The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Troubled Teens from the Past

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Frank Wedekind’s theatre performance, “Spring Awakening,” opens on October 4th. The performance captures the essence of teenage life in the early 20th century. The impudently direct content inspired avant-garde playwrights of future eras, and was subject to censorship for the first sixty-three years of production.  The themes depicted in the performance— adolescence struggle, anxiety, and sexual awakening— are eerily familiar, even premiering a century prior, to modern times.

This performance, which first premiered in 1906, is being held in the University Center for the Arts in the Studio Theatre, starting October 4th at 7:30 p.m. “Spring Awakening” is part of the CSU Theatre Guest Artist Initiative with Denver Center Theatre’s Douglas Langworthy’s new translation.

The uncensored content in “Spring Awakening” is “R-rated.” Admission is for 18 years of age and up only. For more information, please visit their website.

Written by Beet Street

October 3rd, 2012 at 10:44 am

October is Arts and Humanities Month

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October is National Arts and Humanities Month. The arts are a significant entity in our families, community, and hearts. Not only do the arts entertain us, they inspire us and make the world a brighter, more vibrant place. Art is a vast presence in our daily lives, and deserves the appreciation of its many supporters. Many of us are hobbyists, enthusiasts, or even artists, and we can agree that the arts play a unique role in shaping our community.

This month-long event gives us an excuse to add some extra events to our list of those to attend this month.  However, celebrating doesn’t have to mean going to events. It can be as easy being a regular advocate by spreading general love of the arts to others, or even enjoying art related activities with your family, like listening to music, reading, dancing, or drawing. The degree and nature of our celebration is up to each individual, but regardless, let us take the time to commemorate and explore our arts culture in October.

Written by Beet Street

October 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am

“Colorado’s Valentine”

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This week we are celebrating Fort Collins native, DeWain Valentine. Valentine is a California artist who has built a reputation on his large, vibrant, polished cast-resin sculptures that have been exhibited across the nation at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Spectators of his work will be taken on a journey through minimalist forms that are both captivating and awe provoking, with high gloss and brilliant color.

Starting October 1st, Valentine will have his art on display at the Colorado State University Art Museum located in the University Center for the Arts, which happens to be the the old Fort Collins High School that DeWain attended. Also on October 1st, he will present a lecture about his process and his work starting at 5:00 p.m. in the Griffin Concert Hall. A reception will follow from 6:00- 8:00 p.m. For more information, please visit http://artmuseum.colostate.edu/.

Written by Beet Street

September 27th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

The end is near…

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Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting in the grass, listening to music on a warm weekend afternoon. I had the opportunity to do this three times this past weekend—twice listening to the jazzy beats of the Steve Johnson Group and once enjoying the softer melodies of the Seers. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

The Steve Johnson Group is a Streetmosphere regular. They wedge themselves into the back corner of Oak Street Plaza, fitting at least five people and more than five instruments, plus a water cooler, amps and speakers, and all sorts of other equipment under a big, blue tent. They may be located way in the back, but their music can be heard from all around the plaza and beyond. They play old favorites, such as Steely Dan, as well as non-lyrical jazz tunes.

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Community Members Join In

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dAccordian plays with a community member Sunday at Front Range Village

This past weekend, New West Fest brought crowds into Downtown Fort Collins, spilling out over the festival area, enjoying music, art, and the wonderful atmosphere. There was a true sense of community this week, with people coming together to celebrate and enjoy the festivities together. But not just Downtown! At Front Range Village, Streetmosphere was building community as well, encouraging patrons of the shopping center to stop and have a listen. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Con Brio

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Despite construction closures and tremendous traffic jams, people came out to the streets Friday night to hear a variety of Streetmosphere musicians. This was the first weekend of the summer where the majority of performers have been musical, with Susan K. Dailey being the only visual artist on the lineup.

People loved the unique sounds of the four musical groups: MDT 3, the Steve Johnson Group, the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet, and the String Quartet Con Brio.

I’ve already written about the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet and the Steve Johnson Group, but MDT 3 and the String Quartet Con Brio deserve some attention.

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Enthusiastic Streetmosphere Fan!

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Branden Sipes performing with Streetmosphere, photograph taken by Tim Van Schmidt

Tim Van Schmidt is a craftsman, and a freelance writer and photographer. He specializes in writing about contemporary music on the local and national level. An experienced writer, Van Schmidt wrote for The Coloradoan as the music columnist, for the Fort Collins Forum as the entertainment columnist, as well as edited for Scene Magazine, of which he is a co-founder. Since then, Van Schmidt has been publishing his writing and photographs online.

Van Schmidt’s photography career really blossomed because of his writing. When attending concerts to write a review, he was always asked, “Do you also want a photo pass?” Since then, he has photographed many artists, such as Clapton, Springsteen, U2 – and of course our Streetmosphere performers!

Tim followed the end of the 2011 Streetmosphere program and photographed eight of the performers in Old Town. This year, Van Schmidt says that “checking up on Streetmosphere is a regular part of my summer!!” He has photographed twenty-two of our artists so far in both our downtown and Front Range Village locations.

Live music is what keeps Van Schmidt ticking, and Fort Collins doesn’t disappoint. Out of the hundreds of cities he has visited, he says that “Fort Collins has gone way beyond the average city.” Our city provides programs like Noontime Notes in Oak Street Plaza, concerts in Old Town square, FOCOMX, Bohemian Nights at New West Fest, and of course Streetmosphere to promote live music and its native artists.

Van Schmidt enjoys the diversity and accessibility Streetmosphere offers and says that “it would be a crime not to take advantage of what is offered in so much abundance.”

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Dancing is Encouraged

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Sawmill

Sawmill performing in front of Cache Bank this Saturday.

There is just something about old-timey music that makes people want to dance, and Sawmill’s music is no different. The duo set up on the corner of Mountain and College, in front of Cache Bank, last Saturday night where they were met with an enthusiastic crowd who, you guessed it, couldn’t help but stop and dance.

The banjo and fiddle pair consists of Beth and Eric, who have casually been playing music together for three years, but only formed Sawmill about a year ago. In previous years, Beth and Eric attended Streetmosphere as spectators, but decided this year it would be fun to audition and here they are!

Sawmill draws in crowds with a fun, relaxed set, encouraging people to interact and dance along. The duo’s laidback attitude helps to create a carefree performance environment where people can just enjoy themselves and have a good time.

Sawmill will be performing at both the downtown and south locations of Streetmosphere all summer long. For more information about the band, including a schedule of their upcoming performances, check out their website.

To find out more about the Streetmosphere artists and schedules, be sure to check out our Facebook page or our website. While you’re there, be sure to take our survey to let us know what you think for a chance to win a prize! And don’t forget, while you’re at next week’s event, pick up a guidebook to learn more about the sponsors that make Streetmosphere possible!

A Variety of Visuals

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HalfMoon Arts

All of Streetmosphere’s performers are impressive. The musicians invoke spontaneous dancing by people walking past. The dancers draw huge crowds of people to watch and participate. But the visual artists often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. They sit quietly in front of their project for hours, painting, drawing, carving or sewing, and occasionally stop to chat with a passerby. Their craft doesn’t gather as much attention as the noisy musicians or the lively dancers, but the visual artists are just as important to Streetmosphere’s success as any.

Among the performers of this past weekend, some notable visual artists deserve some attention. These visual artists include HalfMoon Arts, Art on Mountain, and Chris Bates.

HalfMoon Arts is an arts apprenticeship program for youth ages 13 to 21. The youth who participate in Streetmosphere all design, carve, and paint totem poles in Oak Street Plaza. They begin with a log that has been flattened on one side. The artists must first shave down the surface of the log until it becomes smooth. Then they draw out their design in pencil on the log and begin carving into the wood. Once it has been carved to their liking, they paint it, mount it, and add any additional features—one of the artists added a tiny strand of lights to her totem pole. The artists can then opt to sell their work to the public and generate a small income.

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Viewsic Art Entertains in Old Town Square

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Viewsic Art

The motto for Streetmosphere is, “Expect surprise around every corner,” and the group, Viewsic Art, represents that to a T. Viewsic combines beautiful music and singing, with the artistic stylings of Streetmosphere solo artist, Chris Bates, for an overall unique performance.

Set up in Old Town Square this past Sunday, Viewsic Art drew in a crowd of curious bystanders. Some members of the crowd danced, clapped or sang along to the music, while others stopped to admire Chris’ artwork. Whatever they did, the audience as a whole was completely captivated by the performance.

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