Spring's a Poppin': NODO, Alvarez, OCC, First Friday Art Walk in Colorado Springs.
Updated: Apr 16, 2022
E. Boulder Street was jumping with crowds of art lovers in attendance at Kreuser Gallery and at G44 Gallery.
NODO, the North Downtown, Art Block was at its vibrant best for First Friday, April 2022. This diverse group of businesses all focused on art and culture from the NODO Art Block, which is fast becoming a must visit area within downtown Colorado Springs. One can buy books, find good eats, get a beauty treatment, and buy art, all within a few footsteps. Of course, on a First Friday Art Walk evening, the art galleries are the thing.
Abigail Kreuser was smiling broadly as she presented Red Threads Intertwined, a group project of seven women artists all working in different styles from painting to photography to weaving, but whose work is connected by a red thread visible in each art piece. The other thread is that a portion of the proceeds went to The Never Alone Foundation, an organization involved with international child adoption, and to Converge, which provides local literary events. Kreuser, who is an accomplished photographer, displays her recent work on one wall of the East Gallery, as well as being one of the artists participating in Red Threads Intertwined.
Also showing at Kreuser are new works by Lisa Fabiano, Sun Salute. Fabiano's passion is abstract and non-objective art which she presents as painted works on paper. As theme, Fabiano concentrates on "color-centric abstraction with philosophical and metaphysical undertones." https://www.kreusergallery.com/collections/sun-salute
Photo of Abigail Kreuser.
Next door and literally a walk-through is G44 Gallery where Gundega Stevens held court among the crowds that turned out to view the work of Carol Mordecai Myers, Seeing Double and Jon Francis, Boxcar Conversations. Myers lives and produces her art in Colorado Springs. She works in abstract art in a variety of media. She says, "I create paintings that I think of as spaces to be navigated, often with areas of not-quite-distinguishable writing."
Jon Francis is a native of Colorado Springs whose interest in art leans toward the urban, or as he describes it, "landscapes of beautiful skies juxtaposed by elements of urban life (powerlines, billboards, gas stations, etc.)".
Gundega Stevens meanwhile, along with her business partner Abigail Kreuser, scored a big success curating the Pikes Peak Community Foundation's Philanthropy Collective. Curate Your Space, a creation of the two gallery owners, provides curatorial services for companies, organizations, and private homes. For the Philanthropy Collective event, they installed 20 beautiful paintings by 13 local artists. https://www.facebook.com/CurateYourSpaceCO/
Photo of Gundega Stevens.
Fakes and Forgeries, an annual event at Alvarez Gallery Art School.
When you leave NODO and travel down to Colorado Avenue, take a right, go over a bridge, turn right at the light, and descend to a parking lot in front of a building of wild and wonderful galleries: The Bridge, Yellow Couch Creative, and Alvarez Gallery Art School. The Alvarez Gallery held what is becoming an annual event called Fakes and Forgeries, in which local artists pick a work of a famous artist and do their own re-creation of it. The idea makes for some engaging viewing and wonderful painting challenges for the local artists. The works range from Van Gogh, Modigliani, and Mondrian to Raphael and Rembrandt. The Rembrandt self-portrait, by Ed McKay, even had an extremely accurate fake provenance painted on what looked like parchment! The show drew a lively crowd of art enthusiasts who wanted to look at the Old Masters as seen through the eyes of new masters.
The Alvarez Gallery Art School, The Bridge Gallery, and Yellow Couch Creative are artist-owned galleries, which presents a different perspective on art. These galleries involve both the creation and the selling of art in an interesting mix of studios and galleries. That continues in Old Colorado City with a charming small artist's workshop and gallery owned by Laura Riley. Known in Colorado Springs for her art and her teaching, she has long been an art entrepaneur. She often displays an invitation on facebook, under a picture of her studio/gallery, to "Come by and see what I am painting today." She also states on her website that "My favorite color is Colorado," and anyone can see that in her painting below.
Old Colorado City, which still sports many wonderful historic brick buidlings, is like a town within the city and one in which the arts figure large. Along with Reilly, another artist's studio/gallery belongs to Lisa Chavez, who can often be found there painting beautiful ethereal portraits. Arati Artists Gallery presents the work of a number of artsts and has been helping residents find great art to buy since 1977. In April, Arati is featuring the work of two painters, Sally Huang Nissen and Nancy Nuttleman. A stroll down the avenue among the shops and restaurants will reveal two larger galleries as well. Hunter-Wolfe (profiled here in the Art Blog in July of 2021) has a premier collection of art in a wide price range, so there is something for every art lover. The owner, Sharon Wolff, says that the art work in the gallery is work she would hang in her own home, which is quite a recommendation. If you want a Southwestern art focus, there is Squash Blossom, a gallery of Southwestern art and design.
There's a lot going on in the arts in Colorado Springs, of which this is but a sample. The best thing to do is to jump in and enjoy. These shows will last until the end of the month, April, 2022. Most galleries are open at times during the week, and some have artists' talks, poetry readings, and other art-related activities. Of course next month, on the first Friday, there is a new Art Walk, again offering something fresh and exciting for you to enjoy.
Kreuser Gallery https://www.kreusergallery.com/ (719) 454-5580
G44 Gallery https://g44gallery.com/ (720) 951-0573
Alvarez Gallery Art School http://www.alvarezschool.com (719) 337-2863
Laura Riley Fine Art www.laruareilly.com (719) 650-1427
Lisa Chavez https://www.chavezartgallery.com/index.html (719) 963-6925
Arati Artists Gallery www.aratiartists.com (719) 636-1901
Hunter-Wolff Gallery www.hunterwolffgallery.com (719) 520-9494
Squash Blossom Gallery www.squashblossom.com (719) 632-1899
For more on, me, Marjorie Vernelle, see the author page at amazon.com/author/marjorievernelle
I also have an engaging art history blog that talks of painting and wine on ofartandwine.com and an art boutique on vernellestudio.com
© Marjorie Vernelle 2022