By Sylvie Scowcroft ’14
Upon entering the Cornerstone Arts Center, one is confronted with a nearly 20-foot high chalkboard wall filled words and phrases commonly used today. The hand-written chalk installation features many of the more than 1,700 words and phrases coined by Shakespeare. Many of the words on the board were already in existence; Shakespeare just used them in a new way. CC Associate Drama Professor Andrew Manley, who is responsible for this installation, has a theory that since Shakespeare wrote purely in iambic pentameter, he often had to get creative with his phrasing.
Manley has filled smaller chalkboards with Shakespeare before and was looking for an opportunity to do it again because in his eyes the words of Shakespeare are the perfect thing to fill the space. “It is a big board and therefore needs something big to fill it. The sheer size of the chalkboards reflects Shakespeare’s monumental contribution to the English language. His words are such a strong foundation to drama and language that it seems only fitting to place them in the front of our performing arts center,” Manley said.
Cornerstone is largely a drama building, so Manley likes the image of Shakespeare’s words going right up the core into the building. Toward the end of last year there seemed to be a lull in the use of the boards, so he decided the time was ripe. One side of the wall features words; the other side features phrases.
The process of installing this project was a pleasant one for Manley. The most difficult part of using the chalkboards is always cleaning off whatever was there beforehand. It him took a good deal of time and at least two washes to completely erase any trace of previous chalk. Once that was completed he got up on his big orange scissor lift and just started writing. It took three hours, but once he got going he entered into a meditative state. According to Manley, there was a peacefulness and state of Zen that came from all of that writing. It “took [him] into a world of words,” which he rather enjoyed.
Before starting the actual writing process, Manley did very little prep work. He found a list of words and phrases on the Internet and edited out the more obscure, less interesting ones. He didn’t do anything special to ensure that the lines were straight or count how many words/phrases were going to fit on the wall. As soon as the wall was ready, he just stared writing. Luckily, he got all the way through the alphabet by the end.
Manley loves what this project does for the people entering the building. Whether they see it everyday or just once, there is always some sort of reaction. For those who come in everyday, they often like to look for a new word or phrase. There is no way to grasp the entire wall without standing still and meticulously reading. This is a perfect exhibit for a variety of people engaging the building in a variety of ways.
The Colorado College Board of Trustees has honored President Richard F. Celeste, the 12th president of Colorado College, by naming the south theater in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center the “Richard F. Celeste Theatre.”
Board members passed the resolution at their May meeting, saying they wished to recognize Celeste for his “exemplary leadership as president of Colorado College for nine years; his deep passion for all things CC, including the interdisciplinary arts; and his strong commitment to building and sustaining a rich relationship between the college and its treasured community of Colorado Springs.”
The venue is the main theater in Colorado College’s iconic $33.4 million, 72,400-square-foot interdisciplinary arts center, designed by architect Antoine Predock. The building, dedicated at the October 2008 Homecoming and Parent’s Weekend, has earned a gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The theater has been the venue for such events as lectures by author Amy Tan and U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan; the first-time gathering of three cutting-edge playwrights, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks; the “Four Governors, One Stage” event in which former Colorado governors Dick Lamm, Roy Romer and Bill Owens gathered for a discussion moderated by Celeste, a former two-term governor of Ohio; and numerous concerts, films and dance presentations.
The theater holds a maximum of 451 seats. The venue is equipped with a variable room acoustic system with which the necessary acoustical aura can be literally dialed in with digitally controlled enhancements.
Celeste steps down as president of the college on June 30 and will be succeeded by Jill Tiefenthaler, currently the provost at Wake Forest University.
The Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center was designed to be interdisciplinary, but we’re not sure that edible was part of the plan.
But, if you want to have your building and eat it too, head to Nosh, 121 S. Tejon St., where pastry chef Alicia Prescott has created the Cornerstone Almond S’more, a graham cracker, marshmallow, and almond cake rendition of Colorado College’s state-of-the-art interdisciplinary arts center.
The six-inch, multi-layered dessert is available Thursday through Saturday evenings in April, designated as Colorado Architecture Month. Prescott teamed up with architect Christy Riggs for Delicious Designs, a program that celebrates architecture through dessert. The Colorado component of the American Institute of Architects pairs up several Colorado architects and chefs to create a limited-time offering of desserts inspired by architecture throughout the state.
The foundation of the dessert is a flourless almond cake cut into building block shapes and coated with milk chocolate. The glass is depicted with marshmallow, and the iconic prow and copper side walls are rendered with chocolate-covered graham crackers. Once the building is assembled, the marshmallow is torched for a glazed appearance. Caramel sauce and orange segments complete the presentation.
The Cornerstone Almond S’more feeds two to three and costs $12. The wait staff presents the dessert with an artist’s rendition of the building, to help orient diners.
Prescott says it takes several days to prepare the dessert for assembly, as her staff needs to make the almond cake and graham crackers, coat them with chocolate, and cut them into the proper sized pieces. However, once the ingredients are ready, assembling CC’s iconic building can be done in three to four minutes.
“It’s fun and challenging,” Prescott says. Last year she and Riggs also participated in the program with two entries: a dessert rendition of the Fine Arts Center served at Nosh, and the then-new Goodwill building served at The Blue Star.
Other architecture being represented via desserts throughout the state this month include the Brown Palace Hotel, Pepsi Center, Marble Garden at Aspen Meadows, and Denver’s Millennium Bridge.