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A lustrous palette 

click to enlarge BRUCE ELLIOTT

It wasn't easy to single out our four featured artists, because our local arts community has so many other significant players. Among them:

Elaine Bean -- photographer, graphic artist, and gallery owner -- has been the Downtown Art District's most committed advocate for years. Bean's gallery, Phototroph, has spotlighted the work of many local photographers, including Kevin Thayer, Brian Doan, Rodney Wood, Bill Starr, and Andrea Modica. (For her part, Modica's 2004 show at a New York gallery rated a full-page review in the New York Times. And Rodney Wood -- teacher, photographer, entrepreneur, former director of the Business of Art Center -- is, to put it mildly, ubiquitous.

Another significant artist/entrepreneur is Kat Tudor. Artist, philanthropist, community activist, Tudor's contributions to the city are many with the Uncle Wilber fountain in downtown's Acacia Park at the top of the list.

Across town at UCCS, Gerry Riggs has quietly labored for years, usually successfully, to bring high-quality contemporary art to the Springs. UCCS faculty members such as Lin Fife (see page 37), Laurel Swab and Louis Cicotello are teachers/creators and players in the larger community. And let's not forget other artists/teachers, such as Michael Cellan in Manitou Springs, George Sanchez at Pikes Peak Community College and Jeff Brown at Fountain Valley School.

Chris Weed's sculptures (giant sunflowers on the median in the middle of Cascade Street and the big red cube on Pikes Peak Avenue) grace downtown, while Steve Wood's sculptures, collaborative murals and ceramic installations are omnipresent. Eve Tilley -- whose dad, Lew Tilley, now 90, is himself an artist of note -- chairs the Pikes Peak Arts Council.

Eric and MaryAnne Bransby are living links with our city's storied past. Bill Burgess has worked here for decades, as has Fine Arts Center curator Cathy Wright.

Longtime Manitou Springs resident Floyd Tunson creates work that engages the great issues of our time. Tunson's long-awaited one-person show at the Fine Arts Center, American Standard is possibly the most ambitious and most successful show of its kind in the FAC's history. It closes this weekend. Don't miss it.

And we've just begun to scratch the surface ...

-- John Hazlehurst

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