Arts

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
  • 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
  • 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.


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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
  • 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!

Continue reading »

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Bungled Jungle invades Green Horse Gallery

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 11:20 AM

No visit to Salida is complete without a stop into the Bungled Jungle

And of course no tourist vehicle should depart the town without a new creature companion created by the collaborating artists Pat Landreth and Suzanne Montano

The cool news today, though, is that you don't have to drive any further than Manitou Springs to experience the weird wonderfulness of Bungled Jungle, because they're the featured guests artists at the Green Horse Gallery for this evening's 3rd Friday Art Walk

I was just in Salida a couple weeks ago and stopped back in the gallery to visit. 

With something like this posting in mind, I asked Pat to reintroduce us to the shop and walk us through one of his unusual machines, the Echometer: 

The Echometer. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Echometer.

Here's a brief artists' description provided by the couple and some more pics I snapped inside the shop:
"The Bungled Jungle is the collaboration of 2 warped minds working feverishly at high altitude with an apparent lack of sufficient oxygen (Salida, Colorado, elevation 7036'.) Pat Landreth (formally trained as a physicist) and Suzanne Montano (geologist) use their scientific backgrounds (not) to create a unique menagerie of strange, humorous, fantasy creatures and bizarre habitats.
The pieces range in size from 2" to 10' tall, and take between 2 weeks to several months to create. Each sculpture is built in layers utilizing approximately 13 different materials: several types of rubber, plastics, clays, metals and then saturated in silliness and acrylic paint. These one-of-a-kind art pieces are lightweight, easy to ship and have a high resistance to breakage. They also come with complete and free dental coverage.
If you have a sense of wonder and like to smile, these no-maintenance pests will find a soft spot in your heart, home, workspace..."
Pat Landreth, keeping his clothes clean, of course. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Pat Landreth, keeping his clothes clean, of course.

Imagine combing your hair in that mirror every morning. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Imagine combing your hair in that mirror every morning.

More bizarre gadgets and lots of teeth. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • More bizarre gadgets and lots of teeth.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Scenes from Brilliant

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 7:00 PM

Saturday was the Galleries of Contemporary Art's annual art party Brilliant. We went following the dinner service, and got shots of some of the great artwork and performances there:
EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
GOCA director Daisy McConnell - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • GOCA director Daisy McConnell
José Luis Torres' 'Furry Pallet' made from faux fur and a found pallet, a selection from his recent show at GOCA, Echafaudages/Temporary Frameworks. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • José Luis Torres' 'Furry Pallet' made from faux fur and a found pallet, a selection from his recent show at GOCA, Echafaudages/Temporary Frameworks.
Detail - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Detail
Another Torres work from the show, 'Disco Pallet' - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Another Torres work from the show, 'Disco Pallet'
A wall projection from Aaron Smith's 'Synergy Project 7: Play' - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • A wall projection from Aaron Smith's 'Synergy Project 7: Play'
The projection source on 'Synergy Project 7: Play' - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • The projection source on 'Synergy Project 7: Play'
A detail of Matt Barton's 'God's Eye Wall' came complete with a sitting area outfitted with bean bag seats, pillows and a woven rug. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • A detail of Matt Barton's 'God's Eye Wall' came complete with a sitting area outfitted with bean bag seats, pillows and a woven rug.
'God's Eye' goes disco with a moment of whirling eyes, a flashing black light and lots of talk about bad trips among viewers. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • 'God's Eye' goes disco with a moment of whirling eyes, a flashing black light and lots of talk about bad trips among viewers.
Local Samba dancers, who, from this angle, shook the glitter right off their costumes. - EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Local Samba dancers, who, from this angle, shook the glitter right off their costumes.
EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Brilliant coming Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 11:03 AM

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If you've been following the Galleries of Contemporary Art on social media, you know this already: Brilliant, its annual fundraiser happening Saturday, is going to be all that and a bag of chips.

If you haven't, here's what's coming:

Performances from: Idris Goodwin, emcee, hip-hop artist, playwright and subject of a recent Indy cover storyGrupo Folklorico del Pueblo; Samba dancers; parkour and breakdancing from the Pikes Peak Trickers; music from Desmond Mowtown Washington; and Mario Zoots and Jeromie Dorrance, DJs and digital collage artists.

Installations from Matt Barton and Aaron Smith. Barton's "God's Eye Wall" should be quite impressive, given Barton's incredible talent, and I've had the pleasure of catching Smith's "Synergy Project 1" at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. A gorgeous installation, it's a sparkly acrylic orb that projects cool shadows.
Barton's "God's Eye Wall." - COURTESY GOCA.
  • Courtesy GOCA.
  • Barton's "God's Eye Wall."
Detail.
  • Detail.
Smith's "Synergy Project 1" - COURTESY GOCA
  • Courtesy GOCA
  • Smith's "Synergy Project 1"
A five-course dinner preceding the party has sold out, but you can still enjoy desserts afterwards, as well as tastings from local craft spirit distilleries and locales, such as: Distillery 291, Axe and the Oak Distillery, Lee Spirits Co., The Principal's Office and Nosh. You can also win prizes, such as tattoo time and a piece of art from Donald Fodness, who showed at GOCA in late 2014.

According to GOCA's Nicole Anthony, the party has been moved indoors to the Plaza of the Rockies, given the weather forecast. "Which I’m actually excited about since we’ll be able to do more light installations and give people a different experience from BRILLIANT's (sic) past," she says via email.

Best of all, tickets to (the award-winning) Brilliant are just $25, or $35 at the door. That's pretty reasonable for a nice party. And if you're still not convinced, watch this video of last year's party to get an idea of what's to come.


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Monday, June 8, 2015

Art on the Streets 2015 announced

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 4:38 PM

If you've been downtown in the past two weeks, you've no doubt seen changes afoot: Art on the Streets 2015 has arrived. Some of the works are still in the progress of going up, but many are on view right now.

Watch for further coverage of this year's AotS in an upcoming issue of the Indy, and mark your calendar for the kick-off event happening Thurs., June 18 at the City Auditorium.

Without further ado, here's the info:
Colorado Springs, CO – Downtown Colorado Springs and Downtown Ventures are pleased to announce the selection of artists for the 2015-2016 Art on the Streets juried sculpture exhibition. Now in its 17th year, Art on the Streets celebrates the power of art in public places, while turning the streets of Downtown Colorado Springs, a Colorado Certified Creative District, into a yearlong outdoor sculpture gallery.

A national call for artists attracted 73 proposals from artists in 19 states and 18 Colorado cities. Artists were selected through a jury process in which artistic quality served as the primary criteria. This year’s jury included David Tryba, Founder of Tryba Architects; Andrew Tirado, local artist and recipient of the 2014-2015 Juror Award; Blake Milteer, Museum Director and Chief Curator for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; and Daisy McConnell, Director of University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Galleries of Contemporary Art.

Selected artists each receive a $1,000 honorarium. In addition, artists are eligible for a $10,000 Juror Award and a $1,000 People’s Choice Award.

The 2015-2016 exhibit will be on display June 2015 through May 2016 throughout Downtown Colorado Springs. The thirteen artists/artist teams selected for the exhibit are:

James Burnes, Santa Fe, NM
Jimmy Descant, Salida, CO
Steven Durow, Fruitland, MD
Maureen Hearty, Denver, CO
Yul Jorgensen, Walsenburg, CO
Angela Larian, Los Angeles, CA
Eric McCue, Colorado Springs, CO
David W. Mernitz, Westcliffe, CO
Sean Mueller and Jarod Charzewski, Charleston, SC
William Mueller, Sedalia, CO
Jacob Novinger, Gooding, ID
Sean O’Meallie, Colorado Springs, CO
Keith Roberts, Colorado Springs, CO

Art on the Streets is a program of the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, through Downtown Ventures, Inc. The program is supported by private contributions, including founding sponsor U.S. Bank, with additional support from H.Chase Stone Trust, Nor’wood, Murphy Constructors, CALM Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, and Boettcher Foundation. Through the 17 years of the program, Art on the Streets has exhibited more than 50 works of art downtown, and purchased several pieces now permanently on display. All of the artwork in the exhibit is for sale, and purchase inquiries are welcome. Additional information can be found at www.DowntownCS.com/AOTS.

Information about the individual artists and works follows:

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James Burnes
Nine Piece Rings
Reclaimed wood and steel
Santa Fe, NM

James Burnes brings a sense of primitivism to his works combining wood and steel. A juxtaposition of the natural elements of earth with modern manmade steel explores the relationship between the two, and offers us a chance to reflect on mankind’s relationship with nature in our contemporary urban world. Price to Purchase: $12,500.

“I am drawn to the tension between what is natural and organic, between man and nature, and between time and decay.”

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Jimmy Descant
Chief Eye-Heart-Gut, Archer of the West
Found object assemblage
Salida, CO

A self-taught sculptor identifying as a “Severe Reconstructivist”, Jimmy Descant creates works that are inspired by Western imagery and heart. In this piece, the Archer with three arrows, one each in touch with his eye, heart and gut, creates a representation of “strength in the ascending future”, while wearing a headdress of repurposed steam irons. www.deluxewest.com
Price to Purchase: $10,000

“I am a professional in acquiring the vintage and beautiful, treasures of the golden age of American manufacturing found at thrift stores and flea markets.”

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Steven Durow
My Other Half
Steel and glass
Fruitland, MD

Inspired by architectural columns and dancers in motion, Steven Durow’s work features a pair of inverse images in bright complementary colors, evoking a playful feeling. Much like dance partners, neither of the forms would be complete without its mate. Price to Purchase: $60,000

My Other Half was inspired by personal experience, and the ways in which two people join and become complete only when paired with the Other Half.”

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Maureen Hearty
Sound Fountain
Steel and aluminum
Denver, CO

Working primarily in reclaimed steel, Maureen Hearty’s sculptures rethink the fate of what is typically regarded as industry waste. A musically interactive piece, Sound Fountain imitates the flow of water in a fountain, with movement and flow symbolized through sound. Price to Purchase: $6,000

“I am constantly exploring new applications for our connectedness to each other, our habitats and who we share our world with—my work invites viewers to engage with their surroundings in a less passive way.”

image011.jpg
Yul Jorgensen
Regenesis
Recycled farm equipment and scrap metal
Walsenburg, CO

Yul Jorgenson’s interest in sustainable agriculture influences his work in this piece, a shaded picnic area made from locally sourced scraps and farm equipment. Interactive and kinetic, Regnesis includes a hand-crank spinning display and informational plaques about local farms. Price to Purchase: $10,000

“I have found a passion with helping my community through my work. This piece expresses a call to the new generations of the local farm to table movement.”

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Angela Larian
Encounter
Concrete and metal
Los Angeles, CA

With a portfolio that focuses primarily on large-scale abstract figurative work, Angela Larian investigates concepts such as metaphor and mysticism. Her work is inspired by the philosophies of Plato, Carl Jung, and Nietzsche, and the poetry of Rumi and Hafez. Price to Purchase: $15,000

“Metaphor is the language of our unconscious. It is a suspension of the conscious mind that releases our subconscious imagery, a coded way of understanding the world.”


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Eric McCue
Always Greener
Steel
Colorado Springs, CO

Originally a painter focused on abstract works, Eric McCue’s transition to metalwork allows for the incorporation of organic and inorganic shapes, forms, colors and lines into each piece. Always Greener offers a whimsical nod to parks, offering viewers the chance to surround themselves with life-size blades of grass. Price to Purchase: $10,000

“I prefer large-scale sculptures so my viewer can interact with them in a raw, physical manner and become part of the sculpture, viewing it from all angles.”

image017.jpg
David W. Mernitz
Mousetrap XL
Wood
Westcliffe, CO

David Mernitz describes himself as a “lifelong worker in wood”, and has a history crafting handmade furniture. His sculptural pieces focus on larger-than-life interpretations of everyday objects, such as this common mousetrap. Price to Purchase: $2,800

“I’m intrigued by the flexibility and versatility of wood as an art medium. The textures, colors, and techniques available to the wood artisan make wood art limited only by the imagination of the artist.”

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Sean Mueller and Jarod Charzewski
Tires and Spokes
Steel and recycled bicycle parts
Charleston, SC

A kinetic piece featuring recycled tires arranged on a bicycle fork, Tires and Spokes finds a new use for salvaged bicycle parts. The tires form a satellite, or diamond shape, and can be spun by hand, allowing a view through the kaleidoscope of spokes and reflectors. Price to Purchase: $1,200

“The bicycle is an integral part of daily life in countless communities around the world. The bicycle can be an extension of one’s personality and carries with it a sense of pride for the owner. We’re inspired by this in our work.”

image021.jpg
William Mueller
What’s for Dinner
Steel
Sedalia, CO

White sculptural forms float above an abstracted stainless steel “table” in this work, with a design intended to create the illusion of energy and movement. William Mueller works in metal, folding steel plate into shapes and surfaces which produce constantly changing patterns of shadow and light. Price to Purchase: $28,000

“My works express motion and transition through folded or layered sculptural forms which create a spatially complex visual experience.”

image023.jpg
Jacob Novinger
Toro!
Steel
Gooding, ID

The bright red abstract form of this Toro! bull was inspired by a 1945 lithograph by Pablo Picasso. Made of powder-coated steel by direct metal sculptor Jacob Novinger, the piece is forged, hammered by hand and then welded together. Price to Purchase: $25,000

“I’m inspired by natural forms and textures, abstract shapes and surrealism.”

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Sean O’Meallie
Poly Poly
Found objects (poly vinyl chloride) and steel cable
Colorado Springs, CO

A site-specific work, Poly Poly explores the air space above a downtown alleyway, encouraging visitors to view their surroundings with a fresh perspective. A toy inventor turned artist, Sean O’Meallie has incorporated elements of Colorado Springs founder General Palmer’s right-angled grid city layout in his vertical curtain of vinyl macaws. Price to Purchase: $25,000

“I thought this space could use some inflated toy parrots.”

image027.jpg
Keith Roberts
Falling Up
Steel
Colorado Springs, CO

Topping out at nearly 17’ high, Falling Up is Keith Roberts’ first venture into large-scale sculpture. With its “crystal on crystal” structure and gold color, the piece is inspired by iron pyrite (know as Fool’s Gold), and intended to remind us of the role of mining in our regional history. Price to Purchase: $44,500
Manufactured locally by Bo Steel.

“My intention from the start was to make the sculpture visually provocative. The viewer is compelled to walk around it, as it looks different from every side. It looks like it is falling upward.”

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beyond the Gallery goes to Wild Goose

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 2:23 PM

COURTESY ZACH WOLFSON
  • Courtesy Zach Wolfson
On the heels of news that Wild Goose Meeting House is going to expand, Beyond the Gallery released its video devoted to co-owner Russ Ware today.

Beyond the Gallery creator Zach Wolfson says that Ware's video "is pretty different and a fun contrast to the others." Ware's not a typical artist, but calls himself an "environmental artist" because of the way Wild Goose "invites community and invites connection. I think there's an art to that."

Click here to watch the video, and here for other episodes from Season 3. On Thursday, Wolfson will release a behind-the-scenes video on Ware.


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Local artist wins USA Pro Cycling poster contest

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 12:03 PM

David V. Gonzales, who many know for his window paintings around the holidays (see our story on that here), among his other pursuits, won the USA Pro Challenge's 2015 National Poster Contest.

Gonzales worked on the image with his wife, and thanks Richard Arnot and Christian Murdock for helping him with the final product, "The Peloton":

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The Pro Challenge won't pass through the Springs this year, instead looping largely through the western slope before finishing in Denver.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

FAC seeks O'Keeffe partnerships

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 4:10 PM

Everybody likes a blockbuster exhibition. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is due. 

Yep, Georgia O’Keeffe should more than suffice. Specifically Eloquent Objects: Georgia O’Keeffe and Still-Life Art in New Mexico, running June 27 through Sept. 13. 

As part of that, the FAC is seeking community partners in the food and drink realms for marketing tie-ins. Here's a press release from the museum with the details:
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is looking for partners in the community-wide Year of Georgia O’Keeffe celebration, which will be highlighted by the international traveling exhibition Eloquent Objects: Georgia O’Keeffe and Still-Life Art in New Mexico (June 27-Sept. 13).
Participating restaurants and bars are asked to create a new O’Keeffe-inspired dish or drink.
The FAC would promote these specials through its website, email and social media channels, and their customers then would get $5 off admission to the exhibition. The customers would get that deal through a special discount code (printed on receipts or the FAC can provide coupons), and they would get the discount whether or not they purchased the specific O’Keeffe special.
Contact Dori Mitchell (dmitchell@csfineartscenter.org) for more.  

COURTESY INTERNATIONAL ARTS
  • Courtesy International Arts

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Exhibit review: Mythic Creatures in Denver

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 2:01 PM

COURTESY DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
  • Courtesy Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Mermaids, unicorns and dragons are said to be the stuff of myth, but be careful in dismissing the possibility that they exist.

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids, exhibiting at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science through September, strives to show how various "sightings" and discoveries have influenced human belief throughout the years.

Many mythic creatures, the DMNS points out, reflect attempts to describe the natural world. They take shape through human imagination and are a medium of cultural interaction. And cultures around the world keep mythic creatures alive through art and literature. So it's not as incongruous as it first may appear to have fantastical creatures displayed in a science museum.

I was there for the simplest of reasons: a love for mythology. But I found the exhibit puzzling — it’s not academic enough to appeal to most adults, or lively enough to appeal to most kids.

Past the panel with an introduction is a giant tentacle marking the "Creatures of Water" portion of the exhibit, featuring beings from kraken and other sea monsters to water spirits to mermaids and the yawkyawk. According to the educator’s guide, the goal is to demonstrate that they “arouse feelings of curiosity, hope — and bottomless fear.”

But a mermaid masthead is the sole piece that possesses any intrigue, its hollow eyes cut into rich metal making it simultaneously beautiful and ethereal. As for the hangings of whales, sharks and dolphins, these well-documented creatures seem to divert, rather than direct, the focus.

It's a problem that comes up often in Mythic Creatures: By trying to cover so much ground, the exhibit barely scratches the surface of specific mythology.

An exception is the "Creatures of Land" section, which starts with an exhibit on griffins. Consisting mostly of griffin pottery and a supposed griffin fossil, it does well to send home the concept of how people have used mythic creatures to "describe the natural world.” Then come the unicorns — displays of art pieces with literary and historical backgrounds as well as a unicorn statue, which is the highlight of this area and one of the prettiest pieces of the entire exhibit. The way the light bounces off the statue makes it that much more magical. If any part of Mythic Creatures is worth stopping for, it’s this part.
COURTESY DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
  • Courtesy Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Two dragons hold up the exhibit finale. One standing in the center resembles dragons commonly seen in Western fantasy; the other, hanging from the ceiling, has an Asian appearance. I wanted this to be a huge spectacle worthy of a walk through the rest of the exhibit, but while there are various dragons featured in the art display and a build-your-own-dragon game, along with panels discussing the fantastical beasts, it doesn’t seem like enough. The build-your-own-dragon game, actually, only serves to remind the viewer of how many other interactive exhibits there could have been.

It helps that admission to Mythic Creatures is included in regular museum admission. But when it comes to finding a place that’s worth spending your time, but you might find more magic elsewhere.
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Colorado Springs a top city for young artists

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 11:42 AM

... That is, one of the 15 most inspiring cities for young artists in the U.S., according to WorldWideLearn. The Springs came in ninth, behind the usual suspects: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., and top seed, Boston. We placed before Denver (12), Portland, Austin and New Orleans.

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Here are the metrics they used:
Percentage of the population in college or graduate school
Percentage of the population aged 18-34
Art dealers per 100,000 people
Performing arts companies in the metropolitan area per 100,000 people (2012)
Museums per 100,000 people
Fine arts schools in the metropolitan area per 100,000 (2012)
Business classified in the "creative industries" sector per 100,000 people

Every U.S. city with a population of more than 300,000 was scored based on these seven points, and the top 15 aggregate scores were chosen. In the case of a tie (and there were a few), each city's raw scores for fine arts schools and creative businesses were used to determine the final order.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

FAC's new season: Big names and lots of premieres

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 7:01 PM

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As part of May’s First Friday, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center announced it’s 2015-2016 museum and theater schedule. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes from the press releases.

The theater schedule, main stage theater:

Putting It Together: A Musical Review
Sept. 10-27

The Colorado premiere of this Stephen Sondheim play that showcases all things, well, Sondheim. “Featuring nearly 30 Sondheim songs from at least a dozen of his shows (including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Company and Follies), this one-of-a-kind compilation celebrates Sondheim's incomparable career in musical theatre.”

Wait Until Dark
Oct. 15 through Nov. 1

Another Colorado premiere, in which two thieves attempt to break into an apartment outfitted with a mysterious but to-die-for prize. “Frederick Knott’s play inspired a film of the same name and multiple Broadway productions, earning Tony and Academy Award nominations for many of the actors involved — including the film’s star, Audrey Hepburn.”

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Dec. 10, 2015 through Jan. 3, 2016

“The musical you have been dreaming of!” This adaptation of the famous film fits the FAC’s current trend of lavish, family hits during the holiday season.

“Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander.”

Driving Miss Daisy
Feb. 4-21, 2016

A production of this Pulitzer Prize-winning play from Alfred Uhry about a decades-long friendship between a white woman and a black man set in Atlanta shortly before the Civil Rights movement.

Peter and the Starcatcher
March 31 through April 17, 2016

A production of this play by Rick Elice with music by Wayne Barker that won five Tony Awards. “A company of a dozen actors play more than a hundred unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?”

9 to 5: The Musical
May 19 through June 12, 2016

Dolly Parton wrote the music and lyrics to this award-winning play based on the titular film, which follows three fed-up women who try and get back at their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical” boss. What they end up doing is so much more. A regional premiere.

Second Stage

Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In A Play!
Oct. 8-18

A family affair that’s also a Colorado premiere. Based on the best selling children’s books.

Love, Loss & What I Wore
Nov. 12-22

Sound familiar? Due to the success of last season’s sell-out show (read our preview here, and review here), the FAC is staging it all over again with the entire cast returning for this much-loved Nora and Delia Ephron play.

Buyer and Cellar
Jan. 14-24, 2016

The Colorado premiere of this one-man absurdist comedy about an underemployed actor in Los Angeles who ends up working in Barbra Streisand’s basement. Per the New Yorker: "A fantasy so delightful you wish it were true."

Ivy & Bean: The Musical
April 27 through May 10, 2016

Another family play based on a best selling children’s book series, which follows the unexpected friendship that grows between two different second graders.

The museum:

El Mac: Aerosol Exalted
Oct. 3, 2015 through Jan. 10, 2016

A solo show from this internationally renowned graffiti artist (aka Miles MacGregor) known for his large scale works. “Graffiti art is a natural progression for the FAC, following in the artistic traditions of mural art that extend back to our inception as an institution.”

René Magritte/Springs Surreal
Oct. 24, 2015 through Feb. 7, 2016

Not only a rare chance to see Magritte regionally (in this case, the focal point will be three Magrittes on loan from a private collector), but a juried art show from locals living and working in the Pikes Peak region. (Click here for submission details.)

Don Coen: The Migrant Series
Jan. 23 through May 15, 2016

A series of 15 large-scale realistic portraits of migrant farm workers from Colorado artist Coen. Painted between 1992 and 2012, Coen aims to raise awareness of their plight and express gratitude for their hard work.

FAC Legacy Series: Frank Mechau
March 5 through May 15, 2016

What started with Birger Sandzén and Charles Bunnell will continue with Mechau, a Colorado artist with deep ties to the FAC: He taught at the FAC School from 1937-1938 and painted the lovely horses mural in the courtyard, a true fresco.

A Reservoir of Occurrences: Stephen Batura
June 24 thorugh Sept. 25, 2016

Another solo show highlighting a Colorado artist, Batura paints based on the photographs of little-known Denver photographer Charle Lillybridge, who was active in the early 1900s. “His limited-palette paintings reflect the black-and-white source photographs, yet Batura alters the original images in order to economize the compositions and to reflect his painterly hand.”

All New Women
June 11 through Sept. 18, 2016

The blockbuster of the year, this innovative exhibit pairs the portraiture of John Singer Sargent with the self-portraits of Cindy Sherman, a contemporary artist whose Society Portraits, which will be on display, are a series of photographs depicting herself as “a number of aging women of means.”

“This exhibition matches Sargent’s paintings with Sherman’s photographs, and together they make curious visual statements about trailblazing women who forged new paths for the next generations.”

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beyond the Gallery teases season 3

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Today, Colorado College alum Zach Wolfson announced the line-up for season three of his web series devoted to Colorado artists, Beyond the Gallery.

Two Colorado Springsians will appear in the forthcoming series, Russ Ware of Wild Goose Meeting House and Idris Goodwin, the recent subject of an Indy cover story.
Throughout Season Three, we’ll uncover the stories of ten more artists and creatives from Colorado’s five newest Certified Creative Districts: 40 West, Downtown Colorado Springs, Greeley, Longmont, and RiNo. Creative disciplines among our ten featured creatives include performance painting, metal work, monster making, dance, art, creating community, design, sculpture, and writing.
Ten artist profiles will make up season 3; the artists include: Chandler Romeo and Yoshitomo Saito of RiNo, Armando Silva of Greeley, and Wendy Scheck and Kevin Yoshida of 40 West. Past seasons (find more about them here and here) featured creatives like Pat Musick, Rodney Wood, Jimmy Descant and Mathias Valdez.

The new season begins May 5 with a new episode debuting each Tuesday and behind-the-scenes videos each Thursday.

Watch the teaser below:


10 More Colorado Artists & Creatives – Beyond the Gallery: Season Three
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

See Floyd Tunson works May 1 during First Friday

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 2:06 PM

"Cream of Wheat: Politics of the 90's" - COURTESY FLOYD TUNSON
  • Courtesy Floyd Tunson
  • "Cream of Wheat: Politics of the 90's"
This upcoming First Friday is shaping up to be a big one, per our recent blog on developments at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, but also because it's a rare chance to see works by Floyd Tunson.

Tunson, who doesn't show often in the Springs, was the man behind the FAC's fantastic 2012 exhibit Son of Pop (read more about that here).  Now you can see some of his works in two lofts during First Friday. Between 5-8 p.m. Tunson works will be on display (and some for sale) at the Daniels and Giddings II buildings. The addresses are 108 N. Tejon St., Unit F and 101 N. Tejon St., Unit 260; greeters will be on hand at both venues to help guide visitors.

From the presser: "According to Tunson’s agent, Wylene Carol, 'There’s no place like home for viewing art. Certainly it’s wonderful to see art you love in a gallery or museum, but to live with a painting, sculpture, or photograph and continue to see new things in it and to be inspired by it every single day is to live an enriched life.'"

Son of Pop, meanwhile, opened last moth at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Mont. after having stopped at 516 Arts in Albuquerque, N.M.

Find more information about other First Friday events and exhibits downtown here.


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Friday, April 17, 2015

FAC to get new museum shop, join First Friday and more news

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 9:44 AM

Heather Oelklaus - FAC
  • FAC
  • Heather Oelklaus
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has a slew of big changes coming, let's get to it.

First, you can now buy fine art there. It's opening up a new, concerted museum shop run by local artist and curator Holly Parker. The space that held Alice's will lose the counter and beverages, get a new coat of paint and proffer fine art and goods, with an emphasis on local and regional artists.

"I love the things that artists make," Parker says, "I love assembling the things that other people make in one space."

Beyond jewelry and other wearables, Parker will also coordinate the Colorado Originals series: a bank of bins that each have small, medium and large works on paper that customers can easily flip through. Such works will be easy for traveling visitors as well as beginning collectors. Parker aims to make much of the goods in the new museum shop affordable. 

Expect artists like Chris Weed, Karen Fish Fisher and Lance Green to have works in the shop, with more to come. The shop will open mid-May (phase "point five," Parker says), and building up as the months go along.
Holly Parker - FAC
  • FAC
  • Holly Parker
Parker will also oversee a new rotating gallery space in the FAC's Deco Lounge. That space will still operate primarily as a social area, but will have new shows on display every two months. Starting May 1, three local photographers, Heather Oelklaus, Carol Dass and Kay Williams Johnson will have works on display, all culled from their past shows in the FAC's galleries. These too will be available for purchase.

Artists are welcome to apply to show in the shop and Deco Lounge. Parker accepts digital submissions; find guidelines for the Deco Lounge here, Colorado Originals here, and general Museum Shop here

Kay Williams Johnson - FAC
  • FAC
  • Kay Williams Johnson
May 1 will also mark the FAC's formal entree into First Friday-dom. From 5-8 p.m. that night, there will be a reception in which the museum will announce next year's theater and museum schedule. It will also be organizing a shuttle to take patrons downtown and back, with stops along the way.

The FAC is also in the process of revamping its website and finishing off a new app that uses iBeacon technology to act somewhat like audio tours. It's free, currently only on iPhones.

Thanks to a recent grant, the FAC will reinstate its Public Free Days to monthly events, starting May 20. Entry to the museum is free (though special shows like O'Keeffe are not). Starting in June, the third Friday of each month will be a free day.

Lastly, the FAC's going to reopen its restaurant, still under Garden of the Gods Gourmet, called Taste. It opens May 3. Watch for updates on that in our Side Dish column.
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