There aren’t many alumni who, like Eric Bransby ’47, M.A. ’49 (see Larger than Life), can remember the first era of great collaboration between CC and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. But plenty have connections to both institutions, and at least three of them see great possibility in the recent alliance.
Sascha Scott ’97 remembers spending days in the FAC in a class led by eminent American curator Lonn Taylor. That experience led her to a senior-year internship there, where she handled a Guatemalan textile collection and wrote about some of its components for other classes.
Now a faculty member at Syracuse University and a rising star in American and Native American arts, Scott says she is “thrilled” that more students will connect with the FAC’s collection. “As a professor of art history who co-curates exhibitions with my students for my own university’s art galleries,” she writes via email, “I see endless educational possibilities.”
Like Bransby, Trevor Thomas ’10 extols the virtues of museum schools. While earning a master’s from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, he saw people traveling hundreds of miles “just for the annual student exhibition, just to see … what was going on at the institution.” This alliance, he says, is a step toward replicating that dynamic in a city that has historically “rooted itself in some sort of generic form of tourism.” “Intellectualism,” he says, “can actually be used as a tourist attraction.”
And then there’s Steve Wood ’84, who has apprenticed with Bransby and taught at the FAC’s Bemis Art School. He talks wistfully of a brief period when free Tuesday admission would attract a crowd to the FAC. (The FAC still offers a monthly free-admission day.) If CC’s resources can allow for more such things, he believes, it will strengthen both community ties and museum finances.
“People are going to come and be like, ‘Wow, this is awesome — let me write a $5,000 check, or $10,000, or $100,000,’” he says. “If they see things happening.”