Doug Lamborn is a man of many letters. That is, he inspires a lot of strong feelings from people, who write letters to the Indy and other publications talking about how pissed off they are at the congressman.
That's probably the most non-partisan thing I can write about him, since the focus of this blog is that the 5th Congressional District Representative, with his wife Jeanie, will attend tonight's opening reception for Cottonwood Center for the Arts' Congressional Art Competition.
The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide program started in 1982 that engages high school artists to show their efforts in local galleries with the chance to then exhibit in Washington, D.C. Tonight, a winner from the group will have his or her work displayed in the Capitol for one year and receive D.C. plane tickets, museum tickets and scholarships.
According to the competition's website, students submit their work to their local district representative and a panel of artists will select a winner.
The show features over 100 pieces from high school and home school students district-wide, Cottonwood says. In addition, it will also hang work from Ridgeview Elementary students upstairs "to show our continued support for student art and art in schools."
The reception runs from 5-8 p.m. and will have refreshments provided by the El Paso County Republican Women.
On the west side of downtown Colorado Springs, across Bijou Street bridge, tucked away off of Manitou Boulevard you will find local artist, Eric Baar, diligently working in his secluded shop, Ground Up Designs (1516 Manitou Blvd.).
Eric is a custom handmade bicycle designer who has developed a very unique style of his own. He doesn’t use CAD or blueprints, instead, he bends titanium and steel pipes, adds metal flakes to frames (which he welds), and paints custom pinstripes by hand.
He built his first bike in 1999, and had his first customer in 2000. Since, he has built a growing customer base. His frames can cost anywhere between $1,500 for a metal flake steel frame to $3,000 for a titanium frame. If you want the rest of the bike, it'll cost you more.
But then, his bikes truly are works of art, taking anywhere from one week to an entire year to complete. His masterpiece, the blue metal-flaked BMX frame in the picture at right, has taken him that aforementioned year, and he’s still putting on finishing touches.
To watch Eric freehand paint “old school” pinstripes, watch this video — or you can see the process in person, along with his bikes, by heading to the Colorado Convention Center, where the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) will make itself at home this weekend starting Friday, Feb. 22, and running through Sunday, Feb. 24.
The NAHBS showcases the best of the best. Eric said that to be invited to be there and to teach a seminar (his topic: TIG welding) is a huge honor, and he's been focused on it every day since he heard the show was set for Denver this year.
Eric is so focused on this show that he denounced every other topic presented to him, including regular Ground Up parties and pixie races (we'll try to get some more information about this next week). The man truly wants everyone in Colorado Springs to go to this “once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the best custom bikes in the world.”
Looks like your weekend’s planned for you. Tickets available onsite.
From the listings desk: Music and art meet again at the hands of Michele "Nelly" Johnson, a woman who told the Indy last June that she wanted to create events that blended sight and sound like the kind she was used to in her hometown Minneapolis.
Her effort, We Are Not Rembrandt, was such a success she hosted another, and now she's back with No. 3, slated for 6 p.m., Saturday, March 9 at Zodiac (230 Pueblo Ave.) A $5 door fee gets you 13 artists and six gigs. Here's the line-up:
Jesse Allen Rozell
Michele "Nelly" Johnson
Andrea Stone and friends
In WANR tradition, Johnson will take donations for a local nonprofit, and like last time, it's going to All Breed Rescue & Training.
Click here for more info on the event.
Friday, March 1, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation and COPPeR will jointly host a celebration of Edmondson's decade of work with the Foundation and transition over to the Downtown Partnership.
The party will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E. Costilla St. Beer, wine and light snacks will be provided.
——- ORIGINAL POST: TUESDAYm 4:44 P.M. ——-
Edmondson will leave her post of 10 years as executive director of the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, a nonprofit that helps raise funds for the arts locally.
“You know, there are few things that could have lured me away from the Foundation, but this is one thing I found so exciting and challenging and full of great possiblities,” she says.
Nearly 70 applicants vied for the Partnership job, according to a press release sent out today, and were vetted by a search committee that consisted of representatives from local government, members of the Partnership, the Business Improvement District, the Downtown Development Authority, Community Ventures and others. After multiple interviews, a presentation and answering written questions, Edmondson won the job, and will start March 4.
Praise for the development ranged far and wide, from Mayor Steve Bach, to the Vradenburg Foundation, which writes in a press release today, “Susan has been an indefatigable champion of the arts, a visionary leader and dedicated partner as the foundation has advanced the excellence and impact of the arts in the Pikes Peak region over the past decade. She personally has exhibited much of the same passion and zeal as Bee Vradenburg herself...”
On Twitter, the consensus was similarly glowing.
@susanjed Congratulations on your new position!! You are already a great asset to downtown, this just makes it official :)
— SparrowHawk Cookware (@SparrowHawkCook) February 12, 2013
Congratulations @susanjed on your new role as CEO of Downtown #ColoradoSprings Looking forward to the upcoming #Awesomeness!
— John Olson (@JO_Urbanist) February 12, 2013
Edmondson has served on many local boards, including chair for the DDA, but took a leave of absence to apply. She has also chaired the boards of Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, CASA and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Along with the DDA, she still serves on the CSPM board as well as the Colorado Springs World Arena board.
In addition, Edmondson co-founded the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR) and has even volunteered to help the DDA in its application to become an emerging creative district by Colorado Creative Industries.
For the future, Edmondson hopes to continue the Partnership’s mission to improve downtown and help it grow.
“I think the real similarity between arts and downtown is they bring people together for shared experiences, certainly we know that the arts are one of the real success stories of Downtown, but obviously this job involves much more than that as well. It really is bringing together lots of shared interests and finding alignment in various projects to move things forward downtown.”
She cites projects like the recommendations outlined by the Urban Land Institute Report, the proposed baseball stadium or a children’s museum.
“I think I was hired because of my passion and vision for downtown as well as my track record of actually getting things done. To me, there are so many great projects that are bubbling right now that all have so much potential.”
As far as an actual plan, Edmondson wants to make downtown more accessible to entrepreneurs and developers.
“My approach is more the way that we’ll do things. I want to make it easier to do business downtown.”
“Whether you’re doing a new residential development or you’re a mom and pop shop fulfilling a dream, we want to help streamline that process and make it easy for people to do great things downtown, be it a new festival, some new creative endeavor. We want to help make it happen.”
When asked about where she sees the Partnership in the future, Edmondson is similarly practical.
“To me, I’d say it’s less about growing, and more about accomplishing what’s in front of us," she says. "I think we have great assets already downtown, such as America the Beautiful Park, unique retail small businesses, great events and certainly great people. So now we need to harness all that to make even more good things happen and bring people downtown.”
As for the Vradenburg Foundation, Edmondson says the board there is working on how it wants to fill her position; an e-mail newsletter says it “will soon be soliciting resumes to fill the staff opening left by Susan’s departure.” Edmondson assures that the Foundation will continue on, donating money to local arts organizations.
Like most people, I trashed just about everything my boyfriend had given me after we broke up. What was personal I dumped in the garbage, what was possibly meaningful to someone else, I gave to Goodwill.
That's the way it usually goes when two people part, because when relationships end, they are usually deemed failures, and we move on, eager to forget. However, the Museum of Broken Relationships seeks to change that outlook.
Far from a punchline, or a Chicken Soup for the Soul-style pity party, the museum wants donations of objects that once meant the world to still mean something. A token of shared human suffering, an offering of closure of a chapter in one's life, "be it sheer exhibitionism, therapeutic relief, or simple curiosity — people embraced the idea of exhibiting their love legacy as a sort of a ritual, a solemn ceremony," reads the website.
Each of the items in the museum's holdings comes with a story from its donor. These include a cell phone — "He gave me his cell phone so I couldn’t call him any more" — a wedding dress, a "Divorce Day Mad Gnome" with a suitably crazy story and pink fuzzy handcuffs. Naturally.
While the brick-and-mortar museum resides in Zagreb, Croatia (home of its founders, who broke up), portions of the collection travel internationally. And one portion is currently on display at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
BMoCA's 40-"story" exhibit opened on Valentine's Day (of course) and runs through May 26. It couches the show in the same philosophical terms as the collection's parent:
[A]s more and more people experience several significant relationships during their lifetime, with second and third marriages becoming increasingly common, we begin to acknowledge that our expectations and needs change as much as we do as we live longer, more educated, and self-determined lives. Simultaneously, the notion that the person we spent part of our life with was just “the wrong one” and should be erased from our memory becomes less plausible.
If the breaking-up thing is too much of a bummer though, you can, instead of parting with your relationship mementos, create a new one with BMoCA's March 1 HeARTifacts: a workshop for pARTners.
With your boo — or anyone, really — you collaborate to map your partnership. Using some guidance from an instructor, pairs will create a timeline of their relationship and divine meaning from what they've made. "Each participating couple will develop a personal atlas charting how their relationship started and developed as well as how it will continue in the future."
The workshop lasts three hours, supplies food and drink, and costs $45 to $50 per pair. Interested? Call 303/443-2122 to sign up. And if you're flying solo, you can check out the rest of the museum for a mere $4 to $5 any day of the week except Mondays.
Tidbits from the scene:
• A heart for art: The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region announced today that it's going to get involved in the upcoming local elections by talking with the candidates in March "to share insights and information about the arts." It's also looking for volunteers to become an "arts advocate" for the community. You can download "advocacy tools" from COPPeR's website on how to do it solo, or sign up to help COPPeR with festivals, fundraising events, art openings and more.
In other COPPeR news, the Peak Arts Fund kicks off March 7.
• Mark your calendar: Aficionados Luncheon with Michael Howell, registrar and collections manager for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Howell will discuss the Colorado College Southwest Collection, which "consists of Native American objects collection through various expeditions throughout the southwest — conducted independently of, and by, Colorado College — from 1893 to 1940." Howell will also talk about key items in the collection and the relationship between the FAC and CC. A buffet lunch will be served.
Wednesday, Feb. 27, noon. Gaylord Hall in CC's Worner Student Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave. $17. RSVP to 389-6334 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 22.
• If you missed it: Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land opened at the Denver Art Museum Sunday. This series of 53 works covers O'Keeffe's interest in Hopi katsinam, or supernatural beings, along with the natural and man-made landscape she loved. Real katsinam figures and photographs of Native American ceremonies like those O'Keeffe saw are included in the show.
Through April 28. Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver. Included in general admission: $3-$13 for nonmembers, free for members.
• On the air: If you remember our recent cover story on blossoming local arts institutions, you may recall that Cottonwood Center for the Arts has plans to be on Roadtrip Radio once a month. Roadtrip is a local show that airs at 8 some Saturday mornings on KREL-AM 1580.
Cottonwood was last aired Jan. 27, and the next time it'll be on is Feb. 24.
In the meantime, Cottonwood is gearing up for its 30th Congressional Art Show, opening Feb. 22 (there's a reception that night starting at 5.) Read more about it here.
• Left coast-bound: The FAC announced that its first Museum Society trip outside the state will be to Los Angeles in April (we first introduced the Society in the same cover story mentioned above). The four-day itinerary includes a private tour of the Getty Villa with curator Claire Lyons, a private reception at the Weisman Art Foundation and a visit to the home of collectors Cliff and Mandy Einstein.
The trip is available only to Society members, so keep this in mind if you're thinking about joining. Contact Tom Jackson email@example.com for sign-up information.
“The Governing Council of the theatre, Opera and Orchestra Halle confirmed my appointment after a selection process on January 18,” writes Caballé-Domenech on his official website. “I am very grateful and honored by the importance of this new challenge, stressing the high level and versatility of the Orchestra, excellent programming as well as the atmosphere of pleasant work in this historic institution.”
It was two years ago this month that Caballé-Domenech, after filling in at the last minute for ailing conductor Lawrence Leighton Smith, unexpectedly became an 11th hour finalist in the Philharmonic’s search for a new music director. The 21-month search for the retiring Leighton Smith’s successor resulted in Caballé-Domenech signing a five-year contract and going on to earn acclaim for helping reenergize the local orchestra’s performances.
Meanwhile, the Philharmonic has announced programming for Caballé-Domenech’s third season, which will range from pops concerts featuring the music of Abba and Queen to an ambitious undertaking of Strauss’ Alpine Symphony with more than 100 musicians.
You can find the full season schedule plus subscriber information here.
Everybody loves mash-ups and crossovers. Hell, it's slash fiction that brought us 50 Shades of Grey.
But for something a little more inventive, and far more skillful, look no further than local artist Joe Bonomo's newest painting series that mixes steampunk with the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Now Bonomo wants to mix the Peter Max psychedelia with the Victorian-meets-Wild West vibe of steampunk. According to the press release ,he says, “The style of these paintings could be interpreted as Sergeant Pepper meets Nikola Tesla."
He's starting now with a series of "character sketches" to develop his ideas and serve as a teaser for paintings that will depict "the lives and stories of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band."
Bonomo doesn't have a set date for the finished versions, but he is currently showing at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, and will attend the opening this Saturday.
In the meantime, here are some of his sketches:
What does Brazilian dance have in common with motorcycle culture? Crêpes and the physics of color? How about the Salem witch trials and bicycles?
Well, probably not much, but you'll never find out unless you drop into one of the next ChitChat sessions from the Galleries of Contemporary Art. It's now in its
third second season, but for you newbies out there, it's a series of paired lectures from experts in disparate fields. So, for the crêpe/color night, you'll hear about physics from Dr. Tom Christensen from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and food from Turu Marx Eurich of Coquette's Bistro & Bakery.
Better, ChitChats are all hands-on, "often edible learning!" says the website, so be prepared to eat a little, practice magic tricks or, perhaps, samba. It's a pretty good deal, considering it's free to UCCS students, and asks for a donation of $5 from GOCA members and $10 from the general public.
ChitChat begins Feb. 20, with each session starting at 6:30 p.m. with wine, beer and snacks followed by the program. They all take place downtown at GOCA 121.
Art on the Streets turns 15 this summer, and its organizers are looking for artists to contribute to this year's outdoor public art display.
Any entry should be durable enough to stand up outdoors, and appropriate for a public setting. Plus, it should be fairly large — the call suggests three feet (vertical or horizontal), minimum. Artists should submit mock-ups or images of the work, a plan for installation, an artist's statement and a narrative description of the work. According to the application, "proposals using alternative materials, and/or creative use of space is encouraged."
As usual, the awards for the top works are generous: $15,000 for first prize, $7,500 for second prize and $2,500 for third prize. The honors will be decided by exhibit juror Blake Milteer, museum director for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
The deadline for submissions is March 4; artists will be notified March 15, and the works will go on display in June, the same time the awards will be announced.
It was brought to our attention Wednesday that an item in this week's cover story was not correct.
We referenced a Colorado Springs Business Journal story that alluded to the Downtown Partnership allocating $500,000 for the fledgling Alleyscapes project. That's an initiative to create a mixed-use arts alley district in the alleyway between Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street, stretching from East Platte Avenue to East Kiowa Street. But the Journal had erroneous information.
For one thing, the Downtown Partnership is not involved in providing Alleyscapes funds. We spoke with Nick Kittle, manager of administrative services and innovation with the city, who told us that money going toward the alley (1) will come from the Parking Enterprise; (2) is intended to improve safety and (3) won't amount to the figure quoted.
To begin, the Parking Enterprise, which Kittle manages, will have money allocated for several projects this year, alley improvements being one. However, there are two other projects that take priority: one to install streetlights or re-lamp existing ones between Boulder and Cache la Poudre streets, more effectively linking downtown and Colorado College. The other is to build some streetscape improvements on South Tejon Street near SouthSide Johnny's.
At this point, the city is still working on the cost for the Boulder-Cache lighting project. Once that's known, it will be able to figure how much it will be left over for the other initiatives.
Also, Kittle reiterates, the alley project has safety in mind. Should more lighting and even ground help a concept like the Arts Alley District, then that's even better.
In today's paper, we wrote about Ballet Folklorico de la Raza's trip to perform at the inauguration parade in Washington, D.C. The Mexican folk dance group represented the entire state in the parade, at a great cost. Ballet founder Connie Benavidez says they needed to raise about $15,000 to go, and now she's still working to pay it back.
To help, the group will host a fundraiser with dancing, food and a silent auction Saturday, Feb. 16 starting at 6 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles club at 1830 N. Academy Blvd.
In the meantime though, the group is basking in the glory of the trip, despite their blisters from the lengthy parade route. Here are some shots of the group, as well as a video from C-SPAN:
Families are such powerful subjects in art. Take any image of Abraham and Isaac for the high drama, or some Dutch Baroque-period works for serenity. Both situations are gripping, at least in their own way.
But what about families of today? They certainly look different now, with same-sex couples, more single parents and the like.
That's the aim behind the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's next multidisciplinary show, Families, which kicks off Feb. 23. Like Conflict | Resolution and NASA | Art: 50 Years of Exploration before it, Families will encompass the museum, the theater and the Bemis School of Art.
The museum has scheduled A Family Affair: Selections from the Progressive Art Collection and Mother: Photographs by Carol S. Dass. The former is a multimedia exhibit from the insurance corporation, which has accrued more than 7,800 pieces since it started collecting contemporary art in 1974. Mother, meanwhile, is a series of pictures taken by local artist Dass, as she grows to experience her mother as a person beyond "that role of the woman who carried me in her womb, raised me the best that she could, and will in many ways continue to view me as a child regardless of my age."
Over on the theater side, the FAC will produce Other Desert Cities, a new play that follows a fictitious, semi-famous Palm Springs family about to unravel when one daughter brings home her draft of a tell-all memoir. Other Desert Cities was nominated for five Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. This show will be the Colorado premiere of the play.
As part of its second-stage season (a handful of plays and events held in the Music Room upstairs), the FAC will also put on Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, an all-ages musical about a trip to the laundromat that goes terribly wrong. (For those of you who've ever lost a beloved toy, you know what I mean.) It's based on the award-winning children's book by Mo Willems (a big-time Emmy winner), who helped convert it to the stage with Grammy-winning composer Michael Silversher.
Come April, the second-stage season will also bring about Rough Writers: A New Play Fest. For this, the FAC put out a call for scripts that respond to one of three works in the Families exhibits. About 12 chosen submissions — which can be 10 minutes, or one act, or a full full-length play or musical — will then be read to the audience for feedback, and then those will be judged by "a panel of theatre professionals" which will decide on a winning script to be fully staged in the FAC's big theater next season.
By the way, you can still submit a script; entries are due Feb. 14.
Ormao Dance Company will also perform an original piece for the FAC from April 12 through 14, and the Story Project will hold a session based on the idea of contemporary family struggles April 5.
Lastly, Bemis has scheduled a full slate of classes for all ages, from kids museum tours to a wine and watercolor course.
Colorado Springs must feel like Jan Brady right now.
Pueblo! Pueblo! Pueblo!
Always getting the arts and culture awards, that Pueblo. Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, grants from the Boettcher Foundation and now, the 2013 Governor's Arts Award from Colorado Creative Industries.
Yesterday, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that the Steel City and Aspen were the winners of the coveted award, which recognizes a city for "collective efforts to enhance their community and their economy through strategic use of the arts," says CCI's press release.
The release includes this quote from Pueblo City Manager Sam Azad: "In Pueblo, art is the cord that ties us to our past and links us to our future."
Why did these two cities win? "[T]he review panel commended Aspen for their unparalleled long-term commitment to the arts and Pueblo for leveraging the arts to revitalize their community."
Both will be presented their awards at the Second Annual Creative Industries Summit, happening April 12 in ... Pueblo.
Colorado Springs was nominated, at least, along with Lone Tree and Broomfield.
We've already written extensively about Mark Wong, who will display 1,000 crane platters as part of the Galleries of Contemporary Art's upcoming Ceramica: Contemporary Clay show. However, we had yet to touch on the two other artists slated to show with him, Daniel Bare and Valerie Zimany of South Carolina's Clemson University.
And sadly, we won't, since Zimany and Bare had to back out of the show due to their infant son's illness. "While we are disappointed to lose the chance to highlight this duo's innovative work in ceramic installation, sometimes you cannot control the circumstances," GOCA's press release says. "We hope to bring them out at some point in the future for a different project."
Two Colorado artists will take their place: Corie Cole and Del Harrow. GOCA says they "are incredibly innovative in their field — Cole traveled to China to create the project we will be highlighting, while Harrow has been receiving significant national and international attention and was recently featured in the "Overthrown" ceramics-focused exhibit at the Denver Art Museum."
The show opens at GOCA 121 on Friday, Feb. 8, with a reception and artist talks. Look out for more coverage from the Indy in coming weeks.