Welcome to the Indy's annual Fall Arts Preview, our look ahead at upcoming local art events and performances. You may notice that this guide looks different from others in the past. For one, there's not a wall of text extending page after page. We're trying something new, in which the art guide is, well, more artistic. That means a more selective, curated approach to the season. We figure you, the ever-resourceful reader, will enjoy this edition more and trust you'll keep a watchful eye on events as they're covered in the future.
And hey, if you hate it, let us know.
To keep up with all that's happening, watch our Listings section each week for developing events, as well as peakradar.com, a truly user-friendly website that catches all the good stuff well in advance.
For now, though, we hope you enjoy this amuse-bouche — a little taste of the newest and most exciting events ahead.
The season, for our purposes here, starts this very weekend with the Commonwheel Artists Co-Op Labor Day Weekend Art Festival (commonwheel.com/festival.html), returning for its 41st year. The arts and crafts that will be displayed at Manitou's Memorial Park are truly quite varied, making it a great place to shop whether you're seeking high-end work or picking up some charming smaller gifts.
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (csfineartscenter.org) will unveil El Mac: Aerosol Exalted on Oct. 3 with a day-long street-art festival complete with food trucks, performances by Stoney Bertz and The ReMINDers (among others), and a b-boy battle. The prolific El Mac — who did the most recent album cover for No Doubt — will show some of his portable large-scale works.
Later in October, the FAC will open Springs Surreal (Oct. 24), a juried show of strictly local artists — about time! — ahead of an exhibit of works by René Magritte and other famous surrealists (Nov. 7).
Head to Old Colorado City on Sept. 20 for the all-new Vintage, Antiques + Art in the Park (vintageantiquesandart.com), a fundraiser for the Old Colorado City Foundation that features goods from locals, along with drinks and entertainment. Entry is $10 and includes a beverage/wine ticket.
For more local art, this time straight from its source, hit up the Monument-centric Front Range Open Studios (Sept. 12 and 13, frontrangeopenstudios.com) for a self-guided tour into the workspaces of more than a dozen locals specializing in sculpture, jewelry, glass and custom furniture.
That same weekend, the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo will host the Fall Fine Arts & Cultural Festival (natureandraptor.org/art-festival), a free affair with live music, food and drink, Native American performers, and Pueblo art — including special exhibits like Justin Reddick's Diary of a Servant's Heart from Kadoya Gallery.
A new celebration this year is MACnificent 2015, slated for Sept. 11 at The Cliff House in Manitou Springs. The event honors local arts advocate Chuck Murphy's 80th birthday, while also raising money for the Manitou Art Center. An auction will feature works by the likes of Karen Khoury, Eric Bransby, Floyd Tunson, Laura BenAmots and others, with Gov. John Hickenlooper appearing as guest speaker.
The Pikes Peak Arts Council will host its annual excellence awards (pikespeakartscouncil.org/PPAC-Awards) Oct. 21, this time at the FAC. The Colorado Springs Rotary Club will also host its annual Butterflies and Friends launch Oct. 24. Though renamed "Flight" (csflight.org), it continues to raise money for local school programs through the auctioning of metal butterflies decorated by local artists.
COPPeR will pick up the second year of Arts Month (peakradar.com/artsmonth) in October with a themed approach for each week: Week 1, theater and film; Week 2, visual art; Week 3, music and dance; Week 4, poetry, prose and comedy. It all kicks off Oct. 1 with the free Artini party at The Mansion. Expect performances from poets, dancers, aerialists, comics, musicians and much more.
On to performance. Click here for our look at the theater season ahead, but in addition, watch out for great free talks in the annual Prologue Lecture Series (theatreworkscs.org/prologue1516.html) at TheatreWorks. Highlights this fall include New Yorker writer and critic John Lahr on Sept. 20 and, per its website, Olympia Dukakis, listed only as "Fall 2015." Stay tuned.
Ormao Dance Company will honor its 25th anniversary with concerts from Oct. 23 through 25 at the Colorado Springs School (ormaodance.org). Featured choreography comes from dance star Larry Keigwin, of New York's Keigwin + Company, and noted independent choreographer Hsin-Yu Kao of Taiwan.
In music, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (csphilharmonic.org) kicks off its season Sept. 19 and 20 with Rachmaninoff's 2nd Concerto. Other concerts will be devoted to Shostakovich and Dvorak, as well as Pops shows for Frank Sinatra (Sept. 25 and 26) and the music of Star Wars over Halloween weekend. Meanwhile, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs (chamberorchestraofthesprings.org) kicks off its 32nd season with a new partnership with First United Methodist Church for a show devoted to organs Sept. 12, and follows up with themed shows Sun and Open Sky (Oct. 3 and 4) and Elements (Nov. 7 and 8).
Hear Here (wheretohear.org), this bastion of local poetry, has changed its routine with a new Third Thursday location (the Lon Chaney Theater). You can also celebrate the written word with the one-year birthday of Mountain Fold Books (mountainfoldbooks.org) Sept. 12; see p. 25 for details.
And finally, in film, the 28th annual Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival is scheduled for Nov. 13 through 15 (rmwfilminstitute.org/festival). Select films will also be screened in October for those who cannot attend the festival.