If you've been following the news you may have noticed that City Councilwoman Judy Noyes is getting her feathers ruffled about whether the City Auditorium is meeting its "mission" by hosting events like raves, Snoop Dogg, and other shows and events that might be of interest to people under 60. Noyes wants to look into the possibility of setting up a "cultural committee" to determine whether particular events are suitable for city property. Wow! Isn't Judy Noyes half-owner of Chinook Bookshop, one of the few strongholds of free speech here in Little London?
Give me a break. Where is the city going to start drawing the line? How about last week's sold-out Willie Nelson concert? Everyone knows Willie's a big pot smoker and medical marijuana advocate. How about this past weekend's gathering of Jehovah's Witnesses? Separation of church and state anyone?
And does anyone besides me find it disturbing that the police are doing surveillance at raves? Maybe City Manager, and former city police chief, Lorne Kramer would like to let us know what other events and organizations the police have been surveilling?
If you want to continue to have the opportunity to enjoy everything from antique exhibits to the upcoming Weezer and Merle Haggard shows at one of the only midsize venues here in Colorado Springs capable of hosting such events, please call or e-mail Judy Noyes and let her know how you feel at 385-5487 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
In other areas of ongoing concern, Starr Kempf's grandson, Joshua Kempf has claimed that Lottie Kempf is no longer a part of the family trust that has authority over Starr's monumental kinetic whirligigs in the front yard of the Kempf home in Cheyenne Canyon. Lottie Kempf had no comment. In a phone interview, Joshua said that he is currently considering relocation possibilities which include: Confluence Park, dispersal throughout the City of Colorado Springs to different private locations, and even moving the pieces to Castle Rock.
This is a direct plea to the Kempf trust and the City of Colorado Springs for the sake of Starr's work, possibly our greatest local treasure: Please keep the sculptures in the city and don't separate them, even if they have to be moved! A huge part of the grandeur of Starr's work is their togetherness. Even the most staunch economic conservatives would have to agree that having these works together in a location that does them justice can only bring positive attention and lots of cash to our city. Don't be foolish or hasty, or history will frown darkly upon you.
And now for my Top 5 list of contemporary visual artists just because I feel like it:
Marcel Duchamp Award for Irreverent Genius: Colaca by Wim Delvoye, recently displayed at the Venice Biennial. It would be one thing if a group of scientists made a machine that could actually digest and excrete food as some kind of demonstration for a science exploratorium or something. But it's an entirely different thing when an artist makes such a machine and calls both the machine and the resultant excrement "art." You can buy one of those cute little poos -- which look and smell like the real deal -- for $1000 each!
Landscapes Don't Have to Be Boring in the 21st Century Award: Colorado Springs artist Jean Gumpper's woodcut prints. See them to believe them. A true colorist and printer with zero pretense. You can catch one of her pieces at the Business of Art Center's Seeds of Change show, and one at the Fine Art Center until April 14, or try to buy one at the FAC's "Party Arty Art Auction," which culminates on Friday, April 19.
CSI Award for Forensic Creepiness: Amy Sarkisian's Toy Skull Reconstructions: Dark Version, 2000-2001 recently displayed in LA. Using supposedly fake human skulls, Sarkisian uses forensic sculpting techniques to build humanoid heads, which she then dresses up in various mod and hesher wigs with ultra-weird Mamas-and-the-Papas gown collars.
Immaculate Conceptualism Award: All conceptual works by British artist Cornelia Parker, such as the loaf of bread she cut in half with the guillotine used to cut off Marie Antoinette's head and "Negative Sound," the collection of shavings from the original pressing of a Beatles album.
Identity Crisis Award: Using nothing but herself, clothes, make-up and a point-and-shoot, Bay-area artist Nikki Lee becomes a part of different cultures by completely remaking her identity and then documenting those identities with snapshots. Lee has become an old woman, a skater, a punk rocker, and a yuppie, among other things.