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BAC exhibit promotes stuff-it artworks

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For me, a major obstacle before taking any sort of vacation is packing my suitcase. It takes quite a bit of wine for me to justify packing six outfits for a weekend trip, and I usually don't like to get too liquored up before I get on a plane. (OK, the last part of that sentence was a lie.)

Others however, find suitcases to be inspirational, as evidenced by Road Tested, a new juried art exhibit at Manitou Springs' Business of Art Center. Colorado artists were required to meet only one criterion: Their artwork had to be made from, or fit in, its own ready-to-use suitcase.

Holly Parker, an independent curator who juried the event, says Road Tested is meant to play up the height of tourist season.

The entries ranged from a suitcase wallpapered in maps and filled with local sightseeing brochures, to a copper-lined casing with an animal skull inside, to a briefcase designed to carry concealed bottles of alcohol.

Local rug weaver Beverly Weaver, who submitted two hand-woven carpetbags, says she tried to stick to the "tested" theme by using recycled materials. One of the bags is woven from old jeans, and the other from a wool shirt her husband used to wear.

"I thought it would be fun to enter something with a little variety," Weaver says.

For the show's opening night, the Business of Art Center will be testing another travel method: partnering with the downtown shuttle. Those wishing to attend the reception can hop on the bus at the Colorado Avenue Art Mill.

Amanda Lundgren

Road Tested

Business of Art Center's Hagnauer Gallery, 513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs

Runs Aug. 3 through Sept. 15; opening reception, Friday, Aug. 3, 5-8 p.m.

For more information, visit thebac.org or call 685-1861.

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