Jun 27, 2013

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Getting Great Reviews!

"The band is out-friggin'-rageous. I would have been quite content to listen to them play until the wee small hours of the morning. The design, as always at the Fine Arts Center, was excellent..."
- i, McAllister 

"Excellent performances..the dancing is delicious..."
- The Gazette

"The set is marvelous. It has the look and the feel of a real jazz nightclub..."
- Theater Colorado

"Cynicism in theater is best when it's offset with a touch of hope, and Jacques Brel does that...the result is uplifting..."
- Broadwayworld.com

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
June 20-30, 2013 | BUY TICKETS!

Jun 26, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Michael Lucero

Have you browsed the 50x50: The Herbert and Dorothy Vogel Collection at the FAC? Untitled (Standing Figure With Spotlights), a striking drawing by Michael Lucero is on display now as part of the exhibition. 

Michael Lucero, Untitled (Standing Figure With Spotlights), wax crayon 
with incised lines on paper, 1979, FA 2009.12.25, image source)

Lucero was born in California in 1953 and is recognized as a leading contemporary sculptor. His clay and mixed media creations reflect the Native American and Pre-Columbian culture he witnessed as a child traveling to New Mexico. Lucero’s sculptures are characterized by surrealistic and painterly qualities, both in their ambiguous shape and hand painted imagery, serving as commentary on the society in which we live.

 50 x 50:

The Herbert and Dorothy Vogel Collection

On view May 11 - Aug. 11, 2013 | Tues.- Sun., 10a-5p

Jun 25, 2013

July and August One-Day Workshops at Bemis

No time for a full art class this summer? Sign up for a one-day workshop at Bemis! Spend a Saturday with our professional instructors and create something beautiful.

Y12 Couture Collage Journal
Sat., 7/13 | 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
$61 (Member $46)
Embellish a journal with all sorts of crafty goodies. ($5 materials fee)

Precious Metal Clay Syringe: The Next Step

Sat., 7/13 | 9:30 am- 12:00 pm
$128 (Members $112)
Tame the beast that is the Precious Metal Clay Syringe!

Pet Portraits 
Sat., 7/20 | 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
$68 (Members $53)
Bring your pet's personality to life with acrylic paints.

Painting the Soul
Sat., 8/3 | 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
Sat., 8/24 | 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
$98 (Members $83)
Examine impressions, observe colors, and connect with your artist psyche.

Fill your summer with art-
Register online today!

Bemis School of Art

Jun 24, 2013

The Breweries of 'Whiskey For My Men Beer For My Horses'

This Friday is the FAC's annual Colorado beer and whiskey tasting! Last week, we looked at the four Colorado distilleries pouring whiskey at our fourth Whiskey For My Men Beer For My Horses. Today, we're featuring the four diverse breweries offering some of Colorado's best craft beers for your enoyment. 

Oskar Blues Brewery (Lyons, CO)

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The funky Oskar Blues Brewery is known for their self-proclaimed “canned beer apocalypse.” Since 2002, the brewery has produced delicious local micro-brews that are only available for purchase in can form. Why cans? Dale, the creator of Oskar Blues Brewery said, “we thought the idea of our big, luscious pale ale in a can was hilarious. And it made our beer immensely portable for outdoor enjoyment and fun.” But these aren’t your father’s cans of old, Oskar Blues cans are made of modern aluminum, which is lined with a water-based coating so that “beer and metal never touch, and there is no exchange of metallic flavor.” To top it all off, Oskar Blues Brewery has won a whopping six awards since their inception as a brewery in 1997, as well as notable mention from the New York Times, who described Dale’s Pale Ale as the best “Pale Ale” in America and the G’Knight (formerly the Gordon) as one of the “Top 5 Extreme Beers” currently on the market. 

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Smiling Toad Brewing Company [formerly Kraft Beer] (Colorado Springs, CO
Established in 2011 as Kraft Beer, the brewery just changed ownership and has thus donned the new name, The Smiling Toad Brewing Company. While the owners may have changed, rest assured that the unique beers have not. Like the name of the brewery, the names of the beers are equally as intriguing. While the brewery creates small batches of hand crafted beers, some of their recent options included The Erroneous, Green Fiend (both IPAs), the Anonymous Wheat, Spring Blonde, the Bella Lavender Lager and the Jumbe Porter, which the owners say is named after their favorite rhino. The good folks at the Smiling Toad were donating 10% of all proceeds from the Jumbe Porter towards rhino protection. With an ever changing palate pleasing menu, this brewery isn’t likely to stay the smallest brewery in Colorado Springs for long.

TRiNiTY Brewing Company (Colorado Springs, CO) 

TRiNiTY Brewing is known for two things: their belgian style beers and their commitment to self-sustainability. TRiNiTY has two new creations out this month, the first is a Berliner Weisse, a collaboration with New Belgium Brewing, called “Ten Minutes of Pleasure.” The beer is made with Soursop fruit, which brings out hints of lemon and coconut, and is aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels. The other is the Elektrick Cukumbahh; this beer is unique in the fact that roughly 24 lbs. of English cucumbers are added to each barrel of beer. Additionally, TRiNiTY infuses the cucumber beer with a bit of lemon zest, which brings a brightness to the beer. From the get-go, TRiNiTY has been an eco-conscious brewery, building their pub from nearly 100% recycled materials. There is a chance that this brewery, which was founded in 2008, could become the new Jack Quinn’s, as TRiNiTY hosts a “Soul Runners” group every Monday evening, encouraging their clientele to be healthy themselves. 

Rocky Mountain Brewery (Colorado Springs, CO) 

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Rocky Mountain Brewery serves up small batches of unusual flavors, such as red chili beer, and a toasted coconut porter. This is beer with a personality, a brewery that is under constant experimentation. And boy do they experiment well. The folks at Rocky Mountain Brewery brew 130 different beers as well as 30 ciders. In regards to their brewing style, they described themselves as “kids with ADD, with no access to ritalin.” Online reviewers have tried such beers as the Peanut Butter & Jelly beer, the Apple Pie beer, the Green Chile beer (there are of course, the more traditional beers, such as a Hefeweizen, a lager and a few IPAs, but rest assured, even though they may taste like more traditional beer, their names are still funky enough to make you look twice). Regardless of which beer(s) you decide to taste, Rocky Mountain Brewery will keep creating more and more concoctions in their attempt to help re-build America, one pint at a time. 

What's all this about big-ass belt buckles? 
Receive a $5 ticket discount at the door if you arrive at the event sporting some serious metal around your hips. Check these out for some inspiration...

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$20 for FAC members; $25 for non-members | Buy Tickets!
June 28 | 5-8p

Jun 21, 2013

FAC Offers FREE Admission to Whiskey + Beer Tasting to Community Heroes

Thank you! (image source.)
There are no words to express the tremendous amount of gratitude we have for the many women and men who work diligently to support and protect our community in the face of devastating fires.

As a small token of appreciation, the Fine Arts Center is inviting all fire fighters, first responders, police, EMTs, and animal rescuers to join us, free* of charge, at our annual Colorado beer and whiskey tasting on Friday, June 28. 

Samantha Marison, an AmeriCorps volunteer firefighter removes down wood to help contain a spot fire in an evacuated area of forest, ranches and residences, in the Black Forest wildfire area. (Brennan Linsley/AP image source.)

Our fourth Whiskey For My Men, Beer For My Horses showcases some of Colorado's best beers and whiskies, and features live music from Black Forest musicians The J. Miller Band. And who better to enjoy the delectable spirits and music Colorado has to offer than those helping protect and preserve it please help us extend this invitation with our community heroes.

*Must show proper ID to receive free admission

Black Forest Fire Dept. officers burn off natural ground fuel in an evacuated neighborhood, prepping the area for the encroachment of the wildfire in the Black Forest area (Brennan Linsley/AP image source.)
$20 for FAC members; $25 for non-members | Buy Tickets!
June 28 | 5-8p

Jun 20, 2013

Who Is Jacques Brel?

Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris. Actually, he is dead. But his songs are alive and onstage starting tonight! Brel is a singer and songwriter who lived from 1929 to 1978. He was born in Belgium, and he worked and lived in Paris.

 "It's really rich and complex and funny, and then it turns on you and it's really tragic. We don't have music like this anymore."

 His music was very theatrical and modern, and his experience with World War II greatly influenced his songwriting. Jacques Brel's work was widely appreciated in Europe and later throughout the world.

"The show lets the music speak for itself. You get a sense of the effect the war had on him, and on many of his contemporaries. He sings about it a fair amount, but not as often as he sings about women. There are songs about love and his own mortality - another song thread." 

His songs have influenced many artists in their songwriting, adaptations, or covers of his work, such as David Bowie, Nina Simone, Sting, and Frank Sinatra. While his music lived on through the people he touched with his sound, many people do not know  Jacques Brel and what he represented as an artist.

 "The more I find out about him, and get into the songs we're doing, it's incredible how relevant his music is to today. He talks a lot about war and the human condition, and how we never asked to be where we are. How a lot of what we have has been given to us, and then what do we do with what we've been given. It's very thought provoking and dark, but it's not despair. There's hope and little pieces of light."

Watch this interview with Brel after one of his shows to get a better understanding of him and what his music meant to him:


Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
June 20-30, 2013| Buy Tickets! 

Jun 19, 2013

The Whiskies of 'Whiskey For My Men Beer For My Horses'

The FAC's annual whiskey and beer tasting is just around the corner! Spend the evening in our intimate Courtyard, listening to the J. Miller Band, eating New West Barbeque, and sampling incredible whiskey and beer from Colorado craft distilleries and breweries. Here's a sneak peak at this year's whiskey providers.

Distillery 291 (Colorado Springs)

Distillery 291 is a small whiskey distillery tucked away in the Rocky Mountain front range of Colorado Springs. At the distillery's inception, they set out to replicate the taste, the smell, and offer a hint of the folklore of the Wild, Wild West, with distinct whiskey of that unforgettable era. The distillery produces four whiskeys: Colorado White Dog Rye, Colorado FRESH (un-aged, corn whiskey), American Whiskey and the award-winning Colorado Whiskey (aged).
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Spring 44 (Loveland)
Spring 44, which debuted with vodka, honey vodka and gin, has started selling straight and single-barrel bourbon whiskey aged for six years in barrels from Kentucky this month. The distillery is selling two versions of its 90-proof straight whiskey and one version of its 100-proof single-barrel whiskey. The small distillery from Loveland uses water from a spring in Buckhorn Canyon and has three stills, nicknamed Ruby, Roxy and Raquel.

Leopold Brothers (Denver) NEW!
Silver Tree American Small Batch Vodka is the highest-rated vodka distilled and bottled in America according to the Beverage Tasting Institute. Silver Tree earned a gold medal at the 2009 San Francisco Spirits Competition, the largest competition of its kind in North America. Silver Tree is distilled seven times from a unique blend of potatoes, malted barley, and summer wheat to give a smooth finish and subtle, rounded notes. Hand bottled, hand labeled, and hand numbered, Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin was named “Best American Gin” by the Wall Street Journal in 2009. 

It's been called many things. They call theirs Deerhammer Whitewater Whiskey—fresh off the still, briefly touched by oak and then into the bottle. Lenny Eckstein quit his 9-to-5 to pursue his passion for distilling. With a strong background in homebrewing, Lenny and his wife Amy have put their souls into this family-owned micro-distillery at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks. The primary focus is artisan style whiskey-simple and honest. Deerhammer Distilling hand-crafts their spirits from start to finish in small batches, one barrel at a time.

What's all this about big-ass belt buckles? 
Receive a $5 ticket discount at the door if you arrive at the event sporting some serious metal around your hips. Need some inspiration? Here are a couple from years past...

$20 for FAC members; $25 for non-members | Buy Tickets!
June 28 | 5-8p

Jun 18, 2013

Charles Bunnell Through the Eyes of a Peer; A Word With Eric Bransby

Charles Bunnell: Rocky Mountain Modern recently opened at the FAC. Bunnell's abstract expressionism stood out among the strong community of local artists who studied together at the Broadmoor Arts Academy.

Two of our interns spent the morning with 96-year-old artist Eric Bransby at his home and studio in Colorado Springs. Bransby, a muralist and figure painter, spoke about the ambiance of the early abstraction movement in Colorado and his impressions of Bunnell as an artist. 

"We got introduced to him, and we were impressed that he was kind of a wild man, going off in 60 directions at once," said Bransby, "We felt that he was different, as so many of the painters were here." 

Eric Bransby poses in front of his mural at the FAC.

Bransby and Bunnell were both students of Boardman Robinson at the Broadmoor Arts Academy. "He was a very interesting man," said Bransby of Bunnell. "He was ahead of almost anybody in this area as far as the coming abstract movement on the horizon, so I think we get that from Charlie, in particular in the beginning, is a blending of representational and abstract, and that you can quantify and qualify."

Charles Bunnell, Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, 1941. Watercolor on paper. Collection of James and Virginia Moffett.

Bransby explained that most artists in the 1950s incorporated the Colorado landscape into their work in one way or another. "The landscape over here is so superhuman," Bransby said, "The area was surrounded by these colossal hunks of stone, and whether you are painting landscapes or not that had an effect."

Charles Bunnell, Mines and Mountains,1951. Oil on board. Collection of the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.

 In the paintings, drawings, prints, and archival materials on display in the exhibition, pure color and shape are the elements through which our ultimate response is sensory, emotional, and intuitive.

"The environment here was a little bit mystical. It was very romantic, and Charlie reacted to that full force."

Charles Bunnell: Rocky Mountain Modern
On view through Sept. 15, 2013 | Tues.- Sun., 10a- 5p

Jun 17, 2013

The Music of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Onstage in Colorado Springs!

The acclaimed musical revue Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris takes to the FAC stage for two weeks only, starting this Thursday!

"Musical storytelling at its finest!" 
-The New York Post

The poignant, passionate, and profound songs of Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel are brought to vivid theatrical life in this intense musical experience brimming with flair, attitude, and European sophistication. 

Buy your tickets online today!

June 20 | Preview: 1/2 priced tickets available on a first come, first served basis.
June 21 | Opening Night: Enjoy a post-performance reception with the cast.
June 23 | TalkBack: Join Producing Artistic Director Scott RC Levy and cast for a post-performance discussion

June 20-30, 2013 | Buy Tickets!
Enjoy pre-theatre dinning at Cafe 36! Menu details; call fo 

Exciting New Works Currently on View at the FAC!

The FAC has two pieces on display, including Bicentennial from the pop art icon Roy Lichtenstein. A lithograph and screen print, this piece is a promised gifted from the Ron and Una Brasch Collection. The imagery is reflective of the strength and history of America when celebrating the United States' Bicentennial. The print was produced as part of the America: The Third Century portfolio that included 13 works by notable 20th century artists.

Roy Lichtenstein, Bicentennial, lithograph and screenprint, 1975, edition of 178 of 200, gift from the Ron and Una Brasch Collection.

In addition to the extensive collection of Charles Bunnell works currently on view in the Rocky Mountain Modern exhibition, Bunnell's Untitled (March Snow) from 1940 is on long term loan, and can be viewed amongst our permanent collection in the first floor gallery space. 

Charles Bunnell, Untitled (March Snow), Oil on canvas, 1940, Loan from the Fine Arts Program, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration. Commissioned through the New Deal arts projects. With gratitude to Julie and Rob Lewis. 

Tues-Sun: 10a-5p

Jun 14, 2013

Digging Deeper: Once Upon A Time

When was the last time you browsed the Permanent Collection at the FAC? On display now through August 25t is Martin Saldaña: Once Upon A Time, a colorful exhibition of imaginative oil paintings. 

Martin Saldaña, Three Girls in Garden and One Boy. Oil on Board, Undated, FA 1995.11.15

Saldaña was 76 years old when he took his first art class at the Denver Art Museum. He is considered a self-taught folk artist, whose work is simple, direct, and highly personal. 
Saldaña documented whimsical memories from his childhood in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, portraying ranch life, landscapes, and his great love of animals. The prolific artist painted every day, completing a new piece about every three days and amassing an impressive body of work. Saldaña died in 1965 at the age of 91. 

Martin Saldaña, Bird of Paradise and Birds and River (detail). Oil on canvas, undated.
Gift of Jeanette S. Fowler of Tacoma, WA. 1995.11.8

"As it is with memory, Saldaña's paintings blur the line between imagination and reality, they are fond remembrances of boyhood from a kind, elderly man."
-Joy Armstrong, Assistant Curator, Fine Arts Center

Loving these works from our Permanent Collection? Try your own hand at painting under the guidance of a professional at the Bemis School of Art this summer. Sign up for Fundamental Oil,  Painting the Soul, or Acrylic Abstractions. All ages and skill levels are welcome! 

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Tues-Sun: 10a-5p

Jun 13, 2013

The FAC responds to the Black Forest Fires

Graphic by Colorado Springs designer Mark Rantal.

Fires are once again raging and impacting our community, and our hearts and thoughts are with those being displaced by and fighting the fires.

The Fine Arts Center is currently open regular hours, Tuesday-Sunday, 10a-5p, and is offering the following to our community in response to the fires: 

The FAC is a great resource for staying indoors, avoiding the heat, and enjoying the beautiful art we have on view. We invite everyone who has been displaced by the fires to enjoy our art gallery offerings, free of charge. 

Wednesday, June 19, 7:30p

Our FAC Theatre Company invites our community to enjoy the dress rehearsal of our upcoming production of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, a musical revue of the poignant, passionate, and profound songs of the Belgian songwriter. Seats are available on a first come first served basis. This production is appropriate for ages 13+.

Saturday, June 22, 10a | Bemis School of Art 
Our Bemis School of Art is hosting a free, two-hour art workshop for children ages 2-17 with the goal of providing a safe space to create, reflect, and share emotions created by the fires. This creative workshop will be led by Kim Nguyen from AspenPointe, who is generously donating her time. Parents, we encourage you to enjoy our art galleries while your child participates in the workshop.

The FAC is accepting food donations on behalf of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado to aid in the fire response efforts. Donations of food are greatly appreciated and needed, especially high protein snacks, canned and boxed meals, soup, cereal, peanut butter, and oatmeal.