Film lovers, films and lovers will converge at the Fine Arts Center tonight through Sunday for the third annual Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival, featuring 26 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender films including the best of the San Francisco and London festivals, plus a Promising Young Filmmakers Forum on Sunday. For details, visit www.pplff.org, call 38-MOVIE or check out the Independent's festival preview at www.csindy.com/csindy/2002-08-22/cover.html.
Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, a showcase of the best of tasteless, crude and rude animated films, plays at the Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave., on Thursdays, starting tonight, through Sept. 26 at 7:30 and 10; and on Fridays, starting tomorrow, through Sept. 27 from midnight to 2 a.m. Tickets are $7. For more info, call 800/965-4827.
Goodguys 5th Colorado Classic Rod and Custom Event features NASCAR rides, 2,200 hot rods, customs, classics, trick trucks and muscle cars through '72, model and pedal cars and more beginning today at the Pikes Peak International Raceway, south of Colorado Springs. Motor gunnin' and engine gawkin' goes all day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continues Saturday and Sunday. General admission is $12; $6 for kids 7-12; kids 6 and under are free. For specifications on entries or to register a car, see www.good-guys.com or call 925/838-9876. Start your engines and don't forget your muscle shirts ...
The fall theater season opens with Star Bar Players' production of Bill C. Davis' Mass Appeal, the story of young priest who disrupts an aging priest's well-ordered world with new ideas about sexuality, friendship, courage and the infinite varieties of love. The show opens tonight at 8 at the Lon Chaney Theater, corner of Kiowa and North Nevada, and runs for three weeks. (The third week's run doubles as the opening of the seventh annual Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival). Call 573-7411 for reservations or call 636-5089 for more on the Festival. See the Performances section of Listings (page 40) for details on dates, times and prices.
No wishing for showers today; beer will fill the air at the Ninth Annual Microbrewers' Exposition downtown on Pikes Peak between Tejon and Cascade Streets. From noon to 7 p.m., revelers and aficionados can sample beers from 23 of the state's microbreweries including local favorites Bristol, Phantom Canyon, Palmer Lake, Il Vicino and Judge Baldwin's. Live music by Sister X, Head Full of Zombies and One Man Gone will accompany the guzzling, er, sipping. Six dollars will buy you an ID bracelet and a 6-ounce tasting mug and beers are $1 each. Kids under 12 are free. Please, no dogs or bikes on the expo grounds. Proceeds will benefit the Colorado Springs Symphony and the Downtown Partnership. Call 597-4748 if you need to know more.
Can't afford to go the symphony or a play? Listen up. The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration's "It Takes 5, Teen Ticket to the Arts" card program kicks off today at the Citadel Mall on the south side of J.C. Penney. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., high-school students can pick up an "It Takes 5" card, which will admit them to select theater productions throughout the year for just $5, 15 minutes prior to the performance. Performances include major productions by the Colorado Springs Symphony, Springs Dance Theatre, UCCS TheatreWorks and many other local and regional arts organizations. Don't miss out. Call Beth at 597-3344 with questions.
Sandi Patty, winner of five Grammy Awards and 39 Dove Awards, with three platinum and five gold albums, will bring her gospel-pop sound to Colorado Springs' First United Methodist Church, 420 N. Nevada Ave., at 5 this afternoon. Patty performs frequently in large venues with national and regional symphony orchestras, but here's a chance to hear and see her up close and personal. Tickets are $20 to $50. Call 471-4361.
Today's the official launch date of All Pikes Peak Reads To Kill A Mockingbird, a communitywide reading project designed to bring together everyone in the Pikes Peak region to find common ground for thought and discussion and to promote literacy. The launch will feature a proclamation by the mayor, a gospel choir, a period-costumed (1930s) mob scene, plenty of giveaways, food, drink and big-band music at Acacia Park, downtown, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Numerous other Mockingbird-related events will follow in upcoming weeks through September and October. See the Literary Events section of Listings (page 40) for more, or for a complete list of events, visit www.ppld.org, call 531-6333, Ext. 1204, or pick up a brochure at your nearest public library. Most importantly, read the book by Harper Lee, an American classic about family, community, and the roots of injustice and reconciliation.
Find out about the long-range impact of this summer's wildfires in the Pike National Forest at "Regrowth: Fire's Impact on Front Range Ecosystems," a talk by Dr. Joyce Gelhorn at the Sierra Club general meeting at First United Methodist Church, 420 N. Nevada Ave., tonight at 7. The event is free and open to the public. Call 685-9147 for more information.
What better way to commemorate the devastating events of Sept. 11, 2001, than to ponder America's freedoms? The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center down in Pueblo is putting together a show of local and regional photographs taken by amateurs and professionals conveying "very personal expressions of America's freedoms from a Colorado perspective."
The show will hang in the Hoag Gallery at the Center (210 N. Santa Fe. Ave., just off I-25, exit 98B) through Nov. 2 and is part of a national effort to underscore the role that museums play as stewards of our nation's history. Gallery space is still available and the museum will continue to accept photos until the gallery space is filled.
All works must be 8" by 10", color or black-and-white, with no framing or matting. For more information, call 719/295-7200 or drop by the Center.
-- Kathryn Eastburn
Small Is Beautiful
Nudes to be viewed up close
Carol Dass, whose one-woman show Les Petites: A Photographic Exhibition of Fine Art Nudes will open tomorrow at Phototroph, is no stranger to Colorado Springs gallery-goers. She's lived here for 19 years; she was Myron Wood's assistant for nine years and she currently teaches photography at UCCS.
Over the years, Dass' work has matured and deepened. She was always a competent artist, and usually an interesting one. And there were always hints of brilliance -- one or two photographs in any given show that would just stop you in your tracks.
This show is, at last, the show that we've been waiting for. These photographs are simply extraordinary.
The exhibition consists of 15 two-inch-bythree-inch black-and-white photographs, mostly interiors, shot in natural light with infrared film. Dass says that she was inspired by a Tina Modotti show of small prints, where the intimacy of the nude body is heightened by the intimacy of size.
Dass' nudes are not, for the most part, sleek young hardbodies. They're ordinary people, mostly middle-aged, whose bodies show the effects of gravity, ice cream and a few extra years. They're Dass' friends, neighbors and Dass herself. Except in a marvelous self-portrait, Dass rarely shows us the body in its entirety. Faces are averted, or simply cropped out of the picture. These are neither erotic nor voyeuristic; they're intimate and ordinary.
Look, for example, at the photograph of a woman clumsily climbing into (out of?) a bathtub. She could be any of us, graceless and plain, in the unselfconscious rituals of life.
So what makes these photographs, of ordinary people in ordinary surroundings, so magical?
The viewer can never quite "get" these photographs, subtly composed, suffused with breathtakingly beautiful light, with evanescent and fleeting images. They're elusive, mysterious, not quite "there" in the sense that, say, Diane Arbus' work is there -- immediate and visceral.
Dass has used black-and-white infrared film for over 20 years. She says that she now feels that she's "mastered what it does in low-light situations. ... I like how it reacts with human skin." And how: Dass' nudes seem fully alive, warm and fluid against a static background.
By deliberately working in such a small scale, Dass demands that we, the viewers, actually look at her work. You've got to get close; you've got to look carefully; and if you do, the work rewards you for your attention. Like any small-scale work of art (Japanese tsubas, Medieval illuminated manuscripts, Carlo Giuliani jewelry from the 19th century), you need to actually look at the piece, not simply give it a casual glance. And as Dass says: "I want there to be mystery; I don't want them to be well lit; I don't want to put a label on them."
All of the works on view are for sale. The show won't be up long; just for a few weeks. Don't miss it.
Les Petites: A Photographic Exhibition of Fine Art Nudes by Carol Dass
Phototroph Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 111 (under the Colorado Avenue bridge), 442-6995
On exhibit Sept 6-22. Opening reception on Friday, Sept. 6, 5-8 p.m.
A night of rabble-rousing with the populist commentator
Read the titles of political commentator Jim Hightower's books and you'll know a lot about him. Who else could have written If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates or There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Lines and Dead Armadillos?
Never one to mince words, the former two-time Texas commissioner of agricultureturnedcolumnist /author/radio host takes a distinctly populist and humorous stance on such serious issues as corporate control of the nation's water supplies, the impact of genetically engineered food on our health, NAFTA, the need for grass-roots activists to take on corporate lobbyists and, of course, the questionable reign of former Texas governor, President George W. Bush.
And he wears a cowboy hat.
Hightower's lecture at Colorado College, free and open to the public, will be followed by a fund-raiser/roundtable discussion co-hosted by Independent publisher John Weiss at Wooglin's Deli, 823 N. Tejon St. Cost for the fund-raiser is $20 ($10 for low-income individuals) and participants will receive a year's subscription to the Hightower Lowdown monthly newsletter, complimentary beverages and the opportunity to support three local causes: the Independence Community Fund, the expansion of TOPS funding in 2003, and the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Community relocation fund.
-- Kathryn Eastburn
Don't Mourn, It's Time to Organize: Mobilizing a Nationwide Populist Mass Movement
A talk by columnist/radio show host Jim Hightower; opening musical set by First Strike Theatre
Colorado College's Packard Hall, southwest corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre
Saturday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public; call 389-6644 or 577-4545.