Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Funky Little Theater Company closes "Season of the Female Playwright" with Body Awareness, Spectrum

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Body Awareness, Thurs., July 26, 7 p.m., Sat., July 28, 7 p.m. and Sun., July 29, 2 p.m.; Spectrum: LGBTQIA+, Fri., July 27, 7 p.m. and Sat. July 28, 2 p.m.; $15-$19. Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., 425-9509, chris@funkylittletheater.org, funkylittletheater.org. - JIM ROOT
  • Jim Root
  • Body Awareness, Thurs., July 26, 7 p.m., Sat., July 28, 7 p.m. and Sun., July 29, 2 p.m.; Spectrum: LGBTQIA+, Fri., July 27, 7 p.m. and Sat. July 28, 2 p.m.; $15-$19. Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., 425-9509, chris@funkylittletheater.org, funkylittletheater.org.
The aptly named “Season of the Female Playwright” is closing fast and strong at the Funky Little Theater Company as they present the final weekend of Annie Baker’s one-act play, Body Awareness. The play follows Phyllis, a psychology professor, as she attempts to organize a body awareness week on her college campus and navigates her fascinating family relationships. Speaking of awesome ladies, want to find the works of even more female playwrights like Annie Baker, all conveniently located in one spot and all showcasing their work in one event? Funky Little Theater Company is delivering that, too. Catch the one-act play festival Spectrum: LGBTQIA+, featuring eight plays, all written by women. Spectrum tackles a variety of topics, presenting each entire story from start to finish in a single act. 
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Friday, July 20, 2018

Photo, Fiber, Silver displays the diverse talents of three local artists

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Photo, Fiber, Silver, Opening reception, July 20, 5-8 p.m., on display through Aug. 13, Commonwheel Artists Co-op, 102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, commonwheel.com. - BRIANNA RIZZI
  • Brianna Rizzi
  • Photo, Fiber, Silver, Opening reception, July 20, 5-8 p.m., on display through Aug. 13, Commonwheel Artists Co-op, 102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, commonwheel.com.
In this multimedia show, three Colorado artists bring their work to Manitou Springs: Brianna Rizzi, Diane DelDuca and Suzi Popkess. All three have dabbled in various mediums from clay to watercolor to oil painting, but they’ve found their passions and specialties in three diverse forms of art work. Rizzi, who owns a gallery in Pueblo, likes to tell stories through her photography. DelDuca, inspired by her beloved alpacas, spins her own yarn and uses it in 3D needle-felted animal portraits. Popkess creates silver jewelry in a traditional Southwest style, using semi-precious Southwestern stones like turquoise and onyx. At Friday’s opening reception, you can meet the artists and take a look at a snapshot of the diverse talents to be found in Colorado. 
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

ARTSites public art program celebrates 15th year in Monument

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 1:00 AM

click image "Low Polly Heart/Ride," by Mathew Duffy from Washington D.C., is part of the 2018-19 ARTSites exhibition. - JONATHAN TOMAN
  • Jonathan Toman
  • "Low Polly Heart/Ride," by Mathew Duffy from Washington D.C., is part of the 2018-19 ARTSites exhibition.
A century ago, getting ice was a more adventurous activity. In those days, your ice came from frozen lakes, and intrepid explorers were needed to cut, shape and send it where it needed to go. One such location for local ice harvesting was Monument Lake, which for much of the early 1900s collected, stored and shipped ice during the winter months.

Ice Harvest,” a collection of acrylic blocks that depict the Monument Lake ice harvest from a bygone era, was the first piece for the ARTSites program, now in its 15th year showcasing public art in the Tri-Lakes area.

Sky Hall, president of Tri-Lakes Views, the nonprofit whose 10-person, all volunteer steering committee runs ARTSites, has been there since the beginning. Hall and his wife, both artists, moved to the Monument area 25 years ago from Long Beach, California, and wanted to jump into the arts community with both feet.

“[Tri-Lakes artists] were isolated, they sold their work elsewhere," says Hall, "We wanted to get involved in this community, talking about arts and how to get more beauty in town.”

Hall, along with a group of Tri-Lakes area residents, met to address what they saw as a lack of local support for the arts and historic preservation, spawning Tri-Lakes Views.

Originally sponsoring an annual indoor art show, Tri-Lakes Views soon switched gears to an annual juried public art exhibition, with “Ice Harvest” being the first. Now, 10 pieces are selected each year, concentrated in Monument and Palmer Lake.

“The main thought was, ‘we don’t see the art. How can we get art in the community that we can see?’” Hall says.
click image Sky Hall, president of Tri-Lakes Views, stands with "Space Moon," one of the 2018-19 public art pieces that is part of ARTSites. "Space Moon" is by Reven Marie Swanson, who is from Denver. - JONATHAN TOMAN
  • Jonathan Toman
  • Sky Hall, president of Tri-Lakes Views, stands with "Space Moon," one of the 2018-19 public art pieces that is part of ARTSites. "Space Moon" is by Reven Marie Swanson, who is from Denver.
That community focus has paid dividends. Tri-Lakes Views was approached by El Paso County to spearhead a project to place public art in the new roundabout at the intersection of Baptist Road and Old Denver Highway. Entitled “Aspen Grove,” each tree was opened for sponsorship to commemorate a loved one.

Within six weeks, 12 20-foot tall trees had been sponsored, totaling over $40,000.

“There’s room here for that kind of thing, and we now build into our plan how to connect to the community,” Hall says. “Art makes a better community, brings people together, and gives them a better understanding.”

“We want to get people excited, motivated, and not intimidated,” Hall says. “Art always has a response, and more often than not it’s positive.”

Each of the pedestals on which the art is displayed have also been sponsored. In addition to “Ice Harvest” and “Aspen Grove,” there are four permanent pieces in the collection. A sculpture park in front of a District 38 administration building in downtown Monument, where most of the pieces are located.

The 2018-19 edition received 50 applications from all over the country, culminating with 10 entries, Hall says, tying the growth of ARTSites to the longevity of the program and more applicants and the community becoming accustomed to it.

Though Hall says ARTSites remains very much a year-by-year funding project, Tri-Lakes Views has secured $5,000 per year for the next five years from the town of Monument. The money will be used to help attract artists to the program and compete with other areas that have more established funding streams. A $500 stipend will be paid to each artist whose work is selected for ARTSites. All work is for sale, and donations for Tri-Lakes Views are gladly accepted.

Hall also hopes to expand public art to new construction projects in the area, serving as a resource for developers.

“We want businesses to go out and pursue their own art because they want to be a part of this,” He says. “We want to express the value you get from participating in the arts and this organization.”

ARTSites brochures and self-guided tours are available at Monument Town Hall, the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center and other shops in the area.

“It’s amazing that it’s been 15 years,” Hall said. “I’m very proud of where we’ve come.”

Jonathan Toman serves as the Peak Radar Manager for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. PeakRadar.com connects you to over 4,000 local events, 450 creative groups, & 350 artists — all in one beautiful website for the Pikes Peak region. Jonathan can be reached at jonathan@culturaloffice.org.

Click here for this month’s events. To sign up for the Peak Radar weekly e-blast, click here.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CinemAddicts' Anderson Cowan brings Groupers film to Colorado Springs for private screening

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 12:44 PM

A still from the film Groupers, written and directed by Anderson Cowan.
  • A still from the film Groupers, written and directed by Anderson Cowan.

Anderson Cowan
, one of the voices of the podcast CinemAddicts and a filmmaker himself, has always dreamed of making a full-length feature film. Now, with Groupers, that dream has finally come to fruition.

“I’ve written a number of scripts,” Cowan says, “however this idea kind of came up, the absurdity of it all ... [and] was the cheapest script I had written, by far and away.”

It presented a good opportunity for a first-time feature filmmaker with a small budget. Now, less than two years after beginning fundraising, Groupers is complete, and Cowan has been holding private screenings in select cities. Colorado Springs is next on the list.


Groupers tells the story of a grad student who kidnaps a couple of teen homophobes who, the audience learns, have mercilessly bullied her gay brother. She straps them together in the bottom of an empty pool and conducts an experiment. If they believe being gay is a choice, they can simply choose to become attracted to each other, and she’ll let them go.

A Chinese finger trap-like contraption is involved, to, ah, study their reactions.

“I’ve always appreciated independent movies, because they’re the kind of movies Hollywood wouldn’t have the guts to make, a lot of the time. And the choices that a Hollywood studio would shy away from,” Cowan says. “And Groupers is definitely rife with choices Hollywood would shy away from.”

The subject matter is not Cowan’s only unique choice in this film. He also chose to tell the story through the perspectives of five different characters, who each bring their own opinions to this absurd situation. The five-part narrative doesn’t result in a clean, clear, moralistic tale, but something a little messier. The message, Cowan says: “Everyone’s kind of full of shit, and everyone believes they’re right.”

Groupers can’t be called a thriller or a comedy, strictly, but it still contains elements of both. Cowan says: “One of the challenges as a singular filmmaker ... was explaining everyone else I brought in to help create the vision that it wasn’t going to be goofy. We were never going to admit to the audience that it’s a comedy. But there are plenty of things in there that are totally ridiculous and absurd that I would find funny. “

Still, Cowan recognizes that he had to “tread lightly” with some of this subject matter, especially as a straight man tackling homophobia as a theme. “I felt guilty throughout writing this, “ he says, “especially when I started casting it, about being a straight white male. I asked myself this numerous times: ‘who am I to tell this story about homophobia and homosexuality and what it means, and bullying and all that when I’m straight?’”

But he made sure to get feedback on the script from multiple gay collaborators, and said he made the changes suggested to him when it came to writing the two gay characters in the film.

One of them, he says (character name omitted due to spoilers), might cause some blowback, because he set out to make this character “kind of a colossal prick. If I didn’t, it would’ve been preachy.” He wanted to avoid making this character a victim, so anticipates that the only people to object to his characterization may be those hoping for a sympathetic survivor of bullying, rather than the character Cowan has created.

But Springs audiences can judge for themselves on July 28 at the local private screening, held at the Lon Chaney Theatre. Cowan will be on-hand to discuss the film and answer questions.

Should you miss that screening, there will be one in Denver at the Alamo Drafthouse the following day.

See the teaser trailer below:

Groupers Teaser #1 from Anderson Cowan on Vimeo.

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Tigers Be Still brings a lighthearted tone to loss, mental illness and recovery at SET

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 9:36 AM

Tigers Be Still, Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 4 p.m., through Aug. 5, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., $15, springsensembletheatre.org. - MATT RADCLIFFE
  • Matt Radcliffe
  • Tigers Be Still, Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 4 p.m., through Aug. 5, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., $15, springsensembletheatre.org.
A comedy about depression may seem counterintuitive or incongruent, but Tigers Be Still, a comedy by TV writer Kim Rosenstock (New Girl, GLOW) tackles the subject of loss, mental illness and recovery with a hopeful and lighthearted tone that just kind of works. The story follows Sherry, a recently graduated art therapist who has finally (after a long depressive slump) gotten her first job, teaching art at a middle school and taking on the principal’s son as her first art therapy client. But his personal problems aren’t the only ones Sherry has to deal with. Her sister Grace got dumped by a cheating fiancé, her mother hasn’t left her room in months, the school principal is dealing poorly with the loss of his wife, and meanwhile, a tiger has escaped from the zoo. Everyone’s understandably a little on edge.

Jodi Papproth, director of Springs Ensemble Theatre’s upcoming production of Tigers Be Still, says the tiger functions as a metaphor for the characters’ various troubles. “It’s that feeling of at any moment you’re dealing with this mental illness and things are going well, and then it just comes out and pounces, and you don’t know sometimes why, or what’s going to trigger it, or when,” she says.

Using curtains designed to look like pages of Sherry’s journal to separate the play’s many settings, SET’s staging frames the events of the play in a sort of retrospect. It’s meant to feel like Sherry’s reflection on what happened, rather than a straight telling of what is happening. It’s this reflective element that helps the play maintain its light tone, as it’s obvious from Sherry’s fourth-wall-breaking asides that, spoiler alert, everyone does make it through the ordeal okay.

Though depression is a tough topic to treat delicately, one cast member who has suffered from mental illness says the format and tone of Tigers Be Still mirrors the experience well. “She says that the whole play kind of feels like one of those rides,” Papproth says, “where you have up days and down.” According to Papproth, the cast and crew had many discussions about mental illness throughout the production process, with each of them bringing their own experiences to the story, and therefore the characters they play. “You can’t really go through theater without walking in someone else’s shoes and thinking about their experiences,” Papproth says, adding that the show itself is a form of art therapy, like its main character’s profession.

And, hopefully, it will provide a little art therapy for audiences. “[Rosenstock] is not trying to solve the world’s problems or anything like that,” Papproth says. “She’s just showing one tiny little story about this family, two families actually, and how they overlap and help each other.”
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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Documentary explores the dark side of the World Cup

Posted By on Sat, Jul 14, 2018 at 9:06 PM

workerscup.jpg

While reports of forced relocation and inherently unsafe work conditions have long been leveled at World Cup host cities, Saudia Arabia’s wealthy neighbor Quatar appears to be hell-bent on outdoing all of its predecessors. Last year, Human Rights Watch accused the 2022 host city of permitting inherently unsafe conditions in labor camps and construction sites, causing the deaths of hundreds of migrant workers each year.

Football fans who are willing to take a break from watching the games can get a sobering perspective on what’s happening in Qatar at the Tim Gill Center for Public Media’s screening of The Workers Cup. The widely acclaimed documentary focuses on a football tournament for migrant laborers sponsored by 2022 World Cup organizers and two dozen construction companies. The resulting film provides a stark contrast between these optimistic players' onfield aspirations and the disheartening conditions they face back in the camps.

The free screening will take place at 7 p.m. on July 19. Find more information at the event’s Facebook page.
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Money Museum receives donation from Sacagawea dollar coin designer

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 8:56 AM

sac_glenda2.jpg
The Money Museum, the local, official museum of the American Numismatic Association, recently announced an exciting new donation to its collection.

Sculptor and Colorado College graduate Glenna Goodacre has given the museum a selection of items related to the Sacagawea dollar, for which she designed the obverse (the face side). The Sacagawea dollar was released in 2000 and produced until 2008.

Goodacre is a bronze sculptor of some renown, who has also contributed a large piece to the local Colorado Springs landscape. Her sculpture “Basket Dance” sits outside the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College today.

Among the items Goodacre has donated to the museum:
• One of three plaster-casts of the original Sacagawea design.
• A plaster cast of the final design.
• a test piece in bronze with a polished finish.
• Examples of the first coins struck by the U.S. Mint.
• “The Offering” – a small bronze statue showing Sacagawea looking up to the heavens while holding her dollar up and out in front of her.
• A plaster showing an alternate version of the Sacagawea design, requested by Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin, without Sacagawea’s baby Jean Baptiste on her back. Produced in 1998, it was much less popular than the design with the child.
• A terracotta rendition, used as a test piece to study the relief of the design.
• A large (7 ¾”) cast bronze of the final design.

Communications coordinator Amanda Miller says that there are no immediate plans to display these new items, but the museum is looking into future opportunities. In the meantime, the Money Museum's Trenches to Treaties: World War I in Remembrance is currently on display.

sac_slide.jpg
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Nick M. Puylara puts his talent on display at Humming Line

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Nick M. Puylara Artist Demo, July 14, 1-4 p.m., Humming Line Gallery,  hummingline.com. - NICK M. PUYLARA
  • Nick M. Puylara
  • Nick M. Puylara Artist Demo, July 14, 1-4 p.m., Humming Line Gallery, hummingline.com.
For Colorado Springs artist Nick M. Puylara, the world is a canvas. He paints “anything he can get his hands on,” including a line of custom sneakers he calls “ICED OUT Sneaker Customs.” While he has worked in various media, spray art is where he’s found his passion, particularly with sci-fi and space-themed subjects. Now exhibiting at Humming Line Gallery (the small artistic oasis up on Barnes Road), Puylara will be on hand for a special meet-and-greet and demonstration of his spray art technique. While you’re there, you can watch Puylara create a unique sci-fi painting, pick up a completed piece for your home gallery and browse the other artwork Humming Line has to offer, from pottery to bead- and glass-work to traditional paintings.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Return of the Haunted Mines is the one-night only event to get you through to Halloween

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Return of the Haunted Mines, July 13, 7-10 p.m., Haunted Mines, 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., hauntedmines.org. - ALISSA SMITH
  • Alissa Smith
  • Return of the Haunted Mines, July 13, 7-10 p.m., Haunted Mines, 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., hauntedmines.org.
Sometimes, the sequels to horror movies are even better than the originals (arguably Aliens tops the list), so we have high hopes for Haunted Mines 2: Return of the Haunted Mines. No, it isn’t a horror movie, but a beloved Halloween attraction that shut down in 2016 and has since been searching for a new home. Thankfully, Haunted Mines was recently purchased by Hellscream Entertainment and has been resurrected like the zombies you’ll no doubt encounter in its halls. Get a jump on the scare season with this special, one-night, Friday the 13th opening revealing Haunted Mines’ new location, new attractions and new frights. They’ve kept the mine theme that worked so well for them at their former location, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, but have completely redesigned the space. In 28,000 square feet, no less. This will be your only chance to check it out before fall, so get ready for a good scare and support the sequel to one of the region’s favorite haunted attractions.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Radio Ha Ha to support KCMJ 96.3

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Radio Ha Ha, July 12, 6 p.m., Tim Gill Center for Public Media, kcmj.org. - COURTESY KCMJ
  • Courtesy KCMJ
  • Radio Ha Ha, July 12, 6 p.m., Tim Gill Center for Public Media, kcmj.org.
KCMJ 96.3 FM, our local community radio station, got its start online in 2013, but flipped the switch to FM radio three years ago. The station runs nationally syndicated radio shows like Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez’s Democracy Now! as well as local programming like Cannabis Community Radio (which offers cannabis-related news and perspectives) and Not So Anonymous (for the millennial listeners among us). Thursday, to continue supporting their programming, KCMJ is hosting a stand-up comedy benefit show, featuring 10 local comedians. The lineup includes well-known names like Melody Klema, who also hosts some rad bar trivia, Ben Verbeck, Tim McKenna, Pamela Lee Sterner and more. Along with a night of comedy, guests can expect plenty of local food vendors and, of course, beer. For what is comedy without a cold one?
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Friday, July 6, 2018

Andy Vick appointed to Colorado Council on Creative Industries

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 10:24 AM

COURTESY ANDY VICK
  • Courtesy Andy Vick
On July 3, Andy Vick, the executive director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR), was officially appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to the Colorado Council on Creative Industries, a state agency that supports creative businesses and nonprofits in Colorado, whether through grants, programming, advocacy or research.

Colorado Creative Industries is also in charge of designating creative districts in the state, such as Downtown Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.

Vick, who has served as COPPeR’s executive director since 2014, is also vice president of the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Board of Directors, an ex-officio board member of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, and is on the Executive Committee for the United States Urban Arts Federation.

He will join 10 other individuals on the Colorado Council on Creative Industries as the only member from the Colorado Springs area.

“I’m honored to be appointed,” Vick says in a press release, “and I look forward to representing the arts community from Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region at the State level.”

He will serve a three-year term.

See below for the executive order from Gov. Hickenlooper.

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This First Friday is a bit more awesome with the start of Garden of the Arts

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Garden of the Arts - July 7-8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Memorial Park, Manitou Avenue and El Paso Boulevard, Manitou Springs, coloradoevents.org/gardenof-the-arts. - STEVE WALLIS
  • Steve Wallis
  • Garden of the ArtsJuly 7-8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Memorial Park, Manitou Avenue and El Paso Boulevard, Manitou Springs, coloradoevents.org/gardenof-the-arts.
Manitou Springs is a great place for artwork. In addition to its eclectic galleries (now operating on a First Friday schedule, in case you want to take the shuttle to Manitou on the 6th), artistic events abound in this adorable mountain town. One annual event, Garden of the Arts, offers 100 juried fine artists exhibiting in Manitou’s Memorial Park. Whether you’re into sculpture, painting, photography, woodwork or whatever else, you’ll find something to enjoy — and probably to take home. And these artists aren’t all the usual suspects. You’ll of course find plenty of exciting art by artists from Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, but enjoy regional and national artists as well, whose work may be less familiar. On the 7th, Denver singer-songwriter Kenny Lee Young will be performing a live set, with harmonicist and guitarist AJ Silverberg (also from Denver) performing on the 8th. Both days will include family activities to keep the kids entertained while you stock up on art.
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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Joey Diamante’s work upgrades Americana style

Posted By on Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Tooth & Nails: Urban Americana, Opening reception, July 6, 5-8 p.m., Cucuru Gallery Café, 2332 W. Colorado Ave. - JOEY DIAMANTE
  • Joey Diamante
  • Tooth & Nails: Urban Americana, Opening reception, July 6, 5-8 p.m., Cucuru Gallery Café, 2332 W. Colorado Ave.
Classic Americana art explores the history and culture of the U.S., usually depicting rural scenes, towns and families — think Norman Rockwell and the like. Artist Joey Diamante takes a lot of inspiration from this style, but undeniably puts his own spin on it. “It’s Americana mixed with vandalism and ADHD,” he says. “It’s a mixture of everything I love. Mischief and love.” Diamante grew up doing graffiti, and has always admired street art. Combining those influences with the style of Americana, he says, makes sense to him. Diamante’s subjects are quintessentially modern American, with figures depicted in a classic ‘50s style (albeit usually with more tattoos). Add on graffiti-colored cityscapes and modern buildings, often in a state of disrepair, and Diamante’s work upgrades the Leave It to Beaver style of Americana, bringing it into the modern age and into the city. You can check out his work all month at Cucuru Gallery Café.
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Joe Bishop communicates on a deeper level

Posted By on Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Bits and Pieces, Opening reception, July 6, 5-8 p.m., Plaza of the Rockies, 121 S. Tejon St., facebook.com/plazalobbygallery - JOE BISHOP
  • Joe Bishop
  • Bits and Pieces, Opening reception, July 6, 5-8 p.m., Plaza of the Rockies, 121 S. Tejon St., facebook.com/plazalobbygallery
Artist Joe Bishop began painting when he was a student at Pikes Peak Community College in 2005, discovering a passion that ended  up changing the way he interacts with the world. Due to a rare birth defect, Bishop is nonverbal and uses a wheelchair, but his paintings allow him a way to communicate on an entirely different level — and a deeper one. Using vibrant colors to depict everything from figures to landscapes to semi-surreal shapes, Bishop’s oil paintings convey the magnitude of his inner life, and the beautiful way in which he sees the world. A selection of his work will remain on display at Plaza of the Rockies all month, but be sure to attend the opening reception on First Friday to meet the artist himself.
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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Haunted Mines merges with Hellscream Entertainment, reopens

Posted By on Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 2:00 PM

A relocated, redesigned Haunted Mines will open for one night on Friday, July 13. - ELIZABETH IRVINE-MADRID
  • Elizabeth Irvine-Madrid
  • A relocated, redesigned Haunted Mines will open for one night on Friday, July 13.
Long-standing charity haunted house Haunted Mines closed after its 2016 season. The outdoor haunt structure at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry has since been demolished, and the future of the attraction has been up in the air. But fear fans need wonder no longer: the Haunted Mines brand has been bought and will open again this year under the newly expanded Haunted Mines and Hellscream Entertainment. Vince Stites, co-owner/CEO of the company, says he's been friends with Haunted Mines director Stacy Packer and executive director Angel Nuce for some time, and when the two concluded that selling the brand was the best option, they came to him first.

“We’ve been fortunate through the years with Hellscream Haunted House doing really well," he says, and he decided it would make a good addition. Since, he and his team have been working on installing the haunt into its new home at 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., in the former Sinister Haunted House, which Stites and company only ran for one year. It's a 28,000 square foot facility that Stites calls "one of the most amazing things we’ve ever done in 10 seasons of Hellscream." The haunt retains the mine and mining theme, taking guests into the fictional town of Colt Falls, Colorado, and its surrounding mines.

“We have a really cool prop we call a mine descender," Stites says. "People get on it, and it gives you the sensation that you’re going 300 feet underground.” In addition to bringing over thematic elements from the WMMI attraction, Stites says he's contracted with both performers and management from the old haunt team to staff it alongside his own Hellscream regulars.

“We wanted to make sure the previous Haunted Mines folks still have a haunted home to play, haunt and scare," he says.

That does not, however, include Nuce and Packer. Rather, Packer says they'll be running Haunted MINDS, a nonprofit organization through which they'll handle manage charitable donations, continuing the work they did through the Haunted Mines attraction.

Haunted Mines will have a grand opening event on Friday, July 13, running from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information on prices and amenities here or here. In the mean time, check out a slideshow of photos from the attraction below.
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