Dec 19, 2013

LUMA at the FAC to close

The Fine Arts Center is sad to announce that Luma, our wonderfully eclectic gift shop, will close on Dec. 31.

"It's been a grand run," said Luma owner Cathy Coleman. "The partnership has been a privilege. I look forward to seeing FAC members at Luma's Broadmoor location, where I will honor their 10% discount on full-price merchandise through January."

Before the Luma location closes at the FAC, customers can enjoy steep markdowns, as Coleman reduces her inventory.

The FAC will soon be taking bids for a new vendor for that space, and we’ve already had interest from local retailers.

If you have questions, please contact our communications director, Warren Epstein, at 719.477.4316 or

Dec 17, 2013

Trustees Name Nechie Hall
as Interim CEO at the FAC
Hall makes history as first woman to take top job in FAC’s 77 years

COLORADO SPRINGS (Dec 17, 2013)  - The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of longtime Springs advertising, marketing and communications executive Nechie Hall to the post of interim president and CEO.
Hall, along with her husband, Jim, founded PRACO (Public Relations Advertising Company), now Vladimir Jones, Colorado’s third largest woman-owned business and one of the state’s largest agencies. While she still serves as CEO and Chairman, Hall retired from day-to-day operations of the company, which are being led by her daughter, Meredith Hall Vaughan.

“Having the freedom to take the reins of this historic institution puts me square in the middle of my lifelong passion for the arts and love of the Fine Arts Center,” Nechie said. “I believe in the importance of the arts in building a healthy quality of life and a strong economic environment for our community. This opportunity to help not only maintain stability of staff and funding sources, but to help identify relevance for all audiences, taps into my strengths.”

She is uniquely qualified, as a business leader, a community leader, a devotee - and a student herself - of the arts, and a highly respected thought-leader throughout the state. She brings experience, passion and talent in business management, nonprofit governance, community outreach, marketing, public relations, branding and organizational development to what is already such a high-quality portfolio at the FAC.

Hall served as a Trustee of the Fine Arts Center from 1998 to 2004, during which time she was a member of the Executive Committee and Vice Chair of Board. She also served as Marketing Committee Chair.

She has served on upwards of fifteen other non-profit boards, championed pro bono projects through her agency for important community needs, and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades related to her industry and the community, including the first woman to be honored as the Chamber Business Citizen of the Year.

Hardly new to the transition process, Hall has aided many local and national organizations, throughout her career, by going into their businesses to assist with on-site transition management.

She arrives at the FAC at a time of change.

Board member David Kunstle, who has served as chair of the Leadership Transition Team responsible for leading the interim CEO process, said that out of a wide field of strong candidates, Hall stood out.

“The Board is delighted that Nechie has agreed to serve as Interim CEO,” Kunstle said. “She loves the arts and knows this organization well, having previously been a Trustee for many years.  Nechie is a natural leader and communicator, the community deeply respects her, and we are thrilled to have her re-energizing and guiding the Fine Arts Center and its outstanding staff during this interim period.”

Board Chairman Dr. Jim Raughton has served as acting CEO since the departure of previous CEO Sam Gappmayer, assuring continuity, stability and leadership. The trustees and the Leadership Transition Team expressed that his vision and enthusiasm have been instrumental in aiding with this transition.

“We’d like to thank Jim for stepping up, without a moment’s hesitation to serve as Acting CEO,” Kunstle said. “His passion, leadership and his effective outreach to key donors have been invaluable in helping us through this transition.”

Raughton said he was happy to help an organization that’s been so dear to him, and he believes that he hands to Hall an FAC poised for bigger things.

“We’ve turned a corner, and there are real opportunities in the immediate future,” he said. “I’m confident that Nechie Hall has the business acumen – in cooperation with the Leadership Transition Team and the trustees – to capture the tremendous potential of the Fine Arts Center.”

As part of the strategic process and ongoing vision for the future of this historic institution, Hall will proactively work with the board, staff and vendors on guiding robust plans already in place, as well as anticipated updates and modifications to amenities and services, such as restaurant facilities and gift shop offerings as well as an expanded slate of special events.

The FAC is also currently conducting a national search for a Development Director, and has simultaneously begun implementing the search process for a permanent CEO.

“I am a leader who loves change because I believe it is cathartic and presents numerous opportunities for organizations to think differently,” Hall said. “I believe it also enables the staff to demonstrate their strengths in a fresh new way and this alone can create excitement and energy if managed appropriately.  What I glean from time there will go a long way in helping the board build a more in-depth understanding of exactly what the FAC needs, what the culture is like, and where the strengths and weaknesses are.”

Hall will be the first woman CEO in the FAC’s 77-year history.

Dec 5, 2013

Broadway World Denver Awards

Broadway World Denver Awards –

With some of the most talented and best trained performers in the region it is no surprise that once again the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center has so many nominations for the prestigious Broadway World Denver Awards. 
These are the awards for best regional performances in 2013, don't forget to vote for your favorites at Broadway World Denver Awards.
Help promote and show your appreciation for the amazing work our staff is doing. With 26 nominations the Fine Art Center is one of the highest nominated Centers in the Region. With an all star line up in every production there is no question why the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs leads the way in theatrical productions.   
Lets come together and celebrate the amazing talents and performers that we have been honored to watch over the past year.  

The Drowsy Chaperone
Sammy Gleason, Other Desert Cities
Michael Miller, Noises Off
Sol Chavez, Prelude to a Kiss

Scott RC Levy, The Drowsy Chaperone
Max Ferguson,  Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
Birgitta DePree, Other Desert Cities
Kate Berry, Other Desert Cities

Amy Sue Hardy, The Drowsy Chaperone
Halee Towne, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Mary Ripper Baker, The Drowsy Chaperone

AJ Mooney, Gypsy
Daniel Noel, Other Desert Cities

A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story

Jason Fangio, The Drowsy Chaperone

Cory Moosman, The Drowsy Chaperone  
Nathan Halvorson Jacques Brel Is ALive and Well and LIving In Paris

Scott RC Levy, Other Desert Cities  


Other Desert Cities
Other Desert Cities

The Drowsy Chaperone 

Noises Off
A Christmas Story  

Jonathan Spencer, The Drowsy Chaperone  

Holly Rawls, Other Desert Cities

Jay Hahn, The Drowsy Chaperone  

Chris Sheley, Noises Off

Nov 1, 2013

Andrew Beckham Artist Talk and Book Signing

Don't miss a rare opportunity to tour the FAC's magnificent exhibition Andrew Beckham: Firmament with the artist himself!
The Fine Arts Center has timed the exhibition to be presented simultaneously with the publishing of a gorgeous new book representing the extensive body of photographs in Firmament.
Beckham will discuss his photographs and career before signing copies of his new book.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
2:00 pm
Copies of Andrew Beckham: Firmament from GFT Publishing are available at the Fine Arts Center box office.
"Firmament is a benchmark in Beckham's ongoing consideration of photography's intrinsic capacity to depict physical aspects of the landscape and simultaneously to suggest the presence of mystery and time," says Blake Milteer, the FAC's Museum Director and Chief Curator.

Three bodies of work constitute Firmament, each with Beckham's recognition of place as a starting point for deeper questions. From One Square-Mile to Twenty-Thousand Square-Miles, to An Incalculable Distance, the title of each portfolio defines a proximal footprint. As if “streaming” a symphonic work in three movements, Beckham begins with a seemingly solitary meander through a backcountry wilderness in the wooded foothills of the Rocky Mountains west of his home. Next, he walks the aggressive openness of the Great Plains in the Sand Hills of Nebraska and introduces human assertion into Firmament by depicting subtle traces of industry in context with the expanse of prairie grasses and big sky. Finally, Beckham interweaves images of historic star charts with his own pictures of various wild landscapes and personal artifacts that, when blended into a seamless composition, represent quietly reflective moments and materials about one's place in the world.

Individually and together, One Square-Mile, Twenty-Thousand Square-Miles, and An Incalculable Distance not only depict Beckham’s recognition and reckoning of the tangible and mysterious layers inherent in every person's life, but they remind us of similar potential and responsibility in our own - the firmament to be found within us and in the places that surround us.

You can learn more about this artist on his website before the talk.

Oct 30, 2013

That's a Horse of a Different Color

Want to peek behind the wizard's curtain? Not all wizards are humbugs, as you'll discover when you take a look at the wizardry it takes to stage "The Wizard of Oz," one of the most elaborate musicals the FAC will have ever produced.

The show doesn't open until Dec. 5, but the planning started months ago, with acting auditions and art sketches and concept brainstorming.

For this particular post we want share part of the process of creating costumes that capture the energy and personality of a character.

Our wiz of a costume designer, Lex Liang, has sketched out the amazing costumes below.

"The costumes were absolutely grounded in our initial concept of staying true to the timeline of the novel's original publishing date of 1900.  Because we get to explore both Kansas and Oz, it gave us an opportunity to replicate a dusty, sepia toned look for Kansas in 1900, but also create a totally different look for Oz.  My approach was to ask myself what a simple farm girl from middle America in 1900 would see as spectacular and new, colorful and flashy, yet completely acceptable...just different.  I imagined Dorothy would have had this type of experience if she landed in the middle of Paris or London in the midst of the Art Nouveau or Beaux Arts movement--simply transporting her from the dusty dull world of Kansas in 1900 to the middle of a major metropolis would justify that sensibility.  So most of the Oz clothes are based on couture fashions from the turn of the century, infused with multi-cultural and multi-ethnic elements from around the world at the time.  

"What's difficult about designing a new production of an iconic classic is that people come expecting to see certain characters looking a certain way.  In "Oz," it's the blue gingham dress that has been seared into our minds by Adrian's classic film-version costume, along with the red shoes--something that was specifically changed from the book to capitalize on the new technicolor technology.  So I had to stay true to some of these images and make sure audience members quickly understood who was whom.  At the same time, the aesthetic has to be cohesive.  When it came to Glinda and the Wicked Witch, for instance, I played with different silhouettes and shapes, and took a lot of inspiration from French couture to establish their looks.  There's also a lot of flying involved, and as this is a dream of Dorothy's (or is it...?), I wanted to ground the flying in things that would register with her.  She talks about birds flying high over the rainbow, and so the witch costumes have a lot of bird influence--the Wicked Witch's headpiece is completely made of feathers, as is Glinda's gown.

Now, it's up to FAC costume shop manager Janson Fangio to actually make them before our opening on Dec. 5! 



Oct 28, 2013

Veronika String Quartet

David Sckolnik gushed about the Veronika String Quartet, which played Sunday at the FAC, in The Gazette, calling them "fresh and spontaneous," producing "an intelligent and witty musical conversation."

See the full review.

Oct 23, 2013

Attention Rare Art Sale!

Joellyn Duesberry, Chatfield Thaw (detail), (2012), Oil on linen, 40 x 120 inches, image courtesy the artist.
Art sales at the Fine Arts Center are about as rare as moose in Miami. But we’re planning a huge one, featuring nationally acclaimed landscape artist Joellyn Duesberry.

More than 500 original oils and monotypes will be up for sale, with prices starting at $200, and proceeds will benefit the FAC’s Taylor Museum. None of these works, from her early and mid-career, have ever been seen or sold and have come from her private inventory.

This sale has been made possible through both the generosity of the artist as well as Hayden Hayes Broadmoor Galleries.

Visitors also can view Chatfield Thaw, March 2012, oil on linen, 40 x 120,” which Duesberry has donated to the FAC.

This event will be held on Nov. 2-3 10a-5p

Oct 22, 2013

Amazing Photos of Pamela Joseph's Sideshow of the Absurd

Come and have your fortune told by The Baby Wheel of Fortune
Photographer Nehemiah Urban captured some stunning images from the FAC preview of Pamela Joseph's Sideshow of the Absurd on Oct. 11th. This preview displayed  a multitude of mixed media fantasy installations that explores the power of women and challenges many social assumptions.
Here is an inside look of The Torture Museum

The Extinct Animals is one of the many interactive mechanized works
 within the show 

The Strongwoman Catgirl Pussy Marshmallow is a recurring character that you will never forget. 

A collaborative effort between Pamela Joseph, Kurosh ValaNejad and Todd Furmanski, Body Scrub is an interactive virtual fun house that everyone can enjoy.

Oct 11, 2013

Word of mouth is making big noise for 'Noises Off'


Audiences are raving about "Noises Off."

Blogger Kelly McAllister recently posted a review of this new Fine Arts Center production, saying it's "hilarious, fast paced and makes you happy to be alive.

"This production also proves, yet again, that the most consistently excellent professional theater in Colorado is at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs."
See the rest of the review here

The play runs Thursdays through Sundays, through Oct. 20 at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs.

For tickets, click here or call 634-5583.

Oct 1, 2013

Take your camera skills to the next level at Bemis

Portrait Lighting Flash 202
Saturday Workshop
Nov. 2 and 9
You may not realize that one of the photography instructors at Bemis School of Art is an award-winning photographer and author of three photography lighting books (available wherever photography books are sold).  Allison Earnest teaches a variety of photographic classes, ranging from Digital SLR 10 and beginning small hot-shoe flash photography.  She will be offering a mini-lighting workshop: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 2 and 9.

Since the onset of digital photography, many people are picking up photography not only as a hobby, but a way to earn a little extra income by photographing portraits. One way you can stand out from others who take portraits is to learn the proven techniques presented in Allison’s books "Sculpting with Light®: Techniques for Portrait Photographers and Light Modifiers."

In the workshop, you will learn how to use your external flash(s) to light and sculpt portraits, posing for men and women using live models.  Additionally, you will learn how to control your flash exposure for predictable and consistent indoor and outdoor portraits or weddings for that matter.  A workshop you do not want to miss.  Sign up today as space is limited. Call 719-475-2444 or click here

Sep 24, 2013

Become a Docent at the FAC!

Docents lead educational tours for visitors of all ages and work closely with FAC staff to be knowledgeable on all current exhibits in both the special exhibition and permanent collection galleries.

Share your knowledge and passion for art with others, whether elementary school classes, an adult group, or a small group with special needs. Docents have fun together and develop camaraderie at special events.

Following training, docents commit to leading tours and attending meetings for at least three years. Many of our members find their docent experience so rewarding that they have remained docents for over 30 years! The cost to become a docent includes FAC membership and a one-time fee for study guides and manuals that you’ll use throughout the years.

Celebrating 60 Years of Community Education!
In 2011, the docents celebrated 60 years of interpreting museum exhibitions with engaging, interactive tours. We got our start at the Fine Arts Center in 1951 when then-FAC Director Mitchell Wilder recruited a small group of young women to guide museum patrons through an exhibition of northwest American Indian art. Since then, the docents have developed into a well-organized museum education organization.

Contact Eileen Reilly (call 719.264.9851 or email by Oct. 3 for information about the next docent training class and to apply!

Sep 5, 2013

FAC Gallery hours during Gala weekend

In preparation for our Season Opening Gala, An Evening with Ben Vereen, our art galleries will be closing at special times. Please take note when planning your visit to the Fine Arts Center:

Friday, Sept. 6, 3p | All second floor galleries are closed through Sunday, Sept. 8.

Saturday, Sept. 7, 12 noon | All first floor galleries close.

All galleries will open on Sunday, Sept. 8, and the FAC will resume regular art-viewing hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10a-5p.

Aug 26, 2013

Ben Vereen at the FAC's Annual Gala!

Ben Vereen is one of the most honored and accomplished singers, dancers, and actors of our time. And he’s coming to perform for the FAC's Annual Gala!

With television credits as diverse as RootsSesame Street, the Carol Burnett Show and Star Trek: TNG, Vereen has been a welcome guest in our homes for years! You've seen him in many films, including Sweet Charity and All that Jazz — and his Broadway credits include HairJesus Christ SuperstarPippinChicagoFosse, and many others. 

Image Source
Don’t miss this opportunity to see one of the outstanding talents of our era! Vereen has agreed to hold a Master Class for the FAC Theatre’s Summer Rep students. This year the Summer Rep is producing Pippin – one of Mr. Vereen’s most memorable roles – and our students will have the opportunity to learn from the man who created the role!  Please consider making a voluntary contribution of $50.00 to help support this exceptional opportunity for our students!

Cocktail Party | Friday, Sept. 6, 6-8p | $250, Buy Tickets Now!
Meet Ben Vereen at an intimate cocktail party hosted by Kate and Rich Murphy.  Tickets are extremely limited.
Annual Gala: An Evening with Ben Vereen | Saturday, Sept. 7, 5:30p | $175, Buy Tickets Now!
This special evening includes cocktails in the FAC courtyard, a gourmet dinner, silent and live auctions, plus Ben Vereen performing on stage in the fabulous SaGaJi Theatre!
Master Class with Ben Vereen | Saturday, Sept. 7, 11a | $50, Buy Tickets Now!
Help contribute to a special Master Class for FAC Youth Rep students with Ben Vereen! Your contribution includes two tickets to be in the audience while Vereen works with the students.

Aug 1, 2013

Summer at Bemis!

Summer at the Bemis School of Art is well underway, and our students are creating some amazing work. The Fall 2013 Course Catalog will be making its debut very soon, but there's still time to fill your summer with art! Check out what our students have been up to and get inspired!

"A work of art really is above all an adventure of the mind."
-Eugene Ionesco 

Jul 31, 2013

Vieux Farka Touré in Concert at the FAC!

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and KRCC have partnered to bring award-winning Malian guitarist and vocalist Vieux Farka Touré to the FAC's SaGaJi Theatre for a special concert!

Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006.  Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father dissaproved due to the pressures he had experienced being a musician. Rather, he wanted Vieux to become a soldier. But with help from family friend the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician shortly before Ali passed.

"His live performances are highly energized and Vieux is known for dazzling crowds with his speed and dexterity on the guitar, as well as his palpable charisma and luminous smile, both of which captivate audiences from all audiences in spite of any language barriers"
Check out some of his performances here:

On this first album, Vieux pays homage to his father and follows Ali’s musical tradition, giving new versions of the West African music that is echoed in the American blues.On his second record, Fondo on Six Degrees (2009), Vieux branched out and presented his own sound: while remaining true to the roots of his father’s music he uses elements of rock, Latin music, and other African influences. The album received a great deal of critical acclaim from across the globe, and Vieux was clearly moving out of his father’s shadow. You can learn more about Vieux Farka Touré's journey on his website!

"Vieux Farka Touré has clearly established himself as one of the world’s rare musical talents and guitar virtuosos with a distinct style that always pays homage to the past while looking towards the future"

Vieux Farka Touré
Monday, Aug. 5 | 7p | Buy Tickets!
$25; $15* FAC Members & KRCC Members (*quantities are limited)
Invite your friends!