Alix Garcia’s art materials had to be sourced during the spring. She picked flowers at Venetucci Farm’s Gather Mountain Blooms, bought marked-down bouquets at stores and was gifted flowers from friends’ gardens. Her first solo show, Posies, at The Machine Shop, showcases 20 works of art that incorporate pressed flowers and watercolor illustrations.
“I kind of like the idea of like self-expression, but in a vague way [where] you can kind of disguise it,” says Garcia. “But anyone who bothers to decipher it can get a little more.” Nature symbolism — and more specifically floral language — was a way to achieve this.
And Garcia’s done her research. An illustrated encyclopedia of meanings and facts for over a thousand flower species, Teresa Dietz’s The Complete Language of Flowers, guided her through the artistic process. “[T]he meaning of a flower is going to change based on what culture you’re in, what time frame you’re looking at,” says Garcia. “So it ended up kind of having to be a pick-and-choose kind of thing and an averaging out of meanings.”
Working with organic materials is a delicate process. First, Garcia uses blotting paper to absorb any excess moisture. Then she places the material in a flower press. “In a pinch, I would also just stack a ton of books on different things,” she says. Lighter flowers are usually ready in a few days. Thicker flowers, like cactus flowers, sometimes need weeks.
“You’re stuck in quarantine with all these stagnating emotions and not really knowing how to process them,” says Garcia. “So this ended up being a cathartic way to sort through them in an ambiguous way, using flower language to represent certain feelings, behaviors, thoughts, emotions. I’m pairing them with different illustrations to kind of subtly talk about that.”
Plant materials generally tend to deteriorate over time, and pressed flowers are, as Garcia puts it, “horribly organic.” Archival practices were something Garcia had limited exposure to until working at H.R. Meininger Co., a Downtown art supply store.
“I’m still kind of dancing on the line of how much I want to delve into archival practices, because a lot of the people who come into the store are either super into it, like ‘I must preserve my stuff for eternity,’ and others are like, ‘When I die, that’s [when my art does],’” says Garcia. The works in this specific show are each protected by a glass sheet that shields them from UV rays and discoloration.
While Garcia has an educational background in art (a degree in visual and performing arts from UCCS), she took a break following graduation to pursue other interests. As an art store employee, she still felt integrated in the local arts community — in touch with artists and gallery owners — but not necessarily like she was contributing to it. In the last couple of years, she’s found herself returning to her art roots.
“Finally making [art] again,” says Garcia, “it just felt good.”
Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival
For over 30 years, the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival has celebrated “discovery, exploration, experiencing, and celebrating the drive, spirit, and diversity of women.” In fact, the RMWFF is the longest-running women’s film festival in North America. This year, the festival is offering an in-person viewing at the Pikes Peak Center and a virtual encore for those who prefer to watch at home. Friday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 21. Tickets range from $15 (for a single film screening ticket) to a full festival pass ($139). Options for single day and night tickets are also available. Free for military members. For tickets and more info, see rmwfilm.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorado Springs Record Show
Calling all record collectors! Scour through CDs, LPs, 45s, cassettes and 8-tracks, and then grab some street tacos at the El Chapin food truck. Early bird admission (9 a.m.) is $10 and general admission (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is $3. On Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Masonic Center, 1150 Panorama Drive. See coloradorecordshow.com for tickets and more info.
Trees of Life Tree Lighting
Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care’s 37th lighting ceremony — where loved ones are remembered in each light illuminated — is Saturday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St. For more info, go to tinyurl.com/trees-of-life-lighting.