new COPPeR executive director Andy Vick, who did a fine job of leading the ceremonies with co-host Joe Raso, CEO and president of the Alliance both donned in Arts Month T-shirts.

On to the awards, which were determined by a volunteer jury of locals:

• Creative Workplace Award: Poor Richard's Complex
Nominees: Library 21c, Adam's Mountain Cafe

Poor Richard's, a 2013 nominee for this category, won for its variety of local-focus efforts, such as hosting live music several nights a week, selling items made by locals, hosting book signings and readings from local and regional authors, and, among other things, renting its upstairs offices to the art groups Performing Arts for Youth Organization and the Colorado Springs Dance Theatre, as well as Citizens Project, at an affordable rate. Next year, the complex will celebrate its 40th year in business.

• Business Leader in the Arts: Nechie Hall
Nominees: Cass Mullane, Madeline VanDenHoek

Hall took a temporary leadership role at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center following Sam Gappmayer's leave late last year. Hall, who helped start what is now Vladimir Jones, has a long relationship with the FAC through its board, and has done much work linking the arts with marketing and business in the Springs.

• Philanthropy Award: Sam and Kathy Guadignoli (2013 nominees for Business Leader in the Arts)
Nominees: All Colorado Beer Festival, Downtown Partnership

The Mezzanine has the Guadignolis to thank for coming to life. The couple renovated the back of their Mansion nightclub to create this new, members-only performance art space. It's a gift to the Colorado Springs Conservatory, allowing it to expand its programming, and book the space with a variety of shows, ranging from theater to live music to burlesque. Read more about it here.

Raso and Vick - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Raso and Vick

Finally, it wouldn't be the Business & Arts Luncheon without entertainment, which this year came via musicians Benjamin PrattJake Loggins and Jon Karroll (yes, of KOAA KRDO). The two performed a blues song that Loggins adjusted for the occasion, "Baby, Don't You Want to Go Back to the Land of Business and Arts, Sweet Home Colorado."; an operatic version of "Climb Every Mountain" from mezzo soprano Valerie Nicolosi of Opera Theatre of the Rockies; songs from the 4th Infantry Division Band of Fort Carson (new this year) and the Chamber Singers of the Colorado Springs Chorale. Aoi Koenig of Ormao Dance Company performed a short dance, and THEATREdART contributed a short, humorous, two-person play that went from silly to insidious in a charmingly quick sketch. Finally, Janice Gould, Pikes Peak Poet Laureate, read from her six-sonnet series "Crossing the West."

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Who is Barry Schwabsky?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 2:44 PM

  • Schwabsky
To begin, he's the guy who will speak Oct. 8 at Mountain Fold Books and Oct. 9 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (both are free).

He's also a poet, writer and art critic, contributing to Artforum and The Nation, with many books under his own name.

In looking at his art criticism, Schwabsky told ARTPULSE Magazine that he sees himself in no way as a "power broker" in the arts scene, but a facilitator of discussion. "[I]n the age of the blog, anyone who cares to can put their views out in public. To me that’s a healthy development. Critics are not power brokers any more in any case — the age of Clement Greenberg is long past. Our role is to develop and formalize the conversation around art — to circulate ideas and perceptions. We are not gatekeepers."

I did some reading into Schwabsky's art criticism for The Nation. Take this entry from late August comparing two exhibits from contemporary artists, one from Jeff Koons, the other from Kara Walker. The majority of the piece discussed Koons, an art giant who got star treatment at a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Koons' is the final show at the Whitney's longtime home; now it will relocated to a new, larger venue in downtown Manhattan.
Despite his powers as an artist, or rather as a sculptor (nothing Koons has produced in the guise of painting is of more than trifling interest), the work failed me. The survey of his message of hope left me feeling hopeless. I’m just not good enough at being the disinterested viewer to find myself cheered by a cheerleader for the neoliberal economy, no matter how brilliantly inventive.
Schwabsky does give credit where Koons is due, but it should also be noted that this is the same artist who collaborated with Lady Gaga, and even developed the cover art for her ARTPOP album. With all due respect to her Monstress and pop stars everywhere, once you've crossed over to the commercial side, it's a slippery slope.

And this is in contrast to Walker's exhibit, which is also quite striking, and impressive on a Koons-level scale, yet lacks all the baggage of strained authenticity that can trouble his work: 
... A Subtlety was made from an unusual material on a gargantuan scale to create a new kind of impermanent monument: a sphinx-like, blind-eyed “mammy” made of white sugar, thirty tons of it glazed over an armature of polystyrene foam. Surrounding it was a retinue of attendants made of candy and sugar.
Walker's work is aided by the Domino Sugar factory which housed it, and has that distinct capitalist tie, Schwabsky says. But instead of forcing a bright-side outlook (sugar-coating it, no pun intended), is frank about the complicit nature of the collaboration. 

It's with Koons, though, that you really get the feel of Schwabsky's persona. He's right there with you in those moments when you're scratching your head at a piece of art with grand associations, a time when you'd expect a critic to leave you in the cognitive dust: 
Consider his sculptures consisting of vacuum cleaners encased in acrylic boxes; a somewhat alien, theatrical light is cast on them by their being lit from below by fluorescent tubes. It’s a very subtle effect. I can’t take very seriously the pseudo-Freudian hooey with which the artist has encouraged his commentators to surround these works — supposedly they conjure “sexual associations” both male and female with their “pliant trunks, sucking orifices, and bags that inflate and deflate like lungs” (though we never see these in operation). I defend to the death the right of any person to find erotic significance in a vacuum cleaner, but my own inclinations go otherwise. For me, these works take something utilitarian and turn it into a collectible; the vacuums sit untouched in their cases like investment-grade Barbie dolls that will never be played with but simply preserved in perpetuity in cryogenic splendor.
In a previous essay critiquing a biography of Whistler, Schwabsky effortlessly covers his takes on the book, Whistler's work, the role of the biographer, and even the importance of keeping art out of the private market. It's worth the full read, here are some highlights:
Whistler's "Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl" - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Whistler's "Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl"
It was Anna Whistler, of course, whose portrait would eventually become one of the most renowned works of American art. Here, too, is something about which I wish Sutherland had been more curious — even, if necessary, speculative. Anna was a woman of deep and unshakable piety, exactly the kind of person you’d expect to exert a suffocating influence on a child with her son’s artistic and, eventually, bohemian inclinations and seeming immunity to religious feeling. ...

She did, soon enough, destroy some of her son’s drawings that she’d come across: “They may have been Artistic, but they disgusted me,” she said. Even after Anna followed her son to London, she remained stalwart, going so far as to press her religious tracts on Jimmy’s friend Algernon Charles Swinburne in the hope, Sutherland says, of saving that most decadent poet’s soul. Yet far from wanting to get out from under his mother’s thumb, Whistler remained devoted to her all her life and was devastated by her death as he would be, later, only by that of his beloved wife, Trixie.

Yet something of Anna’s austerity — embodied in the blunt geometrical structure of the portrait in which he immortalized her — remained an unshakeable essence of Whistler’s art. ...

A biographer is not a critic, but maybe the biographer of an artist should be one. The brilliance of some of Whistler’s work—perhaps even more in his prints than in his paintings—and the radicality of his ideas makes it inevitable to wonder why his accomplishment seems so much smaller than that of his great French contemporaries. Sutherland doesn’t speculate about the reasons for this. These days it’s hard to remember that Whistler’s Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl caused a bigger uproar at the Salon des Refusés of 1863 than Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe, or that Monet was more influenced by Whistler than vice-versa.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

'Alan's Odd Duck' unveiled in Acacia Park

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Bill: 'There's something glowing and bright in everyone.' - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Bill: 'There's something glowing and bright in everyone.'
This afternoon, in front of small crowd that included arts leaders, high school students and friends, the "Alan's Odd Duck" sculpture was unveiled in Acacia Park.

Taking the place of the "Cubical Cactus" next to the Uncle Wilber Fountain, the duck stands about eight feet tall, with a charming pot belly (if birds have those), a sweet smile and gently goofy eyes.

As explained in a previous post, "Alan's Odd Duck" was built out of recognition for "the lives of the many persons taken too soon as children or young adults" and to act as a reminder for anyone who feels weird and unaccepted that their unique gifts matter.

The duck comes from a painting made by a boy named Alan, who painted it as a 6-year-old at the Bemis School of Art. Twelve years ago today, Alan was struck by a driver along Academy Boulevard while crossing the street.

His father Bill spoke at the ceremony, relating how creative Alan was, and how he struggled with approval growing up. An alternative high school turned out to be a healthy environment for him, Bill said, "and thank God for that." Alan was well on his way by the time he graduated.

Fittingly, students from Community Prep School worked with Steve Wood of Concrete Couch to build the piece, which required a steel armature, 150 feet of tubing wound around it to create the shape, and plenty of concrete, clay and mortar to hold it all together.

The exterior, per many of Concrete Couch's projects, is a mosaic with little surprises all over: faces, hearts, animals, Jack Skellington, musical instruments. Many were made by the students, but Wood used lots of recycled tiles, some left over from the Uncle Wilber Fountain. One, a face up on the duck's neck, was made by a student who passed away, and Wood waited 10 years to find the right place for her tile.

The duck isn't totally finished yet. An accident in the kiln shattered the tail piece, and the base still needs decoration. Don Goede of the Smokebrush Foundation says there will be another unveiling event when it's completely finished, which will be soon, but they wanted to get it installed today no matter what, given the anniversary.

Goede's also working on a short documentary about the project. Watch for progress on that (and learn more about the genesis of the work) on the group's Facebook page.

Details from the sculpture, made by CPS students. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Details from the sculpture, made by CPS students.
The bill, like the tail, is made of clay. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • The bill, like the tail, is made of clay.
  • Edie Adelstein

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Arts Month begins with a mighty First Friday

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Kathleen McFadden from Range Gallery.
  • Kathleen McFadden from Range Gallery.
This may just be the most jam-packed First Friday this year. Firstly, there's the arts-is-for-everyone Arts Month campaign, but in Pueblo the Creative Corridor downtown is celebrating its second anniversary. Back in our own downtown, two new businesses will join in the festivities, Colorado Photography School at 14 E. Bijou St. and Flourish Arts at 324 N. Nevada Ave. For Oct. 3, CPS will celebrate its grand opening at its new location, and Flourish will team up with The Edge to show “a creative celebration, inspiration, and renewal," featuring artists Jean Pierre Debernay, Colleen Briggs, Terrilynn Zaharias, Michele Thomsen, and Maria Pompea.

Here's some of what's on the schedule, plan accordingly:


41st Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair, a juried show and sale from the Palmer Lake Art Group featuring original art and craftwork from approximately 40 exhibitors, offering paintings, fiber art, pottery, jewelry and more. Proceeds benefit arts scholarships for District 38 students. Oct. 3-5. Free. Palmer Lake Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake,

Core Culture: Spaces, Faces, Places Walking Tours, a cultural walking tour series that meets at the Perk and then moves on from there, featuring hour-long guided tours introducing the historic buildings, significant founders, and contemporary artwork of downtown Colorado Springs. A rotating schedule of three tours focuses on art on the streets, bronze sculptures, or local history on Tejon Street. Second Saturday of every month, 9 a.m.; through Dec. 13. $10, free for 17 years and under. Paid tickets include a free medium coffee or tea beverage from The Perk Downtown. The Perk Downtown, 14 S. Tejon St., 886-0088,

Evolution of Blue, an evening of local culture, with a screening of the winner of the 24 Hour Film Festival, a roast of Pueblo with Amber Tozar, James Amos and John Bueno, music from the Haunted Windchimes and more. With an after-party at Central Plaza from 9 p.m. to midnight. Fri., Oct. 3, 8 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1 City Hall Place, Pueblo, 719/542-1100,

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,

First Friday ArtWalk, monthly receptions with new art, chances to meet the artists, live music, food and drink and more. Participating galleries include: Arati Artists Gallery, Range Gallery, Second Floor Studios, Laura Reilly Fine Art, 503W, Visual Culture and others. First Friday of every month, 5-8 p.m.; through Dec. 5. Old Colorado City,
Laura BenAmots from Kreuser Gallery.
  • Laura BenAmots from Kreuser Gallery.

First Friday Downtown, galleries, museums, cultural organizations, and retailers host art openings, artist receptions, performances, and more the first Friday of each month, through Dec. 5. Expect Sidewalk Stage street performers Oct. 3. Fri., Oct. 3, 5 p.m. 886-0088,

First Friday Downtown Bike Tour, monthly tours with UpaDowna that hit highlights from that month's First Friday activities. New routes each month feature stops at a variety of arts, history and cultural venues including gallery receptions, art openings, performances and more. Space is limited, advance registration is required. Meeting location given upon registration. Fri., Oct. 3, 5:30-8 p.m. $10 (includes use of UpaDowna bike and helmet). Downtown, 886-0088,

Second Anniversary Celebration of the Pueblo Creative Corridor, an evening of activities to honor this creative district with First Friday art receptions, a party at Rawlings Library to kick off this year's All Pueblo Reads book, The Paris Wife, ghost walk tours about Pueblo's past at the El Pueblo History Museum (every 15 minutes between 5-8:30 p.m.; and much more. Fri., Oct. 3, 5 p.m. Downtown Pueblo,


5th and Main Espresso Bar, 421 N. Main St., Pueblo, 719/542-1209. Featured Artist: Gary Morgan, oil paintings of adobe dwellings from this Beulah artist. Oct. 3-31. Opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 3-7 p.m.

AHA Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., #107, New Works by Beckie Moss. Oct. 3 to Nov. 4. Opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m.

Arati Artists Gallery, 2425 W. Colorado Ave., 636-1901, Tuscany Remembered, featuring watercolors from Kang Lee Sheppard, metal sculpture from Don Orr and acrylics from Dale Pittrock. Oct. 3-31. First Friday opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m.

Bellezza Design Boutique+Studio, 102 S. Victoria Ave., #110, Pueblo, 719/543-0901. CanDoRaku, a special show from Cup & Bowl. Oct. 3 to Nov. 6. First Friday reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5 p.m.

Boulder Street Gallery, 206 N. Tejon St., 636-9358, Pikes Peak Busts, a juried show featuring a variety of media that will raise funds for breast cancer research and highlight "the female bust and body through artwork that is whimsical, challenging, thoughtful and honest." Oct. 3-31. Opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m. Pikes Peak Watercolor Society Artists Co-op, a collaboration between the society and the gallery, showcasing approximately 24 signature and associate members, with two featured artists each month.

Reveille Kennedy from Boulder Street Gallery.
  • Reveille Kennedy from Boulder Street Gallery.
The Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., Breast Cancer: The Courageous & Beautiful, an all-media juried exhibit wherein part of the proceeds of sales will benefit Susan G. Komen of Southeastern Colorado. Oct. 3 to Nov. 1. Opening reception and silent auction of donated artwork, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m.

Dream Catchers, 103 S. Wahsatch Ave., #106, 505-5476, Featured Artists: Gordon Lewis, Drake Gann and Nard Claar. Oct. 3-31. Opening reception, held in the Alibi Room, Fri., Oct. 3. 6-9 p.m., with food from PigLatin Food Truck and wine and beer tastings.

GOCA 121, 121 S. Tejon St., #100, 255-3504, Great Expectations: Marina Eckler & Donald Fodness, two site-specific installations from Eckler, of Colorado Springs, and Fodness of Denver. "Eckler is an interdisciplinary artist whose work often involves text and cultural memory. Fodness employs a range of strategies to realize his ideas, from intricate drawings to assemblages, frenzied installations and performance pieces." Oct. 3 to Nov. 15. Opening reception and artist talks, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-9 p.m.

Read more about Great Expectations from this week's issue here.

John Deaux Art Gallery, 221 S. Union Ave., Pueblo, 719/545-8407, New Work from John Wilbar, "fresh from the Smithsonian and the Loveland Sculpture Show," a showing of new sculpture and furniture from Wilbar. Oct. 3-31. First Friday opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-9:15 p.m.

Kadoya Gallery, 119 Central Plaza, Pueblo, 719/320-6315, Is it Live, or is it Pueblo?, photography and dioramas by Bob Benvenuto, whose work treads a fine line between fantasy and reality. Through Oct. 16. First Friday reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5 p.m.

Read more about Benvenuto's show from last week's paper here.

Kreuser Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., 630-6347, Tempi E Segreti: Icons of the Anonymous Madonna, new works by Laura BenAmots. Oct. 3 to Nov. 4. Opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m.

Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St., 633-4240, The Presence of Travelers, a solo show from local artist Andres Orlowski, whose contemporary figurative realism in this show relates to themes ranging from migration and death, to time and movement, to "simple exercises of form, light and character.” Oct. 3-31. First Friday opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5:30 p.m. to midnight, with a live Cabaret of the Murderous Variety at 9 p.m.

Range Gallery, 2428 W. Colorado Ave., 685-1201, Shooting History, photos from Kathleen McFadden taken from a 120-year-old panoramic film camera. Oct. 1-31. Opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m.

S.P.Q.R., 17B E. Bijou St., 633-4240, The Murder Show: An Invitational, a group show from locals covering themes of "murder, mayhem, and the dark side of the human condition." Artists include: Cymon Padilla, Erin Jones, Monique Viger, Neil Fenton and Caitlin Goebel. Oct. 3-31. First Friday opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5:30 p.m. to midnight, with a live Cabaret of the Murderous Variety at 9 p.m.

Steel City Art Works, 216 S. Union Ave., Pueblo, 719/542-6838, Shoot the Town, an exhibition of photos of Pueblo shot by area photographers. Oct. 1-31. Opening reception, Fri., Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Andy Tirado's months-long solo show at FAC finishes with monumental sculpture

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Tirado with "Open Hand." - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Tirado with "Open Hand."
For months, local artist Andy Tirado has been working through his solo show at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center to finish the final sculpture. The concept behind Open was to reveal the artist's process, and Tirado spent months working inside the FAC gallery and in his studio at Colorado College to complete the final work.

At last, the piece is now finished.

"Open Hand" is kinetic, as Tirado had said during interviews earlier this summer. The hand, made from a metal skeleton and steel strapping, slowly moves from a fist to an open palm over the course of a day. Stick around and you can watch it open ever so slowly. A motor and a program controls the movement, but the mechanism is just like our own bodies. Tendons — here, cables — connect the forearm muscles to the fingers, and expand or contract to bend them.
  • Edie Adelstein
The strapping medium is compelling in its gestural quality, something that drew Tirado to it. It's minimal in the hand, then layers more heavily up into the forearm. It conceals the workings of the motor, as well as the bulbs of multiple blue and green lights, which illuminate the piece in a strangely sacred way. Tirado chose the colors to counterbalance the warm palette in the surrounding 2D works.

(Speaking of, the series of drawings depicting an opening and closing hand on the east gallery wall has now flipped to match the direction of "Open Hand." You can watch a video of the series moving from open to closed here.)

You can see the piece until the end of the show on Sept. 28. After that, Tirado isn't sure what will happen to it next. It's the largest he's ever done (the hand alone is nearly 10 feet from finger tip to wrist; the next closest, "Lacuna," hanging in the Plaza of the Rockies, is about half that.)

"To me, it always felt time- and site-specific," Tirado says, "I'd be happy to retire it."

"Open Hand" in the process of installation. - COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • "Open Hand" in the process of installation.
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • Hanging the work.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jermaine Rogers to offer pre-Riot Fest Die Antwoord print

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 5:56 PM

  • Jermaine Rogers' Die Antwoord homage

If you're planning to see Die Antwoord's opening night performance at Riot Fest Friday, you already know why renowned poster artist Jermaine Rogers is drooling over everyone's favorite South African rave-rap duo. "This band rules," declared the talented Springs refugee on Facebook earlier today. "Don't ask questions and don't try to figure the thing out. Just feel it."

But here's something even the most hardcore Yolandi and Ninja fans may not know: Rogers will be releasing a limited-edition, seven-color screen print of his recently commissioned Die Antwoord poster this Wednesday at 1 p.m. MST.

A run of 75 signed and numbered pieces will sell for $50, with an additional 25 on holographic 'shattered' pattern foil stock for $100. Both are 30x23 inches and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Meet Alan's Odd Duck

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 1:21 PM

A new piece of sculpture is coming to Acacia Park: A funny little duck.

Backed by Concrete Couch and Smokebrush Foundation for the Arts, Alan's Odd Duck will "honor the lives of the many persons taken too soon as children or young adults. The project also celebrates the unique, odd and quirky characteristics that every child (and former child) experiences."

The squat duck comes from a drawing made by Alan Mahaffey as a 6-year-old. Tragically, Mahaffey later died in a car accident. Thus the mission of the piece:
The hope for this project is that a young person, perhaps believing himself odd and unaccepted — can be reminded that being unique is a good and wonderful thing and that parents, struggling with the difficulty of loss and grief of a child — or despair over parenting a difficult child, when looking at the piece — might embrace and remember a joyful moment with their odd but beautiful son or daughter. 
The sculpture will replace the "Cubical Cactus" that stood near the Uncle Wilber Fountain in the southwest corner of the park. In a presentation to the city that was ultimately approved, backers Kat Tudor and Steve Wood explained that the cactus is no longer stable enough to stand as is (as the pair had anticipated), so it will be refashioned into a bench, and Alan's Odd Duck will take its place.

With the help of students from D14 and D11 (and possibly Urban Peak), the sculpture will stand between 6 to 8 feet high and stretch about 7 feet in width, with an armature covered in mosaic glass and ceramic tiles.

Follow the sculpture's progress via the group's Facebook page.

Another artist rendering. - ALAN'S ODD DUCK
  • Alan's Odd Duck
  • Another artist rendering.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Coming this weekend: ArtoCade 2014 in Trinidad

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Last year's very first ArtoCade in Trinidad sure got off to a good start. This celebration of art cars — "if you can't drive it, it's a float" — included one covered in eyes, another that looked as if it was pulled from Neptune's treasure chest, one shaped like a phone, and another encased in an inflatable hog suit.

All of these art cars will return for 2014, and then some, for the second iteration of ArtoCade, happening this weekend. The main event, the parade, takes place Saturday at noon, but festivities kick off Friday night with auto-themed art shows at local galleries and a party where you can meet the "cartists." Saturday night offers the Cardango, a "dance/gala/circus/party" for adults and Sunday sobers up with a send-off breakfast.

Sound like fun? Find more details after the jump, and in the meantime, here's some of what you'll see:

"The Phone Car," Howard Davis (Mass.)
  • "The Phone Car," Howard Davis (Mass.)
"Women Rock," Bonnie Blue (Texas)
  • "Women Rock," Bonnie Blue (Texas)
"I Only Have Eyes for You," Rodney Wood (Trinidad)
  • "I Only Have Eyes for You," Rodney Wood (Trinidad)
"The Lizard King," Rebecca Bass (Texas)
  • "The Lizard King," Rebecca Bass (Texas)
"Never Enough," R.T. Taylor (Salida)
  • "Never Enough," R.T. Taylor (Salida)

Continue reading »

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Your art could be on the Pikes Peak Center

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 2:51 PM


Imagine, your designs could grace the face of the Pikes Peak Center by way of two 10-by-60-foot metal panels.

(Remember when they had those tulip-looking banners? Boy, that takes me back.)

Anyway, the jointly funded project — from the Pikes Peak Center, El Paso County and Downtown Development Authority — will accept pitches from artists living in El Paso and Teller counties until Sept. 26. Submissions should be at least three, but no more than five, examples of past work and a statement of interest with your concept for the metal panels.

A committee will then whittle the pot down to 10 artists for a second round of review, followed by a final round of the top three. The finalist will be announced Nov. 21.

Click here for all the details.
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Update from Andy Tirado on Open

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Though he still has much to do, Andy Tirado says that the final piece of his exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center will be finished "one way or another" by Sept. 14. (The show closes Sept. 28).

The subject of one of the stories in our Fall Arts Preview, Tirado has been working for months, often in the gallery that displays his 2D works, on a final sculpture for his show, Open.

When I visited him earlier in the summer, he was just beginning to start the skeleton structure for the piece, which at the time he described as an articulated hand. He had built several prototypes already, and had only recently settled on the one that he found would work best. He wouldn't divulge much else, though, since it was very much a work in process, which was made possible by the help of his two summer assistants, Hank Weaver and Niels Davis.

Watch out for more updates, and in the meantime, enjoy this recent, positive review from Denver Post art critic Ray Mark Rinaldi, who said this of Open:
This show is an experiment in the making. In the center of the gallery, as viewers watch, he is building a gargantuan model of hand out of steel straps. It will be 44-feet long by the time he is done. If all goes well, it will move somehow, spinning or contracting. He's making it up as he goes and the clock is ticking on getting it done.

There's some suspense and plenty of entertainment value in the process, which is an added attraction to the show already on the walls. There's absolutely no guarantee the thing will look good, or even work. But we get to watch him build his giant robot arm right before our eyes.
Here are some shots I took during that gallery visit, illustrating his process:




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Christo visits Arkansas River, final legal proceeding yet to be decided

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Last month, Christo visited the site of what he hopes will be Over the River, one of his monumental artworks, and stopped elsewhere throughout the west to meet supporters.

As it stands today, Over the River has no announced exhibition dates. Court rulings embroiling the Bureau of Land Management and other state and federal entities (none against OTR Corp. directly) has prohibited further work from being done on the project. However, of the three legal proceedings, two have fallen in favor of OTR. The third has yet to be decided.

(For details on the suits from both sides, visit Over the River's webpage, and the ROAROTR's main opposition group — webpage.)

That didn't stop Christo from speaking about the project at the Albuquerque Museum of New Mexico, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver as well as sites in Salida and Cañon City. Christo spoke of OTR, as well as his project in the United Arab Emirates, The Mastaba, and along the way met with Governor John Hickenlooper and took a leisurely raft tour down the stretch of the river where OTR, should all go in his favor, will someday be.

Christo with Hick - VLADIMIR YAVACHEV, 2014
  • Vladimir Yavachev, 2014
  • Christo with Hick
  • Courtesy Over the River Corp

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