May 31, 2012

Three FAC artists comment on "Terry Maker: Reckoning"

Terry Maker, Spiney Urchin (detail), 2009. Resin, sea shells, 71.5 x 6 x 2 inches.

  “A show like this redefines an artist.”

Terry Maker: Reckoning closes this Sunday, June 3, but when it opened back in February, the Music Room was filled with a standing room only crowd to hear artist Terry Maker share her influences and motivation behind her exhibition. The people in attendance included FAC members, gallery owners, curators, family and friends of the artist, and three prominent members of a very elite group: artists who have works included in the FAC's permanent collection. 

Sean O’Meallie, The Last Piece, 2009. Polychrome, wood
Sean O’Meallie, Bill Amundson and Chuck Forsman have all contributed significantly to the Colorado art scene over the past decades, and it was a rare opportunity to have them gather in the FAC galleries to support a fellow contemporary artist and share their thoughts.

“The chance to see a strong and active regional contemporary artist’s work in a grand setting is an important event,” said Sean O’Meallie. “The FAC has seized an opportunity and put together a great exhibit.”

O’Meallie was recently featured at the FAC in Danger Toy Love Gun in 2010 and captured the region’s imagination with The Chair Project in Manitou Springs.

“In Maker’s work I see a playful, unbiased and often funny exploration of matter resulting in an engaging rumination on human circumstance,” he said. “Maker’s instincts and compulsion to probe and question here result in our own delightful and puzzled engagement with the work and the mental process of its maker (pun unavoidable).”

Bill Amundson, one of Colorado’s most prominent contemporary artists, recently moved to Wisconsin. He just happened to be in Colorado on the weekend and decided to attend his first opening reception at the FAC.

“Terry’s work ethic and output are astonishing, and she is always moving forward, so you never know what you’re going to see at any given show,” said Amundson. “I’m amazed by the constant variations she’s managed to make on the unique techniques she uses. She pretty much invented that technique, so she truly is one of a kind.”

Bill Amundson, Branded Man, 2006. Graphite on paper.
Amundson’s contribution to the FAC collection is the memorable drawing Branded Man, a self-portrait with the addition of numerous corporate logos drawn on his noggin.

Amundson was a morning disc jockey on the radio before turning to art full-time; the interest of an art collector in Amundson’s work was a motivating factor.

“A show like this redefines an artist,” said Amundson.

“In this case it makes you realize the scale of Terry’s achievement, and makes a very convincing argument that she is indeed a major artist. You don’t get this feeling from smaller gallery shows. I know a lot of work goes into installations to make them appear effortless, and that certainly is the case with this exhibition.”

Chuck Forsman, Native Land (detail), 1993. Oil on masonite.
Chuck Forsman’s Native Land has been a patron favorite since the FAC acquired it in 1998. Forsman was also a professor of fine art at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and Terry Maker was one of his students.

“Terry was my student in grad school many years ago and I have followed her work with interest and some pride,” said Forsman. “She is a wonderful artist, full of surprises. I wanted to see the show and show my support.

“I particularly liked the white suitcase full of holes because of the beautiful patterning and commentary on rootlessness in our culture,” he said. “Another favorite was the piece with pencils and erasers sticking out of the back. I also like the textures, beauty and suggestiveness of the smaller jaw breaker and shredded and rolled pieces.”

The final word from Chuck Forsman:

“Terry’s work is quirky, technically
bewildering, imaginative and full of innuendo.
The works quote sculpture and painting and dare you to label it as either. She’s an artist.”

  Terry Maker: Reckoning | Closing June 3

May 30, 2012

Hula 101

A traditional Hawaiian hula skirt
Image source

Even though we all think of the hula as a dance, the actual dance is only one component of the hula. The chants or mele are very important because they tell stories. Many of the stories honor the Hawaiian gods and natural beauty as well as love.  Beyond the chants, instruments are also important. Percussive instruments such as ipu — gourds and a pahu — sharkskin-covered drum enhance the chanting.

Another incorrect assumption about the hula is that the costume does not actually involve the grass skirt. The actual costume is a kappa—a skirt made out of the mulberry tree. Men and women wear this skirt along with leaves, flowers and leis. 

Even though present-day hula is performed as entertainment, it used to be associated with faith. During the 1820s, the American Protestant missionaries banned the dance from Hawaii because they thought it was pagan. Hawaiians practiced the dance secretly until 1870 when King Kalakua encourage public performances once again.

Woman playing pahu, traditional sharkskin covered drum.
Contemporary ones are usually made from cow skin due
to expense and environmental conservation efforts for sharks.
Image source.

The westernized style of the Hula is known as the Hula ‘Auana, while the traditional hula is called Hula Kahiko. The difference between the two hulas is that the westernized style wandered from Hawaii and became less about ritual and more about entertainment. 

This is just a brief explanation about the hula and its distinct qualities. If you want your child to learn more about the hula and all the other unique aspects of Hawaii, you should look into the Hawaii Culture class at Bemis!

Y5 Hawaiian Culture: Art, Dance and Music
(Ages 6-8)
Mon., 7/23-8/6 | 1:00-3:00 p.m.
$82 (Members $78)
Register online

Making a Fat Suit: it aint over till the fat lady sings

In the big, fat, musical comedy Hairspray, Drew Frady adorns a fat suit when playing Edna Turnblad, the very large mother of teenage heroine Tracy Turnblad.

Janson Fangio, resident designer and Costume Shop Manager at the Fine Arts Center, explains how he created the fat suit, and shares helpful advice should you feel inspired to try and create your own.

Artist Fernando Botero's work
highlights a distinct "fat" form.
STEP 1 Research various medical textbooks to understand how the female body holds extra fat. 

STEP 2 Purchase the largest leotard possible.
  • Challenge: Men’s leotards do not come in nude and women’s leotards are too small.

STEP 3 Map out the pieces of the body to attach to the base leotard.
  • Remember to accentuate the hips and butt as well as breasts to emphasize the feminine shape—which means put lots of stuffing in those areas.
Sketch illustrating the general
shapes to connect to the base
leotard; "filled" shapes create
the exaggerated form.

STEP 4  Buy a mixture of polystyrene micro-beads(what you find in therapeutic pillows) and large polystyrene beads(what you find in beanbags) because the beads move with the body and keep the actor relatively cool.

STEP 5 Make a breastplate—a latex type of necklace that has full collar bone and breasts—to replicate breasts.  Use polyester lightweight knit for the skin and fill breasts with micro-beads.     

STEP 6  Ensure that the “fat” parts of the suit can be removed easily for washing and will not rot.  Do not use rice or seed grain for stuffing. 

Here is what your finished project should look like:

Drew Frady gets help putting together the fat suit.
Fat suit put together in its entirety. 








Hairspray | Closing June 3

Buy Tickets

May 29, 2012

The Art of Encaustics: an ancient technique made new

Encaustic painting by Mary Farmer. Image Source.

Bees pollinate one in every three bites of food a person eats, plus they play an essential role in a new class being offered at Bemis this summer: the ancient art technique of encaustics.

Encaustic, also known as hot wax painting, is made by adding pigments to heated beeswax. After pigment is added, the heated beeswax is applied to a canvas. The wax can be manipulated with heated tools after it has cooled, and specials tools can be used to apply paint and manipulate the wax before it cools. The light and sweet scent of bees wax remains with the finished piece of art.

Romano-Egyptian, Egypt, about 100 - 110 C.E.
Linen, pigment, and gold; encaustic on wood.
Image Source.

Encaustic paint began in Ancient Greece. The Greeks used it as a form of sealing and waterproofing their vessels. Pigmenting the wax was a way for shipbuilders to decorate their vessels, which lead to refining the process for works on canvas and wood. The Egyptians quickly adopted this technique and began incorporating it in their mummification process. Egyptians painted elaborate portraits that were placed over the mummy’s memorial.

Bemis School of Art is offering a new half-day workshop: Introduction to the Art of Encaustics. The workshop will shed more light on the history of this art form, include demonstrations on different techniques, and offer a chance to create your own encaustic art piece.

The next time you see a bee whizzing past, think twice about trying to swat it; we would be at a huge loss where it not for bees.

A76, A77 Introduction to the Art of Encaustics
One-Day Workshop
Sat., 6/23 or 6/24 | 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
$98 (Members $83)

May 24, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Andrea Rutherford

Tracy (Andrea Rutherford) is a teenager who wants to dance, love, and racially integrate the country. Photo by Nathan Willers

Andrea Rutherford
Singing, dancing, and all the while never mussing her hair, Andrea Rutherford brings the teenage heroine Tracy Turnblad to life in the FAC's Theatre Company's production of Hairspray, a big, Broadway musical comedy. 

After seven years of living in New York, Rutherford — a Colorado native — moved back home. While in New York, she performed in children theatre productions including The Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe

“I had just graduated school and decided to go New York to start auditioning,” explains Rutherford.  When not auditioning or acting, Rutherford’s full time job was in the catering industry. However, she decided to return to Colorado because catering consumed more of her focus than acting. 

“I was spending too much time on catering, more than on acting. I was the captain [similar to a manager] of catering events for Obama and the Queen of Denmark.”

After returning home to Colorado, she decided to direct all of her attention to acting.

Rutherford sings and dances
throughout Hairspray
Since it had been a while since acting was her sole focus, Rutherford is excited about being in Hairspray,  sharing “I love all the music and it just a fun role to sing… I think that the show has a great message. It doesn’t matter what you look like, weight or color.”

Beyond loving the show in its entirety, Rutherford feels a special bond with her character, Tracy.  “I think that Tracy and I have a similar spirit. We have a lot in common…She is just a positive fun character.”

Rutherford has been acting since she was three years old, and having a father who is an actor, has been exposed to the art form her entire life.  Her love of acting stems from the strong sense of community she feels.  She explains, “I love being around all of the creative people.”

Rutherford is excited to engage with audiences through comedy. She hopes that people in attendance like to laugh since there are many opportunities to do so in the show, and have an overall good time.

At the end of our conversation, Rutherford admitted, “I’m excited to find out what’s funny. Because you can laugh at each other in rehearsal, but it’s not till you get in front of an audience that it really counts.”

You can meet Andrea Rutherford and the rest of cast from Hairspray following the Saturday matinee performances on May 26 and June 2. 

Hairspray | Closing June 3

Buy tickets

May 23, 2012

NEW Acquisition: Jerry Vigil's "Saint Drogo"

"Saint Drogo, Patron of Coffee Houses", Jerry Vigil, acrylic paint on carved bass wood
Remember our artist spotlight on Jerry Vigil in November about his Day of the Dead art? In addition to his Muertos figures, Vigil gifted to the FAC "Saint Drogo, Patron of Coffee Houses". In the interview (video below), Vigil states how important humor is to his art, and we see that in his own interpretation of religious iconography.

Saint Drogo, a real patron saint, protects coffee houses, patrons, midwives and unattractive people. When Vigil found out this information, he was coincidentally drinking coffee, and "laughed when I found him and his list of patronages."Vigil's art is rarely just funny. This piece's writing "Smart Women Thirst for Knowledge" pays homage to his wife; but is also commentary on the church's view of women.

You can see "Saint Drogo, Patron of Coffee Houses" on display in the 75th Anniversary galleries. We periodically switch out what's on display to try to give you a sampling of the wide breadth of art we have in our Permanent Collection, so be sure to check it out!

May 22, 2012

Interns' Choice from the Summer Bemis Catalog

The FAC interns in the Marketing and Museum offices have been working hard all semester to bring you online and gallery content. Before we pack up for vacation, we came together to choose our favorite summer Bemis classes. Take a look at these choice picks, and hopefully it'll inspire you to sign up for the Bemis Summer Session that begins June 4!

Artwork created using PhotoShop
Sarah (New Media Intern, junior Comparative Literature major at CC)
D6 Photoshop 101
Thurs., 6/7 - 7/19 (no class 7/5) | 6:30-8:30 p.m.
$179 (Members $164) Supply list.
This class appeals to me since I want to improve my design skills for my future journalistic endeavors.  I already work for my school newspaper as an editor and I would like to also be able to work as a layout editor. Since this class offers the opportunity to improve my design skills, I will become more well-rounded for a possible career in Journalism.

Sample of fashion sketch
Maggie (New Media Intern, senior at UCCS)
YW57 Fashion Sketchbook
Mon-Fri, 7/23 - 7/27 |  9:30-11:30 a.m.
$179 (Members $164) Supply list.
Before I go shopping I always imagine what my perfect outfit is going to be. Nine times out 10 I end up disappointed and leave without an outfit. I've always wanted to sketch my own clothes in hopes of one day being able to wear them. With sketching fashion, you get to determine where each part of the material lays on the design. You can add a touch of yourself to sketch designs with little details. Plus, sketching fashion allows you to transform your ideas from paper to real fashionable works of art

Artwork created using colored wax
Kelly (Museum Intern, junior History & Philosophy major at CC)
A76, A77 Introduction to the Art of Encaustics
Sat., 6/9 | 9 a.m.-12:00 p.m. OR 1:00-4 p.m.
$63 (Members $48) $5 materials fee
How cool does the word "encaustics" sound by itself? It's an art form that brings together tons of different techniques, including collage, carving, monotypes, and the list goes on. Another plus? It's just a half-day commitment, and you'll walk away with a solid foundation to pursue Painting with Encaustics workshops PLUS your own encaustic painting. Here's a video of some beginning encaustic painting techniques.

Here's the full catalog — online or PDF. Classes begin June 4.

May 17, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Hair and Design in Hairspray

The FAC Theatre Company's production of the Broadway musical Hairspray, closing June 3, 2012. Image by Nathan Willers

Calling Hairspray a BIG musical is no joke. Lex Liang designed 100 costumes, 12 full sets, and 34 wigs for this musical comedy, and he used less than 6 bottles of Aqua Net.

Liang is no stranger to the FAC Theatre Company; he was on the creative team for A Year with Frogand Toad and has worked with Producing Artistic Director Scott RC Levy on previous productions. Additionally, Liang has worked internationally as a designer, consultant and stylist in theatre, film, fashion, interiors, and special events.

Hairstyle from the film Hairspray
Hairspray, a Broadway musical, was inspired by John Water’s 1988 film Hairspray, but the look of the FAC's production is quite different. In the film, hair and make-up are greatly exaggerated to add extra drama; large wigs were styled high, adding significant height to characters and included dramatic eye make-up. 

Hairspray takes place in the early 1960s and raises issues that are a real part of American history. The FAC Theatre Company's creative team wanted to give justice to that, and decided to go with a more realistic feel in the hair, make-up and costume department. A realistic look better reflects the time period and makes it easier for audiences to focus on the story,  making the characters relatable as real people rather than cartoonish caricatures.  

Cirgarette ad from the early 1960s

You wont find any chicken wire in the wigs or extreme use of liquid eye liner and teal eye-shadow in the FAC's production. Hairspray takes place in the early 1960s, but it’s a clean 50’s housewife look. “The biggest misconception that people have about American fashion in 1960 is micro minis, go-go boots, and Sassoon bobs,” explained Liang. The makeup has a very natural look with a clean eye and orangey-red lipstick. The makeup was inspired by Sears’ ads, old magazine ads, and cigarette ads.

While the hairstyles and make-up may appear tamed, a lot of spunk and dramatic fun was added to the sets, featuring pops of color, sparkle, and exaggerated geometric shapes.

Drew Frady as Edna Turnblad, Faith Goins and Desiree Myers
as the Dynamites, and Andrea Rutherford as Tracy Turnblad.
Image by Moxie Photography

Come see the FAC Theatre Company’s adaptation of this big, fat Broadway musical, and let us know what you think. Were you left dancing in the aisles?


ThursdaySunday, Closing June 3 | Buy Tickets

May 16, 2012

1960s Baltimore: A Symbol of Resilience

The Royal Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore. (Image Source)

Currently onstage at the FAC is Hairspray, a big, over the top, crazy musical comedy. This fun production has been leaving audiences dancing in their seats and in the aisles; but while loads of fun, it also addresses serious issues of the time: racism, discrimination, and social inequality.

Hairspray takes place in Baltimore, Maryland during the early 1960s, and civil rights issues were taking center stage on national politics. Tracy Turnblad, the chubby protagonist of Hairspray, is committed to seeing racial integration a reality. She wants to see people of all skin colors and body types dancing on TV. (Spoiler Alert: With the help of her family and friends, Tracy's dream becomes a reality.)

But fast forward a couple years, and Baltimore becomes home to one of the largest race riots in U.S. history. In 1968, a riot broke out two days after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.  While riots occurred in various U.S. cities, the riots lasted 8 days in Baltimore, and required tens of thousands of National Guard troops and Maryland State Police to restore public order. 

Damage from the riot was estimated at $12 million ($77.5 million today), with thousands of businesses looted and burned. An area most impacted was Pennsylvania Avenue, an entertainment district and home to the Royal Theatre. The Royal Theatre was a famous all-black theaters where R&B and funk stars such as Billie Holiday, James Brown, and Count Basie performed. It was equivalent to the Apollo Theatre in New York City and the Howard Theatre in Washington D.C. 

Through the power of song and music, Hairspray highlights the social disparities and racial tension that led to the riot. While entertaining, Hairspray still challenges us to reflect on an uncomfortable and ugly part of American history, and the serious costs attributed to social inequality. 

Hairspray | Closing  June 3, 2012 




May 14, 2012

Public Free Day

ON VIEW | Ghost of a Dream, "Dream Ride 5, 6, 7" 2012. Wood, plexiglass, and discarded lottery tickets with UV coat.

Public Free Day — Tues., May 15
10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Admission: FREE!

This is your last Public Free Day before the Resilience exhibits close later this month, on May 27. Resilience has been an absolute whirlwind of multidisciplinary exhibits, classes performances, lectures, and film screenings this spring at the FAC.

94-year-old artist Eric Bransby sitting in front of his
FAC 75th Anniversary mural, located in the
Glass Corridor. 
Terry Maker: Reckoning is another exhibit closing soon, on June 3. Resilience includes Depression-era photos from around the country, including the iconographic Dorothea Lange print, "Destitute Pea Pickers" and Maker fashioned a 100-foot snake made of shredded US bills! We are sad to see it all go so soon, so take advantage of this last FREE opportunity to see our current offerings:

Guided tours with FAC docents will run throughout the day, starting at: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. Also, demos by Bemis School instructors from will happen from 4-7 p.m. in the Glass Corridor. We welcome groups, but for 10 or more, we would still appreciate advance notice of your visit! Please call ahead: 719.475.2444. Every eight students high school and under must be accompanied by one adult chaperone.

While you're here, check out the FREE...

Lecture: Arts and Letters, Artists during the New Deal Era, in their own words

May 15 | 2 p.m., Music Room
Artists who studied at the Broadmoor Art Academy were a close knit, lively group that included local artist Archie Musick, who painted murals at the FAC. Images of the artists and their work accompany the live reading of the letters. Their voices, sounding through the decades, bring to life the personal impact of New Deal art programs and the human side of the art world during the Depression and World War II. Here's a video-narration by Pat Musick, Archie's daughter, of the construction of her father's Garden of the Gods home:

NEW Acquisition: Heather Oelklaus' "Hero" — UPDATED

Heather Oelklaus, Hero, photogenic print, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist.

Did the medium "photogenic print" seem a little funny to you when you checked out our recent acquisition by Heather Oelklaus called "Hero"? Perhaps a little redundant, because if you've checked out Oelklaus' works either on her web site or blog, you'd see that all her works are pretty "photogenic."

Oelklaus uses lumen printing, a process where you take photo paper and put something organic, such as a flower, on top of it. Then you place a piece of glass over it and leave it under the sun, or other UV light source for a varying amount of time, some leave it for 30 minutes, some leave it for hours. You then place this so-called "photo-sandwich" of paper, material, and glass into fixer. Fixer is the final chemical solution used in the photographic process, stabilizing the image by remove the unexposed silver halide on the photo paper, and the paper is no longer sensitive to light.

This process requires minimum time, equipment and money, so it's a great alterative to the more traditional contact prints or photograms. Plus, you get to spend some time in the outdoors!

Here's a video of the lumen print process:

Oelklaus' "Hero" is on view in the 75th Anniversary galleries on the first-floor. 

May 12, 2012

Free Family Adventure Day: Native American Inspirations

On view in Honoring A Legacy: Breastplate (Sioux)
Breastplate (Mescalero Apache); Shield (Apache)

This month's Family Adventure Day encourages us to be inspired by the culture and art forms of various Native American groups.Transforming rocks into arrowheads and animal bones into knives, Native Americans use natural materials to create tools, weapons and works of art that reflect and symbolize their cultural beliefs and values.

When thinking about shields, protection from physical harm may be the first idea that comes to mind. However, many Native Americans did not use shields merely for physical protection, but more as a form of spiritual guidance and protection, symbolizing a person’s experience during a vision quest.

Vision quests are a rite of passage, and represent  the transition from childhood to adulthood. Quests required an individual to be alone in the wilderness, sometimes lasting up to four days. During this time, a person becomes connected with the spirit world, and would receive a vision by an animal or totem. After the quest was over, their vision would be interpreted by a medicine man or spiritual leader. The "interpretation" is transferred to the shield using various colors, designs and natural elements, and symbolizes the person's source of protection and power. 

Keeping shields safe is important as they provide spiritual protection to the owner. Shields are carried or placed in a location of honor. They are often difficult to find in museums because there are usually buried with  their owner, continuing to protect the spirit even in death and ensure a safe return to Mother Earth. 

Detail: Shield (Apache), 1870. Rawhide, buckskin, mineral
pigments, trade paint.
The FAC's new exhibit, Honoring A Legacy, has shields on display along with richly decorated clothing, beaded moccasins, traditional tools and weapons, many of which are being shown for the first time.

At Family Adventure Day: Native American Inspirations, you'll have a chance to make your own shield, along with creating a totem pole and working with play. Enjoy artist demonstrations, and don't miss the free, docent led tour of the FAC galleries at 12:30 p.m.!

Family Adventure Day

Native American Inspirations
Sat.,, May 19 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Free! At the Bemis School of Art

May 11, 2012

Silly Hairspray CAST Facts

Faith Goins and Desiree Myers are the Dynamites, Rutherford as Tracy, and Frady as Edna. Photo by Moxie Photography

Here are some fun facts we dug up about some of the Hairspray cast members. A full cast list is available here.
  • Drew Frady (Edna Turnblad) can juggle, eat fire, and tap dance (source). 
  • Andrea Rutherford (Tracy Turnblad) was captain of catering events for Obama and the Queen of Denmark.
  • Ilana Bruce (Little Inez) is one of five alums from the FAC Youth Repertory program.
  • Carmen Vreeman (Penny Pingleton) has been on this blog before, in 2009!
  • Lacey Connell (Amber Von Tussle) can do impeccable child impersonations (source).
  • Marco Robinson (Link Larkin) works as a tap dance instructor at The Ballet Society of Colorado Springs (source), and takes amazing photos. For an example, see his Facebook album of the FAC's Resilience show, Within/Without.

May 13 | TalkBack
Join Producing Artistic Director Scott RC Levy and cast for a free post-show discussion. Join us on Twitter by using hashtag #Hairspray

May 24 | Backstage Tour

Go behind the curtain and learn how the magic happens onstage with a focus on design elements.


May 10 - June 3 | Buy Tickets

"In The Field" THOMAS HART BENTON biography

Thomas Hart Benton’s acclaim came from his development of the Regionalist painting style, which rejected the aristocracy of the predominating art culture to show the common man. Studying at both the Art Institute of Chicago and the Académie Julian in Paris, Benton returned to the States in 1913 and continued to pursue painting until serving in the Navy during WWI.

One of the series from The Arts of Life in America. Image Source

After his involvement in the war, Benton gained acclaim in the early 30s. One of Benton’s most famous works, a set of large murals for the Whitney Museum (now at the New Britain Museum of American Art), is entitled The Arts of Life in America and spans five sections. Benton’s regionalism – an art style that raised the status of the American heartland despite the bleak reality of the Great Depression – led to a Time Magazine cover in Dec. 1934.

Benton’s transition to teaching brought him in contact with Eric Bransby, one of Colorado Springs most beloved muralists. Benton, Bransby and Boardman Robinson all collaborated together in developing Regionalism in the 30s. Benton’s most famous student though is Jackson Pollock – who eventually moved away from Benton’s style to Abstract Expressionism.

The Sources of Country Music. Image Source
Benton continued to work through WWII, and died aged 85 in 1975 after completing his final mural The Sources of Country Music.

While most famous for his murals, Benton also created many lithographs, now on view through May 27 as part of the Resilience exhibition. The lithographs on view at the FAC  were made at the beginning of the Depression era.

In the Field: Depression Era Works by Thomas Hart Benton and Boris Deutsch

Closing May 27 | General museum admission $10

May 10, 2012

Wine and Watercolors at Bemis

Celebrate any mother, mother-figure or friend in your life this Fri., May 11 by coming to the Wine and Watercolors event at Bemis School of Art 

Bring someone or come alone and make new friends. You don’t have to bring any special supplies, just come prepared for artistic festivities guided by Bemis instructors and your love of fun

One free drink ticket with admission, plus light snacks; cash wine bar available. Artwork by Bemis Instructors will be available for purchase (cash or check only).

Preregistration is required.

Wine and Watercolors
Fri., May 11 | 6 - 8 p.m. (Happy hour starts at 5:30 p.m.)
Bemis School of Art, 818 Pelham Place
Tickets online, or call 719.634.5583
Invite friends

May 9, 2012

Celebrate Mom at the FAC: Mother's Day Gift Guide

On view: Sushe Felix, "The Single Mother," oil on masonite, 1991, (detail) courtesy of the artist.

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 13, and if you're still searching for the perfect gift to show Mom how wonderful she is, you're in luck — the FAC has tons of events taking place THIS weekend that make great gifts. Added bonus: have fun and spend some quality time together. 

Below is a guide for some fun, creative and delicious gifts that Mom can enjoy at the FAC.

Ultimate FAC Mother's Day Gift

Make it a full, special day with Mom! Start by exploring and looking at art, have lunch somewhere with gorgeous mountain views, shop for something special, enjoy a delicious dinner, and cap the day with a big, fat, musical comedy.

Have a Happy Mother's Day! 

Wine and Watercolors
Fri, May 11 | 6-8p
Raise a glass to cheers Mom and learn the art of watercolors.

May 10- June 3
With catchy music and dancing, tickets to this comedy will be a hit.

Family Friday
Fri, May 11 | 6-8p
Share a creative experience and take home an artistic memory.

Painting the Soul
Sat, May 12 | 9:30-12:30
This painting workshop gives the powerful gift of self-discovering. 
Artisan Kitchen: Basics of Food Fermentation
Sat, May 12 | 1-4p
Learning this skill is not only valuable and useful, it's delicious!

Cafe 36
Tues-Sun | 11a-1:30p
Treat Mom to lunch (or even better, dinner AND a show).

Luma Gift Shop
Tues-Sun | 10a-5p
With unique artistic pieces, you're sure to find something for Mom. Or take her shopping.

Bemis School of Art
Classes start June 4
Search the catalog for a class Mom would like, or give her a certificate to fill her summer with art.

May 8, 2012

"Introducing America" INTERACTIVE Map

We've put together an INTERACTIVE MAP for you to explore the Resilience art exhibit of 34 Depression-era photographs in Introducing America. This exhibit includes the works of Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee and Dorothea Lange (even Lange's famous "Destitute Pea Pickers"). Since the photos were taken all around the country, this map will help you see where exactly all the photos were taken, and how Americans living in different places dealt with the Great Depression. Click through the image to interact with the full map.

Thank you to our friends at Vesica for developing this interactive map!

Introducing America | Closing May 27
North Gallery, 2nd floor
General museum admission $10

Lecture: Artists during the New Deal era, in their own words
May 15 | 2 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Lecture: FAC Museum Director Blake Milteer on Photography
May 22 | 6 p.m.
Free and open to the public

May 7, 2012

"Hairspray" by the Numbers

2,642  number of performances of the original Broadway production

1988  the year director John Waters made the film Hairspray

1962  the year Hairspray it set

100 costumes 

34 wigs

24  cast members

19th  longest running production to run on Broadway

12  number of Tony nominations

8  members in the orchestra

8  Tony Awards won

5 FAC Youth Rep alums in the cast 

4+ giant cans of Aqua Net hairspray used to set the wigs

1 first production choreographer Victor Ayers' has choreographed for an FAC production


May 10 - June 3, 2012 | Buy Tickets