Earlier this week, we blogged an update on the Over the River project, which, for now, hangs on the decisions of three separate lawsuits.
On Friday, we spoke with Joan Anzelmo, spokesperson for Rags Over the Arkansas River, Over the River’s main opposition group. ROAR has filed one of the three suits, theirs against the Bureau of Land Management for violating
state federal law in allowing the project.
However, before ROAR’s suit can continue, an administrative appeal through the Interior Board of Land Appeals must be decided. (This is an entirely separate affair, in which the board will decide if the BLM broke any rules in allowing the project. This was brought on by a group of individuals unaffiliated with ROAR.)
Anzelmo says that no matter what the outcome of the IBLA appeal, the federal judge presiding over the
other two suits federal suit will request a 60-day stay, further halting construction on the project. As of yet, OTR Corp. has not announced a new date for the exhibit.
“I think for folks who are wondering about the status, I think it’s helpful for people to understand that the OTR project is indefinitely delayed, per the lawsuits. And even if IBLA were to make a decision that supports BLM’s decision allowing the project, there’s still quite a few legal procedures that will ensue.
"We’re convinced that there are some serious violations that BLM made of two federal laws — the Federal Land Policy Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act — and we have a strong case, so we think the project will be indefinitely delayed for a very, very, very long time. And it is our goal to make sure that the project never happens because of the devastation that it will wreak on Big Horn Sheep Canyon and that section of the Arkansas River.”
Professor Mike Harris from the University of Denver’s law clinic is taking the case pro bono, with his students. Meanwhile,
the other lawyers in the cases the lawyers defending the BLM and Colorado State Parks Board are costing the state tax dollars, Anzelmo says.
“In a sense, Christo’s having his cake and eating it too because they’re saying, ‘Oh no, the lawsuits are filed against the BLM and the state parks board,’ and he’s letting federal taxpayers and state of Colorado taxpayers foot the bill for the legal defense of the OTR project, which will be very costly.
"It is already costly to taxpayers because ... the organizations or the entities that should be regulating and providing oversight for a project as large-scale and industrial as this, instead of doing their oversight work and regulating, they’ve become the torchbearers for the project and the taxpayers are footing the bill. Certainly taxpayers are footing the bill as BLM and the state try and defend their approvals in court.”
ROAR also takes issue with the numbers OTR Corp. offers for economic impact. The quote given for temporary jobs, Anzelmo says, is really only half the 620 positions stated, since half the work will be done by prisoners in area correctional facilities. This was what ROAR gleaned when OTR Corp. was petitioning for permits from the Fremont County Board of Commissioners.
Yet Anzelmo and ROAR are more focused on the litigation right now. She estimates ROAR
members board members and attorneys are working through 90,000 pages of documents, from the Environmental Impact Statement to the administrative record that BLM was required to file with the court to ancillary paperwork. Plus, there are many variables, starting with the IBLA decision, that could send the BLM “back to the drawing board” in reviewing the EIS, she says.
As for when that IBLA announcement could arrive, no one knows for sure. Anzelmo tentatively expects to return to court sometime in the spring.
ROAR was formed in the late 1990s, after Over the River was first publicly announced. It became a nonprofit in 2005 and according to Anzelmo has about 300 members and 5,000 “supporters” from across the country and overseas. A supporter, she explains, is anyone who has donated money or approached ROAR to help.
“As people understand more fully what the impacts will be and as the courts really evaluate this," she says, "we feel very confident that the project will never happen.”
All was going well for Christo and the late Jeanne-Claude’s Over the River project, until August, when a spate of court cases put the project on hold.
Over the River, another of the pair’s large-scale land installations, proposes hanging giant swaths of silver fabric across 5.9 miles of the Arkansas River over a 42-mile stretch between Salida and Cañon City. Currently, the project date has been rescheduled, though a specific time has not been identified (it was last slated for August 2015). This is due to three ongoing legal battles that could potentially threaten the entire enterprise, though Over the River Corp. says it’s confident in outcomes in their favor. None of the suits are aimed at OTR Corp. directly, rather, Over the River’s main opposition group, Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR) is challenging Colorado State Parks and the Bureau of Land Management, two agencies that gave their stamp of approval for the project. (ROAR got help from Denver University’s law clinic.) The third suit is an administrative appeal through the Federal Interior Board of Land Appeals by three individuals in response the BLM’s Record of Decision allowing the project. (OTR has sided with the BLM in its suit, though it’s not providing assistance in any way.)
Until the administrative appeal is settled, the judges in the other two suits will not proceed, setting the timetable on OTR activities, such as the ordering of materials and gaining final permits, on hold. OTR spokesperson Miles Graham says that the team is still moving forward where it can, working on other aspects, such as the bighorn sheep habitat enhancement program. Graham adds that Christo is planning a visit to Colorado on Wednesday, Jan. 23. (He'll be speaking at 6 p.m. at the Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive, Denver.)
The project, which was first conceived in 1992, is estimated to bring in more than $121 million in total economic output, according to the official OTR website, which also estimates more than 620 temporary jobs will be created and 344,000 visitors will come to the area over the 14-day exhibition window.
Think about this if you're pulling apart the packing material on that new TV or computer you're going to get for Christmas. (Amiright?)
Those awkward chunks of Styrofoam are just what artist Michael Salter needs for his upcoming exhibition at the Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA 1420 specifically). Salter builds robots, both large and small, from the material, to dramatic effect:
In January, Salter will build a "monumental sculpture project" for GOCA, and to get him going, the gallery is collecting "packing and substantial pieces of extruded polystyrene." Broken pieces and packing peanuts will not be accepted.
I'll admit to being late to certain things in life.
For instance, it wasn't until I got to college ('97) that I picked up my first zine, and then subsequently contributed to my then-new friend Aaron Retka's humble effort called Death's Car (Has California Plates).
It was at Toons (currently The Leechpit, if only a little while longer) that I grabbed it, if I recall correctly, and to be honest, I wouldn't know exactly where to go to pick one up today.
A good guess might be online, where I'm sure the even-more-cost-effective format appeals to the DIY-types who invest their time and talent on these small artists' books.
But good thing I don't have to guess since a friend recently clued me in to her and some of her pals' new local publication, Ragwater Monthly Magazine, currently hosted on Tumblr.
Check it out, and consider submitting your fine work at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, the Colorado Springs Business Journal reported that the Millibo Art Theatre's move to the Ivywild school project area — specifically Ivywild Community Church — has hit something of a snafu.
Howard Hillman, a vicar for St. Aidan’s Anglican, the congregation that meets at the church, says he's not been notified of any changes from building owner Joseph Coleman. Hillman says there was no agreement, and that his parishioners are upset at the news.
Meanwhile, Jim Jackson, MAT executive director, is moving forward with the plans as he understands them. The CSBJ first reported on the move three days ago, pointing out that Jackson has even worked with architects and engineers for a renovation. Today, reporter Amy Gillentine writes, "Jackson seemed as confused as Hillman about the communication breakdown."
Read the full story here.
It's a daisy-chain of giving. Mountain Equipment Recyclers now has a mural in its shop, thanks to local artist Douglas Rouse. But instead of simply paying Rouse for the work, MER will donate $500 to the Trails and Open Space Coalition, an Indy Give! participant.
From the press release:
We met Douglas through mutual friends and asked if he’d create a mural in our store. He knew MER had a greater cause contributing regularly to local non-profits. He quickly agreed to donate his time. Our store is very excited to showcase his work and Trails and Open Space Coalition is appreciative of the $500 boost to their Indy Give efforts.
Rouse, meanwhile, has also just finished a mural on the ceiling of Gasoline Alley, adding another notch to downtown's impressive mural count. See next week's Indy for more on that.
Today, the Business of Art Center announced that Patrick Bohnen will be its new curator and gallery manager. Bohnen will replace Liz Szabo, who left the BAC in November after four years.
According to the press release, Bohnen started at the BAC as an intern in April, then became a gallery assistant. He has also worked as co-director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Student Gallery. “In short, I want to take the amazing foundation I have been provided and build on it by opening up the galleries to a wider range of visiting artists and guest curators of the highest caliber while simultaneously building new and exciting connections for the organization,” Bohnen says in the release.
For now, though, he'll inherit a gallery schedule already established by Szabo that runs through early 2014.
A larger number of applicants applied, the BAC says, all of whom were well-qualified. Yet BAC executive director Natalie Johnson says Bohnen's experience, knowledge of the organization and community-building chops made him the top choice.
"He is fearless, collaborative and works well with our current staff and administration," she says.
For instance, in the clean-up process, they were able to reconfigure the layout of the offices upstairs, giving them an extra space that will become a reading room/lending library/community art gallery, says BAC executive editor Natalie Johnson.
The BAC had the books for the lending, but were given another boost from the Manitou Springs Education Foundation through a mini-grant.
The new space opens today (Thursday), and to christen it, students from Manitou Springs High School's print-making class will host a fundraiser for Sophie Valdez. That's the young daughter of LastLeaf Printing's Mathias Valdez who's been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
MSH teacher Holly Garlow, an accomplished local artist herself, brought her students to Valdez's studio for a field trip last spring, she says via e-mail. "[Valdez] inspired my students tremendously and they want to return the favor."
The benefit and reception starts at 6 p.m. and features prints that run the gamut from $5 to $50. All proceeds will go to the Valdez family. Expect live music by Chauncy Crandall and Briffaut as well.
Click here for more info on the event.
Holly Parker, local artist and former director and curator of the Smokebrush Gallery, announced last week that she has taken a new position as resident artist and curator at the Ivywild school project.
Parker's studio and gallery will relocate to the mixed-use brewery/bakery/coffee bar/event center in February, where she will also curate exhibits from local and regional artists. This is exciting news given the amazing work she did at Smokebrush, landing shows from the likes of James Balog, Ron English, Regan Rosburg and others. (Parker left Smokebrush at the start of 2011 to pursue her own artwork.)
In her newsletter, Parker adds that she also hopes to "foster art/design projects that integrate ecology & sustainability."
To start, she's opened a call for artists for "general consideration" for future shows. With a rolling deadline between now and next March, artists may be chosen for solo shows, small group exhibits or larger themed shows. The main criteria are that artists must be from Colorado, have been creating for the past two years at least, and the artwork must be for sale. For more information on that, click here.
An art show at the Wynn Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas wouldn't live up to its surroundings if it weren't grand and bombastic. As such, the World of Art Showcase is all about the big statements. Billed as "the most amzing art show in over 150 years" and "unprecedented," the Dec. 20-22 expo is all about buying art, for love or money.
The list of contributing artists is impressive, including: H.R. Giger of Alien fame; Max Ginsburg, who has illustrated for the New Yorker, will bring paintings and do a live demonstration; as well as presidential portrait artist Nelson Shanks. Rare prints of da Vinci drawings as well as bronzes made from a "recently discovered beeswax sculpture" by the artist will also be for sale.
And among the 80 or so exhibitors, local artist Chris Weed will also be there. Weed's most recent public art is his award-winning sculpture pair, "Portal 1" and "Portal 2," built as part of this year's Art on the Streets. According to the World of Art website, Weed will be in attendance at the show as well.
(Vail-based artist James Van Fossan will also be showing. Check out his classical-meets-supernatural paintings and delicate drawings here.)
Want to go? Day passes to the event are $55, and VIP weekend passes are $500.
There are at least 26,000 stories to tell about the Waldo Canyon Fire, maybe more, and Johnny Wilson wants people to tell them.
Wilson, 51, who retired from the Navy in 2005 and has lived in Colorado Springs ever since, has been collecting stories since the fire hit the Mountain Shadows area in June, and might wind up with a book. At the least, he's shooting for a compilation of at least 120 stories to form into a gallery showing.
Here's his own story from June 26.
I live in Peregrine. I was on the east side doing a photography job, and then I got the reverse 911 call of the mandatory evacuation of Peregrine. I went to my studio, on Garden of the Gods Road, about 4:30 to get my camera equipment. Then I was going up Centennial because I had my three dogs in my house. The traffic was so bad. Then the police knocked on my door and said, 'You need to go.' It was about 5:30, and Mountain Shadows was already burning. I spent three hours in the traffic. I put my dogs in the studio and then went and stayed in a friend's basement.
Having been a Navy photographer for 24 years, documenting the story of men and women of the military, Wilson began collecting stories three years ago on his own of military members who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
He had a gallery display at East Library and Information Center, 5550 Union Blvd., recently of 21 people who suffer from lupus.
"When the fire started, I turned my focus to the fire," he says.
So far, he's finished 25 stories, which include a hand-written account from the subject. Their accounts then drive the photos, he says. Forty more people are in the process of writing about their experiences, and he's expecting to hear from Denver firefighters, who helped fight the fire, as well as El Paso County sheriff's employees, Springs firefighters and those with Colorado Springs Utilities.
While his goal is to mount a gallery showing, he's been asked repeatedly about compiling the stories into a book. "I'm trying to secure some funding through private people and a grant, but I'm still running my own business," he says, referring to his photography studio at 750 Garden of the Gods Road.
He also might compile the stories on a CD, he says.
Some of Wilson's portraits along with the stories that go with them are displayed at the Colorado Springs Together office at 6840 Centennial Blvd.
If you're interested in sharing your story and having your portrait done to go with it, which costs you nothing, contact Wilson at 719-210-6780 or email@example.com.
He's most interested in these folks and the tales they can tell:
People luring you into an alleyway sounds like a bad idea, but not when it's a bright alley, dotted with galleries, artwork, food and drink.
That's the idea behind the Art in the Alleyway event scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 from 4-9:30 p.m. In an effort to raise awareness about the Alley Arts District plans for gentrification — which have been conceptualized by HB&A Architects and Planners and promoted by Brett and Lauren Andrus of the Modbo and S.P.Q.R. — members of Leadership Pikes Peak: Leadership NOW!'s class, with the help of Mayor Steve Bach's Streetscapes team and HB&A, will set up a "pit stop" for pedestrians in the alley running north and south of Bijou Street between Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street.
Here's the gist, from an e-mail from spokesperson Chelsie Reynolds:
We will be a "pit stop" for the pedestrian traffic, rerouting them to walk through the alleyway to stop at the Modbo art gallery and continue on to where our team will be, located in the alleyway behind Remax. We will be getting donated artwork from youth at Spring Creek, Bemis Art schools veterans program, and Cottonwood artists to display along the alley walls, and project the proposed renderings that HB&A is providing to show people what the future could be for the alleyways if we could connect arts and culture in the community.
They hope to also have a food truck, coffee barista and beer to serve to visitors.
For more on the event, click the pdf, and for more on the Streetscapes team, visit their Facebook page here.
From the listings desk: It's the time of year for gift-y art shows, a chance for you to not only shop local and all that jazz, but to procure
yourself someone you love a piece of art that's more affordable than usual. Here's a round-up of some local small works/holiday art shows. If you know of another not mentioned here, please let us know in the comments or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Bemis School of Art, 818 Pelham Place, 475-2444, csfineartscenter.org. Annual Teacher's Art Sale, a collection of ceramics, paintings, jewelry and more. Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
• Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1861, thebac.org. Art for a New Start, a show of artwork donated for families who lost their homes in the Waldo Canyon Fire. Selections are on a first-come, first-served basis. Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. Opening reception for families and donors, Fri., Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m. Handmade Holiday, a show and sale of hand-crafted artwork and crafts from locals, with live music, warm beverages and cookies and other holiday entertainment. Saturdays, Sundays. through Dec. 25. BAC Annual Holiday Show, a showcase of the BAC's studio artists, offering up works in ceramics, painting, mixed media, print work and more. Dec. 7 through Jan. 19. Opening reception, Fri., Dec. 7, 6 p.m.
• Commonwheel Artists Co-op, 102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1008, commonwheel.com. Commonwheel Artists Co-op Annual Holiday Market, a show and sale of gift-able artwork by over 35 Colorado artists. Through Jan 6.
• Cottonwood on Tejon, 214½ N. Tejon St., cottonwoodgallery.wordpress.com. Holiday Boutique, an art show and sale, featuring pieces from Colorado artists, all under $100.
• Cup and Bowl Gallery, 116 Midway Ave., Pueblo, 719/404-3469, cupandbowl.org. A Cup & Bowl Christmas, an exhibition of work from Linda Cates, Kuky Harrington, Maria Hughes and Laura Lester. Opening reception, Fri., Dec. 7 , 5 p.m.
• Fare Bella Studio and Gallery, 16 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, 720/226-4315. 100 for $100, a holiday art show featuring original works by Coni Grant, Patti Filler, Laura Reilly and others. Also held in Tracy Miller Fine Art. Nov. 30 to Dec. 31. Opening reception, Fri., Nov. 30, 6 p.m.
• Gallery 113, 113 N. Tejon St., 634-5299, gallery-113.com. Art Gift Show, as the name implies, handmade items ranging from scarves and jewelry to photographs, stone arts and prints. Nov. 28 through Dec. 25. Opening reception, Fri., Dec. 7, 5 p.m.
• Kreuser Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., 630-6347, abigailkreusergallery.com. Holiday Art Market, a sale featuring art work from local artists like Carole Reece, Marie David, Dana Long, Tim Davis, Randall Barbera, Abigail Kreuser and others. Through Nov. 30.
• Mardosz Fine Art Gallery, 109 S. Corona St., mardoszfineart.com. Miniatures Show, a series of small paintings by Chuck Mardosz, Eric Michaels, Richard Dahlquist and Dean Mabe. Through Dec. 31.
• Marmalade at Smokebrush, 219 W. Colorado Ave., #210, 444-1012, smokebrush.org. CHRISZAIHAMANKUS, a seasonal group art show with works by Don Goede, Kat and Bob Tudor, Jeff Kallaus, Justin Kovach and others. Opening reception, with a short play by Ethan Engel and Jennifer Mulson, music by the New Depressionists and Crystal & the Curious, and more. Fri., Dec. 7, 6 p.m.
• Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St., 633-4240, themodbo.wordpress.com. Fifth Annual Small Works Show, a show and sale of nearly 300 works of art, all under 24 inches in each dimension, and hung salon-style in the galleries. Also held in S.P.Q.R. Opening reception, Fri., Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
• Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo, 719/295-7200, sdc-arts.org. Own Your Own Art Show & Sale, Sangre's annual art bonanza, with walls filled top to bottom with reasonably priced artwork for the holidays. Through Dec. 29.
This weekend, the New York Times published an opinion piece by James Atlas about the future of global warming, and what New York City could look like if only minimal efforts are made to curb our contributions to a hotter world.
The picture was grim. The article postulates that oceans could potentially rise 12 feet by 2300 if we continue to make only "moderate pollution cuts." For the Big Apple, that means La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports "are permanently submerged, as are Coney Island, the Rockaways and neighborhoods along Jamaica Bay."
The results are similarly disastrous in Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and, of course, New Orleans. (You can see the whole thing in a nifty interactive sidebar here.)
At least there are folks like Atlas, and James Balog, whom we interviewed back in 2010, out watching our melting glaciers and spreading the word on this concern. Balog, a photographer and the head of the research project, Extreme Ice Survey, has charted global glacial recession for years now in a fascinating way, with years-long time-lapse videos. The effect of the videos are not only scientific, but strangely beautiful.
Balog and the ice are also the subjects of a film documentary, Chasing Ice, which is making the rounds of theaters today. The film is directed by Jeff Orlowski, edited by Davis Coombe (who shared an Oscar for Saving Face) and co-produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Jerry Aronson (DuPré Pesmen received Academy Awards for The Cove, Aronson a nomination for The Divided Trail: A Native American Odyssey.)
Per such a talented group, Chasing Ice has taken awards across the film festival circuit, from Best Documentary at the Big Sky Film Festival to Excellence in Cinematography for a U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It grabbed audience awards at fests such as the South by Southwest Film Festival and the Palo Alto Film Festival and bagged a the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award at MountainFilm in Telluride and Best Adventure Film at the Boulder Film Festival.
From the listings desk: For years, local artist Spika, who heads up the blacKiowa Gallery at 745 E. Kiowa St., has thrown a post-Thanksgiving exhibit called blackFriday@blacKiowa.
The past two blackFriday shows have been devoted to works by new, up-and-coming artists, but this year, he writes via e-mail, he's doing something different: "... this year marks twenty years that I have been making photographs. So, we're talking thousands of photos and I'd like to get rid of some of them to hopefully serve as holiday gifts."
He's also hyping the show differently: "To advertise for the show I will be doing a performance piece handing out hundreds of nature photos taken around Pikes Peak to passerbys on Tejon street across from Acacia park the day of the show."
Interested? Make yourself available that day in and around said location, and/or head to blacKiowa beginning at 7 p.m. for 20 years of Rocky Mountain photographs by Spika, with live music by Foster.
Here's what you'll find: