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10 Friday

Assembled West opening reception

click to enlarge Assembled West
  • Assembled West

According to Rooted Studio's executive director, Meredith Ann, February is a transition month for this artspace. The gallery, located just north of Old Colorado City, has recently disclosed that its current space is no longer viable, and it will soon be packing up shop. Without an immediate location to move into, they're using this month to go out with a bang, presenting a collaborative art exhibit that really speaks to the spirit of Rooted Studio — working together.

"I've wanted to do a project like this since college," Ann says of Assembled West, which opens tonight, "bringing together four or five artists, working on a project together." Ann, a collage artist, recognizes that there aren't many folks in the Springs who work in her preferred medium, so when she met Jasmine Dillavou, she immediately brought up the concept of collaboration. Then, others came on board who had expressed an interest in the process — Cymon Padilla, whom Ann says "works with cool new mediums to express fun ideas"; Gay Houghtaling, a multi-media artist who collects and assembles found objects; and Riley Bratzler, who has worked in various mediums herself and wanted to take on the concept of artifacts through collage. [Disclosure: Bratzler is Assistant to the Publisher here at the Indy.]

As for the inspiration behind the topic, Ann says the concept of the American West kept coming up in her life. "What is the West?" she asks. "This icon of the cowboy — why is that so American?"

All five of these artists grew up here in Colorado, where the concept of the Wild West is just woven into the fabric of local identity. This Western ethos generates the same repetitive stories, Ann says, images like old-timey saloons and brothels, all myths that "are quite alive here, but dressed differently."

So Assembled West seeks to deconstruct those common images and themes. Dillavou examines the hyper-masculine figure of the cowboy alongside the hyper-sexualized view of the female form, weighing similarities and differences between the two; Bratzler seeks to answer the question, "when does a mass gravesite become an archaeological dig?"; Padilla tackles the topic of memory through cyanotypes, product of a unique photographic process; Houghtaling's vintage-looking shadowboxes recall old family adventures; and Ann speaks to the theme of migration, a sense of "how did we get here?"

Next time, since Ann knows she wants to try a large project like this again, she hopes to include more voices, to present a more varied approach to the topic. But in the meantime this assemblage of artists and themes helps to present an image of the West that you won't find in any John Wayne movie.

6-9:30 p.m. (and by appointment through Feb. 25), Rooted Studio, 116 N. 30th St., free, rootedstudiocs@gmail.com.

9 Thursday

The Hairy Ape

click to enlarge The Hairy Ape
  • The Hairy Ape

TheatreWorks' take on Eugene O'Neill's wild, dreamlike play about a steamship stoker searching for belonging in the 1920s.

Protagonist Yank seeks to belong in the world of the rich and remote after a jarring encounter throws his plans for a loop, but he finds he doesn't belong with any group he encounters.

The play's themes of social class, identity and masculinity are as relevant today as they were in the '20s, so it should be quite the thinker.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 4 p.m., through Feb. 26, UCCS Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, 3955 Regent Circle, $36-$42/adult, $18/child younger than 18, free for UCCS students, theatreworkscs.org.

10 Friday

The Phantom of the Opera

click to enlarge The Phantom of the Opera
  • The Phantom of the Opera

This classic Lon Chaney film, accompanied by live music from The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, can function as both date night and a night of fun for the kids.

Adults get to graze on hors d'oeuvres and sip wine with their film, while kids will have the chance to make crafts, play and watch a more age-appropriate movie of their own.

Guests are encouraged to wear Phantom-inspired costumes, and kids should feel free to wear their pajamas and bring sleeping bags for the full sleepover experience — without the sleepover.

5:30-9 p.m., Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., $20-$25/adult, $5-$10/child, cspm.org.

10 Friday

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

click to enlarge Tommy Castro & The Painkillers
  • Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

Blues-rock reaches new heights with this longtime touring band, which draws inspiration from classic rock, Southern soul and big-city blues (for more see p. 39).

Castro is a renowned guitarist, and his fast fingerwork is easily a highlight of their live show.

They'll be performing alongside the Austin Young Band, another blues powerhouse based right here in the Springs.

Blues enthusiasts and musicians alike can attend Castro's special seminar tomorrow, which will cover the elements that contribute to a band's success. This limited-seating event will be held Feb. 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Hotel Eleganté, 2886 S. Circle Drive, $25-$35, register at pikespeakblues.org).

8 p.m., Stargazers, 10 S. Parkside Drive, $20-$25, stargazerstheatre.com.

11 Saturday

Winter-active

click to enlarge Winter-active
  • Winter-active

Six local art galleries in Old Colorado City come together to encourage the community to get involved in interactive art events: Laura Reilly Fine Art Gallery, Colorado Creative Co-op, The Squash Blossom, 45 Degree Gallery, Hunter-Wolff Gallery and Indy Best Of gold winner, Chavez Gallery.

Activity options: painting demos, stretch-cord beaded bracelet workshops, customizable pendant creation and Chavez-style mini-paintings are included in the fun.

Participants can sit back and watch or make their own creations. In either case, it's a great way to get to know some of Old Colorado City's most active artists.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m., locations vary throughout Old Colorado City, free to attend, squashblossom.com.

11 Saturday

John E. Stith book signing

click to enlarge John E. Stith book signing
  • John E. Stith book signing

Local author John E. Stith will celebrate the re-release of his nine science-fiction titles, which are being printed for the first time in more than 10 years.

Stith, an internationally recognized author, has appeared on a nationwide PBS broadcast, and is a member of the Colorado Authors' League and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

His books, including the popular Redshift Rendezvous and Manhattan Transfer, will be available for sale and signing. This will be a great opportunity to meet a local sci-fi legend.

Noon to 3 p.m., Hooked on Books, 10-12 E. Bijou St., free, facebook.com/john.e.stith.

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