Updated: Jan 2
After a hectic December, which for me included a little Christmas vacation to Quebec City, it is now the 31st, that day when one reflects on the year that will soon be no more - yes, 2022. A certain return to normalcy came this year, as the vaccines allowed us to come out of our burrows. In looking back over the year, it is evident that our local arts community met the challenge of the pandemic and survived it well.
NODO (North Downtown) is moving right along to establish itself as a destination location for art lovers. G44 Gallery and Kreuser Gallery led the way with consistently fine exhibitions of local artists, in both visual and performance arts. The artists' talks presented by both galleries allow the public to gain insight into the creative process and to discover new artists to appreciate. We must give a special thanks to Abigail Kreuser who generously allowed a number of artists to gather for luncheons, permitting the creative community to reconnect after the separation caused by the pandemic.
Plein air painting continued with many of the same groups of painters who used plein air during the lockdown as a way to socialize safely and of course, do what we love best - paint. Victor Celebrates the Arts took art to a high point, literally to 10,000 feet. Colorado Springs was well represented by participants.
The Brush Rush, during Victor Celebrates the Arts, with our own Mary Sexton painting away.
Smaller plein air opportunities presented themselves as well. While Colorado Springs has its First Friday Art Walks, Monument does Third Thursdays during the summer months. This presented an opportunity for a trio of plein air artists to spend a lovely summer evening, painting and chatting with people who were enjoying the arts as they roamed around the center of Monument.
Plein air painting during Third Thursday: Sue Johnson shows her skills; Rita Scafidi concentrating, and me behind the camera, but listening to the music provided by The Love Shop, women's boutique.
Social concerns were also represented in the art mix. Finding Our Voices, founded by Joyce Aubrey, uses the arts, whether visual or literary, to help women who have suffered abuse regain their sense of self worth. Workshops are given at different times in the year, and the art is shown in exhibitions sponsored by the organization and other supportive groups.
Art created by participants in a Finding Our Voices workshop.
Photography can play a dramatic role in illustrating and documenting what is happening in our society. Rachel Cubi is an artist with a passion and a camera. Her urban photography skills were used dramatically to document the Black Lives Matter movement. She traveled the country photographing images that represent the movement, how it was received, and what it achieved. Only the pandemic brought her home, where she could take a photo like the one above right here on the streets of Colorado Springs.
The power of art comes to the surface in other ways as well. Jana Bussanich of Yellow Couch Creative and Chris Alvarez of Alvarez Gallery and Art School have taken on a distance teaching/learning task. Using modern teaching technology, they have been working with a talented young man to develop his artistic skills while he is incarcerated. Their show, Second Glance, Another Chance, An Unlikely Trio, was presented in November and featured their work along with that of their student Cedric Martin, who creates wonderful portraits in ink and color pencil. Martin's work is for sale through Yellow Couch wCreative 218 W. Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 719 428-0167.
Thomas Blackshear Dean Mitchell Ezra Tucker
The Fine Arts Center of Colorado Springs is not to be left out when it comes to presenting artists to the public. On November 9th, it held a Historical Black Art Symposium featuring, Thomas Blackshear, Dean Mitchell, and Ezra Tucker, three wildly successful Black artists who among other subjects create Western art. All have been illustrators as well as fine artists. Each has his own approach to dealing with the American West: historic Black figures (Blackshear); Native American reservations (Mitchell) and animal life (Tucker). The artists show their work at the Broadmoor Galleries and while here in November, gave a workshop in the Broadmoor Galleries Art Academy.
All in all, 2022 has been an exciting reemergence from a dark time, and the promise of 2023 is even greater. Let's hear it for the ARTS!
Happy New Year from The Art Blog at VernelleStudio.com
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© Marjorie Vernelle 2022