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click to enlarge Ryan Ourada's "After Alex" at UCCS
  • Ryan Ourada's "After Alex" at UCCS

Student Art Bonanza!
The young at art to air wares in coming weeks

Along with the bad blood of spring come lilacs, Daisy Dukes and student art exhibits. Student art is both the fulmination and the culmination of, hopefully, a year spent learning technique, and exploring and exploiting one's own ideas, concepts and styles. Students, being far less jaded and having yet to experience the steely backhanded slap that reality so cold-heartedly loves to administer, are always fecund with fresh ideas.

At the elementary level, the 40th Annual Young People's Art Exhibition will be on display at the Fine Arts Center from April 27 to May 5 with the secondary school exhibit following from May 11 to 19. Both shows will feature hundreds of works from schools throughout the Colorado Springs area.

At the college level, both UCCS and Colorado College are featuring their annual spring student exhibits.

The annual juried student art show at UCCS was judged this year by Rodney Wood, former director of the Business of Art Center, and Jina Pierce, curator at Pueblo's Sangre de Cristo Art Center.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

Karen Bertollini has thoroughly digested the refuse of our culture and transformed it into the everyday context of textiles. Using wire and yarn, Bertollini spins fetish and feminism together into a "Bodice" that leaves nothing but the wearer to the viewer's imagination. In her work "Culture by the Yard," Bertollini makes a less-than-understated commentary on packaging and waste by sewing small quilts out of fast-food wrappers, napkins, cosmetic implements, ramen packages, zip-lock storage containers and other suburban detritus and effluvia.

Also working in the found-crud medium, Jonathan Brewer created "Blue Mattress #14" by removing the Transformers covering from a child's old mattress and piecing it together over the molded shape of a desperately aloof figure on top of the springs.

Above Brewer's mattress hangs Jenny Judkoff's "Woodland Wings," one of the most elegantly beautiful pieces in the show that uses a foot-long piece of an old 2x4 to hold a fan of branches on either side.

Of particular note are the untitled photographs from Brian Doan's "Dream House Series," a grouping of photos featuring two nude Vietnamese women variously lounging about in an ambiguously erotic interior landscape where much is implied, but nothing is particularly overt.

click to enlarge Morris "fancy me" the Cat
  • Morris "fancy me" the Cat

Works that were not selected for the juried exhibition are on display in the "Salon des Refuss" in the student center.

An opening reception for both exhibits is planned for this Friday to kick off Student Art Week activities. Included in the events is a series of lectures on "The Business of Being an Artist, or What To Do with an Art Degree," which is open to the public (for more, see page 37 of the Listings).

At Colorado College, the annual senior art majors exhibit will feature work from more than 20 graduating seniors in the Coburn Gallery on the CC campus.

Included in the many outstanding works are Caitlin Sadowski's masochistic photographic takes on love and gender -- a kitchen knife holding a perfectly twisted bun of hair together, and a strand of barbed wire dividing an otherwise idyllic out-of-focus pastoral. Emily Burgar's orange-, red- and mustard-colored woodcut monotypes prove that prints are still the most viable medium for abstraction. Susan Meredith remakes the window with rubber and thread. And Brenna Chase deftly reinvents "nature" with her gorgeous minimal and miniature still-lifes that bring clay, plastic, milkweed silk, wire, twigs, thread, seeds and tiny ink drawings together into dreamlike architectural relationships.

Come on out and see the next generations of art and creative thinking while they're fresh!

-- Noel Black

capsule

40th Annual Young People's Art Exhibition
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center,
30 W. Dale St.
Elementary exhibit from April 27 to May 5
Reception on Tues., April 30, 5-7:30 p.m.
Secondary school exhibit following, May 11-19
Reception and awards presentation on Thurs., May 16, 5-7:30 p.m.
For more information, call 520-2027

capsule

UCCS Student Art Exhibit
Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS
Opening Reception:
Friday, April 26, 5-7:30 p.m.
Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat., 1-4 p.m.
Call 262-3567 for more info.

capsule

click to enlarge Carol "mixed bag" Lawrence
  • Carol "mixed bag" Lawrence

Colorado College Senior Art Exhibit
Coburn Gallery in CC's Worner Center
Gallery hours: Tues.-Sat., 12:30-7:30 p.m.
Through May 18. Call 389-6607.

26 Friday

Jump, jive and wail through a night of bebop, swing, jazz, and blues with Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Iron your zoot suit and meet the band at the University of Southern Colorado's Occhiato Center Ballroom in Pueblo tonight and at the Air Force Academy tomorrow night. Tickets are $20 to $22 and can be purchased by calling the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center Box Office at 719/542-1211 or Ticketmaster at 520-9090.

27 Saturday

It's gonna be a purr-fect cat-astrophe today when the Rocky Mountain Cat Fanciers Annual Cat Show gets swinging. There will be over 250 different breeds of fantastic felines littering the City Auditorium (221 E. Kiowa St.) and vendors will be peddling everything a cat lover could ever desire. The fur flies from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for children. Call 471-4736.

Carol Lawrence, star of the stage and screen, performs A Love Letter to Lenny tonight at the Fine Arts Center. Using a mixed bag of songs, photographs and memories Ms. Lawrence pays homage to Leonard Bernstein and his considerable contributions to the art of musical theater. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets run from $30 to $40. Call 634-5583 for details.

The Acoustic Coffee Lounge (5152 Centennial Blvd.) hosts the Debut Art Showing of Keith Stewart. Stewart's inaugural show features works that span his six-year pursuit of art. The proceeds from the purchase of one of these unique pieces will benefit the U.S. Transplant Games and Sara Hewson, who is awaiting a double lung transplant. The showcase opens today and will be held through May 19 with a reception on Saturday, May 4, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Call 268-9951.

Join the DaVinci Quartet as they shed some light on the oft-overlooked chamber music of operatic composers Wolfgang, Puccini, Wolf and Verdi. The members will share their thoughts on the composers and, of course, perform a selection of their works at the Fine Arts Center. The drama starts at 8 tonight and again tomorrow at 3 p.m. Tickets $20 ($17.50 for students and seniors). Call 634-5583.

28 Sunday

The Imagination Celebration Free Family Festival Day presents The Boxcar Children. This musical, based on the books of Gertrude Chandler Warner, follows the adventures of four orphaned brothers and sisters during the Depression who transform a boxcar into a makeshift home. The show is performed at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave. Call 597-3344.

click to enlarge David "how'd he get with Claudia" Copperfield
  • David "how'd he get with Claudia" Copperfield

29 Monday

Strobe Talbott delivers the Marianne Lannon Lopat Memorial Lecture this evening. Talbott, a former member of the State Department and editor of Time magazine, will discuss "America and the World in the New Era." Join Mr. Talbott in the Gates Common Room on the third floor of Colorado College's Palmer Hall tonight at 7:30. This lecture is free and open to the public. Call 389-6607.

30 Tuesday

David Copperfield pops into to town on his "Portal" tour tonight. Watch as he transports himself from the stage to places like Hoover Dam and Hawaii. (If you're lucky, he might even take you with him.) Copperfield is also bringing his vast collection of magical memorabilia for viewing prior to the show. The magic happens at the Pikes Peak Center tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets run from $25 to $42.50. Call 520-SHOW.

The Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., presents the 40th Annual Young Peoples Art Exhibition. The show features the crme de la crme of local grade-school artistes and runs through May 5, with a reception this evening from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Call 634-5583 to find out more.

01 Wednesday

CC presents a number of free concerts this May starting with the Honors Concert of Colorado College Students. The concert will feature a program of classical pieces performed by, you guessed it, students under the direction of Susan Grace. Grace has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the United States, Europe and the Soviet Union. The concert starts at 7:30 in Packard Hall. Call 389-6607.

02 Thursday

Writer, musician and funnyman Neil Pollack takes some time to read from his works at 8 p.m. in CC's Bemis Hall, on the west side of campus, behind Cutler Hall. Pollack is a distinguished humorist who studied improvisation under Del Close (mentor of Saturday Night Live deceased alumni, John Belushi and Chris Farley). Despite having his work included in the New York Press and the Chicago Reader, Pollack decided he wasn't getting his journalistic ya yas, so he wrote a book called the Neil Pollack Anthology of American Literature and began publicly proclaiming himself "the greatest living writer of our generation." Funny thing is, it worked, and Pollack is now a darling of the thick-rimmed glasses and NPR set. Call 389-6607 to find out more.

-- Brandon Laney

click to enlarge Brigitte "unh-huh" Bardot
  • Brigitte "unh-huh" Bardot

Steamy Dreaming
Second Pikes Peak Passion Film Festival to rouse the loins of local film underground

The original call for entries for the second Pikes Peak Passion Film Festival clearly stated that all entries should have either: a) passion, b) Brigitte Bardot or c) both. In other words, only films with French accents, fiordlike cleavage, and at least three failed suicide attempts under their belts need apply.

Organized by Erics Verlo and Bosse (henceforth known as The Erics), the event is an outlet for aspiring local filmmakers to air their wares among friends and colleagues.

"A lot of people dream of making films," say The Erics, "and now with easy access to digital equipment, we can make a reasonably finished product. The Passion Film Festival provides a venue for such works to be seen."

There's no doubt that the accessibility of digital filmmaking technology and desktop editing devices have surely mixed some fertile soil for burgeoning local film undergrounds across the nation. And that's the smiley side of technology: the democratization of formerly financially impenetrable media. All of this translates into more, and more localized, cultures that subvert the big 'n' crappy Hollywood hydra.

Last year's film fest drew a crowd of over a hundred, and this year's bill includes Pete Schuermann's Moses 2000, Audrius Barzdukas' Atomic Elroy, Anti-Artist and Andrew Mudge's Zen on Belay, along with lots of others.

Space is extremely limited -- and generally confined to the filmmakers and their friends -- so call as quickly as you can to reserve one of the few remaining spaces.

-- Noel Black

capsule

Pikes Peak Passion Film Festival 2002
Saturday, April 27.
Call 389-1468 for reservations and directions.
For more info, visit http://passsion.toonsmusic.com

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