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
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

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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:
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 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:

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

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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
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.

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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
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.
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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:


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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. 

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Graffiti extra: more El Mac and Fuse

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Ahead of the FAC's Aerosol Exalted show this weekend, we spoke with both El Mac, and Fuse, both well-regarded graffiti artists.  

We shared snapshots of each of their works in our print edition, but have several more images on hand they shared with us. For those appreciative of the form, here's a quick tour through more vibrant works:

"Ars et Scientia" - COURTESY TODD MAZER
  • Courtesy Todd Mazer
  • "Ars et Scientia"

"Clothed with the Sun" - COURTESY EL MAC
  • Courtesy El Mac
  • "Clothed with the Sun"

A train car collaboration with Fuse and El Mac. - COURTESY FUSE
  • Courtesy Fuse
  • A train car collaboration with Fuse and El Mac.

  • Courtesy Fuse

  • Courtesy Fuse

  • Courtesy Fuse

Fuse painting at the recent What If ... Festival. - JOY ARMSTRONG
  • Joy Armstrong
  • Fuse painting at the recent What If ... Festival.

The artists at the Springs' graffiti warehouse, where they last collaborated in 2010. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The artists at the Springs' graffiti warehouse, where they last collaborated in 2010.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

More on Lucere at Kreuser Gallery

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 4:10 PM

  • Edie Adelstein
Today, we took a closer look at Lucere at the Kreuser and Aha galleries, following up on our story about the show from a previous issue (which you can find here).

Lucere consists of 48 "profiles" of locals who have inspired artist and gallery owner Abigail Kreuser, who took photos of her subjects and included snippets from interviews she held. (Disclosure: I am one of them.) Kreuser then took the photos and printed them on watercolor paper, and mounted each on a platform made from composition books and bound it all together with hemp string. Kreuser had planned on a more typical layout, with large-scale photos mounted in frames with artist statements hung nearby, but changed her mind.

"I wanted to do something more non-traditional," she says, "I woke up, literally three weeks before the show [with the new idea.]"

Such short notice involved some compromises, but Kreuser is pleased with the final product, and hopes to be able to continue the series with re-prints, a possible coffee-table book and even expanding the series count to 100.

About 75 percent of the depicted artists (the term here is used inclusively, as Lucere includes writers, musicians, and curators) came to the opening at the beginning of the month, and were similarly happy with the result, much to Kreuser's relief, she admits with a laugh.

Looking back on the project, which has been her largest thus far, Kreuser reflects on the artists who really let her into their heads, and studios.

"I got to know them at a different level," she says. "So often you're just talking shop."

The show reflects as much, with the answers prompted by the question "What inspires you?" ranging from family, faith and friends, to struggle and even selfishness. Some answers:

Nethery Wylie: "If I do not create every day ... I start to feel bad."

Gary Jensen: "I feel the need to be understood."

Randal Barbera: "I got into photography with the need to understand light, it is very much akin to the process of poetry ... they are both subtractive arts. You start with an entire sphere of your experience and edit out what is not essential."

Marie David: "My inspiration is a selfishness ... a way of keeping myself more honest with myself. I have spent a lifetime trying to justify this feeling, but it is the only way to stay grounded."

The photographs, meanwhile, are quite varied and sensitive. Kreuser set up a few posed shots, but for the most part captured her subjects working, either in their studios, or playing music in the gallery. They clearly reflect Kreuser's experience in photojournalism and documentary photography. Outtakes and extra shots appear in several collages that accompany the show, which are very fun (details seen left).

It feels something like a high school yearbook, slicing off a moment in time in the community. Less cheesy, of course, and while some may criticize Kreuser's emphasis on positivity here, it hardly negates the passion of the people represented. Here's hoping there is more to come.

Lucere is on display through Aug. 28 






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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Drake Drake everywhere

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 5:31 PM

The Martin Drake Power Plant is a spotlight hog. 

Locally, its significance goes beyond other urban eyesores and public health concerns. 

With all the talk around Colorado Springs Utilities' pending Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP) — plus the much larger national debate over President Obama and the EPA's lame-ass Clean Power Plan — Drake has largely become a symbol of dirty coal and outdated fossil fuels. 

Its steam stacks are ground zero for the debate, representing a future we can either prolong or avoid. 

Pennsylvania's SteelStacks offers one model for creatively repurposing historic industrial landmarks. The lights, in this case, illuminate non-operational steam stacks. - COURTESY STEELSTACKS
  • Courtesy SteelStacks
  • Pennsylvania's SteelStacks offers one model for creatively repurposing historic industrial landmarks. The lights, in this case, illuminate non-operational steam stacks.
According to the Clean Air Task Force, via the Sierra Club
Retiring one dirty coal-burning plant will prevent:
more than 29 premature deaths
47 heart attacks
491 asthma attacks
22 asthma emergency room visits
That said, it's not surprising to find controversy boiling over artist and Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region executive director Andy Vick's idea to Light the Drake, despite City Council's enthusiasm. 

Writer Billie Stanton Anleu outlines the "outrage to some in Colorado Springs" in the Aug. 4 issue of the Gazette

Anleu cites dissent from local science teacher Laura Van Der Pol, outspoken Old Town Bike Shop owner John Crandall and Monument-based attorney Leslie Weise

Anleu quotes Van Der Pol as saying:
If they wanted to put on a skull and crossbones or numbers showing the nitrogen oxides put into our air, OK. But not masking it as something beautiful we should glorify.
And Weise as saying: 
To consider beautifying the Drake plant with pretty lights while it still burns coal would be an embarrassing symbol associated with our city ... What makes this proposed project even more offensive is to consider lighting Drake as a backdrop for the Olympics (Museum), which upon last check remains an international symbol for good health and personal excellence.
And Vick, defending his idea:
I respect their opinion, but our job at COPPeR is to work to elevate the arts in our community and help to use the assets and resources available to us to make a statement about art. I'm just not interested in making a political issue about it.
In the KOAA piece I link to above, inspiration is credited to a "similar lighting project used on an old steel mill in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania," with Vick saying: 
Instead of fighting what was there, they decided to embrace it and use art as a way to engage the community and it added some kind of excitement, and wow factor if you will to those structure and we're hoping to do the exact same thing here with the Drake Power Plant.
The obvious difference in this case is that the SteelStacks project Vick is ostensibly referencing is a "ten-acre campus dedicated to arts, culture, family events, community celebrations, education and fun," sitting atop what was formerly the nation's second-largest steel manufacturing plant, which ceased operations in November, 1995. 

They've been revitalized in a way similar to Birmingham, Alabama's Sloss Furnaces, which have been designated as a national historic landmark. 

On her Facebook page, Van Der Pol commented on a link to the article: 
What the Gazette's original article neglected to mention, is that similar projects in other towns beautified power plants that were ALREADY decommissioned. If the art project could coincide with decommissioning Drake and was an intermediate stage between Drake the Superfund Site, and Drake the Community Center — I would be all for it.
From the sidelines, it's easy to see how Vick comes across as tone deaf in the above media exchanges and with his idea, though his heart for public beautification seems to be in the right place. 

Other than embracing Drake and trying to "put lipstick on that baby," in Councilman Don Knight's words, we aren't really hearing much of a "statement about art" from Vick. (Other than it can potentially be useful in transforming ugly things into pretty things?)

This is the COPPeR news page on its website recently said about the initiative:
Regardless of future usage of the Drake, the stacks will be part of our built landscape Downtown for many years. COPPeR is leading the charge to use dynamic, state of the art lighting to make the stacks an attractive backdrop for economic development in Downtown and an enticement for travelers on I-25. We are working with a committee of local stakeholders to make this project a positive example of how creativity can brighten the future for our city.
Though Vick may not be interested in "making a political issue about it," it comes across as naive to think he would be able to avoid doing so. 

To illuminate an operational coal plant in the night sky simply for "wow factor" seems as careless as accidentally championing Monsanto for producing pesticides that wreak havoc all over our environment. (Laser Lights Over the Lab!) 

Art should make a statement, as it has brilliantly, in multifold forms, for thousands of years. And art that takes on political issues acts as an important voice, mirror and catalyst in communities. Van Der Pol's idea for a skull and crossbones would at least be saying something by way of critical commentary.

Let's proverbially shine lights on corruption, underserved citizens, crumbling infrastructure, budget woes, etc., and hold off on the the actual LEDs until Drake's done fuming and we have a healthful community space worth celebrating. 

Vick's current push feels like a missed opportunity for true art activism or a social movement, which would arguably be a better way to "elevate the arts in our community" through his role at COPPeR. We don't want our city-sanctioned arts advocate appearing as a booster of big industry — an intended effect or not — or as a toothless pet to City Council (also our Utilities Board). 

"Wow" us with something different that points the way forward, not backward. Light the Drake wouldn't celebrate local history or legacy as much as it would make a worrisome wart glow.  

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another kind of industrial art

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 10:50 AM

We all know how meaningful both power and art can be. Now, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region is proposing a literal meshing of the two.

COPPeR wants to jazz up the downtown Drake Power Plant by shrouding it in lighting. Hide it in plain sight, so to speak.

It's no surprise that the Colorado Springs Utilities Board, comprised of City Council, which favors keeping the coal-fired, pollution-emitting plant on line as long as possible, fell in love with the idea.

Now, the organization will seek grants. The idea comes from Bethlehem, Pa., where old steel stacks are bathed in vibrant color, like this:


If you want to read the group's proposal, here ya go:
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Help COPPeR, take a survey

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 7:02 PM

It won't tell you what you would be if you were a color, a major city or a grade of cheese, but this quiz will help the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, by asking how you find the arts and culture scene around here.

This easy survey takes 5 to 10 minutes, and asks how cultural you find the Springs, how important various aspects of it are to you, and how you find events to go to. (Here's pulling for the Indy on that last one.) Information will be collected by COPPeR and inform its strategic planning.

It's anonymous, and expires July 19. Any questions, hit up COPPeR exec Andy Vick at

Artists and representatives from arts organizations who wish to take things further are invited to RSVP and join three upcoming Arts Partners Meetings:

Session A: Tues., Aug. 11, 6:15-8 p.m. at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts
Session B: Wed., Aug. 12, 8:15-10 a.m. at the Cottonwood Center for the Arts
Session C: Thurs., Aug. 13, 3:15-5 p.m. at the Manitou Art Center

RSVP to with your name, email address, phone number and preferred meeting date.
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Review extra: The Little Prince at Funky Little Theater Company

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 9:56 AM

  • Funky Little Theater Company

Indy theater critic Bill Wheeler sees more plays than we can fit into print each week. He also runs his own blog, Theater Colorado, where you can find his critiques on plays both local and regional.

Last weekend, he saw Funky Little Theater Company's The Little Prince, and had this to say:
Funky cast Evan Slavens as The Little Prince, and it’s hard to imagine they could have found a more suitable actor anywhere. Slavens is only a 7th grader at Eagleview Middle School, but he has some heavy duty acting experience, including Ludlow, 1914 at Theatreworks and The Wizard of Oz at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

...  He is onstage nearly the entire 90 minutes of this show, and he has more lines than any other actor on this stage. He never missed a mark, never missed a cue, and never dropped a line. He was, in fact, formidable, holding his own among the “grownups” sharing the stage with him.

It’s not often I get the chance to say this, but if you have children, take them to see Evan Slavens in The Little Prince. Not only will they benefit from seeing Saint Exupery’s story play out in real time, but they may also be inspired by what one of their peers can do on the Funky stage. 
The Little Prince closes July 3. Find tickets here, and read the rest of the review here.
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Friday, June 19, 2015

News from the arts inbox: Art on the Streets, Henry Awards and gallery news

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 1:22 PM

  • Michael Pach
Yesterday kicked off this year's batch of Art on the Streets sculptures, which we detailed here. Local artist Sean O'Meallie, who created "Poly Poly," won the $10,000 Juror Prize.

"I’d like to see an eventual treatment of the entire alley that makes it safer, more inviting and easier to use, and enriches the lives of anyone who encounters it,” O'Meallie says in a statement from the Downtown Partnership.

Andy Tirado, who won the Juror Prize last year, and served on this year's panel, won the $1,000 People's Choice award. "Lacuna" hung in the south tower of the Plaza of the Rockies last year, but is now moving to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where it will hang until next January.

Read more details in the press release following the jump.

The launch party also premiered a video from videographer Rodney RJ Hooks featuring the whole batch of new works and onsite performances from the Soul Mechanics.

Elsewhere, the Colorado Theater Guild announced nominees for the 10th Annual Henry Awards (of which our critic Bill Wheeler is a part), which honor excellence in the state's theater community. Winners will be announced July 20.

Up for awards are:

Outstanding Production of a Play: The Goat, or Who is Sylvia, Springs Ensemble Theatre, Max Ferguson, Director

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Geoffrey Kent, The Lying Kind, TheatreWorks

Outstanding Actor in a Play: John DiAntonio, The Liar, TheatreWorks and Steven Cole Hughes, The Lying Kind, TheatreWorks

Outstanding Actress in a Play: Amy Brooks, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia, Springs Ensemble Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play: Billie McBride, The Lying Kind, TheatreWorks

Outstanding Costume Design: Hugh Hanson, The Liar, TheatreWorks

  • Kathleen McFadden
Meanwhile, local photographer and gallery owner Kathleen McFadden posted an update on her search for a new location. McFadden's Range Gallery was formerly located in Old Colorado City. In March, McFadden sent a candid email about her relocation:
In our last exciting installment of "Cutter Bill, Range Gallery Dog," the landlord had darkened the doorstep of the gallery demanding an increase in rent which left Kathleen to ponder aloud, "Should we pay the higher amount, or just move?"

She looked over at Cutter Bill, the smartest, friendliest, best gallery dog in the whole world and asked, "Cutter, you're a thinking dog, what do you think?"

She noticed he had rolled up his astroturf mat, pushed all his toys to the door and was looking up at her with an eager smile and a carefree wag of the tail.

Kathleen exclaimed, "You're right again! Wait for me, I'll pack and we'll move to greener pastures!"

Stay tuned to find out where the greener pastures lie in the next episode of, "Cutter Bill, Range Gallery Dog!"
As of today, McFadden is still searching for a location, but in the meantime, she's redesigned her website and started a blog. She writes:
When I closed my gallery in Old Colorado City, I thought I'd have another building within, oh, say 20 minutes. My "20 minutes" has turned into 3 months now. I've taken a serious look at 5 different locations, each with their own attributes and downsides.

I've decided to be Goldilocks about this, I want the location to be Juuuuust Right. So, I have a list of requirements: must be attractive, solid, big, well-built, visible and memorable. Sounds like I'm writing a personals ad for the perfect man, but the perfect building is what I'm in the market for right now.

In the meantime, I'm being creative. I've completely redesigned my website, added new images, retired some. And I'm a lean, mean developing machine, processing dozens of old black and white rolls of film. It's like Christmas.

Which means, when I do find a location for my gallery that's Goldilocks perfect, I will have all kinds of new work to show and new stories to write. Oh boy!

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