Aug 31, 2011

Bemis clay students prepare for 2011 Empty Bowls campaign to benefit Tri-Lakes Cares

Last year, we posted a how-to video of one of our Bemis clay students explaining how to throw a bowl to end hunger. This year, the clay studio intends to throw 200 bowls--40 more than last year--to auction off at the event. Hope you'll join us at this event to combat hunger.

Learn more about clay classes at Bemis here.

Monument Hill Kiwanis Empty Bowls & Silent Auction
Location: Monument, Colorado
Description: Monument Hill Kiwanis Empty Bowls & Silent Auction
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Lewis Palmer High School 1300 Higby Road Monument, CO 80132

Enjoy a meal of soup and bread donated by local restaurants and served in bowls crafted by local artists. A silent auction will also be held. Dessert and drinks will be served. Proceeds benefit Tri-Lakes Cares, a 501 (c)(3) public charity servings the needs of Monument, Palmer Lake, and Woodmoor, CO.


Meet Bemis Instructor Gabriella Christians

Gabriella Christians, a native of New York City, headed west shortly after receiving her BA from Syracuse University. She has taught art to students of all ages in schools, camps, and workshops in New York, Connecticut, and Colorado. Although ceramic tile, sculpture, and mosaics form her main body of work, her favorite way to share art is through teaching. You can see what classes she has coming up this session here.

Q.What is your most memorable moment while teaching at Bemis?
There have been many times in my classes where I'm almost brought to tears over sharing a moment of inspiration with a class or student. Popping into my mind right now are students from over the years smiling with their whole bodies, in awe of what they have done.

Q. Do you make your own art? What medium?
I mostly work in clay these days, particularly in ceramic tile making. My tiles range from individual decorative tiles to large scale tile mosaics, to site-specific installations.

Q.Why do you teach at Bemis?
Why do I teach? All my life I've loved teaching in different settings, working directly with people to achieve specific goals, and creating collaboratively.Bemis to me is an environment of creative exploration, driven by so many people who long to bring the sheer joy of art and creativity to the community.

Q. What do you think makes you a good teacher?
I am a good teacher because I love to teach. I love helping children and adults alike to bravely explore the creative powers that exist in each of us. I love guiding students through the process of learning a new skill - which includes wrestlling through the roadblocks - and developing an excited confidence from having made the journey.

Aug 25, 2011

Meet Janson Fangio, New FAC Costume Shop Manager

Q: Why did you want to work at the FAC?
Call it providence; call it fate if you’d rather. Despite the fact that I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, frequented the Fine Arts Center as well as took classes at Bemis from the time I could hold a pencil, hosted my wedding reception in the Glass Corridor and Courtyard last September, have always loved the building and it’s fine example of 1930s art deco and admired the institution’s dedication to the fine arts in this city, and designed the costumes for last season’s finale 1776, I don’t know that it was necessarily a matter of wanting to work at the FAC as opposed to anywhere else. When opportunity, presents itself, only a fool refuses to pursue it. I love theatre and costumes; it is what I trained to do. The position opened up, I felt I could do the job well and even make some improvements. Maybe it was meant to happen. I also kinda like the place.

Q: What do you like about it so far?
I very much enjoy having creative freedom as well as organizational control. The people here are friendly, creative and fun; I see great things in the future for the Fine Arts Center Theatre.

Q: Where did you work before?
I worked for just nearly 3 years (missed it by 3 weeks) at the Broadmoor Resort Dry Cleaners as a tailor.

Q: Do you consider yourself an artist or art connoisseur?
I do consider myself an artist. As well as my responsibilities as the Costume Shop Manager for the theatre, I have been assigned the costume designs for three of the main shows this season starting with our debut, Assassins. Design, of course, requires artistic abilities and I would say clothing construction and fine tailoring is an art itself. As far as any credentials as a connoisseur I would not go so far as to claim any. I do, however, consider myself an avid enthusiast of the fine arts.

Q: If artist, what kind of art do you do and why?
Again, my job as a designer and a stitcher/tailor requires artistic ability. In addition to these, I hold a bachelors degree in acting performance (perhaps someday I will find time to perform on the FAC stage), I play french horn, I paint and draw and I sing in the church choir.

Q: If a connoisseur, what types of art do you like and why?
Again, I do not claim connoisseurship but, as an enthusiast, I have delved into some of the finest art museums around the world and enjoy learning about and digesting artworks through history. My favourite periods in fine art are medieval Gothic, Baroque and 19th century Romanticism. As different as these movements are historically I do think there is a clear through-line in their attempts to elicit heightened psycho-emotional responses from the viewers. Whether it be Gothic’s desire to lift the eyes upwards in contemplation of God in the heavens, Baroque’s response to the stark austerity of the Protestant Reformation in showing the awesome beauty of the perceived grandeur of God, or the Romantics ability to commit the mind to the fantastic beauty or the terrible horror of nature (whether that be “mother” nature or human “nature”), they all sought to strike at the heart of human emotion. As a theatre designer, spend much of my time researching many different periods and movements throughout cultural history and I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.

Q: If you were on death row for a crime you didn’t commit, what would be your last meal?
I am not much of a foodie so it is hard for me to answer this one. I’m inclined to think that if I am sitting on death row awaiting the end of my corporeal life for a crime that I know I did not commit, I would have higher matters on my mind than food; appeals and my immortal soul for instance.

Q: If you were on death row for a crime you didn’t commit, and you were able to escape, where would you go?
I don’t think it would much matter. Escaping prison is a crime in and of itself and, these days, as small as the modern world is through technology and political alliance, the chances of escaping a high security penal institution and not getting re-caught are slim to none. I think the fear and paranoia of being on the lam is torture in it’s own right. To be fair, though, and answer the question, I think I would try my best to let my family know I was out and entreat them not to try and find me as that would criminally involve them and I would do my best to get as far into anonymity as possible, perhaps visit Prague.

Q; If you could see one exhibition, one theatre performance and take one art class, what would they be?
I would have loved to see the Tudor palace of Nonsuch (demolished in the 17th century; hey, you didn’t say this had to be a current exhibition) a magnificent palace in its own right but reportedly had a vast collection of medieval and Renaissance curiosities and rare artworks which burned in a fire. I really wanted to see Patrick Stewart as Macbeth in The Scottish Play on Broadway a couple of years ago. It was supposed to have been very good and I just missed it. I have a very keen interest in lithography and wood block prints and would love to learn how to execute their techniques.

Q: If you had the opportunity to ask Michelangelo one question, what would it be?
Was it worth all the pain in the neck?

Aug 18, 2011

Pioneers Museum Bike Exhibit: "Pedal Power"

Pedal Power is the Pioneers Museum's latest exhibit. Featuring vintage and modern bicycles, photographs and fascinating information on the rich history of bicycles in the Pikes Peak Region, this is our favorite downtown cultural experience honoring the first-ever USA Pro Cycling Challenge!

The Pioneers Museum always offers free admission and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aug 16, 2011

QR Codes in the Galleries

We've been thinking about using QR (quick response) codes in the galleries for some time, but we finally implemented a program in conjunction with Elevated Perspective: Paintings by Joellyn Duesberry. The codes take museum visitors to video conversations with the artist in front of her work here at the Fine Arts Center.

While QR codes are still relatively new here in the United States, in Japan, the technology has been around since 1994. QR is a registered trademark of Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota. Denso Wave has elected not to exercise their patent rights of QR codes and that has encouraged their widespread use.

In their words, the QR code carries "meaningful information in the vertical direction as well as the horizontal, hence the two-dimensional term. By carrying information in both directions, QR code[s] can carry up to several hundred times the amount of data carried by an ordinary bar codes."
The way to use this technology is to find a free QR/barcode reader application in your smartphone's app store. Download and install the app, then open it. Once you scan the code, your phone should pull up a url, phone number, picture, or other information.

Have you scanned one of our QR codes in the gallery? What did you think? Please tell us in the comments!

-Becca Sickbert, New Media Manager for the FAC

Aug 12, 2011

Announcing Cast and Crew for ASSASSINS

Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District, (159-6132).

Announcing cast and crew for the season-opening production!

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Theatre Company presents
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman

There are a number of notable cast members making their FAC debut, including Tom Auclair (Samuel Byck), Ben Bashinski (Leon Czolgosz)  Cailin Doran (Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme), and Jordan Leigh (Charles Guiteau),

Leigh is best known in Colorado for his record-setting run of 1,731 performances of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. A graduate of the UCLA School of Theatre, Leigh is also a filmmaker with Cinema Geeks Productions. His film, 46 Miles, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Bashinski is a Platoon Leader in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

The cast of 14 also includes SaGāJi veterans Marco Robinson (Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald), Jason Lythoge (John Wilkes Booth), Brantley Scott Haines (John Hinckley), Max Ferguson (Proprietor), and Miriam Roth Ballard (Sara Jane Moore).

Robinson was named “2009 Best Actor” by the Gazette. He has appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sweeney Todd and as Eugene Jerome in the Neil Simon Trilogy, all for the FAC.

The creative team includes Christopher L. Sheley (Scenic Designer), Janson Fangio (Costume Design), Jonathan Spencer (Lighting Design), and Roberta Jacyshyn (Musical Director), who leads the eight-member orchestra. The production stage manager is Katy McGlaughin.

Spencer, making his FAC debut, was the Assistant Lighting Designer on four recent Broadway shows, including Sister Act, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Finian’s Rainbow and Legally Blonde.


John Wilkes Booth………………………….……Jason Lythgoe
Samuel Byck……………………………………………Tom Auclair
Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme………….………..Cailin Doran
Charles Guiteau………………………..………….Jordan Leigh*
Leon Czolgosz………………………………….…..Ben Bashinski
John Hinckley…………………………..Brantley Scott Haines
Sara Jane Moore……………….………Miriam Roth Ballard
Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald………….Marco Robinson
Giuseppe Zangara………….……………..………Ken Robinson
Proprietor/Ensemble…….……………………..Max Ferguson
Emma Goldman/Ensemble…………………….Halee Towne
David Herold/Ensemble……………..Jonathan Eberhardt
Ensemble………………………….……………..………Vania Falen
Ensemble…………………………………..…………Matt Newton

Scenic Design by
Christopher Sheley

Lighting Design by
Jonathan Spencer**

Costume Design by
Janson Fangio

Stage Managed by
Katy McGlaughlin

Musical Direction by
Roberta Jacshyn

Directed by
Scott RC Levy

*Member of Actor’s Equity Association
**Member of USA/829

Pikes Peak Arts Council 2011 Award Nominations

With thanks to Tracy Mobley-Martinez at the Gazette, here are the 2011 PPAC award nominations. For more information, read the coverage here.

As of August 12, The dates for the award ceremony have not yet been announced.

-- Wayne and Mary Mashburn (Mashburn, of course, has held many roles in the community, including FAC Docent and catalyst behind the Tactile Gallery, now celebrating its 30th anniversary!)


Large Ensemble
-- Colorado Springs Philharmonic: Shostakovich, "Symphony No 5"
-- Colorado Springs Philharmonic: Berlioz, "Symphony Fantastique"
-- Opera Theatre of the Rockies: Rossini, "Barber of Seville"

Small Ensemble
-- Chamber Choir Abendmusik: "Sure on this Shining Night"
-- Chamber Orchestra of the Springs: Ravel, "Piano Concerto in G Major," Kelly Zeurcher, pianist
-- Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble: "Voices of Light"

-- Angelina Gadeliya, From Schumann to Schoenberg
-- Jennifer de Dominici, Rossini, "Barber of Seville"
-- Kelly Zuercher, Ravel, "Piano Concerto in G Major" with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs


Excellence in Dance
-- Camille Loftin, Ashley Pintier, and Kellie Palmblad, "Pieces"
-- Patrizia Herminjard, "The 12 Steps of Physical Intimacy"
-- Tiffany Tinsley Weeks, "Burdens"


Excellence in Performance
-- Julianza K.Shavin
-- Miguel Huerta
-- Phil Ginsburg

Literary Excellence
-- David Mason
-- Eve Jones
-- Janice Gould


Outstanding Group
-- Grass It Up
-- Haunted Windchimes
-- The Low-Fi Cowboys

Outstanding Solo/Duo
-- Big Jim Adam & John Stilwagen
-- Grant Sabin
-- John-Alex Mason


Outstanding Performance by an Actor
-- Benjamin Bonenfant, "The Seagull," TheatreWorks
-- Cory Moosman, "The Producers" and "1776," Fine Arts Center
-- Sammy Gleason, "Waiting for Godot" (Star Bar Players), "The Producers" and "1776" (FAC)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress
-- Amy Brooks, "The Merry Wives of Windsor" (TheatreWorks), "The Women" (FAC) and "Four Play" (Manitou Art Theatre)
-- Jane Fromme, "The Seagull" (TheatreWorks) and "Art Dog" (MAT)
-- Elizabeth Kahn Lanning, "Bug" and "Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them" (Star Bar Players)

Outstanding Production
-- "Waiting for Godot," Star Bar Players, director Beth Clements Mosley
-- "Six Women Playwriting Festival," Manitou Art Theatre, directors Birgitta DePree, Warren Epstein, Eve Tilley, Leanne Carrouth, Lisa Siebert, Tracy Mobley-Martinez
-- "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," FAC, director Cory Moosman,

Technical Excellence
-- Benjamin Pratt, sound, Manitou Art Theatre
-- Mary Ripper Baker, choreography, FAC
-- Roy Ballard, set design, TheatreWorks


Artist of the Year
-- Kathleen McFadden, photographer
-- Scott Johnson, sculptor
-- Sean O'Meallie, sculptor

CIA (Creative, Intriguing, and Astonishing)
-- "Conflict | Resolution," FAC
-- Modbo/SPQR, co-owners Lauren and Brett Andrus
-- What If Festival, Imagination Celebration

Excellence in Curatorship
-- Blake Milteer, FAC
-- Elizabeth Szabo, Business of Art Center
-- Jessica Hunter Larsen, I.D.E.A. Space, Colorado College

Aug 10, 2011

[Updated] "The Courageous & Beautiful" art exhibition at Cottonwood

Our friend, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, is partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Southeastern Colorado to host Breast Cancer: The Courageous & Beautiful. This exhibit will portray the personal journeys and courage of those who have confronted breast cancer. In the words of Elizabeth Lesser, the public will be able to experience the journey from "broken" to "broke-open." Breast Cancer: The Courageous & Beautiful will open Friday, September 30, 2011 at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in downtown Colorado Springs.

Entries may be from any media and will be accepted through September 23, 2011. Proceeds from entry fees will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Southeastern Colorado.
Download the Call for Entries brochure with all the details!

Breast Cancer: The Courageous & Beautiful
~Artists coming together for the cure!

Exhibition Calendar

Entry Deadline:
Sept 22nd & 23rd 10:00am – 4:00 pm
Sept 24th 10:00am – 1:00 pm
Artists’ Notified:
September 27th, 2011
Exhibition Dates:
Friday, September 30, 5pm – 8pm
Artists’ Reception:
September 30, 2011
Silent Auction:
September 30, 2011
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Pick-up date for all artwork:
October 18, 2011 | 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cottonwood Center for the Arts
427 East Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 2pm

Aug 1, 2011

Governor Hickenlooper Declares Aug. 1-6 Lifelong Learning Week

In March of 2011, Governor Hickenlooper proclaimed that the first week of August is "Lifelong Learning Week." The proclamation recognizes that lifelong learning dramatically enhances the life of older people both physically and mentally, and that curiosity never retires. More than 4,000 Coloradans over the age of 50 take educational classes each year.

To celebrate, the PILLAR Institute for Lifelong Learning is providing classes throughout the community, including two classes at the FAC. To register for any of these classes, please visit the Pillar website.

Fine Arts Center 75th Anniversary Tour
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center turns 75 this year. Join us for a tour and discussion focused on the exhibition Elevated Perspective: Paintings by Joellyn Duesberry with specially trained Fine Arts Center Docents. Joellyn Duesberry is among the most important artists working in Colorado today and is one of the most significant landscape painters in the West. Highlights from the permanent collection range from Hispanic and Indian American art to modern American masterworks. Lunch at Amuze at the FAC is optional.

Date: Saturday, August 6th
Time: 10:00A.M. – 11:00A.M. or 11:00A.M.-12:00 Noon
Location: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (Meet lobby area.)
30 West Dale Street Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Class #: 3112080611

The Great American Songbook: It's De-Lovely!

Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rogers -- and more!! Join us to celebrate -- to listen, to watch some DVD clips, to sing and definitely to celebrate! You may try to analyze what makes these songs (50-100 years old) endure. You may just want to listen and smile! Wow!

Instructor: Marti Booth was chorus master for the Colorado Opera Festival and the recipient of the Pikes Peak Arts Council's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Time: 9:30 A.M. - 12:00 Noon
Date: Friday, August 5
Location: Bemis School of Art
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
30 West Dale Street Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Class #: 3108080511