December Members of the Month:
Tim & Diana Rupinski
Fine Arts Center members for 8 years
Why did you become a member of the FAC?
We relocated to Colorado Springs in 1987 having vacationed here in 1984. Colorado offers beautiful scenery and great outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and biking. With children in Junior and Senior High Schools, we integrated into the community and discovered amazing attractions such as the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs Symphony, Pioneers Museum, Colorado College, and the Fine Arts Center (FAC). We visited the FAC about six times a year, for many years; mostly on free days. About 13 years ago, we bought FAC tickets to a Reverend Billy C. Wirtz performance (possibly the best honky-tonk singer and piano player you have ever heard). Then we started to attend FAC stage plays. The personal touch and intimacy of the FAC rivaled big city venues. We then explored the benefits of FAC membership. Not restricted to any days, we could visit when we wanted, exchange play tickets, do-again viewing of exhibitions, and free parking. Our membership costs us less than a one-seat Broncos game ticket and is a gift to us and our granddaughter that gives back all year.
What is your favorite work of art on display at the FAC right now?
This is certainty a tough question. A favorite of ours is a bronze sculpture in the tactile gallery, Wish I Could That. It reminds us of the joys of youth and of our granddaughter’s enormous possibilities as she grows into an adult. The FAC’s Chihuly and Santos collections should be acclaimed nationwide. We also enjoyed the Floyd Tunson exhibition, Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop (2013), which included portraits, sculptures, and the wooden Haitian Dream Boats. The FAC store should sell items unique to the museum based on the Center’s collections.
What has been one of your favorite plays, classes or exhibits at the FAC?
Your theater is a hidden treasure, and producer Scott Levy, sparkling. Each year the FAC offers four to five plays in a season subscription. At around $20 a ticket it sure beats a Big Mac meal. Each season we average four of five performances, which we really enjoy. Some of our favorites were Neil Simon’s trilogy of Brighton Beach Memoirs (2007), Jean Sheppard’s A Christmas Story (2012) (from his book titled Wanda Hickie’s Golden Night of Memories and Other Disasters, how can we not laugh at ourselves growing up?), and A Christmas Carol (2008) with Colorado Springs’ own Sally Hybl and her children (the last time we saw Sally was in Chicago, a great production but a dark play). Then there was Sweeney Todd (2010), certainty dark but the best staged play this side of a Broadway small theater. Oh, let’s not forget Into the Woods (2007), awesome; and last year’s Rupinski Award – Agnes of God (2014), a truly remarkable and powerful performance.
What do you do for fun in Colorado Springs?
We are retired and able to enjoy each day to its fullest. Colorado College is another hidden treasure. The Music (Michael and Susan Grace, and Daniel Brink) and English (Steven Hayward) Departments sponsor almost daily free events, from student and faculty mini-concerts at Packard Hall to visiting authors at Gates Common Room. As almost natives we can’t help being outdoors. We ski, bike, hike, skate, walk trails, and enjoy limitless blue sky days. Hobbies include crafting, woodworking, sewing, and volunteering at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
In August 2000, we were flying on Delta from Regan via Atlanta to Colorado Springs. It was 95 degrees in DC and 101 in Atlanta with 100% humidity. Exiting the aircraft in Atlanta, we were greeted by a young girl in a red jacket, sweating profusely. “Where are you going?” she asked, “Can I direct you?” We answered, Colorado Springs, we live there. “Oh, oh,” she replied, “I wish I could live there too!” Living here means being part of the greater community. We encourage anyone who has not experienced the FAC to come down and browse. If you like, join and participate in the wide variety of opportunities that lift the spirit.