Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sharon Carvell and Debra Callan present environmentally and socially conscious art exhibition at Manitou Art Center, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge SHARON CARVELL
  • Sharon Carvell

Indigenous to Originality

Opening reception, Aug. 2, 5-8 p.m., on display through Sept. 15, Manitou Art Center,
513 Manitou Ave.,

In a world so often dominated by dark and gritty imagery, and especially depressing news, mother-daughter artists Sharon Carvell and Debra Callan’s combined works provide a sense of balance. At times whimsical, socially conscious or both, the duo’s upcoming Manitou Art Center exhibit Indigenous to Originality showcases not only their many talents, but their ideology as well.

“Each thing you see in here is a prayer. ... Each time I weave is a prayer,” says Callan as she opens her arms to the Hanauger Gallery, where her and her mother’s art has been set up in preparation for August’s First Friday.

Callan is responsible for the exhibition’s woven gourds, gleaming with tiny beads from their glass display cases. Using a 4,000-year-old technique, she threads one bead at a time until the gourds are completely covered in animal and plant imagery, vibrant colors and geometric shapes. Many on display here have come from her series on evolution, which artistically represents life from the beginning of creation to humanity’s rise. “And it has the Genesis phrase on it that basically, we shall have dominion over the earth instead of being stewards,” Callan says of the final piece in that series, “Dominion.” Like her mother, Callan considers herself an activist as well as an artist, integrating symbolism in her weaving that speaks to everything from stark political divisions to the importance of the circle of life.

Carvell, now 82 and working primarily as a painter and silk sculptor, has always explored activism through art. In fact, 27 years ago, her life-sized silk sculpture expressing support for abortion rights was censored in Manitou. A small version of that sculpture will now be on display at the MAC alongside more of Carvell’s own prayers, expressed through art like her daughter’s — a sculpture of a winged woman holding a fan to the Earth to spread peace; a painting of children dressed as clowns playing in a vibrant green landscape, the world Carvell hopes they will inherit; an ancient tree’s roots growing from the debris of a discarded bed.

Though Carvell and Callan have created art together since they owned a design business 35 years ago, this will be their first joint public show. Sharing their artwork, sharing their prayers, is one way they have found to make a difference in this complicated world.

“We have both been very, very [politically] active,” Callan says. “And right now, with things as they are, we’re at a point where we don’t know...”

She pauses, but her mother finishes for her. “We don’t know what to do.”

Sharing this exhibition, at least, seems a good place to start.

Our Shorts Are Showing

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 2 p.m., through Aug. 11, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 Cache La Poudre St.,

Hosted by Craft Production Resource, this annual short play festival gives local playwrights the opportunity to showcase their work, and local actors, directors and crew the opportunity to collaborate directly with them to execute a shared vision. Out of 23 submitted plays, seven works of all genres and lengths, including performance poetry, have been chosen to grace the Springs Ensemble Theatre stage.

Pikes Peak Junkfest

Aug. 2-3, 9 a.m., Pikes Peak International Raceway, 16650 Midway Ranch Road, #1, Fountain, $5/adult, free/child under 12,

We always hope we’re going to find some buried treasure when we scour antique or thrift stores, digging into drawers and boxes and piles of whatever-the-heck. And, hey, you know what they say about “one man’s trash.” Find your treasure at this weekend’s Junkfest, where you can sift through antiques and collectibles, vintage goods and even farming equipment. There will be a whole festival surrounding the open-air market, with live music and more.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAIRA DUNDOV
  • Photo by Daira Dundov

Utopia: A New Society for All

Aug. 3 to Nov. 3, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St.,

The other day, I applied to be a citizen of Utopia. This is not a country, exactly, but an ongoing art project by Denver-based artist Becky Wareing Steele. So far, she has sculpted tiny versions of more than 80 real-life people to inhabit a 4-by-7-foot diorama, which represents an ideal community. Everything is decided by vote. We recommend examining Utopia not only as an art installation, but as the thought-provoking question it represents: “Is a Utopia attainable?”

Chalk Art Festival

Aug. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cheyenne Mountain Library and neighboring businesses,
1785 S. Eighth St., free,

For the third year running, the Ivywild Improvement Society and Pikes Peak Library District are partnering up to provide food trucks, face painting, activities and entertainment surrounding an explosion of chalk art. Professional and amateur artists will decorate the sidewalks in the Cheyenne Mountain Library District’s shopping center with unique and temporary masterpieces. Stop by, get creative, and maybe hope for a rainless morning.

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