Archive for the ‘First Friday Gallery Walk’ tag
What’s happening this weekend in Fort Collins?
Well, perhaps you’re a regular participant in First Friday, Old Town Fort Collins, but if you just keep planning to see what it’s all about and don’t manage to get there, this Friday is the next opportunity for you to join in! On the first Friday of every month between 6-9 p.m., Old Town Fort Collins galleries keep their doors open so that you can see what’s going on with a self-guided tour. The participating Downtown Business Association Member Galleries are Art on Mountain, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, Illustrated Light Gallery, Lincoln Center Galleries, Meko’s Gallery & Framing, and Trimble Court Artisans. Leap of Faith is also participating and Georgia Rowswell will be there this weekend to meet people…. Where you go and what you choose to see is up to you–get your map here! As John Updike says, “what art offers is space–a certain breathing room for the spirit.” So this Friday, take time to make space and allow the arts in Fort Collins to feed your spirit. First Friday Gallery Walk provides a great way to engage with and celebrate creativity.
Have you noticed that no matter how many times you stroll through Old Town, there’s always something to explore? For example, this Friday evening, Trimble Court Artisans presents a new exhibition of Colorado Miniatures by artist Patsy Barry. At The Center for Fine Art Photography, you can also see the photographs of 39 artists from 4 countries, selected by Chris Jordan for the Works of Man exhibition and experience Poetry Night in the cafe. If you’d like to take a “peek” at the kind of art and furniture Fort Collins area residents collect, see the exhibition Fort Collins Collects, at FCMOCA. Then, over at Old Town Art and Framery, you can see the original painting used for this year’s Fort Collins Jazz Experience poster and meet the artist Daryl Price at a special reception. As Peggy Lyle, from the Downtown Business Association, says, “The image is a perfect example of how jazz can transcend music and blossom into many art forms, making jazz a subculture and way of thought. It perfectly embodies the Fort Collins Jazz Experience’s mission and emphasis.” The list goes on. . . You could visit the new gallery Kirsten wrote about last week — Leap of Faith on Oak Street, or plan to enjoy the summer evening by listening to local jazz musician Kenny Workman, the scheduled performer for Benny and Jerry’s FAC Concert Series. Old Town Square isn’t the only place to listen to music on Friday night either. All over Fort Collins you can hear cool sounds, including the The Poudre River Irregulars and Heidi and the Rhythm Rollers at Avo’s, and All that Jazz: Kevin Kerrick and Friends over at The Tap Room (@ Catalyst). Get more details at the Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.~Erma Bombeck
Entrancing. Provocative. Celebratory. Poignant. Mythic. These are just some of the ways I have heard people in the community describe their engagement with the ideas and performances shared by the Imagination Fair and Laurie Anderson this past weekend. My family was downtown on Friday evening to capture the performances and music there on an early summer evening and witnessed the atmosphere created by That 1 Guy and others on the Oak Street Plaza. So caught up were we in the relaxed, fun filled atmosphere, we did not even make it to see what was happening at Opera Galleria! Others, however, journeyed on to be captivated by the Laser Harps and the works of local artists presented in CoCOA’s annual member exhibition at the Poudre River Arts Center as they voted on the People’s Choice Awards and celebrated our own local art community at the First Friday Gallery Walk.
Then on Saturday, a close to full house at the Lincoln Center witnessed the extraordinary talent of Laurie Anderson as she mixed music, metaphor, social commentary, light, life and air to fill that space with imagination, laughter and reflection. With stories ranging across the continent and beyond, Anderson enthralled the audience with accounts of small Amish boys learning to kiss without affection, hitch-hiking to the North Pole, staying in bed all day and teaching adult students at night school, narrowly escaping a hatchet and more successfully escaping the burn ward as a child, not to mention the precise performances of working at McDonald’s. She, the “ugly one with the jewels”, also spoke on indigenous people’s encounters with that strange tribe that calls themselves ‘anthropologists’, all the time reminding the audience of the ways we learn to be with each other and the multiple and diverse motivations for our actions, be they money, salvation, education and of course, self-preservation and identity.
Outlining “the stories of stories”, Anderson asked the audience “what are days for?” and to reflect on what some have described as the end of ‘American Empire’, when the people realized, like her little dog, that “attacks could come from above as well.” It was an evening of remembering (re-membering, or the ways in which we bring people from the back of our mind to the forefront of same) and forgetting, not to mention reflecting on what we choose to remember and forget in our stories. As I watched her skip lithely on stage to acknowledge her standing ovation for the third time, I dreamed that I might find myself at her age, capable of such wit, energy, art and love of life. It was an evening that will stay with me for a long time.
Tomorrow, the Science Café presents Dr Arlyn Andrews of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Laboratories) in Boulder. Dr Andrews’ presentation is entitled “Carbon Detectives” and discusses her colleagues’ efforts to monitor and understand the global carbon cycle and the importance of taking quick action to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. The event is free and starts at 5:30pm at the Stonehouse Grille - we hope to see you there!
Don’t forget to leave us a comment on your experiences of these events – it would be great to hear from you!
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
The fewer expectations you have, the better.
Although we often separate art and science as distinct pursuits, innovative art and science are connected by the process of creative imagination. Throughout history, human imagination has consistently stretched the question of “why?” into the realm of “why not?” and in the process, adjusted our very concepts of reality. However you define it, Imagination, involves the process of reorganizing what we think we know. It’s the ability to question and risk seeing something outside the boundaries of what is “supposed,” to be—the rearranging of variables in new ways! Collectively, we often imagine someone like Albert Einstein, with his signature tousled hair, as a genius for his construction of knowledge and contributions to physics. Einstein published over 300 hundred scientific works, (and more than 150 non-scientific ones)—no small feat—he also said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” “
Another innovative thinker, Carl Sagan said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” Where has your imagination taken you lately? This weekend you don’t have to physically travel very far to explore new possibilities, and stretch your imagination. At the free Beet Street Imagination Fair, downtown, Fort Collins, (June 5, 5-9 p.m.) you can experience performances and demonstrations that explode the boundaries of science and technology, art and music! This month’s First Friday Gallery Walk (the monthly, evening, opportunity to explore the visual art offerings in Old Town) has an added performance dimension where cutting edge technology meets artistic expression.
On Saturday, at the Oak Street Plaza, Christopher “C3” Cardone demonstrates that becoming an accomplished musician is not a destination, but the ticket to musically travel even further. He builds his own instruments to create an amazing range of sounds and rhythms. Don’t miss your opportunity to journey to his corner of the universe—you never know what will be included in his performance! Later, That 1 Guy, aka Mike Silverman, will continue to push the limits of making music. Silverman, a classically trained upright bassist, imagined and engineered a bass out of electronically wired steel plumbing in an effort to find the perfect sound. You’re invited to hear his solutions!
At Opera Galleria (123 North College), event partner, Discovery Science Center, Colorado’s NASA link site, will showcase NASA exhibits and “hands-on” activities. You can also see award-winning student science fair exhibits. The Poudre School District’s Alpine Robotics Team 159 (students from Poudre High School, Lincoln and Preston Junior Highs) will demonstrate their robotic inventions, and the CSU Engines and Energy Conservation Laboratory will showcase their low cost, high-performance cookstoves, engineered for the developing world. Imagine that! Kids of all ages are also invited to not only listen but “play” Laser Harps with traditional harp strings replaced by laser strings. The harps were designed so that large groups can play simultaneously, using interactive movement, dance, and light to trigger sound. The result? A visual and musical performance you won’t forget! Impact Dance Company will also join in for special collaborative performances at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm.
Then on Saturday evening, creative pioneer, visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist Laurie Anderson will be in Fort Collins to follow the Imagination Fair. Get your ticket to be transported by her Burning Leaves: A Retrospective, Songs and Stories 2009 at the Lincoln Center box office. Anderson, a self proclaimed “techno-geek,” spins offbeat adventure stories, in an intimate evening of voice, electronics and violin. Her songs and stories include pieces from her acclaimed solo shows The Speed of Darkness, Happiness, The End of the Moon, and Homeland. Among many accomplishments, in 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA—and you can hear some of her avant-garde interpretation of her adventures into that great unknown. Don’t be surprised if her surreal melodies and your imagination sweep you off on an unexpected trip!
Nothing happens without a start as a dream.
Over the next few weeks here in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado, we will be visited by several inspiring, determined and brave artists and scientists as we explore diverse forms of creativity across many realms of life. Tomorrow, Wednesday May 13, we will be amazed at Science Café to discover new forms of waste management using biogas technologies as Dr. Sybil Sharvelle, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CSU leads us in a discussion on renewable and renewing energies. Science Café will be held at the Stonehouse Grille from 5:30 to 7pm and is free to attend.
On Monday, May 18 at the Lincoln Center, Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, her bestselling memoir will share with us her story of struggle, determination and inspiration in a childhood characterized by hunger, love, poverty, beauty and chaos. Her story, as the latest in our series of Thought Leaders highlights the strength of the human spirit and its ever renewing and renewable energy and the power of inspiration to turn adversity to triumph. Once a reporter making her money from celebrity gossip, in The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls turns the spotlight on her own life to show that indeed, truth can be stranger than fiction! Her work is used all over the nation in literature, psychology and child development courses; and Walls demonstrates to her audiences how everyone has a story and we are more alike than we think, suffering the same struggles, inspired by similar dreams and blessed with strong spirits. The conversation starts at 7pm with tickets available at www.lctix.com. Check out the audio interview here!
As schools get out and graduation caps get thrown in the air, June and its promise of summer also brings several events to lift our musical spirits and imaginations starting with the Imagination Fair on Friday June 5th, featuring Laser Harps and That 1 Guy. The Laser Harps are immersive installations that replace traditional harp strings with laser strings, using interactive movement, dance and light to trigger sound. The harps are designed to enable large groups to play simultaneously, resulting in a visual and musical performance to remember. That 1 Guy, alias Mike Silverman, is an upright bassist often hired as a one-man-rhythm-section, functioning as a bassist, drummer, and entire mini orchestra simultaneously. All in all, Imagination Fair presents the community with a vision of creation, innovation and imagination that merges science, technology, music and art in a thrilling variety of forms at three venues to enhance the First Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Fort Collins. I can hardly wait for this event – it sounds extraordinary!!!
Imagination Fair is closely followed by Laurie Anderson, one of the world’s premiere performance artists, on Saturday June 6, at the Lincoln Center. Anderson’s ability to personify innovation will move your heart and your mind. Over the next few weeks we will preview more of what is to come on June 6 but in the meantime, find out more about Laurie here and get ready to get some tickets quickly as she sells out fast!
“Laurie Anderson is a singer-songwriter of crushing poignance – a minimalist painter of melancholy moods who addresses universal themes in the vernacular of the commonplace.” Rolling Stone
Determined. Inspirational. Brave. We look forward to seeing you out and about in our community over the coming creative weeks!
With special thanks to h.koppdelaney for his image!
Last week when I interviewed Tom Borrup and he discussed the impact of globalization as well as the ways in which all communities have often untapped and obscured pockets of creativity, I was reminded of the ways in which my own community manages to surprise me on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
Recently I read a research brief by Maria Rosario Jackson on the impacts on arts on communities. Sometimes we think that the creativity of a community lives in artist neighborhoods, amateur arts practices and companies, even audience participation in downtown venues and events; but in fact, creativity lives and runs through not only these events but some more ‘mundane’ places and practices as well. For both Tom Borrup and Maria Rosario Jackson, these pockets of everyday cultural creativity are reservoirs for the creative spirit and presence of multicultural diversity in ‘our homes’. They can be festivals, gatherings, community celebrations, informal but recurrent gatherings in parks and community centers, church based artistic activities — anything that maintains and invents group traditions. As Maria Rosario Jackson puts it, these are ” often important aspects of communities that go overlooked and are missed only when they are gone.”
These simpler forms of community arts and creativity provide important grounding devices for newcomers as well — they communicate home, help build social capital and individual as well as collective efficacy in terms of making a home for one’s family. They also socialize newcomers into dimensions of work and the working life of the community, mitigate crime and improve public safety. I remember living in Japan and even in the early hours of the morning, there were always lights on in houses, people out in the streets talking and walking. You were never alone. Someone was always watching for you. You were always safe.
When we first moved to Fort Collins, we lived in Colorado State University Village where many international families make their homes. The same sense of community prevails there also. Residents attend multicultural events, celebrating all their diverse cultures; children learn new games and ways of working with diverse others and languages; residents share belongings, food, toys, children run around all day between the buildings, in and out of homes, gardens and communal spaces. Everyone shares in the responsibility of the community.
This weekend I went to the International Children’s Carnival and as always, I am amazed at the diversity of people present. Sometimes when I attend these events, I can barely believe that this is the Fort Collins in which I live. The rich tapestry of peoples, languages and performances that surrounds me at these events ground myself and my family in what we consider ‘our world home’ and remind us of the often unseen gems of our community. Over the course of April, we encourage you to take some detours in your everyday life and walk some less familiar paths, sharing in some diverse celebrations of art, crafts, narrative, architecture and performance. Just this week alone, the Traveling Heritage Quilt Project presences itself in our community, there is our usual First Friday Gallery Walk on the 3rd, the Fort Collins Museum and Open Stage Theatre present “The Move to Fort Collins – Local History Stories of Immigration” and we celebrate the first open house of the Museo de las Tres Colonias this Saturday. Finally, OpenStage Theatre & Company begins their season of Anon(ymous) which will run over the course of this month.
Remember…Wherever you go, there you are!