Saturday, September 29, 2018

THEATREdART needs a little help to do what it does best

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 10:00 AM

THEATREdART Fundraising Gala, Sept. 30, 5-8 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, theatredart.org. - COURTESY THEATREDART
  • Courtesy THEATREdART
  • THEATREdART Fundraising Gala, Sept. 30, 5-8 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, theatredart.org.
Experimental theater, by its very nature, is a hell of a risk. The audience doesn’t know what to expect when they settle into their seats, and the cast and crew don’t know how their hard work will be received until the curtain falls. Local experimental theater group THEATREdART, however, has often proven their productions worth the risk — whether their devised interpretation of War of the Worlds that left audiences talking for months, or last December’s presentation of Angels in America (staged in a yoga studio, of all places), which left this reporter inconsolable for about three days after seeing it. But until the next performance, TdA could use some community support. Sunday’s fundraising gala, celebrating TdA’s 11th season, will raise money for future experiments. And with food, drink, games and entertainment on the docket, there’s no risk to worry about. Well, okay, maybe a little risk. The evening’s “violent auction” will include piñata-whacking for prizes, so keep a few steps back from the bat-wielding thespians.
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Friday, September 28, 2018

Pikes Peak Litter Letter project draws attention to trash in local waterways

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 1:46 PM

Concrete Couch has begun assembling the 3D letters to fill with litter. - ALISSA SMITH
  • Alissa Smith
  • Concrete Couch has begun assembling the 3D letters to fill with litter.
Unlikely pairings tend to spring up during Arts Month, an annual initiative by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region to fill the month of October with artistic experiences. During Arts Month, organizations of all kinds, even those that don’t tend to focus on art, contribute space for art events, lend their name and supporter base to arts organizations, or even partner with those organizations to make something unique. One such partnership: The Cultural Office itself and the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance.

Together, the two organizations have established the Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project, modeled after the national Litter Letter Project — with permission, a press release specifies. “[The] local Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project aims to inspire artistic creativity, inspire passion for the outdoors, and inspire environmental stewardship by creating a public art piece that focuses on the efforts to keep our public lands and waterways clean,” the release reads.

The creation of this public art piece included another local arts organization, Concrete Couch, which has assembled giant, 3D letters out of recycled metal. The letters spell the word “INSPIRE.” Volunteers cleaning up public lands and waterways during Creek Week (which runs Sept. 29-Oct. 6), will fill these letters with litter and display them throughout the month at the intersection of Highway 24 and 21st Street.

Watch the final letter come together at the dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 11:30 a.m. Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers and Colorado Tourism Office Director Cathy Ritter will be there to make it official.

Little litter is off-limits. - ALISSA SMITH
  • Alissa Smith
  • Little litter is off-limits.
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Tactile marks its third year celebrating the fiber arts

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Tactile, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Manitou Art Center, textileswest.org. - COURTESY TEXTILES WEST
  • Courtesy Textiles West
  • Tactile, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Manitou Art Center, textileswest.org.
Textiles West, our local textile art organization, routinely hosts classes and workshops to help folks learn how to spin, dye, weave, knit and crochet fiber art and goods. But only once a year do they host their textile community celebration, Tactile. In its third year, this fiber art fiesta includes demonstrations of fiber art techniques (as well as wood turning and block printing), and features lectures about global weaving cooperatives and contemporary fiber art. As an added bonus, you can meet some of the animals behind the yarn, from sheep and alpaca to angora rabbits. 
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Can't-miss events to celebrate the first week of Arts Month

Arts Month is here! Each October, the Pikes Peak region celebrates Arts Month as a way to elevate the visibility and importance of arts & culture in our community. 
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During Arts Month, you’re encouraged to have at least one new cultural experience with family or friends! We'll highlight a few events each week in October that are fun, easy ways to get involved in #ArtsOctober.

Find more Arts Month details, including resources, event info, and more are at PeakRadar.com/ArtsMonth!

ArtPOP: Big Art - Beautiful Walls
October 4, 7 p.m. | Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum | Free

A great opportunity to meet local mural artists that help to make Colorado Springs even more beautiful. The night will include a panel discussion with local mural artists, a visual display of over 220 local public murals, a short documentary film featuring local mural art and artists, and an introduction to an interactive display of city murals.

ArtPOP is a series of 20 artist-driven pop-up performances, exhibitions and creative experiences in various locations across the region during the month of October.
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October's First Friday
October 5, 5-8 p.m | Downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs | Free
The Art Walks feature gallery openings, live demonstrations, a chance to meet local artists, shopping and dining, special performances, and much more! To help make your First Friday experience more convenient and enjoyable, make sure you check out the First Friday Shuttle Bus. Park near any shuttle bus stop location, then hop on, hop off!
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Cripple Creek's Art in the Park
October 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Cripple Creek City Hall Park | Free

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Help the City of Cripple Creek celebrate Arts Month! A 40+ foot canvas and supplies will be set-up for the public to express their artistic side (all artwork must be family friendly and follow the theme – Our Historic Gold Camp). A variety of other crafts will be available for the public to ‘make and take’ home with them. Several art organizations and artists will be on site to talk about their work with demonstrations by select artists. A small stage area will be set-up with actors from Cripple Creek’s Mountain Repertory Theater “popping in” to do a musical number or two. There will be an open mic available for those people whose talents may lay in singing, dancing, comedy skits, or even poetry; all performances must be family friendly. While you’re in town, stroll the streets to see artwork by local artists displayed in many downtown windows. At the Cripple Creek Heritage Center the “Art and Autumn” Fine Art Show will be taking place where the public may view and purchase a variety of work and meet many of the participating artists.

Face Vocal Band
October 6, 7:30 p.m. | Stargazers Theatre and Event Center | $17-$22
Face is an internationally acclaimed all-vocal rock band from Boulder, Colorado who have been captivating audiences for fifteen years with their infectious energy punctuated by an endearing love of performance.
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Harvest Festival
October 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Rock Ledge Ranch | Free
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In recognition of the bounty of a traditional fall harvest, the Ranch will be filled with activities and fun in the crisp autumn air. Take a wagon ride with the family, listen to old-time music, pick a pumpkin to take home, scramble for candy, kick back on the lawn with a slice of pie, and take time to tour the historic homes, visit the blacksmith and more. Bid for fine, handcrafted folk art at the silent auction in the Carriage House! Plan to stay through the day as food vendors will be on site.
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TheatreWorks debuts new season with A Raisin in the Sun

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 10:00 AM

A Raisin in the Sun, Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Saturdays, 2 p.m. (starting Oct. 6), Sundays, 4 p.m., through Oct. 21. Ent Center for the Arts, uccspresents.org. - ISAIAH DOWNING
  • Isaiah Downing
  • A Raisin in the Sun, Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Saturdays, 2 p.m. (starting Oct. 6), Sundays, 4 p.m., through Oct. 21. Ent Center for the Arts, uccspresents.org.
TheatreWorks, UCCS’ professional theater company, will start its fall season on a definite high note with A Raisin in the Sun, which was named best play by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle after its Broadway debut in 1959. Written by Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun follows a black family living in south side Chicago, who can’t agree on how best to use a sudden windfall of money. The play addresses issues society still struggles with today, from racism and segregation to discrimination in housing. Director Nambi E. Kelley, who was raised in Hansberry’s neighborhood in Chicago, is the first black woman to direct a TheatreWorks production. A TheatreWorks press release says: “In a time when equity and authenticity of representation are at the forefront of national dialogue, [Kelley] has assembled not only a wonderful cast, but also a design team composed of outstanding artists of color.”
True to form, TheatreWorks will not present the play’s important themes without context. Having already kicked off Raisin’s run with a community discussion about queer themes/representation in theater, the company has planned two more special events: “Gentrification, Arts and Housing” on Sept. 30, a panel with Irv Halter, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs; and “Raisin, Lysistrata, Gender & the Theatre” on Oct. 21, which will also address TheatreWorks’ next production, Lysistrata. What’s more, audience members can stick around after any Saturday or Sunday matinée for a community conversation with local artists, scholars and leaders.
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Friday, September 21, 2018

Show Us Your Seat promises to be a unique, fun and worthy fundraiser

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Show Us Your Seat Exhibition and Auction, Sept. 23, 2-5 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., showusyourseat.org. - BECCA HOWARD
  • Becca Howard
  • Show Us Your Seat Exhibition and Auction, Sept. 23, 2-5 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., showusyourseat.org.
In May, Mundi Ross, founder of local online publication Colorado Collective, lost her father to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Witnessing his struggle, then suffering the devastating loss, inspired her to do what she could for other ALS patients and their families. Now, after months of tireless work, she has pulled together what promises to be a unique, fun and worthy fundraiser for the Rocky Mountain chapter of The ALS Association. At Ross’ request, 10 regional woodworkers have designed and built unique chairs that will be displayed and auctioned off at tonight’s event. “I really love the idea of the chair representing the loss of mobility,” Ross says, “because most of the time in ALS diagnoses, mobility is the first to go.” Each chair — or set, as three of the woodworkers chose to make more than one — has been designed specifically for this exhibition, and Ross says the variety in their artistry is “incredible.” Some incorporate leather, steel, upholstery, and even beetles and gems (pictured). In addition to viewing and bidding on the chairs, attendees at Sunday’s fundraiser can enjoy music by DJ Rocky Ross and a limited-edition whiskey release from Axe and the Oak Distillery called The Major’s Cask Strength Bourbon. The label features a picture of Ross’ father, who was a retired Army major. “At the end of the day, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. My dad was my hero,” Ross says. Between VIP tickets (which include a limited edition magazine, food and drink) and the chair sales, Ross hopes to raise as much as $10,000 to help people like her father.
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fine Arts Center town hall will address historic (and problematic) murals

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 4:40 PM

COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER AT COLORADO COLLEGE
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
contains a great deal of history — not just the items in its museum or the historical art pieces in its permanent collection, but also its own history as an institution. It celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.

But a lot has changed within the last century, and the FAC is not blind to the fact that aspects of its public art must be held up to modern scrutiny. Specifically, the FAC wants to address murals within the building that contain “problematic content,” according to Colorado College art professor Rebecca Tucker. This problematic content tends to relate to portrayals of race.

“They [the murals] are part of the historic fabric of our structure, and have been there since the 1930s,” she says, adding that “these are important pieces for us, part of our history, literally attached to our walls. They’re made by artists who are important in the region; they’re important to the FAC’s own history.”

However, the FAC understands that the historical significance of these murals is not the only important aspect of them, as modern interpretation has changed the way they’re viewed and received. While the FAC and Colorado College have had internal and campus conversations about how best to live with the murals, they have decided to open up the conversation to the community.

Their upcoming town hall, “Race, History and the Arts at the FAC and Beyond” is meant to give the public an opportunity to talk about these murals and what to do with them, in the context of a larger national conversation that has sprung up largely around Confederate statues and other such public art.

“I see this as an ongoing conversation about this really fundamental human question,” Tucker says. “How do we live with our past?”

While hiding the murals is an option, and the FAC currently uses curtains to keep them under wraps but accessible, it is not the only option. Tucker says they are open to community ideas, whether it means commissioning an artist to respond to the murals or approving a different, yet-unknown solution.

The town hall, co-hosted by the FAC and Colorado College’s Butler Center, will include four practitioners that Tucker hesitates to call panelists, who will provide different perspectives on the issue, but the conversation will largely be steered by community participants.

“We don’t have any easy solutions,” Tucker says. “I don’t think anybody right now has any easy solutions, but if there is a solution, it’s getting people together to talk about things that can be challenging.”

Attendees must RSVP for the town hall, which will be held at the Fine Arts Center’s restaurant TASTE on Sept. 24, 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

El Pueblo History Museum completes a picture of the lasting effects of colonization

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Without Borders: Art Sín Fronteras, opening reception with select artists, Sept. 20, 5-8 p.m., on display through March 1, 2019, El Pueblo History Museum, historycolorado.org.
  • Without Borders: Art Sín Fronteras, opening reception with select artists, Sept. 20, 5-8 p.m., on display through March 1, 2019, El Pueblo History Museum, historycolorado.org.
It’s important to hold a constant conversation with history, and to use the tools we have available to examine historical events from a modern perspective. Many history museums strive to do just that, but El Pueblo History Museum has specifically called upon nearly two dozen contemporary artists from the Southwest to converse with history through their work. Without Borders: Art Sín Fronteras will be shown in conjunction with El Pueblo’s current Borderlands of Southern Colorado exhibit, which examines the cultural and societal borders drawn up around indigenous lands before, during and after European colonization and the establishment of the U.S. “This is a contemporary view into how people share geography in these regions,” says El Pueblo Deputy Director Simon Tearpak, “and I think the Borderlands of Southern Colorado exhibit that we have, that’s our core exhibit, gives a really good historical context to the conversations that are happening today.” The marriage of the two exhibits should provide a more complete picture of the lasting effects of colonization on the region, as well as the way the selected artists interpret and relate to their own homelands. El Pueblo’s website says, “the exhibit showcases diverse art media to expand on the words of philosopher Gloria Anzaldúa, ‘To survive the Borderlands / you must live sin fronteras / be a crossroads.’”
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Friday, September 14, 2018

Van Briggle Pottery Festival is your chance to get up close with Springs art history

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

The Historic Van Briggle Pottery Festival, Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., coloradocollege.edu/wes. - JAKEERAN
  • JAKeeran
  • The Historic Van Briggle Pottery Festival, Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., coloradocollege.edu/wes.
The Van Briggle Pottery building was built in 1907-08, and functioned as a factory for the Van Briggle company. It operated until 1968 when the building was purchased by Colorado College, which became stewards of its contents. Of course, it isn’t the only place to view Artus and Anne Van Briggle’s impressive pottery and tiles, as many pieces are on display at the Pioneers Museum and the Manitou Springs Heritage Center, but the Van Briggle Pottery building once held the salesroom, workshops, offices and studios of the company, and contains some exciting history. Join Colorado College’s Woman’s Educational Society for this annual tour of the old Van Briggle building and studio, plus a festival to celebrate the ceramic arts. Tours leave every 20 minutes until 3 p.m. and include a stop in the old sales room and a look at Anne Van Briggle’s studio. But once you’ve walked the building there’s still plenty to get up to. Bemis School of Art will host wheel-throwing demonstrations and hands-on clay activities, and the Horticultural Arts Society will provide tours of the gardens.
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The Great Bicycle Carnival is bigger than ever

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

2018 Great Bicycle Carnival, Sept. 15, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., kidsonbikes.net. - JANA L. BUSSANICH
  • Jana L. Bussanich
  • 2018 Great Bicycle Carnival, Sept. 15, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., kidsonbikes.net.
Kids on Bikes’ annual group ride and carnival celebration always draws a crowd, and this year it’s even bigger. All-ages group rides, guided by Kids on Bikes volunteers, start from six different locations (see website for details) and cover a variety of terrain. Young’uns and newbie riders might feel most comfortable joining the “Shake It on Shooks Run” team, which covers only 2 flat miles. Ambitious families can tackle the “Pedal Station Super Powers” route, 5.8 miles on street and trail. Everyone is encouraged to dress to their team’s theme (from hippies to cowboys) and stick around Middle Shooks Run Park for games and music afterward. 
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Chairmyn Meow benefit burlesque show is going to be one hell of a party

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

God Save the Kitty: Benefit Show for Chairmyn Meow, Sept. 16, 7-10:30 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, facebook.com/ChairmynMeowFanPage. - SG CREATIVE STUDIOS
  • SG Creative Studios
  • God Save the Kitty: Benefit Show for Chairmyn Meow, Sept. 16, 7-10:30 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, facebook.com/ChairmynMeowFanPage.
When we spoke to burlesque performer Chairmyn Meow in 2017 about the art of burlesque, she gave us this insight: “Almost everyone who is in burlesque is coming from a place of either healing or storing, to reclaim some part of their sexuality and body awareness, or gender fluidity.” As she did four years ago when she began performing, she will again turn to burlesque for healing.

Recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, Chairmyn Meow, known offstage as Joyce Garcia, has been given a hard-to-swallow prognosis — three to six months. Moreover, the treatment she requires must be paid for out of pocket. To help raise money, she has recruited her friends and fans from the burlesque world to host two fundraising shows. One in Denver, and one here in Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Springs show, held at the burlesque-loving Zodiac, will feature Fort Collins burlesque star Bang Bang Von Loola as a headliner, with performances from Bailee Bandersnatch, Kougar DeVille, Albuquerque’s Venus de Folie and many more. Alongside the performance, guests can enjoy auction items, a raffle, a Chairmyn Meow Costume Contest, and a sale of some of Chairmyn Meow’s iconic costume pieces. Despite the gravity of Garcia’s diagnosis, it should be a hell of a party.

Garcia says this fundraiser was a good way to reach her friends in the performing world, though she wants to be clear that her identity doesn’t begin and end onstage. She has been in the massage and healing field for 18 years, was once a birth doula, and has hosted support groups and worked with oncology patients. “Not only am I a performer,” she says, “but I’m a mother, and a wife. I’m a sister and I’m an aunt. I’m someone who’s part of a community and family.” All she wants now, she says, is a little more time with her child. Those who wish to donate but can’t make the show can contribute to Garcia’s GoFundMe page.
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Michelle Obama books "intimate" Pepsi Center engagement

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 3:45 PM


PHOTO_WORLD / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Photo_world / Shutterstock
First came the unlikely news that self-help contrarian Dr. Jordan Peterson is touring music venues, and now we’ve gotten word that Michelle Obama will be engaging in what's being promoted as an “intimate conversation” at the 20,000-capacity Pepsi Center.

The fondly remembered First Lady will be appearing Dec. 13 as part of a speaking tour to promote her forthcoming memoir Becoming.

“It’s the story of my humdrum plainness, my tiny victories, my lasting bruises, my ordinary hopes and worries” she writes on her Facebook page. “It’s the story of who I am, truly, and I’m proud of it — blemishes and all.”

Tickets for the Pepsi Center event will go on sale to the general public 10 am. Friday, Sept, 21, at becomingmichelleobama.com.

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Celebrate the local Steampunk subculture with the Western Museum of Mining and Industry

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Steampunk Celebration, Sept. 13, 6-9 p.m., Western Museum of Mining and Industry, wmmi.org. - COURTESY WESTERN MUSEUM OF MINING AND INDUSTRY
  • Courtesy Western Museum of Mining and Industry
  • Steampunk Celebration, Sept. 13, 6-9 p.m., Western Museum of Mining and Industry, wmmi.org.
Every subculture of nerddom goes all out when it comes to costumes (see “Sound and the furry"), but Steampunk enthusiasts deserve special props for somehow blending historical accuracy with whimsical imagination. The Steampunk subculture uses the true styles and inventions of the Victorian era (automatons, zeppelins and the like) as a springboard to create a vision of a steam- and cog-operated alternative history. Considering the Western Museum of Mining and Industry houses machines and artifacts of Colorado’s industrial age, it seems appropriate that they’ve announced a “Grand Steampunk Festival” for 2019. The kick-off event functions as an introduction for those curious about the culture, and a party for those entrenched in it down to their cog- and gear-encrusted top hats. Presumably to make sure folks are prepared for next year with their best costumes and Victorian manners, WMMI will offer a high tea demonstration, machinery demonstrations, photo ops, models in classic Steampunk fashions and booths with expert costume advice.
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Friday, September 7, 2018

Front Range Open Studios Tour weekend bridges the gap between artist and audience

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Front Range Open Studios Tour, Sept. 8-9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., various locations throughout Monument, Colorado, free, frontrangeopenstudios.com. - COURTESY FRONT RANGE OPEN STUDIOS
  • Courtesy Front Range Open Studios
  • Front Range Open Studios Tour, Sept. 8-9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., various locations throughout Monument, Colorado, free, frontrangeopenstudios.com.
Last year, my first stop on the Front Range Open Studios tour was glass artist Nancy Bonig’s studio at her home in Monument. Nestled among trees along a sunny, winding mountain road, the Bonig studio isn’t intuitively located in a downtown corridor, or even in town. Because, typically, this is a private space that Bonig uses to create her artwork. But when I arrived, Bonig helped me and other visitors design a glass plate using materials and techniques that she has been using her entire artistic career. She walked us through the process step-by-step, excited to share her work. Every studio I visited that day, whether I found artists demonstrating their own techniques or sharing their completed pieces, felt similarly intimate.

Creative pursuits occupy so much time, energy and heart, but as Bonig points out, the creation of art is often a solitary practice. That’s why the Front Range Open Studios Tour benefits both the artist and the audience. Attendees can tour the massive studio of blacksmith Jodie Bliss while she explains her complex equipment, enjoy horsehair pottery demonstrations at Terre Christensen’s studio, join Kathleen Krucoff in her home to observe her techniques in jewelry fabrication and metalsmithing, or check out any of the 18 total stops on the tour this year. This weekend presents one of those rare and exciting opportunities to reach across the divide of audience and artist, and to meet some of the people who keep the region’s art scene alive. 
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Thursday, September 6, 2018

It’s a Little Bit Chile in Pueblo, just the way we like it

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 10:00 AM

It’s a Little Bit Chile, Opening reception, Sept. 7, 5-8 p.m., on display through Sept. 30, Steel City Art Works, 
216 S. Union Ave., Pueblo, steelcityartworks.com.
  • It’s a Little Bit Chile, Opening reception, Sept. 7, 5-8 p.m., on display through Sept. 30, Steel City Art Works, 
216 S. Union Ave., Pueblo, steelcityartworks.com.
Pueblo loves its peppers — a fact well understood by any of the 140,000 folks (yearly) who have attended the city’s annual Chile & Frijoles Festival and taken advantage of two of Pueblo’s most popular staples, the Mirasol pepper and pinto beans. To build up some excitement for the celebration (which will take place Sept. 21-23), Steel City Art Works will present an exhibit of chile-inspired art, alongside a showcase of four featured artists. Peruse still-life oil paintings by George Ivins; Katheryn Jacobsen’s impressive woodwork; eclectic, colorful artwork of many mediums by Sharon Orman; and unique wood and metal sculptures by Lionel Trujillo. In addition to the featured artists, guest artist Mary Schafer will display her watercolors, and photographer David S. Hayden will showcase Pueblo County through a series of photos. This exhibit of artists, like the Chile Festival itself, is all about celebrating what makes Pueblo unique. 
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