Mar 29, 2012

Terry Maker's silent film

Here's short film of Terry Maker sculpting words from Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem using 16 mm celluloid film, the inspiration behind her work, "Ozymandian Tree - A Silent Film." In using the medium of film in her pieces which we usually view in quiet galleries, "Ozymandian Tree" challenges us to re-think how mediums can be used beyond what we're used to.  

Terry Maker: Reckoning is on display in the El Pomar Gallery until June 3.

Mar 27, 2012

Mexican Revolutionary Leader Emiliano Zapata — by the numbers

1 out of 5 of land in Mexico was owned by a foreign interest.

27 percent of Mexican land owned by American at the start of the Mexican Revolution.

1910 the Mexican Revolution began

5,000 number of peasants in Zapata’s Liberation Army of the South that fought for communal land rights

39 the age Emiliano Zapata was assassinated for playing a major role in the Mexican revolution

27 Article in the Constitution of Mexico regarding land reform that was influenced by Zapata’s Plan of Ayala.

11 number of films on IMDB listing Emiliano Zapata as a character

Viva Zapata! (1952)
Wed. Mar. 28, 6:30 p.m. | $5

Hollywood in the Depression

Paramount Pictures studios at the begining of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Image Source. 

The Depression left a lasting impression on American history. Despite the economic downfall and budget cuts made by film studios, the film industry’s techniques and ideas created during this period influenced the way films are made today. This began the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Sound was first introduced and famous film genres: westerns, screwballs, romantic comedies, and musicals, and some of the greatest films ever created were made during the Golden Age of Hollywood (King Kong, 1933; Gone with the Wind, 1939; Casablanca, 1942; It's a Wonderful Life, 1946; The Searchers, 1956). The five major studios: MGM, Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, and RKO were turning out multiple films every week.

60-90 million people went to the movies every week during the Depression, making in one of America’s greatest past times.

The average movie ticket price during this period was 25 cents, but Americans were willing to spend the money. Films were a way for them to escape the repercussions of the Depression and identify with the characters.  

Movie going is still one on America’s greatest past times, and the FAC's John Steinbeck Film Festival is one avenue for enjoying some of the films created during this distinct period of history. The Film Festival is one program of the multidisciplinary Resilience project currently taking place at the FAC through June. All the films in the festival are based off novels written by John Steinbeck.  

Viva Zapata! (1952)
Wed. March 28 | 6:30 p.m.
Lifeboat (1944)
Wed. April 4 | 6:30 p.m. 

Mar 26, 2012

Spring Break Adventure - Anime Art Club

Anime refers to a distinct style of animation that originated in Japan during the 20th century. The first known anime was a two-minute clip created in 1917, “A Dull Sword."

Anime has grown tremendously since that first clip, reaching international audiences and the realm of full-length feature films. With its distinct visual style, Anime is easy to recognize. Anime characters have distinct eye styles, head and body proportions, and facial expressions. Their eyes are typically exaggerated, very large and expressive.  Most characters' heads are large in proportion to their body. Lastly, anime characters are very expressive, using their entire face and body to show happiness, anger, fear, surprise or shock.

Starting today at the Bemis School of Art, students ages 12-17 are taking a special spring break class on anime. Not only will students get an opportunity to learn techniques used by Japanese, Chinese, and Korean anime artists, they'll also get the whole week to practice and improve their drawing skills. Check back next week to see some of the anime characters created in Anime Art Club.

Mar 23, 2012

NEW Acquisition: Esteban Blanco's "Spy Plane"

Esteban Blanco, Spy Plane, wood, fiberglass, automotive lacquer and lenticular images

Cuban-born artist Esteban Blanco crafted one of the FAC’s most interesting new acquisitions. We featured this piece in last editions ArtsFocus, the FAC’s member magazine. Here's the article:

Spy Plane is as a representation of the SR-71, a strategic reconnaissance aircraft and fastest plane ever made. The work is part of a series called "Violent Toys" by Cuban artist Esteban Blanco.

"This series explores the act of role-playing as both escapism and a way to order the world according to the boundaries of our childhood experience," writes Blanco. "As children, we may imagine ourselves powerful, wealthy or desirable beyond our reality and in the comfort zone-which our toys and imaginary world provide. This work examines the proposition that, to the extent to which our childhood desires and goals are ever truly settled in adulthood, we continue the fantasy in the form of daydreams, or by object-worship."

The acquisition strengthens the collection of three-dimensional works and is an important addition to the museum’s collection of contemporary Latin American works.

Blanco was born in Pinar del Rio province in Cuba, migrated to the U.S. in 1961, and after living in New York and Mexico City, moved to Miami. The artist studied art at the Brooklyn Museum School and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has exhibited in Miami, Mexico City and New York City.
Spy Plane, a gift from the artist via the William Havu Gallery in Denver, was accepted into the Permanent Collection in October, and is currently on view on the first floor.

Mar 21, 2012

Director Spotlight: John Ford

American Director John Ford (1894 – 1973), one of the most influential directors of his time, won 6 Oscars and directed 146 films. While most of his films were silent, he is best known for his westerns and version of The Grapes of Wrath

Ford had a notable personality: tough, eccentric, and stubbornand, he expected things done his way. He once punched actor Henry Fonda in the face on the set of “My Darling Clementine” for trying to tell him how his character should play a scene. Ford even fired his own brother from a production for saying “no.” His stubborness left him wearing an eye patch for the remainder of his life starting in the 1930s. Follwing cataract surgery, Ford was too impatient for his eye to completely heal, and he removed his bandages early, ruining the sight in his left eye.

While memorable, Ford’s personality wasn’t his most distinct trait. His directing style set him apart from other directors of his generation, and his work continues to inspire directors to this day. Instead of using a standard three-point lighting, Ford often used one light, creating dark shadows or silhouettes of the actors. Ford considered this effect, called Rembrandt lighting, to create an authentic feel that has since become a signature of his work.

Ford also used long establishing shots with simple composition that revealed landscapes and space, adding another layer to his film. Filters created a greater contrast between the landscape and actors. The camera was used as a narrator to emotionalize empty space. He also was adament about shooting his films on location rather than using a set or studio.

The artwork was created by Thomas Hart Benton, whose
works are on display as part of the Resilience exhibits.
It should come as no surprise that John Ford's The Grapes ofWrath an American classic film based off John Steinbeck’s novel, is kicking off the John Steinbeck Film Festival for Resilience tonight, March 21 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $5, and a pass for the film festival is only $10. Purchase tickets online or contact the Box Office at 719.634.5583. 

Grapes of Wrath | March 21, 6:30 pm
Viva Zapata | March 28, 6:30 pm
Lifeboat | April 4, 6:30 pm

John Steinbeck — movies, theatre, dinner and more!

Steinbeck aficionados will be happy to know that the American writer is featured throughout Resilience, the multidisciplinary project exploring the concept of resilience through visual arts, theatre, education and more.

Get your Steinbeck fix starting tonight:

March 21 6:30 p.m. | The Grapes of Wrath $5
John Ford's most famous black and white epic drama - the classic adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1940 Pulitzer Prize-winning, widely-read novel.

Thursday-Sunday | Of Mice and Men
Experience the drama onstage in Steinbeck's seminal work that shares the tragic tale of two friends, George and Lennie, who struggle to realize their dreams while working as ranch hands in northern California. If you're headed to an evening showing, consider the FAC's in-house dining option, Café 36, for a $35 prix fixe dinner menu inspired by the story (yum...Grilled Bone-in Pork Chop AND Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp). To hear more about Steinbeck's character from the actors themselves, join the cast and director in a post-performance Sunday TalkBacks on March 22 and April 1.

March 28 6:30 p.m. Viva Zapata $5
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and directed by Elia Kazan, this film follows the life of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata (Marlon Brando) from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900s, to his death. The Oscar-nominated screenplay by Steinbeck focuses on the corruptive influence of power.

April 4 6:30 p.m. Lifeboat $5
Director Alfred Hitchcock stages all of the action in Lifeboat in one tiny boat, adrift in the North Atlantic. The boat holds eight survivors of a Nazi torpedo attack: including characters played by Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix and Hume CronynHitchcock developed the central idea for the film and Steinbeck wrote the script.

Through June 3 | Terry Maker: Reckoning
Free with museum admission
Boulder-artist Maker is partially inspired by Steinbeck's East of Eden, among other great literary classics. You can find her works in the signature El Pomar Gallery on the second floor.

Of Mice and Men will run through April 1. The play contains adult situations and language. Tickets are available online, or call the Box Office at 719.634.5583.

Mar 14, 2012

"Of Mice and Men" Director Q&A

Scott RC Levy (top) reviews notes with lead carpenter
Brantley Haines. Photo by Moxie Photography
Although most widely known and read as a novella (a short novel), John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men with the stage somewhat in mind, where each chapter takes place in one place, and dialogue between characters is of great importance. Published 75 years ago in 1937, it shows the tragic story of two displaced migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression in California. George Milton and Lennie Small, the protagonists and best friends of the novel/play, attempt to start their own farm. The heart-warming and simultaneously heart-wrenching tale of the protective George and his mentally handicapped friend, Lennie, retold at the SaGaJi Theatre will be the best way to complement Resilience and the 75th Anniversary celebrations.

Here's a Q&A with Scott RC Levy, the Producing Director & Director of Performing Arts at the FAC:

What were the biggest challenges to putting a novel on stage?
How to make the characters' sitting around and talking a lot theatrically engaging—there's not any singing or dancing! There are a lot of words in this play and to make it engaging and to really focus on the storytelling is a welcome challenge.

What's your favorite part of working on a theatre version of Of Mice and Men?
I really like working on these types of plays because it allows me to do very specific moment-to-moment emotional work, because it's the way that they're telling the story that is most important. To be able to dive into these speeches and to figure out why they are using and speaking these sentences in a particular grammatical way is very heady kind of stuff. It's what I love about these types of plays.

What makes this work so compelling, especially for the stage?
It is more about the relationships between the characters—mainly George and Lennie. Their relationship is so interesting and so rich that we get to see it in many different levels throughout the play, like in how they interact with these other people they're just meeting for the first time. [It becomes] more than a scene, it is about how these two men react to other people.

What attracts you to Of Mice and Men?
I've always been a big fan of Steinbeck and I really personally enjoy early 20th century Americanism, and thats what Steinbeck likes; he writes about the common man. Even though this particular story is 75 years old, still very relevant to American society today. It's definitely an American classic and it really does hold 75 years after it was written. It still feels fresh.

Of Mice and Men will run from March 15-April 1. The play contains adult situations and language. Tickets are available online, or call the Box Office at 719.634.5583. Become a member of the FAC and enjoy Theatre discounts among many other benefits!

George........................................................ Kent D. Burnham
Lennie............................................................ Logan Ernstthal
Candy......................................................................Sol Chavez
The Boss............................................................ David Hastings
Curley.......................................................... Kyle Dean Steffen
Curley's Wife......................................................... Adrian Egolf
Slim.................................................................... Jason Lythgoe
Carlson................................................................ Jeremy Joynt
Whit............................................................... Marco Robinson
Crooks.............................................................. Cris Davenport

Mar 13, 2012

Eric Carle and his Colorful Creatures

Eric Carle's artwork for the cover of second edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, published in 1987. Source.

A Very Hungry Caterpillar is childrens author Eric Carle’s most well known book— it's been translated into over fifty languages! The book follows a caterpillar’s life as he eats, goes through metamorphosis, and emerges a beautiful butterfly.

A buzzing bee may be a nuisance and remind you of a traumatizing sting, but to Carle, it can be inspiration for a new creature and story. Many of the characters in Carle’s books were inspired by nature from when he was a young boy exploring castles in Germany.

Eric Carle is well known for his distinct illustrations that accompany his stories. Using a collage technique with bright, colorful hand painted tissue paper, Carle’s illustrations have captured the attention and imagination of children for generations.

Inspired by Carle’s work, Bemis School of Art is offering a spring break class for kids 7-10 years old called Colorful Carle Creatures. This class teaches kids how Carle made his creatures and gives them an opportunity to create their own animals and bugs using his distinct collage, painting, and drawing techniques.

SB 36 Colorful Carle Creatures
Monday-Friday, March 26-30 | 1-3 p.m.
$111 (FAC members $96)
Register Online

Mar 12, 2012

"Of Mice and Men" Set Designer Interview

Scattered across Chris Sheley's desk is inspiration for the OF MICE AND MEN set: Thomas Hart Benton illustration work

With over 30 FAC Theatre set designs and seven seasons under his belt, Production Manager and Technical Director Chris Sheley uses Permanent Collection artist Thomas Hart Benton as the main visual inspiration for the set of the current production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men (tickets here). Benton’s lithographs are part of the Taylor Museum collection; five of them will be on view as part of the Resilience exhibition alongside Boris Deutsch works. Benton’s early Depression-era lithographs will compliment Introducing America photos—which includes Dorothea Lange’s iconic “Migrant Mother”.

In addition to Of Mice and Men, Chris also designed sets for this season’s productions of In the Next Room and Assassins. During this weekend’s tech rehearsal in preparation for the Friday opening, we pulled Chris aside to learn more about his Benton-inspired set design.

(Top to bottom)Thomas Hart Benton; Benton’s
Departure Of The Joads, commisioned by 20th
Century Fox to advertise their film production
of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath; Sheley’s
oil paintings, inspired by Benton’s work, set the
tone for the look and feel of the set design; scenic
artist Sarah Talaba translates Sheley’s small oil
paintings into large stage pieces.
How did you first learn about Thomas Hart Benton?
Benton had a great influence on me because he’s a Midwest regionalist painter who lived in Kansas City; I grew up in St Louis and lived in Chicago. His work appealed to my blue-collar upbringing. I had constant exposure to Benton’s work and quickly became a humble devotee of his.

Why pair Benton with Steinbeck?
Steinbeck and Benton were contemporaries, and were interested in creating art for the common man – making art accessible. There was just an immediate parallel between Steinbeck and Benton in my mind. It all just cascaded towards Benton’s works. I want to do both Benton’s and Steinbeck’s works justice [on stage] through the feeling of audience members. 

What Benton aesthetics are you specifically using?
I’m looking for visual inspiration whenever possible. The big theme of the play and parts of Resilience is the sense of dreams. George and Lennie retell the dream they will never achieve. It’s visible, it’s over there, but you’ll never bridge the gap to get it. I wanted the landscape to look dreamlike yet realistic. I’ll look at his works for the color, texture, and shape, and pick out the tiny pieces from his works that I like. It’s making a visual library of everything that goes into the design, like the rocks, clouds – which all draw heavily from Benton’s color and line quality. I think it’s pretty recognizable as Benton’s art.

What’s your set designing process?
The main goal of set design is to viscerally and intuitively inform the audience about the mood, tone, feel of the scene and the play generally. The process goes through three main stages: (1) I usually spend 3-4, but in this case I only spent 2 weeks just looking at Benton’s works, (2) I make thumbnail sketches of the gestures that have a basic appeal to me, nothing serious yet. They’re seriously just little scribbles, (3) then I make tiny oil paintings that I hand over to the Shop and Scenic Artist.

What’s unique about using Benton as visual inspiration?
This is a large paint show because color was so important to Benton. The difference between set design and paintings you would see in a gallery or something is the huge effect of the lighting. Set and lighting designers must work closely with each other to reinforce the visceral feeling from the audience. We will mix 15-20 different colors through a process called scumbling in conversation with the lighting people so they can do stuff like change the mode of time of day - lighting changes to subliminally affect you.

Resilience related events
Of Mice and Men | Mar 15 - April 1
The 75th Anniversary performance of Steinbeck's classic American novella. 

Introducing America | Mar 17 - May 27
Farm Security Administration commissioned photograph works in both black-and-white and color.

In the Field: Depression Era Works by Thomas Hart Benton and Boris Deutsch | Mar 17 - May 24
Lithographic and painted renditions of American working class during the Great Depression.

The Grapes of Wrath | March 21, 6:30 p.m.
John Ford's classic 1940 adaptation of Steinbeck's Pulitzer-prize winner.

Viva Zapata | March 28, 6:30 p.m.
Marlon Brando's 1952 portrayal of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Quinn).

Lifeboat | April 4, 6:30 p.m.
Creative collaboration between Alfred Hitchcock's directing and Steinbeck's screenplay to tell story of three survivors of Nazi torpedo attack.

Art and Letters: Artists during the New Deal era, in their own words | May 15, 2 p.m.
Presentation of Broadmoor Art Academy and FAC artists letters from Archie Musick's extensive archives. 

Check here for the full FOUR MONTH Resilience schedule!

Mar 8, 2012

Wine Fest Feature: Chef Soa Davies

Chef Soa Davies, featured at the 21st Annual Wine Festival of Colorado Springs. Photo by Josh Rothstein.  

Featured Chef of the 21st Wine Festival of Colorado Springs, Soa Davies, arrives today in Colorado! Davies' cooking interests did not come out until after college graduation, and she quickly rose through the ranks to work with famed chef, Eric Ripert.
  • NYU undergrad with no cooking experience
  • Decided to take classes at French Culinary Institute in New York after graduating
  • Hired by Splendido at the Chateau (Beaver Creek) as Chef de Cuisine in 1996 until 2005
  • Moved to Eric Ripert's Michelin 3-star restaurant Le Bernardin in 2005
  • Produced Avec Ripert, an award-winning PBS show and complementary cookbook for 3 years

Aha Life, a design and shopping web site, featured a Q&A with Davies, here are some highlights:

Favorite meal: Too many to list, but any meal shared with friends with lots of good wine.
Hidden talent: I've made my own jewelry for years.
Dream holiday: Anywhere with great company as long as there's lots of food and wine.

Now, Davies serves as Principal at Twothirtyone Group — an advisor and management consulting firm for hospitality companies. If you're interested in what Soa's up to currently, you can follow her on Twitter @twothirtyone.

Top NY Chef Soa Davies Pairs Napa Wines
Sat, Mar 10, 12:30 p.m. 
Online tickets are sold out, but check with the FAC Box Office to purchase or be placed on a waitlist at 719.634.5583.
Davies has worked in Michelin-rated restaurants and is one of the industry's most lauded tastemakers. She'll pair her food with wines from VGS Chateau Potelle, Sinskey Winery and Chateau Montelena.

Mar 7, 2012

Napa Wine FAQ -- Wine Festival of CS

A typical day in California's Napa Valley. Photo by Katie Harbath via Flickr.

Six wine-related events crammed into two days? Count us in! The Wine Festival of Colorado Springs—the premier wine event of the Front Range—is entering its 21st year, hosted in partnership with The Broadmoor and the Garden of the Gods Club. Last year's theme was Spanish Wines, and this year the focus will shift far west to Napa Valley, California. Here's a quick FAQ about Napa and wine, but please feel free to submit any more questions you have in the comments section!

Why is Napa so good for wine grapes growing?
Despite being over 5,000 miles away from the Mediterranean, Napa Valley has a unique Mediterranean geography and climate due to its proximity to two mountain ranges (the Mayacamas Mountain Range and Vaca Mountains) and San Pablo Bay. The valley itself is 30-miles long, stretching in a northwesterly direction, and ranges from one to five miles wide. Because it is close to water, there isn't a huge change in temperature between night and day—producing slightly cooler nights. 

How long has Napa been famous for its wines?
Napa exploded onto the wine scene in the 60s when regional premium wine production skyrocketed. Although early settler George C. Yount planted wine grapes at the turn of the 19th century, technological innovation in fermentation and other techniques did not occur until the mid-20th century. The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 held a blind taste test of wines from France and Napa. Napa's Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon beat out all these French wines, establishing the region from then on.

What's the difference between the main red wines?
Cabernet Sauvignon - world's most recognized red, heavy and intense. Dark purple/ruby color.
Merlot - less tannin (stuff that makes you pucker) than Cab Sauv, hints of berry, plum and currant.  
Pinot Noir - considered one of finest wines in world (difficult to grow AND ferment), results in regional taste variations. 

What's the difference between the main white wines?
Chardonnay - "queen of white wine", velvety with medium to high acidity, taste highly affected by region, used frequently in sparkling wines
Pinot Grigio - (aka Pinot Gris) high sugar content that can result in either dessert or high-alcohol taste. Color varies from yellow to light pink, reflecting grapes' geography and fermentation process
Sauvignon Blanc - known for lightness and crispness, taste ranges from grassy to tropical.

These two events still have (online) tickets available.
Fri, Mar 9, 7:00 p.m. | The Broadmoor
$65 for FAC members; $75 for non members

Colorado Spring's best date night! Come join this sell-out event, featuring over 300 wines plus culinary delights from many of our region's finest restaurants and caterers. Place your bids at the silent Wine Market auction and dance the night away. Tickets.
Sat, Mar 10, 6:30 p.m. | Garden of the Gods Club
$125 per guest

The culmination of the Festival is the Gourmet Wine Dinner and Live Auction. The evening begins with a five-course gourmet dinner, each course paired with the elegant wines of our distinguished guests, and concludes with the region’s premier live auction of rare collectible wine and wine-related lifestyle packages. Tickets.

These are wait listed events, check the status with the Box Office at 719.634.5583. Here are longer event descriptions.
Here's Napa! 
Fri, Mar 9, 5:30 p.m.
Join winemakers from from four different Napa wineries, VGS Chateau PotelleKeenan WineryBouchaine VineyardRobert Sinskey Winery, to taste and discuss their wines.
The Best of Napa: Then and Now 
Fri, Mar 9, 5:30 p.m.
Sommelier James Hayes will host this seminar to contrast wines from pre-1997 to their current releases.  
Napa Wine, But What Cheese?
Sat, Mar 10, 10:30 a.m.
Winemakers and fromagère (cheese expert) put their heads and products together to make the tastiest pairing for any of your own parties.
Top NY Chef Soa Davies Pairs Napa Wines
Sat, Mar 10, 12:30 p.m. 
This chef as worked in Michelin-rated restaurants and is one of the industry's most lauded tastemakers. She'll pair her food with wines from VGS Chateau Potelle, Robert Sinskey Winery and Chateau Montelena.

Free Family Adventure Day: Spring Beginnings

Trees in Colorado Springs with spring buds. Photo by Nasim Mansurov

It's shaping up to be a busy (and warmer) weekend, from the Colorado Springs Wine Festival to Family Adventure Day, among countless other exhibitions in the community! 

Spring hats from last years crafty activities
You know spring is fast approaching when you celebrate Spring Beginnings at Family Adventure Day.  There will be plenty of hands-on activities to prepare for spring’s arrival, like designing spring hats, painting spring flowers and creating Fabergé eggs.

Even though Spring does not officially arrive until March 20, this weekend is a great way to gear up for all the exciting things that spring has to offer—from the beautiful flowers to the green grass and warmer temperatures.  

Spring is the one season where the air smells of new growth as flowers poke their heads from beneath the ground and sprout their beautiful buds.  Spring is not only the time for nature’s regrowth but it is also the season for rejuvenation of all species.  We can discover a fresh perspective and newfound energy through shedding old habits and diving into new activities.

Family Adventure Day happens every month at the FAC, offering a constant supply of FREE artistic fun. Plus, don't miss the free, docent-led tour of the FAC galleries at 12:30 p.m— which will include Terry Maker: Reckonining, the 75th Anniversary galleries, and Fantastic Menagerie: The Work of Jessica Freye-Cuebas.

Family Adventure Day
Spring Beginnings
Sat., March 10, 2012 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Free admission Bemis School of Art
Invite friends on Facebook
Hope to see you at Bemis!

Mar 6, 2012

Napa Wine Vocab

A closer view of a freshly poured Napa wine. Photo by Andrew Mager via Flickr.

Jumping into the wine scene can sometimes be a scary and intimidating thing, so here's some quick-start vocab to get you going at this weekend's 21st annual Wine Festival of Colorado Springs, featuring wines from Napa Valley!

Aging process - holding wine in barrels (usually wooden) to improve taste, and palate texture.
Tannin - part of natural makeup of grape skin, seeds and stems, cause of the bitter taste (primarily in reds). Another source is the oak in the aging barrel
Terroir - the smell, taste, and other properties wine grapes gain from their unique growing conditions, including the climate, soil, and nearby crops
Balance - when the sugar, tannins, alcohols, and other taste components of wine do not overpower each other. Some wines may be purposely imbalanced, like dessert wines
Complexity - nuances beyond what's considered when talking about balance
Body - "weight" of a wine in the mouth, ranging from light (feels like water) to heavy (more like milk)
Ullage - distance between the cork and wine when bottle is standing upright
Phylloxera - a microscopic insect that preys on grape vines; nearly destroyed the entire European wine crop in the 19th century, and hit Napa in the late 19th-20th centuries.

Even if you can't make it to any of the Wine Fest events, we hope this quick introduction will inspire you to explore the world of wine tasting on your own.

These two events still have tickets available
Fri, Mar 9, 7:00 p.m. | The Broadmoor
$65 for FAC members; $75 for non members

Colorado Spring's best date night! Come join this sell-out event, featuring over 300 wines plus culinary delights from many of our region's finest restaurants and caterers. Place your bids at the silent Wine Market auction and dance the night away. Tickets.
Sat, Mar 10, 6:30 p.m. | Garden of the Gods Club
$125 per guest

The culmination of the Festival is the Gourmet Wine Dinner and Live Auction. The evening begins with a five-course gourmet dinner, each course paired with the elegant wines of our distinguished guests, and concludes with the region’s premier live auction of rare collectible wine and wine-related lifestyle packages. Tickets.

A Class for Recessionistas - Fermenting Food with Bemis

Freshly canned goods cooling on a window sill. Photo by Sashmad via Flickr.

After the economic downfall, fashionistas have transformed into recessionistas, looking for innovative ways to save money. Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars a year on perishable food, why not invest in a fun and retro way to increase the lifespan of fruits and veggies — learn how to ferment food in one day at the Bemis School of Art.

During the Dust Bowl, families saved everything because they never knew when they might need it. Dust storms blew off layers of topsoil and carried it hundreds of miles away. Southeastern Colorado was hit hard by the dust storms, making it one of the driest places to live. Canning and fermenting food helped families survive during that period, highlighting their resilience.

Today, canning and fermenting can still be done at home, allowing you to preserve the fruits and vegetables you may have bought in bulk at Costco. Canning helps cut back on waste, plus it keeps your cabinets filled with delicious pickled veggies, jellies, jams and butters that also make great gifts for family and friends. With a shelf life that can last up to five years, the rewards of scoring a great sale or harvest can be enjoyed many times over.

A few things to remember when canning:

  • Use produce that isn't spoiled or overripe
  • Only use jars and lids that are clean
  • Make sure the lid is on air tight

  • Artisanal Kitchen: The Basics of Food Fermentation
    R1 Saturday, April 7 | 10 a.m. - 1p.m.
    R2 Saturday, May 12 | 1 - 4 p.m.
    $78 (FAC Members $63)

    This workshop is part of Resilience, a multidiscipinary project exploring and reflecting on the theme of resilience during difficult times, opening March 16.

    Mar 4, 2012

    Happy Hug a G.I. Day!

    Living in Colorado Springs, there’s probably a high chance you know a GI so that you can give ‘em a hug today, on Hug a G.I. Day! In case you don’t, or are looking for other ways to support the military community, here are some ways you can help out, locally and beyond:

    In the Colorado Springs Area:
    The Home Front Cares - provides emergency support and grants for Colorado’s service members, veterans and family members, who have been impacted by deployment in harm’s way. Donate/Volunteer
    National Military Association - fights for benefits and programs that strengthen and protect uniformed services families and reflect the Nation’s respect for their Service. Donate/Volunteer

    Other ways to help a service member:
    Books for Soldiers - Donate books, movies, and more.
    A Million Thanks - Collects emails and other notes/letters to send to past and present military
    Adopt A Platoon - Send care packages and morale boosting gifts to a platoon
    Soldiers’ Angels - Support soldiers in rehabilitation or post-tour thru cards and packages

    Above is just a tiny selection of all the local ways you can help. Another great resource is which lists specialized organizations that can direct funds and other volunteer resources to your specific interests, such as transitional rehabilitation, health care, and more. Or, you can enter your zip code under “Find a Volunteer Opportunity” on United We Serve.

    Mar 2, 2012

    March 2012 Workshops at Bemis

    Precious Metal Clay
    Of Mice and Men
    Free Art--WOOHOO!
    Modern Resilience: Black and White Photography
    Goat Cheese Making Workshop
    Goat Cheese Making

    Although the Winter/Spring session for Bemis School of Art has already begun, there are still lots of one-day workshops available for adults that teach a variety of techniques. Unless noted, all these classes are open to beginners. The classes below still have space available—register soon before they fill up!

    Introduction to Precious Metal Clay — Sat 3/3 After class, you'll leave with two to three pieces of finished fine silver jewelry. 

    Mandalas the Art of Wholeness — Sat 3/10 From ancient to modern times, mandalas have been used to express wholeness, balance and unity. Employ multimedia from meditation to pastel, music and more to discover the innate wisdom of your own mandala.

    Watercolor Collage: Cactus and Flowers (Intermediate) — Fri 3/16 Combine watercolor with collage to create a vibrant and textured painting. 

    Bezels and Bails (Intermediate) — Sat 3/17 Explore more techniques of soldering (perhaps from your February one-day Learn to Solder class?) to create bezel boxes, bails and closures for your jewelry. Basic soldering skills are required.

    Paining the Soul — Sat 3/24 Work with acrylic paints to tap into your Expressionistic self (think Milton Avery, George Biddle, Rico Lebrun -- all artists you can see in the FAC Permanent Collection!). Expressionism is a free and uninhibited way of painting, allowing you to bypass the limitations of objectivity and paint in a totally subjective manner.

    Pastel Textures and Techniques — Sat 3/24 Incorporate new and unexpected materials, papers and boards to create new textures and techniques for your paintings. 

    Watercolor Batik — Tue 3/27 Batik is traditionally a wax-resist dyeing technique used to embellish cloth textiles, but in this class, you'll use Kinwashi rice paper, watercolor paints and wax. This process requires patience, mostly due to the dyeing process, but it's worth it!

    Resiliencethe FAC's multi-disciplinary spring project, will be supplemented by these additional Bemis workshops:
    Goat Cheese Making — Fri 3/23 Hosted as the Westside Farm located in Colorado Springs, learn the entire process of cheese making from milking the goat to actual cheese production. Comes with a farm fresh lunch with a sampling of all the day's cheeses. 
    Modern Resilience: Black and White Photography — Sun 3/18 Take example from Depression era photos (which are a part of the Resilience museum exhibition, including Dorothea Lange!) and go out and capture your own community. Beginning B&W film photography (film processing and printing) is required.

    Longer class descriptions and instructor bios are available through the links. All classes have their own enrollment fee and possible supply list that you can check either in the online catalog or PDF version. Become a member of the FAC and enjoy numerous benefits, including discounted enrollment for Bemis classes.

    Mar 1, 2012

    Spring Break Adventures with Bemis School of Art

    Spring break is quickly coming upon us. The kiddos are excited to have a week off of school, but do you have anything planned for them to do? For a few hours a day, their imaginations can run crazy using paint, clay, or pastels with Bemis School of Art’s spring break classes.  

    Creation Vacation - Go wild painting, sculpting, miming, playing games, and more, for ages 6-11.

    Polymer Clay - Build clay creatures or anything your imagination comes up with using kid friendly, for ages 8-12.

    Drawing and Painting - Learn watercolor, pastel, and tempera paint techniques and explore the FAC collections, for ages 9-adult.

    Under the Sea - Explore life under the sea and make your own ocean scene, for ages 6-8.

    Anime Art Club - Discover new drawing techniques inspired by Japanese, Korean, and Chinese anime, for ages 12-17.

    Colorful Carle Creations - Create creatures using drawing, painting, and collage techniques inspired by Eric Carle, for ages 7-10.

    Classes are four or five day workshops available to kids and adults. Register soon before classes fill up!