Editor's Note: This story was updated on April 1 to correct a factual inaccuracy related to the Trestle Building's ownership.
You can practically see the lightbulbs flashing above Don Goede's head as he talks about his vision for the new incarnation of Smokebrush Gallery.
Goede, executive director of what's now called Marmalade at Smokebrush, helped guide the facility into its new home under the Colorado Avenue bridge, a short stroll south from its previous space.
"There's a lot of people interested in the future of this town, and that's what's so great about living in Colorado Springs," the 43-year-old says. "It seems like we get stronger because we have to think outside the box. We do that anyway, because we're artists. There's not a single person involved with Smokebrush who isn't an artist in their own right."
With the move to the Trestle Building, Goede and founders Kat and Bob Tudor have roughly three times the square footage to share their passions for spiritual pursuits. In honor of this new era, Smokebrush will host a grand opening weekend, which kicks off Friday morning with Kat's free Spring Awakening Yoga class.
The weekend also will focus on origami, a traditional art of Japan. Kat Tudor says their original idea was to fold paper cranes for peace, but the plan changed with the earthquake-related crises devastating that island nation.
"We'll ask people to donate one dollar — you don't have to — but donate one dollar for every crane that you fold, and we will match that," Tudor says. "And all that money will go to Doctors Without Borders, for Japan."
While the weekend will feature some high-energy activities — for instance, Friday night's "Bollywood meets Brazil" dance party — much of it will be relatively serene: two Japanese tea ceremonies, poetry with state Poet Laureate Dave Mason, a meditation session and more.
Anytime during the weekend, visitors can enjoy fresh Manitou spring water, juice, wine and Bristol Brewing Co.'s Smokebrush Porter. And Tudor promises some unexpected events, since the whole weekend will be improvisational. They don't even know how many people will stop by.
"We don't care if we get a hundred people or a thousand," Goede says. "We're going to have fun anyway."
The Smokebrush Foundation bought this space in the co-op building, so there's a greater sense of ownership than at previous sites. The serene interior, its pale-peach paint accenting the hardwood floors and brick walls, shows no sign of the demanding remodel project that started in January. Instead, it more reflects the motto for the new facility: "where the creative and healing arts meet."
"I think it will be a place to experience transformation," Tudor says.
Plans go beyond personal transformation, though. Goede's ideas include beautifying the building's exterior and parking lot. On his to-do list: taking down chain-link fences to allow free movement to and from events at America the Beautiful Park.
"One of our missions at Smokebrush is to bring art to the community," Goede says. "And Kat and Bob, over the years, have been so crucial to that, whether it's the Uncle Wilber fountain, whatever. We can continue with that work in the community and be a part of something that's going to be historic, something that can be here in a hundred years and beyond."
The striking colors and textures are reminiscent of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Lovely work.