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November’s First Friday Art Openings at The Modbo and SPQR: Tom Vail and Matt Chmielarczyk

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present November’s First Friday Art Opening in the Arts Alley District on Friday, November 7th, from 5:30 pm til midnight.  The Modbo will host “Create Your Own Dystopia” by Tom Vail, while SPQR features “11442” by Matt Chmielarczyk.  This show runs through Friday, November 21st. The galleries are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903. 719.633.4240. themodbo.com.

About the shows:

In the Modbo:

One man’s safe, middle class utopia is another’s frightening dystopia. Come share your vision with collage artist Tom Vail. “Create your own Dystopia” is an experiment in collective art: Tom will provide elements, backgrounds, glue, beer, pretzels and peanuts. You will provide the macabre vision. Works generated from this experiment will be exhibited later at Ivywild School in Colorado Springs. This orgy of collaborative collage will occur during the opening reception of Tom’s show, in which he will also display recent works of his collage art. A new avenue of exploration for Tom is his series called “elements.” These prints are collections of similarly themed images in a single-colored field. Suppose ET wrote a sociological treatise on our civilization– Tom’s “elements” would represent the book’s illustrations. Viewed altogether, they look like color plates of specimens from an old science text.

In SPQR:

11442 is the postal code for Coney Island, New York.  The images in this show were all made on the 4th of July, 2012, just months before Hurricane Sandy made landfall and rendered it’s  devastating changes.

“Pictures, regardless of how they are created and recreated, are intended to be looked at. This brings to the forefront not the technology of imaging, which of course is important, but rather what we might call the eyenology (seeing).”  -Henri Cartier-Bresson

Says Chmielarczyk, “Long before I knew the content of the work I would show in this exhibition I knew of the path I wanted that work to follow.  I wanted to pay tribute to an analog tradition, but embrace the inherent dexterity of the newest and best technology.  A lot of time and energy is spent debating the merits and the minefields of the newest method of capture, or the oldest.  We find ourselves clinging to these methods as if they were right or wrong.   We contemplate things like purity and patriarchy alongside progress and pragmatism and are forced to feel the inevitable need to take sides.  Our choices of method give us a freedom that can point us toward great creative paths.  Our ability to limit the scope of our choices scratches deep into scenarios we might not have otherwise considered. 11442 is the latest in a series that squares itself up to the forest of choices inherent in art- a contemplation on the limitations of time, tools, and geography.”

About the artists:

Tom Vail was born in Hollywood, California in 1946, and attended Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles until 1969. He moved to the Bay Area in 1969, where he was represented by Reese Palley Gallery in San Francisco and participated in group shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Richmond Art Center, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and Cincinnati Art Museum. In 1976, Vail had a one man show at Washington State University, Gallery II. In 1975 Tom and his wife moved to Huerfano, Colorado where Tom mostly designed and built houses in their rural community. They raised three daughters there and he retired from the construction field to work on his art, full-time, in 2009. Says Vail, “For over 40 years I have been making photo collages. In the last decade I have been making limited edition giclee prints of these collages.  I was educated in advertising photography. In response to my aversion to commercial bourgeois values, I use the “ad page format” to sabotage the message. I try to use humor to give some relief. The use of “cartoon color” also adds to the use of humor.  My influences for these photo collages are Dadaists, George Grosz, and Raol Hausmann, and Pop artist, Richard Hamilton. Also my pal Patrick Siler. Eight of these photo collages are new this year and twelve are from previous years.”

Matt Chmielarczyk is an artist/photographer living in Colorado Springs, CO. His eclectic body of work runs the gamut of available formats and styles.  Matt’s fascination lies in the sheer multitude of choices he has when approaching his subjects.  He can be known to explore the split instants of street imagery and the singularity of a one-of-a-kind Polaroid image, the cinematic style of the 8×20 inch banquet camera, to the immediacy and undeniable handiness of his iPhone camera. In his most recent work he is addressing the idea that images are images, regardless of the tool with which they are captured, or how they are viewed. This approach has developed into a melding of the technologies involved in analog photography and those of the digital world.  Although Matt’s work is primarily derived photographically, his process occasionally expands to include works in music, sculpture, and video.

Matt studied Illustration (briefly) at The Center for Creative Studies- College of Art and Design in Detroit, Michigan.  He relocated to Alaska in 1989 where he studied the photography and darkroom techniques of his unknowing mentors- Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, Paul Strand, Richard Misrach, etc.  In 2000,  Matt relocated to Manitou Springs, CO where he owned and operated The Manitou Center for Photography- a gallery committed to the work of the region’s finest art photographers- until it’s close in 2006. He continues to live and work in Colorado Springs, CO with his wife- Sarah, and their two daughters- Miette and Evalina.

Selected Exhibitions:

2013  “6cm”- Gallery of Contemporary Art, Colorado Springs, CO

2012  “High Tech/Low Art”- An Exhibition of Toy Camera Artists- Business of Art Center, Manitou

Springs, CO

2012  “The 5th Annual Juried Plastic Camera Show”- Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, CA

2011  “Masks, Costumes, and Halloween” -Lenscratch Gallery

2008  “Men on Maps” -Haven Arts Gallery- Bronx, NY

2007  “Sketch Detail” -The Ryan Chelsea-Clinton Gallery- New York, NY

2006  ”Art of the Word” -Haven Arts Gallery- Bronx, NY

2006  “Reimagining Guernica”- Smokebrush Gallery- Colorado Springs, CO

2006  “Nourishment”  -Haven Arts Gallery- Bronx, NY

2003  “Eclectica”- Manitou Center for Photography- Manitou Springs, CO

2003  “Passion Film Festival”- The Loft- Colorado Springs, CO

2003  “Zoom: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography” Colorado State University- Pueblo, CO

Curator: Rodney Wood

2002  “Deus Salve Regina I”- Manitou Center for Photography, Manitou Springs, CO

2001  “47hr. 39min. : New Photographs from East of Manitou”- Manitou Center for Photography-

Manitou Springs, CO

2001  “Miscellaneous” Manitou Center for Photography-  Manitou Center for Photography,

Manitou Springs, CO

1997  “Rarefied Light-1997”- Honorable Mention- Anchorage Museum of History and Art-

Anchorage, AK  Juror: Susan Kae Grant

1996  “All Alaska Juried Art Exhibition”- Anchorage Museum of History and Art- Anchorage, AK

1996  “Words and Images”- Kaladi Bros. Gallery Space- Anchorage, AK

A Reception for Michael Merrifield

The Modbo cordially invites you to a reception for Michael Merrifield.  Saturday, October 11th, 5:30 til 7 pm. The Modbo is located at 17C East Bijou, Colorado Springs, CO, 80903.  More info at 633-4240 or themodbo.com. Michael Merrifield is a Colorado Springs Democrat. After retiring from School District Eleven, he was elected to serve as Representative for Colorado House District 18. He is now running for the State Senate in Colorado’s District 11.  We at the Modbo were excited to see his love of and support for the arts, so we hope you’ll come out to meet him at this casual event.

 

October’s First Friday Art Openings at The Modbo and SPQR: Andres Orlowski and The Murder Show

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present October’s First Friday Art Opening in the Arts Alley District on Friday, October 3rd, from 5:30 pm til midnight.  The Modbo will host “The Presence of Travelers” by painter and photographer Andres Fidel Orlowski, while SPQR features The Murder Show: An Invitational.  At 9 pm or so, there will be a live Cabaret of the Murderous Variety. This show runs through Friday, October 31st. The galleries are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903. 719.633.4240. themodbo.com.

S.P.Q.R.’s Murder Show is a group invitational show comprised of local artists exploring themes of murder, mayhem, and the dark side of the human condition.  Participating artists include: Brett Andrus, Christian Medovich, Claire Swinford, Cymon Padilla, Erin Jones, Lorelei Beckstrom, Monique Viger, Neil Fenton, Phil Lear, Caitlin Goebel, and Robin Schneider.

Andres Orlowski is a contemporary figurative realist residing in Colorado Springs.  Trained as a realist painter and having studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Firenze, Italy and under master sculptor and painter Gene Diakonov, Andres brings an introspective, symbolic and sometimes deconstructive view point to his work.. Born in 1973, son of a traditional painter, Andres grew up in Mexico City.

Andres’ work has been shown in different venues in the U.S. including the NY Art Student Showcase (NY City), Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, OH), Gainsburg Gallery (Las Vegas, NV), Park Fine Art and the Kimo Gallery (Albuquerque, NM).

His work has also been shown internationally at Nudo Gallery (San MIguel Allende, Mexico), Habrin Museum (Habrin, China) and S. Korea.

Says Orlowski, “My work in painting expresses life as well as my view of the life of others through traditional methods that use the figure as a symbol and anchor.  It is introspective in nature, whether it is through metaphor and/or probing of character. I trained in Classical Methods of Representation and at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy to become better acquainted and develop my perception with the hope that my work would reflect something akin to what I felt encountering great art of the past (and present) and to articulate my response to life in its social, personal and natural manifestations in a manner that would strike the pitch I hoped to convey.  I grew up in Mexico City and many of my narrative paintings are informed by the experiences, myths and longings both from that time and region as well as those engendered by my adult life.

The show is called “The Presence of Travelers” because beyond the particular theme each painting may express (and some are directly related to migration and movement) the ‘dark’ presence some perceive in my work is linked to the mute and momentary reflections of those captured in paint in gestures or thoughts that are fleeting but speak of their presence, the artist’s and the viewer.

The themes range from migration, death, sensuality, motherhood, joy, sorrow, realization, music, energy, time, movement, reflections on art, history and society. The work can also be simple exercises of form, light and character.”

Pretty, pretty, please with lots of cherries on top!

Will you please vote? In the Indy’s Best Of? You could nominate The Modbo for best gallery, best place to buy art, best place to see emerging artists. You could vote Brett Andrus for best artist, or any of our exhibitions that you particularly liked for best exhibition.  SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

 

Please vote! We really, truly would appreciate it!

September’s First Friday Openings at The Modbo and S.P.Q.R.: Jeremy Grant and Holly Conlon

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present September’s First Friday in the Arts Alley.  The opening reception is Friday, September 5th, from 5:30 pm til midnight, with live music by Over the Moon at 9. The Modbo will host LIFE>>though>>DEATH, new work by Jeremy Grant, while S.P.Q.R. houses Magic Lands, new work by Holly Conlon.  This show runs through Friday, September 26th. The galleries are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903. 719.633.4240. themodbo.com.

 

About the artists:

 

Jeremy Grant is an emerging artist and award-winning graphic designer. His found-object assemblages have been exhibited in two-person and juried shows regionally in Colorado.  Jeremy is married to an author, has two beautiful babies and loves Jesus, bourbon and robots.

 

Sacrifice, difficulty and even death often precede the blossoming of new, more richly varied life. The poet Hopkins says “See how Spring opens with disabling cold,” and the Christian scriptures offer an analogy of a grain of wheat that “falls into the earth and dies, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” In this ambitious, new body of work, GrantI express these ideas using an eclectic mix of collage, resin and found objects, which he has destroyed, cut up and re-assembled into more rich and varied groupings. A timeline element exists in each of these pieces suggesting the journey of life through death.

 

Holly Conlon is a mixed-media artist who works in Colorado Springs. Most recently, she has shown at The Modbo and SPQR; however, she has shown her work at various galleries in Colorado Springs and Taos for the past ten years. She attended the Arts Magnet High School in Dallas and attained a B.A. in English at the University of North Texas. Currently, she teaches middle school English at Corpus Christi Catholic School.  During her college years, she wrote and published poetry in various literary journals and participated in poetry readings. This focus on the image in language ultimately became her focus in visual art. She has developed her art-making skills by taking classes from The ModboCo School of Art at Ivywild as well as enjoying critiques from other downtown artists.

 

Says Conlon, “If a Catholic artist/magician were able to time travel to Neolithic Europe, take along ephemera from all the other time periods, and create a portal to an entirely new realm, then those portals would be what I would like convey in this body of work. The ability to experience a unique vision is one of my favorite parts of being human, and one I have used as an escape, an affirmation of reality, as well as, a template for how I would like to the world to be. In the work for Magic Lands, I have tried to portray that experience of “travel” into other worlds. The work is shiny and glittery to signify that it is magical and fanciful. I have used the shadow box as it is the perfect medium for containing a brief glimpse into this other world. The pieces are strongly narrative because they are little windows into other realms, complete with their own stories. The boxes have a magical, religious feel because I see them as being a way to present the sacred in a non-verbal and yet accessible way.”

 

About the band:

 

Over the Moon is an experimental instrumental and vocal project featuring the highly combustible “UBU” formant of ukulele-bass-ukulele.  All previous attempts at combining these instruments together in a single venue have resulted in riots, famine, and oftentimes musician alienation and loneliness.  We hope, however, that the third time is a charm.  Former Head Full of Zombies members David Weed and Kevin Rodela reunite and join newcomer Jesse Cerda in presenting an eclectic set of music, with a foundation of jazz and swing standards peppered with ditties from nearly every genre.

 

August’s First Friday Art Opening: Maggie Quinn’s midnight choir at The Modbo and Langdon Foss’ Hzazh at SPQR!

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. (The Arts Alley District) are delighted to announce a First Friday opening on August 1st, 2014.  The Modbo will show Maggie Quinn’s newest work, “midnight choir”, while S.P.Q.R. features Hzazh, a new body of work by Langdon Foss. This show opens from 5:30 til midnight on August 1st, with live music by fantastic blues musician R.L. Cole. The art will remain up through August 30th. More info by emailing themodbo@gmail.com or going to http://www.themodbo.com.  The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903. 719.633.4240

 

“midnight choir”, Maggie Quinn’s newest show, is a multi-media installation of modular dimensions, and sensory impulses– recording events and souls that compile an earthly existence.  The images in the show are comprised of pen and ink and Raku wall plates from the “Many Grandfathers ” series.   Colorado Springs has been home to Maggie Quinn for her entire life. California College of Art, CU Boulder, and Colorado Mountain College provided the educational foundation for her study of the arts. Classical drawing and painting, jewelry design, photography, and pottery were major courses of study. Travels and field expedition study with top ceramicists from around the globe have added a sense of current influence to her work today. Porcelain and wood-fire are continual media and process that she brings to her gallery.

 

Hzazh is an exhibition of visionary drawing by Langdon Foss.  Foss, thrice-nominated for the Rex Pantsaplenty Award for Adequate Artisticness in the Arts, and recipient of an honorary degree at the Funnybook Academy of Lower-East Havana, spends his energies navigating the delicate current betwixt the ebb of creativity and the flow of responsibility.

 

Finding some early acclaim in Heavy Metal Magazine celebrating his Japanese and European inspirations, he spent his fledgling years crafting comics that mined the seam of the human condition with the greasy machinery of good design and thoughtful technique. That creative abandon careened off the curb of editorial direction with years of drawing and designing for role-playing games companies like Wizards of the Coast and White-Wolf Games before Langdon steered his artistic landyacht back to the turnpike of comic book illustration.

 

Langdon re-entered the comics scene in 2012, drawing Anthony Bourdain’s Get Jiro! He’s currently working on a book for Image comics, drawing covers, writing two graphic novels, doing concept design for movies, raising two kids, and trying to find the formula for a Correct and Effective life.

 

July’s First Friday Art Openings at The Modbo and SPQR: New Art by Nina Peterson and Korri Oxford

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. (The Arts Alley District) happily present a First Friday opening on Friday, July 4th, 2014.  Modbo will host works by Brett Andrus, while S.P.Q.R. exhibits new work by Nina Peterson and newcomer Korri Oxford. Don’t miss this show, opening from 5:30 til midnight on July 4th, and open subsequent Fridays through July 25th. More info by emailing themodbo@gmail.com or going to http://www.themodbo.com.  The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903. 719.633.4240

 

Nina Peterson developed an interest in oil painting a decade ago and began showing artwork in high school. While pursuing an undergraduate degree, she became a member of The Modbo Collective and exhibited her first solo show at SPQR in 2012. Later that year, Peterson entered a graduate program at the University of Denver, and she will complete a Master of Arts degree in Art History and Museum Studies in August 2014. Studying the history of art profoundly influences her artistic practice, just as her own creative endeavors benefit her academic pursuits. Her subject matter and narratives address societal perceptions of femininity, sexual violence against women, and the development of personal and cultural identities.

 

Describing the philosophical and intellectual maturation of a typically young, male protagonist, a bildungsroman is a literary genre that generally begins with the youth’s alienation, subsequently follows his trials, and usually concludes with his reintegration into society. Bildungsroman at the Modbo is Nina Peterson’s artistic rumination on a two-year period of self-exploration prompted largely by moving from Colorado Springs and entering a graduate program in Denver. Invoking the feminist rallying cry “the personal is political,” this body of work engages art created by women in the 1970s. Artists like Eleanor Antin and Ana Mendieta, who used their own bodies as the site of both individual reflection and social critique, inspired Peterson’s corporeal documentation and self-portraiture. Experimenting with various media, Peterson attempts to identify and subvert gender constructs in contemporary society by questioning how the rapid ascension of digital platforms and social media enforces expectations, dichotomizes or liberates sexuality, and transforms intimate interactions. Peterson wonders, What kind of growth resulted from my knowledge gained in school and my relationships built (or neglected) during this time?

 

Korri Oxford’s father was was a janitor for a local high school, and when the library annually threw out the old/obsolete books, he would rescue the art books and bring them home, and that’s where it started for Oxford.  She studied those pictures– not caring for the text, but the images burned into her memory. Even if she didn’t like or understand what she was looking at, it was something she’d never seen before. Among the most impactful were “The Dead Mother,” “The Subway,” “Christina’s World.” and “Screaming Man.” They seemed to deal with the severity of feeling isolated in a social world. It’s something Oxford strongly identified with, and it is a recurring theme in her personal work. Oxford has been painting in oil under the instruction of Brett Andrus and Phil Lear for the last 2 years. She has been involved with multiple local art shows like Nocturnal Mockery, Mothma, and the Future Fossil Foundation. She volunteers at Life Skills High school, teaching art because she believes it’s important to have a creative outlet. Says Oxford, “Creating something new is an intoxicating challenge. I paint, because some things I want to see don’t exist.”

 

Regarding her latest work, Oxford says the following: “We all turn a blind eye to the ugly and understated, but in reality it makes up a considerable percentage of our existence, and I think it should be recognized, even if it’s unpleasant. That’s why I often paint darker subject matter. I paint with a lot of personal symbolism, some portraiture, and occasionally surrealism. My work sometimes questions authority and social convention, it analyzes personal dynamics, and destructive tendencies. I’m chasing a response from my audience, good or bad, the worst thing I can be is forgettable.”

 

In the Modbo, works from Brett Andrus’ latest show, Hypothesis, will be available. Andrus’ newest body of work is an experiment in working in a manner that was new and uncomfortable to him– many of the pieces are small, mixed media drawings, done on a more intimate scale.  Thus the show’s title, “Hypothesis.” Andrus sees these pieces as an homage to the process changes he has embraced in the past few months.  However, despite the new media, the new scales, he remains firmly in the realm of the narrative figurative, seeking to connect with the viewer on a sensual and emotional level. The viewer in these pieces acts as both witness and voyeur– sharing a clandestine moment with the artist’s subjects. Influenced by Egon Schiele, Kent Williams, and Jenny Saville, Andrus uses his fascination with realism to find his contemporary voice within the constructs of the classical female form.

 

Bio:

A Colorado native, Brett Andrus studied painting and art history at the Savannah School of Art and Design before returning home to Colorado in 2001.  Andrus divides his time between a career in the financial industry, co-ownership (with his wonderful wife Lauren) of the award-winning art galleries The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., directing and teaching at the newly formed ModboCo School of Art at Ivywild, working as a musician (in projects that include Waterbear, The Men of Deep Throat, Team Laser Wolf, and Headhum), and producing as a disciplined artist.  Over the last fifteen years, Andrus has exhibited his work in Santa Fe, Denver, Atlanta, New York City, New Orleans, Trinidad and Colorado Springs.

The Modbo Turns Five with a Big Celebration on Saturday, June 15!

Check out this lovely article by Kelly Heider on the Colorado Collective Blog for more information–

http://www.colorado-collective.com/stories/2014/6/13/the-modbo-heres-to-five-years

 

Brett Andrus’ Hypothesis: June’s First Friday Opening at The Modbo and SPQR!

Brett-show-card-2014-horizontal Brett-show-card-2014-vertical

The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. (The Arts Alley District) proudly present a First Friday opening on June 6th, 2014, featuring Hypothesis– new works by Brett Andrus, filling both galleries. The opening reception goes from 5:30 til midnight on Friday, June 6th, and will feature not only the stunning new oils and mixed media work of Andrus, but also a musical interlude by Eros and the Eschaton and some special surprise performances. The show remains up until Friday, June 27th.  The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, themodbo.com, themodbo@gmail.com, 633-4240.

 

Andrus’ newest body of work is an experiment in working in a manner that was new and uncomfortable to him– many of the pieces are small, mixed media drawings, done on a more intimate scale.  Thus the show’s title, “Hypothesis.” Andrus sees these pieces as an homage to the process changes he has embraced in the past few months.  However, despite the new media, the new scales, he remains firmly in the realm of the narrative figurative, seeking to connect with the viewer on a sensual and emotional level. The viewer in these pieces acts as both witness and voyeur– sharing a clandestine moment with the artist’s subjects. Influenced by Egon Schiele, Kent Williams, and Jenny Saville, Andrus uses his fascination with realism to find his contemporary voice within the constructs of the classical female form.

 

Bio:

A Colorado native, Brett Andrus studied painting and art history at the Savannah School of Art and Design before returning home to Colorado in 2001.  Andrus divides his time between a career in the financial industry, co-ownership (with his wonderful wife Lauren) of the award-winning art galleries The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., directing and teaching at the newly formed ModboCo School of Art at Ivywild, working as a musician (in projects that include Waterbear, The Men of Deep Throat, Team Laser Wolf, and Headhum), and producing as a disciplined artist.  Over the last fifteen years, Andrus has exhibited his work in Santa Fe, Denver, Atlanta, New York City, New Orleans, Trinidad and Colorado Springs.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

The new spring/summer adult art classes at the ModboCo are now beginning one week later, the week of May 12th. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience! Now go forth and register!

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