Posts in: Upcoming Events

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

New J Street U Student Group Fosters Dialogue; Film Screening May 10

J Street U

J Street U is a national organization that works towards a two state solution between Israel and Palestine. This year, it has a presence on the CC campus, an effort led by several students, including Elam Klein ’20, who says he wanted to bring conversations, activism, and education about what can often be a heated topic. “We felt there was a lack of discourse about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus, even though people were interested in the topic; J Street U fills this void.”

The primary focus of the J Street U organization is that it is Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, and Pro-Peace, and is generally seen as in-between the polarized right and left of the political spectrum. Klein along with Rachel Powers ’20 and Kalie Hirt ’20 started a chapter on campus this semester. “We hope to open up a dialogue and lead some activism on this issue on campus,” Klein says. So far, the group has hosted weekly meetings to discuss current events and the response from the campus community has been a positive one.

“We provide a space for a more nuanced understanding of the conflict, which has appealed to many students who simply wish to learn more about the issues at play, and our open, candid discussions bring in people from a range of ideological backgrounds,” Klein says. “Even people who know little about the conflict have come to our meetings simply to listen and ask questions.”

Wednesday, May 10, 7-9 p.m., J Street U hosts its first big event: A screening of the film “Bridge Over the Wadi,” which gives an overview of the trials and tribulations of starting a school for Arabs and Israelis in Israel. Lee Gordon, a co-founder of this series of schools, called Hand in Hand, will both introduce the film and lead a question and answer session afterwards, both in Cornerstone Screening Room. With this event, “we hope to present a more nuanced look of the conflict on the ground, which will provide a strong foundation for both having important conversations and affecting concrete social change in the future,” says Klein. In addition, J Street U is working to expand outreach and influence on campus as a new student organization.

“We hope that people realize that the whole conflict is more complicated than it is often described,” Klein says of the purpose for the screening and discussion.” In the United States, we tend to oversimplify complex issues and are generally disconnected from the reality on the ground in Israel, so this event will provide a much-needed human look at the situation,” he says.

Klein says he hopes, at the very least, the event helps us all learn a little bit more.

Students Make Community Connections Through Art

CC Student Art Installation

By Montana Bass ’18

A special collaboration is on display in Block 8: CC student art work will be featured at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Jenny Welden ’17 and Jake Paron ’17 were chosen in a campus-wide call for student art installation proposals. Nelson Kies ’18 originally envisioned the project, which is indicative of a growing partnership between Colorado College and the FAC. In celebration of the new alliance, a committee composed of FAC staff and CC faculty selected the students’ proposals to create site-specific installations for the FAC courtyard.

Kies approached curator Jessica Hunter-Larsen last year with a wish for more space for students to display their artwork. Coincidentally, the development of the CC-FAC alliance provided an opportunity for Kies and Hunter-Larsen to focus on a venue for students, which presented an exciting new opportunity for student artists to showcase their work in a prestigious space. “Proposing installations in the FAC was initially intimidating because of the caliber of artwork that is featured in the museum,” Kies admits, “but I was completely overcome by all the support that was provided to this project.”

Hunter-Larsen says this installation encourages students to challenge themselves to connect their art to the community. “I think this kind of program offers wonderful opportunities for students to think through some of the issues surrounding art in public spaces, and affords our community an equally wonderful opportunity to experience our students’ creativity,” she says. Kies adds, “This art project provides an avenue for community members to engage with student thought. Additionally, the insular nature of the CC community can benefit from sharing with the community they belong to.”

Chosen for their attention to the specific site where their works will be displayed — the FAC courtyard — seniors Welden and Paron, both studio art majors, will be the first to creatively initiate this connection. Welden’s “Heart of the Mountain” installation represents the foundations of textile art through the use of non-fibrous materials. These materials create a network of interlocking fragments, demonstrating the dual contributions of the natural and the sacred in a textile image. “I hope that viewers may understand new connections between the forces of the sacred and of the natural in the art of textile through these non-fibrous forms,” Welden says of her piece.

Paron constructed his piece, “Alterne,” out of a non-native grass species that covers much of the landscape surrounding institutions in the Colorado Springs area. The piece explores how the lawn is used to represent nature. However, in an attempt to represent nature, the lawn substitutes the natural composition native to a specific site. “Making art is something I have always done instinctually,” Paron says, “But recently I have been fascinated with studying ideas and philosophies through form. Making art has become an important way for me to communicate ideas to myself and others.”

The installations will be on view in the FAC courtyard Friday, April 28-Tuesday, May 23. You’re invited to the CC Student Artist Exhibition Opening Friday, April 28, 4:30-6:30 p.m., to honor these student artists and further celebrate the FAC CC alliance.

 

“Force/Resistance” Exhibit: Continuing the Conversation

Force/Resistance Exhibit

By Montana Bass ’19

Currently on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the “Force/Resistance” exhibit speaks to the relationship between power and violence, particularly as demonstrated through tensions between U.S. police use of force and citizen protest. The exhibit features the work of artists Floyd Tunson, Dareece Walker, and Walter and Bunky Echo-Hawk, along with the film, “Force/Resistance: From Standing Rock to Colorado Springs,” produced by CC’s own Arielle Mari ’12, Han Sayles ’15, and Dwanna Robertson, assistant professor of race, ethnicity, and migration studies.

The installation comes at a time of national tension surrounding perceived infringements on citizens’ civil rights by government policies and law enforcement. As complementary pieces, the still works focus particularly on highlighting the humanity of protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement, and the documentary tells the story of self-proclaimed “water protectors” who have been opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline for the past year. Curator Jessica Hunter-Larsen says a series of campus conversations coordinated by the Butler Center about police violence, as well as the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies program’s spring series “Race and Terror” inspired her to put the installation together.

She says she hopes the exhibit provides members of the Colorado Springs community, including CC students, a place to contemplate and discuss challenging issues. “An opportunity to practice radical empathy is necessary to begin to make real change in the world,” says Hunter-Larsen. “The exhibition is at its core about speaking truth to power, through visual images and through the narrative format that the film offers. Ideally, then, the gallery becomes a forum for discussion about the various ways in which power is used, abused, and resisted.”

It was Hunter-Larsen who reached out to the producers of the documentary, Mari, Sayles, and Robertson, about exploring a connection between Standing Rock and Colorado Springs. The result, as Mari explains, is an expansion on the idea of protest. Their documentary not only reports the high stakes of the Standing Rock conflict, but also the incredible community created through the act of resistance. Interviewees speak with deeply moving conviction, often sharing very similar sentiments regarding their experience. “I think it speaks to the unity of the Standing Rock movement that they responded in such similar ways,” says Mari.

The inspirational exhibit offers an effective compilation of powerful artwork that calls viewers to take accountability for their communities. “I think the call to action speaks for itself,” Mari adds. “When Dwanna [who is featured in the film] says, ‘What is the price of doing nothing?’ That has stuck with me since January.”

“Force/Resistance” is on view at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center through September 9. Catch a screening of the 45-minute documentary “From Standing Rock to Colorado Springs” Monday, May 1, 5:30 p.m. in the Cornerstone Screening Room. A panel discussion with documentary subjects will follow the screening.

 

 

 

 

 

Experience a Taste of the World Saturday

Taste of the World Event

By Alana Aamodt ’18

April 15, Reid Arena’s main gym will be transformed into the multicultural, culinary bonanza that is “Taste of the World.” Offering mouthwatering samples of food from across the country and world, the event also features globally diverse music and lots of dancing.

The event is hosted annually by MOSAIC, which stands for Multicultural Organization of Students and the International Community, a club whose role is to “provide a space for international students to come together as a group and build a strong community, making CC a place in which international students feel a sense of involvement and belonging,” explains MOSAIC co-chair Eden Lumerman ’19, who is an international student herself from Israel. “I got involved with MOSAIC because it was a group of primarily international students who have grown to be my family in the US and with whom I felt the most at home at CC.”

Students signed up as chefs prior to the event and have the opportunity to “cook a dish that they love from wherever they identify as home,” according to Lumerman. The event is free and open to the public, the only requirement is that you stop by the Worner desk and pick up a ticket.

This event will be held 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, in Reid Arena.

Quad Innovation Partnership Opens Up Opportunities for Students and Community

Quad Innovation Partnership

 

Jacob Eichengreen gets excited when a plan comes together. In fact, it’s actually his job to connect dots, strike up conversations, and match resources with ideas. Eichengreen is executive director for the Quad Innovation Partnership, a joint initiative between the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, the United States Air Force Academy, and Colorado College. He’s spent months digging in to the Colorado Springs community and building a set of programs that connects students with opportunities to implement new ideas, with the goal of integrating recent graduates into the Colorado Springs workforce. Now, he says, it’s time for action.

Applications just opened for the Quad’s signature Summer Intensive. The intensive will run the month of June and is open to current students and recent alumni from the four partner institutions, with preference given to rising juniors and seniors. Ten students from each school will be selected for the opportunity to build, test, and validate a commercially viable solution to some of Colorado Springs’ “most gripping problems” as identified by city and industry leaders. Submitted problems range from homelessness and food insecurity to the implementation of new technologies in a business context. Participants choose which problem they find most interesting to work on and will work in cross-campus teams to realize their ideas.

The program will be facilitated by Air Force Academy faculty with support from Eichengreen, but most actual teaching will be done by members of the community. For example, a unit on design thinking will be led by a premier design-thinking consultant from the area. Other units that touch on marketing, feasibility analysis, branding, fundraising, and legal will all be taught by local experts.  The end result is an opportunity for students to learn step-by-step what it takes to bring an idea out into the marketplace from some of the region’s most compelling practitioners. Interested students can attend an information session: Thursday, March 30, 4 p.m. at the CC Career Center.

The summer intensive isn’t the only thing that excites Eichengreen or the community about the partnership.

“The most exciting thing about this partnership is the range of opportunities that I’ve come across; the breadth of opportunities that are right here is awesome,” he says. The partnership’s mission focuses on students from the four participating institutions, working to elevate, educate, and create innovators in Colorado Springs. The elevate component focuses on events programming and celebrating the opportunities for innovation in Colorado Springs, and the four institutions. Educate specifically involves developing skills and providing hands-on opportunities for students through workshops and classes, and offering ways for the students to engage with the broader community. The create component encompasses just about everything else, says Eichengreen.

“That could mean opportunities for students to serve as project-based consultants in the community. The Air Force Academy, for example does problem-solving work with the IndyGive campaign, and has offered their framework to the Quad to create a way for students to earn payment for their work. It’s work that can be lower-risk than an internship, because it’s just for one project. It provides students portfolio development and can offer transitional opportunities for newer alumni, lowering the barrier for entry to smaller for-profits and nonprofits.”

But that’s just one example. Eichengreen doesn’t want the partnership to be limited by a strict definition of innovation. “We’re really trying to be responsive to needs and opportunities,” he says of developing programming. “We have a framework, but it’s flexible. If students are passionate about something, we want to build that in — homelessness, robotics, bitcoin, take your pick on the socioeconomic spectrum. Because our community is smaller, opportunities to get involved at a meaningful level are way more abundant here.” He says innovation can be anything that turns ideas into “valuable action.”

Here, in the Pikes Peak Region, Eichengreen says, there are numerous opportunities to practice innovation professionally, and they’re more accessible here than they might be in other parts of the country. He lists several local organizations off the top of his head that are leading the way locally: “Innovations in Aging is located here, for example, translating cutting-edge research in aging from a research group at UCCS into real-world action; there’s the Olympic sports and outdoor infrastructure; the National Cybersecurity Center; food justice – at least two CC grads are making tremendous waves in food equity, translating waste into plenty and disrupting the food distribution system; and the city itself is looking for new ways to deliver better services, be more agile, and be more responsible with limited funds.” With so many opportunities, Eichengreen says, it’s hard to focus the program because there’s so much happening.

The Quad Partnership is putting the finishing touches on its own dedicated space, a 2,000-square-foot facility right downstairs from Loyal Coffee on the south side of downtown Colorado Springs. “One component is an open workspace, accessible to students, faculty, and staff from our participating institutions to use in a way that’s beneficial,” says Eichengreen. “We have the capability to host art installations, or performance showcases, anything that doesn’t have a home on campus or would benefit by immersion in community. This becomes a neutral, third-party space where the partner campuses and broader community can interact and build relationships. Celebrate the grand opening Wednesday, April 19, 5-7 p.m. at 408 S. Nevada.

He says local and alumni-founded companies can use it as a test marketplace or a space to conduct student, alumni, or faculty-based research. “One week, we could have a demonstration of the national winner of the search-and-rescue robot competition that PPCC did last year; over the holidays, we can host a pop-up retail shop; and if there’s sufficient demand,” he says of the possibilities. There are so many areas in which innovation can be applied and practiced. I hope our space will be compelling, cool, fun to be around, and contribute broadly to applying new thinking and turning ideas into valuable action in our community.”