Jan 29, 2013

NEW ACQUISITION: Robert Cottingham, "The Spot"

Robert Cottingham, The Spot, color lithograph,
edition 27 of 46, 1982. Gift of Vicki Vanderslice
Robert Cottingham worked as the art director at a major New York advertising firm in the early 1960s when both Pop art and photorealistic painting were attracting attention. After relocating to Los Angeles, Cottingham refocused his career on becoming a fine artist. It was there that, like artists such as Ed Ruscha, Cottingham became interested in the way that advertising signage defined a distinctive consumerist identity in American culture. It was, however, his childhood visits to Times Square where, as the artist describes it, “the seed was planted, when I saw the kind of activity going on above the ground level.” 

His work is most often associated now with his 1960s and ‘70s realist contemporaries such as painters Richard Estes and Chuck Close, and sculptor Duane Hanson. Accordingly, Cottingham was granted a major retrospective at the Smithsonian Museum of American art in 1998.

During his travels, Cottingham photographs advertising signs and translates them, as whole signs or as individual letters, into painting and lithographs. In lithographs such as The Spot, the artist seeks to preserve the unique appearance of mid-20th century signage, much of which has now disappeared, that defined thriving downtowns across the nation.

The Spot is currently on view in the first-floor galleries.

Jan 28, 2013

February 2013 Workshops at Bemis

Come on down and kick off the Winter/Spring semester at Bemis with these awesome workshops. We even have a week-long one in addition to half/full day. Hope to see you there!

Y15 Leather Crafting
Sat., 2/2 | 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
$63 (Members $48)
Discover the fun of leather crafting. Ages 9-12. ($10 materials fee)

Sat., 2/2 | 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
$61 (Members $46)
Create an art journal using crazy and creative things such as bubble wrap, found objects and more. This class is open from ages 8 to adult, perfect for an entire family! Supply list. ($10 materials fee)

Sat., 2/2 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
$93 (Members $78)
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. Ages 16-Adult. Supply list.

(Martha Kisling)
Thurs., 2/7 | 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
$98 (Members $83)
Learn creative ways to watercolor the natural elements of the Colorado winter landscape. Ages 16-Adult. Supply list. 

Sat., 2/9 | 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
$98 (Members $83)
Couldn't get into Elizabeth's class during Resilience? She's offering a different spin on her food preservation class with an emphasis on pickling techniques, complete with recipes to take home and a tasting. Ages 11-Adult. ($5 food fee)

Mon. - Thurs., 2/25-2/28 | 4:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
$83 (Members $68)
Widen your horizons by exploring art from around the world, learning a bit about their cultural context and techniques used. Ages 6-8.

Here's the online registration form  for all classes — or you can mail, fax, or drop off the form to Bemis. Browse the online or PDF catalog to check out other one-day workshops or longer classes. Become a member and enjoy Bemis discounts, among other FAC benefits.

Jan 22, 2013

Director Spotlight: Garrett Ayers

"Sincere, simple and magical." 

The FAC’s Theatre Company starts the new year off with Prelude to a Kiss, a charming and bewitching romantic fantasy. It’s a ‘Freaky Friday’ for the 21st century that explores the enduring power of love and the nature of commitment in this breathtaking and life-affirming comedy.

We asked the director, Garret Ayers, who is also making his Colorado directorial debut with this production, some questions about this romantic comedy:

What about the script do you particularly enjoy and appreciate?
The three words I always use to describe it are: sincere, simple, and magical. In this day and age, we are surrounded by waves of sarcasm, irony and irreverence, and it is great to work on a piece that is really sincere. There is a directness and poignancy to these characters that is quite refreshing. It requires the actors to truly be vulnerable. It costs them something. It is somewhat of a throwback, a kind of modern fairy tale. And these bits of magic, the fluidity of the script, its romanticism, all make it something I am really excited about working on.

Why is "Prelude to a Kiss" a great piece for the FAC to produce?
It’s got something for everyone. This piece speaks to human beings in every generation, whether you are a pair of young lovers, a couple in middle age, or a grandparent/great-grandparent. Everyone loves a great love story. Especially an honest, unsentimental one. And this play has it in spades.


How do your worldly travels and extensive training inform your directing when you are in the theatre?
I look at directing a lot like I look at parenting. My main job is to be present. To watch. To create an optimal environment that inspires people to reach their fullest potential. Of course, through training, travel, and other experiences I have developed certain aesthetics, beliefs, interests, etc. but I try very hard not to let those things dominate the process. My interpretation and vision is obviously very important, but every script has a spirit and an energy that all of us in the room must discover together.

Ayers has worked for over a decade as a professional actor and director with some of the world’s foremost theatre companies. He trained at The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy; founded the Harlem Theater Project; studied Traditional Vibratory Chant in Southern France; participated in the 2009 Lincoln Center Theater ‘Directors Lab’ and collaborated with members of such award-winning companies as: SITI, Tectonic Theater Project and Roy Hart Theatre. Most recently, he was the Charles Evans Fellow at the Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J. He lives in Boulder, with his wife and three children. 

Prelude To A Kiss
Jan. 31 - Feb. 17  | Buy Tickets | Invite your friends

Jan 17, 2013

"Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop" Dance VIDEO

How has Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop inspired you?

Local artist Andy Tirado told us in a witty guest blog post...

Students and docents have written poems and short stories...

Our Arts Make A Difference Tumblr has testimonials about our awesome variety of art programs...

And Tunson's art compelled Ormao Dance Company to dance through the halls!

Below is video of one of their performances set amongst the backdrop of the galleries. We've posted five of their choreographed pieces to our YouTube channel, check it out!

Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop
On view through Jan. 20, 2013

Jan 14, 2013

Educator Appreciation Day

The Fine Arts Center is inviting the community’s educators to visit on Wednesday, Jan. 30, (4-6 p.m.) for Educators Appreciation Day, an informal afternoon to relax and roam the historic halls of the FAC. See the galleries and a theatre production for free. Chat with old friends and meet some new folks and learn what is coming up for students in the New Year for the classroom and future field trips from not only the FAC, but also the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Money Museum, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Committee.

Featuring light appetizers, drinks and door prizes, this event is a one-stop education shop of history, social studies, visual arts, and more! To ensure a spot at this special event, educators must RSVP by Jan. 18, 2013.


4p | Happy Half Hour
4:30p | Welcoming Remarks
4:45-6p | Discover unique educational opportunities and tour the FAC galleries for free!

NEW! Shopping

The museum shop, LUMA at the FAC will remain open for this event; their only other location is at The Broadmoor. 


Prelude to a Kiss | 7:30p, free!
See the Final Dress Rehearsal for Prelude to a Kiss, a Pulitzer Price finalist! The New York Post calls this play, "touching, romantic, sexy, dazzling."

Educator Appreciation Day
Wednesday, Jan. 30 | 4-6p | RSVP online (by Jan. 18)
Invite friends on Facebooks!

Jan 9, 2013

"Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop" VIDEO

STILL haven't checked out the huge Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop exhibition that spans both floors of the FAC? Well, if you need more convincing, we've uploaded the entire curator-artist talk from the members preview onto our youtube channel so you can find out more about the artist himself, his process and vision.

Below is one of the clips from the talk featuring questions from the audience, answered by Tunson himself!

Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop
On view through Jan. 20, 2013

Jan 7, 2013

Looking Back at 2012

The year, 2012, ended on a high note for the Fine Arts Center with A Christmas Story becoming the biggest-selling production in the 25-year history of the FAC Theatre Company. Our audiences appreciated our career retrospective exhibition by Floyd Tunson and the Colorado Premiere of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play); special events like the Black & White Gala, the Wine Festival of Colorado Springs and the Ormao Dance Company performing in the galleries; and the continued excellence of the Bemis classes and outreach programs that touched so many in the community.

This year reinforced the notion that the arts really do make a difference at the Fine Arts Center, and as we look back at 2012, we want to thank you— all of our members, visitors, volunteers, docents, actors, artists, and instructors— for a memorable year and for being a part of the FAC family.

Below is our 2012-in-review video. If you have a minute, please take our audience survey. We appreciate your feedback, and for your time, we'll enter you in a drawing to win two tickets to this year's Wine Festival of Colorado Springs.

Here’s to creating more memories in 2013!