Posts in: Upcoming Events

“Woodcuts and Weavings:” Jeanne Steiner, Jean Gumpper Create Quietude in New Exhibit

By Miriam Brown ’21

Arts and Crafts Director Jeanne Steiner creates textile work inspired by high-rise architecture, such as in New York City and Chicago. Printmaking professor Jean Gumpper creates woodcuts inspired by the open landscapes of Hawaii, Michigan, and Colorado. In their new exhibition “Woodcuts and Weavings,” their art works together to create a new environment entirely.

Steiner and Gumpper have done three shows together in the past, and the owners of the Bridge Gallery in downtown Colorado Springs were among their visitors. They invited Steiner and Gumpper to install new work in a two-person exhibit at the Bridge Gallery, which Gumpper said is unusual for a gallery.

Steiner and Gumpper had a vision for the space to be contemplative, arranged in a manner that leads visitors to experience and ponder new things as they move through the exhibition.

“My hope is that we have created a ‘quiet’ environment in which to view the complexities of the woodcuts and weavings,” Steiner said.

Though their work is inspired by such different landscapes, they both are fascinated with spaces that make them pause. For Steiner, changing reflections in the glass of high-rise buildings cause her to stop and pay closer attention. For Gumpper, images of springs in the desert and signs of the changing seasons remind her of the beauty of new beginnings in the midst of continuous change.

“We feel there is a conversation among the pieces in the show, and we hope the viewers participate in that conversation by looking closely,” Gumpper said.

Visitors can view the exhibit at 218 W. Colorado Ave. from noon–4 p.m. on Saturdays, or by scheduling an appointment with jgumpper@coloradocollege.eduor jsteiner@coloradocollege.edu.

Visiting Lecturer, Playwright Lisa Marie Rollins Explores Cultural Identities

Lisa Marie Rollins

Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Lisa Marie Rollins is an acclaimed playwright, director and poet based in the San Francisco Bay Area. This semester, Rollins is a visiting lecturer at CC, teaching two classes and directing a play at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Among many other accolades, Rollins has been a Sundance Theatre fellow and a writing fellow with the San Francisco Writers Grotto, and has written and directed award-winning plays and poetry.

With her work, Rollins is particularly interested “in ensuring that institutions that produce and develop plays move to a place where they are considering deeply what kind of ‘diverse’ plays they are putting up.” She explains, “my work is to require anti-racist, anti-heterosexist, anti-homophobic practices in how you assemble and hire creative teams and select or commission plays.”

Currently, Rollins is teaching a course called Rewriting America: Playwrights and Cultural Identity. The class is focused on “plays from multiple American diasporic identities,” Rollins explains. “We are having lots of discussions about how these playwrights and their characters imagine ‘America’ and the challenges they encounter or struggles they endure either around identity or around the notions of ‘success’ and the ‘American Dream,’” she continues.

During Block 6, Rollins will teach Writing for Performance, in which she’ll use “immigrant or people of color narratives including some strong feminist perspectives.” With these courses, Rollins hopes to push students to consider themselves in relation to the world around them. “There is so much fear in the ways we communicate, fear about making mistakes and being called out, fear of being ridiculed, of being ostracized, of being rejected from community or from people we love, so much fear. I think about Audre Lorde and her question to us after she told us that “your silence will not protect you,” Rollins says. “My hope is that I can provide a place to begin to find and voice those small truths.”

In addition to teaching, Rollins is directing the world premiere of former CC Professor of Theatre and Dance Idris Goodwin’s play “American Prom.” It is the story of a segregated prom in current-day America, and “asks us to push ourselves to acknowledge the world as it is, so we can actually find a way to begin to change it, to change ourselves,” Rollins says. The play is showing at UCCS until Feb. 10.

Carlton Gamer Celebrates 90 Years of Life with Special Concert

Carlton Gamer

By: Miriam Brown ’21

When Carlton Gamer first joined the Department of Music at Colorado College, the school’s trademark Block Plan system wasn’t even in the works yet. Now a professor emeritus, Gamer will turn 90 this year, and CC faculty are throwing him a concert in celebration.

Gamer is most known for being a composer of over 70 works and a musical theorist whose articles have been published and cited in a number of academic journals, books, and dissertations. At CC, he taught courses on piano, music theory, music history, and comparative musicology — but he also co-taught courses in the feminist and gender studies, Asian studies, mathematics, and political science departments.

“Over the years, I’ve taught a number of interdisciplinary courses, and I love to do that.” he says. “When you’re teaching a course with somebody, they’re your teacher, and you’re their teacher. So for me, teaching has been an ongoing educational experience.”

If the faculty support for Gamer’s birthday celebration is any indication, then the feeling is mutual. Ten years ago, Professor of Music Ofer Ben-Amots, co-chair of the CC Department of Music, and Susan Grace, artist-in-residence and associate chair, decided to celebrate Gamer’s 80th birthday by producing a concert with performances of some of his best work. This year’s concert will feature artists such as Grace, pianist Steven Beck, former student Mark Arnest, George Preston of KCME classical radio, visiting dance professor Sue Lauther, and the Veronika String Quartet. They will perform a piece that Gamer composed in the very beginning of his career, but they will also perform another that he finished last week.

“I just hope they’ll enjoy the music,” Gamer said. The Carlton Gamer Birthday Celebration Concert is Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m. in Packard Hall.

Back to the Future: Students Learn From Artist-In-Residence Virgil Ortiz

Virgil Ortiz convergence class

By: Miriam Brown ’21

Most students never meet or interact with artists whose work they study in class. But thanks to Colorado College’s artist-in-residence program, students in the classes Human/Being Anthropological Perspectives
and Southwest Arts and Culture learned about Virgil Ortiz’s art from Ortiz himself.

Ortiz, a Pueblo artist who lives in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, joined CC’s campus this fall as a Mellon Artist-in-Residence. His exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College titled “Revolution: Rise Against the Invasion” combines the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 with a sci-fi twist, imagining what the event might have looked like in the year 2180 to make it more accessible for the next generations.

For the first and second Wednesdays of Block 4, Ortiz met with Assistant Professor Scott Ingram’s anthropology class and Assistant Professor Karen Roybal’s Southwest studies class to teach them about his background, the revolt, and his art, including his FAC exhibit. In addition to these meetings, Ingram’s class met with Ortiz in Bemis School of Art on the third Wednesday of the block for an informal question and answer session, and students have had an open invitation to attend any of Ortiz’s studio hours.

“Virgil is one of the most open, kind people that I’ve ever met in my life,” said Cristina Garcia ’19, a Southwest studies and religion double major. “It’s amazing to see his enthusiasm about his work, and also the fact that he gives all the credit to his community and where he comes from. It’s amazing to see that he’s never forgotten that, [and] that he really expands people’s minds of what indigenous art looks like.”

As co-chair of the Native American Student Union, Garcia had met Ortiz twice before, at the FAC and even at Ortiz’s house for dinner. Other students reported that Ortiz gave them his personal email, invited them to his home back in New Mexico, and even sent copies of his work to a student who wanted to recreate them as drawings.

In the final meeting with Ingram’s class, students took turns thanking Ortiz for his honesty, patience, and humility in sharing his work and life with them.

“This time with you is more than just learning … [it’s] transformative,” Ingram said to Ortiz. “Rise Against the Invasion” is on view at the FAC now-Jan. 6.

Students Perform Poetry-Songwriting Collaboration

By Ritik Shrestha ’22

 Student performers at CC are pushing the boundaries of expressionism with exciting pieces.

An example of this innovation can be found in the collaboration between the Art of Songwriting course taught by Assistant Professor of Music Iddo Aharony and Contemporary Poetry taught by Professor of English Jane Hilberry. With the help of artist Reiko Yamada, CC’s innovator-in-residence, both classes have come together to create a workshop that allows students to explore the relationship between songs and poetry and how both aspects can be combined to open a whole range of possibilities in performance.

Aharony explains that “language has music in it, and music has language, so the overlapping nature of these the two fields means they really aren’t that different.”

Through four sessions, students have participated in a variety of activities such as learning how to communicate and collaborate without speaking, studying different aspects of performance, and using the poem “Failing and Flying” by Jack Gilbertas inspiration to create their own project. Even though these workshop topics might not be similar to each other, they were designed to show students how the dividing lines between fields can be blurred to create one unified piece. “One of the most fruitful ways is to collaborate,” explains Hilberry “it requires everyone to bring their skills together but also give up some control.”

Students in the songwriting and poetry workshop are enthusiastic about the whole experience. When asked about her experience, Maya Day ’20says, “the workshop has taught me how to collaborate and mix mediums, and it has expanded the possibilities of poetry for me.”

Now that the block is coming to an end, the students of this workshop are taking the skills they have learned and presenting them in a final performance called “Broken Songs: A Poetry and Songwriting Collaboration,” Saturday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m. in Packard Hall.

Groups of students will finally be able to show off the pieces they have been working on for the last few weeks. When asked about the content of the show, the instructors were hesitant to give many details but stressed that audience members should come in with an open mind about what a performance is because  the poets and songwriters of the class have merged their talents to produce a show that is far from traditional. “Each performance is special and shouldn’t be missed because it will never be replicated in exactly the same way,” remarks Yamada.

Experience Buck Walsky’s Art at Silent Disco at FAC “Snow Ball”

Snow Ball 2017

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College hosts a silent disco dance party underneath Buck Walsky’s “Beach Front,” an interactive art installation featuring fiber optics and LED lights. Artist William “Buck” Walsky is a Colorado native and proud parent of a CC hockey alumnus. He has one piece on display in the FAC permanent collection, and continues to create works of art, including an installation for the Burning Man festival.

Joy Armstrong, curator of modern and contemporary art at the FAC, says she was excited to see Walsky’s art in the interactive experience of the Snow Ball. “I’ve long admired a sculptural work in the FAC permanent collection that is a large wood carving of a bird taking flight,” she says. “I was delighted to discover a few years ago that not only was he still making remarkable works of art, but that he had been commissioned by the Anchorage Art Museum to create a monumental installation for Burning Man.”

“One of my greatest passions as a curator of contemporary art is to engage with living artists and help facilitate the creation of their dream projects, specifically ones that are site-specific, immersive, and/or interactive,” she says. “Walsky’s “Beach Front” was a perfect fit for the Fine Arts Center in all regards: a celebration of a regional artist, an exciting transformation of an unexpected and under-used location, and an opportunity for Walsky to re-envision his initial concept by tailoring it to the FAC and constructing it the way he had only dreamt of the first time around.”

Armstrong says the installation was a labor of love that involved many hands, generous donors of heavy equipment and specialized skills, and ultimately resulted in a “magical experience that we’re honored to share with our community.”

“My aspiration is to create a piece that holds people’s interest and continues to draw them back in, that defines a community, and is a public gathering space,” Walsky has said about the “Beach Front” installation.

The Anchorage Art Museum presented a silent disco with its installation, and Armstrong says that video was her first introduction to Walsky’s piece. “I was inspired to bring this unusual dance party to Colorado Springs and keep it tied to the installation. I love any opportunity to engage with art in new ways, and the Snow Ball is certain to be a one-in-a-million night, and one to remember.”

You’re invited to attend the Snow Ball, Saturday, Dec. 16, 8-10:30 p.m. at the FAC. Grab a pair of wireless headphones (provided), tune in to the channel of your choice, and dance to your own beat under this stunning work of art. Cash bar and small plates will be available. Tickets: $10; $5 members; free for students (with ID).

“Beach Frontis sponsored by: Colorado Industrial Recycling, Colorado Springs, CO, RMS Cranes, Denver, CO.

 

Raven Chacon Brings Intercultural Interactions as Artist-in-Residence

by Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Interdisciplinary artist Raven Chacon is the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s first Mellon Grant Artist-in-Residence, and is an internationally known performer, composer, educator, and artist. He currently has an exhibit, “Lightning Speak”, at the FAC and worked with professors Carrie Ruiz, Spanish and Portuguese; and Vicki Levine, Music; to teach the Block 2 course Song, Poetry, and Performance in the Southwest.

The interdisciplinary course was bilingual, and cross-listed between the Departments of Music, Spanish and Portuguese, and Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies. This is the first time CC has offered the course and Levine says she would absolutely teach it again. Intercultural performance and collaboration were essential themes to the course. Students worked together on group projects, presented on the final Monday of the block. The assignment was to collaborate across disciplines, as some students in the class spoke Spanish and others were music students who did not speak the language. Projects ranged from multi-media videos to original songs to installation art, and incorporated both Hispanic and indigenous cultures. Levine says the course encourages students to think about intercultural interactions and understanding, and exposed them to music and Hispanic and indigenous cultures of northern New Mexico. One big takeaway Levine hopes students have is the value of creative collaboration across disciplines.

Chacon is participating in many other events around campus in addition to the course with Ruiz and Levine. A member of the Navajo Nation, he is part of an art collective called Postcommodity; the artists’ work is activist in nature and challenges expectations of “native art” in dynamic and engaging ways. The collective’s work has been exhibited internationally, and has recently been featured in many popular and critical press articles.

All members of Postcommodity will be on campus Friday, Oct. 27, for a performance titled “We Lost Half the Forest and The Rest Will Burn This Summer” that will take place at 6 p.m. in the Cornerstone Art Center Celeste Theatre. The performance will include song variations from their latest album, which features eclectic sounds such as hacked electronics, voices, rattles, animal calls, and Mexican whistles.

Additionally, Indigenous musicians from Taiwan, Norway, and North America will be featured Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the event “Sound Alliances: A Celebration of Indigenous Music and Culture” in Mohrman Theatre.

Chacon’s “Lightning Speak” is on display at the FAC until Jan. 7, 2018. The exhibit features individual and collaborative group projects that combine music composition, sound art, visual art, and activism. Colorado College is hosting events throughout the month of October to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, officially commemorated Oct. 9.

Join in CC’s Day of Service

Creek clean up in 2016

Collaborative for Community Engagement Hosts Event Oct. 4

By Alana Aamodt ’18

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, members of the Colorado College community and the greater Colorado Springs community have the opportunity to come together to help clean up the area around Monument Creek as part of the second-annual Colorado College Day of Service.

The event, organized by the Collaborative for Community Engagement and the Office of Sustainability, will contribute to Fountain Creek Watershed’s “Creek Week,” which organizes over 70 similar clean-ups. This is an effort to “improve water quality, wildlife habitat, and health of our local waterways while fostering community and environmental stewardship,” according to Jonah Seifer with CC’s State of the Rockies Project.

The CCE is partnering with the Office of Sustainability and the State of the Rockies Project to mobilize the CC community. Grits and the Ponderosa Project, two CC clubs focused on homelessness in Colorado Springs, will also play a role in this year’s event, helping to organize information sessions on ways to engage with the homeless community.

Radke shares, “the broad goal of the CC Day of Service is to support a culture of community engagement on our campus by raising awareness around stewardship of our local watershed, as well as the numbers of individuals experiencing homelessness in our city.  We hope this event will serve as an educational space and way to inspire the CC community to engage in these issues in ongoing ways.”

So far, groups like the Community Engaged Scholars program, EnAct, Office of Sustainability interns, Greek organizations, and athletics teams have committed to help out.

If you’d like to be part of improving and engaging in the community surrounding CC, form a clean-up team or sign up solo: register today! The event will consist of small groups spread over three two-hour shifts: 9-11 a.m.; 1-3 p.m.; and 3:30-5:30 p.m. All groups will meet at the Van Briggle Building, 1125 Glen Avenue, at the start of their shift to collect materials and proceed to their site. CC will provide gloves and trash bags; remember to bring your own water bottle. Sign up by Friday, Sept. 29.

Staff members: Check with your supervisor for approval before registering for a shift at this CC-sponsored event. Read more about the College Sponsored Community Service Policy.

Want to Play?

Chess and the FAC

By Leah Veldhuisen

Hone your chess skills and take a quiet break from the hustle and bustle of the Block Plan by visiting Bruce Munro’s “Thank You for a Very Enjoyable Game,” exhibit, currently on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. The exhibit invites museum-goers to interact with the chess-themed concept of the installation, which features 30 chess boards inlaid with colored Formica. They are positioned in a linear formation, tracking the moves made in the chess game.

Munro’s inspiration came from Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” as well as his interest in the ever-increasing presence of technology in our world, according to the FAC website.

In addition to Munro’s art, usable chess boards are set up around the gallery. The boards are meant to provide viewers another way to interact with the art and the artist’s intentions, as well as to diversify patrons visiting the museum. Joy Armstrong, curator of contemporary and modern art at the FAC, says it’s been wonderful to see many levels of chess being played by all ages throughout the summer, and she hopes visitors will continue to enjoy the boards for the duration of the exhibit though Jan. 7, 2018.

Armstrong says she is excited about this exhibit, as it is the first time the FAC has collaborated with the Green Box Art Festival, in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, where Munro’s “Field of Light” installations are on display until Sept. 17.

CC’s new partnership with the FAC allows members of the campus community free access to the museum’s galleries.

 

Campus Stays Busy with Summer Session 2017

Summer Session 2017

Courses and field trips don’t end with the conclusion of Block 8. Summer Session 2017 is underway with 225 CC students, along with 12 visiting undergraduates from around the country enrolled in 28 courses combined over Blocks A and B. This week marks the start of three months of programming and academic study.

“We’re thrilled to see such a rich variety of academic and extracurricular programming this summer,” says Jim Burke, director of Summer Session, “we’re continuing the vibrancy of the academic year into the beautiful summer months.”

This year, Burke and his team also expanded the pre-college program to five courses, and have enrolled 50 students so far for the block beginning July 10.

And, CC’s graduate programs in the Department of Education have two tracks of students, 35 Masters in Education students and 29 students enrolled in the Literacy Intervention Specialist Certification Program (LISCP).

CC students are traveling all over the world, with 158 undergraduates enrolled in 13 summer off-campus courses. Course offerings range from language and culture courses in Brazil, Senegal, and Spain to studies of archaeology in Israel and the arts in Bali.

Additionally, 118 students are conducting research with over 40 faculty members on- and off-campus this summer.

CC expects to enroll more than 30 international students in the next academic year, and is expanding its Global Scholars Program course offerings to include three tailored courses designed to provide students with the opportunity to adjust to U.S. classroom culture in a higher education context, as well as gain a valuable introduction to the intense academic pace of the Block Plan.

Throughout the summer months, prepare to welcome plenty of visitors: CC Summer Conferences will host 17 conferences bringing more than 1,800 participants to campus June 3-July 29. This year’s participants hail from all over the United States along with Germany, Russia, Canada, and Japan.

Plus, this year marks the 33rd season for the Summer Music Festival. The program will feature 27 concerts on campus and around the Colorado Springs community June 4-24. The festival also hosts 54 pre-professional fellows working with 27 top classical performers and educators.

Follow along with @ccsummersession on Instagram for a look at CC life all summer long.

Summer Session