May’s First Friday at The Modbo and S.P.Q.R.: “Film Noir” by Phil Lear and “Remix” by Cymon Padilla



The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present May’s First Friday openings, from 5:30 until midnight on May 1st.  Live music by local quirky and irreverent piano duo Swelter and Burn at 9.  The Modbo will host “Film Noir” by Phil Lear, while S.P.Q.R. features “Remix” by Cymon Padilla. These shows will be open every Friday evening until May 29th.  The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903., 633-4240,

Acclaimed oil painter Phil Lear’s latest body of work is called “Film Noir.”  Says Lear, “The pieces I have are sort of set in a noir film– a dark, downbeat case of tension and foggy suspicion, hard-boiled anti-heroes, double-crosses and femmes fatales.”  Don’t miss this show– brooding, lovely and dark all in one.

Cymon Padilla’s newest opus exploits the medium of oil painting to blend scenes of every day life with references to art history and philosophy, creating a world that is fundamentally absurd, but not unlike our own.  This selection, “Remix,” includes a new oil painting technique and an exploration of new figurative territory, with a stronger focus on the human form from his previous work.

About the artists:

Born in Ontario, Canada in 1975, Phil grew up with a very close love of art. Always drawing and sketching, he expressed his creativity early by writing and illustrating stories and cartoons. His family moved to the United States in 1990, where Phil developed his skills in all the high school art classes, and worked with a select group of young artists known as Smiling Shep Designs, producing banners and artwork for the surrounding community.  In 1993 Phil enrolled in Pensacola Christian College’s Commercial Art program, where he studied for four years under established illustrators and designers. It was during this time the he began to realize a passion for painting, and for expressing the beauty he saw all around. Personal study and a deep love for the art of the Renaissance and late-Victorian eras increased both his knowledge of painterly innovation, and his fast-beating desire to become an artist himself.  After illustrating for missionaries in Switzerland in 1999, Phil returned to the United States and began taking steps toward entering the professional world of painters. He became a charter member of the Portrait Society of America, and has displayed work in several public exhibitions and competitions.

Cymon Padilla was born and raised in Colorado Springs and has had a lifelong interest in drawing and painting. These interests crystallized in his first oil painting class at Pikes Peak Community College,  where he received his Associate of Arts degree in 2012. His work is primarily focused on using humor  and absurd juxtapositions to illustrate the relationship between human culture and the natural  world. When he’s not at his day job or in the studio, you can find Cymon exploring the outdoor landscapes that inspire much of his art.

April’s First Friday at The Modbo and SPQR: Transition by Monique Viger and H2O by Jean Cuchiaro


The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present April’s First Friday openings, from 5:30 until midnight on April 3rd.  The Modbo will host “Transition” by Monique Viger, while S.P.Q.R. features “H2O” by Jean Cuchiaro. These shows will be open every Friday evening until April 24th.  The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903., 633-4240.

Monique Viger is a member of the Modbo Collective and has studied under Brett Andrus for almost seven years at the ModboCo School of Art. Her work has been in galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and hair salons throughout the Pikes Peak Region and in Trinidad.  Monique had always wanted to paint, but ended up putting that wish on the back burner for many years. Instead, she focused her time and energy building a career as a hairstylist and raising her two children on her own after a divorce early in their childhood. After her kids were grown she realized that the time had come to focus on her own dreams. Several years ago she happened upon The Modbo Gallery one evening, and as she watched Brett Andrus paint she remembered that painting was, in fact, one of her long lost dreams and so began taking classes.  She has been studying under him ever since.

With Transition, Monique explores images and their relationship with light. These relationships include reflection, diffusion and overexposure.  She continues to be awe inspired by light as it envelopes form. Her work is going through a transformation in subject matter. The past few years she painted spotlight studies in trees. She is now moving towards the study of forms viewed through the interaction between light and particles in the atmosphere. She is also fascinated with overexposure created by direct light.

Jean Cuchiaro is a Colorado Springs native and graduated from the University of Colorado.   After a successful engineering career in microelectronics, she has effectively forged a new career creating art.  She has received atelier-training at the ModboCo School of Art and has taken additional art classes at the Art Students League of Denver.  Her paintings have been in numerous shows along the Colorado Front Range, and she has received multiple awards.

In H20, Jean strives to capture the colors, patterns and shapes in her surroundings through intense observation.  As a result, her oil paintings represent a unique and specific perspective of natural elements.  With her sketchbook and camera in hand, she gathers these images while hiking, biking, golfing or skiing.  Most recently, her paintings reflect her interest in capturing the colorful reflection patterns created on a water surface as well as discovering the objects that lie beneath.   Many of the images utilized for this exhibition are of creeks, rivers or ponds in Colorado Springs and Colorado’s Summit, Park, Pitkin and Lake Counties.

in/PLANES and Bluebook at The Modbo this Friday


Please join us for a night of music with in/PLANES and Bluebook at The Modbo on Friday, March 27th. Show at 8 pm, doors at 7 pm. $5. The Modbo is located at 17C East Bijou, 80903.  633-4240.

in/PLANES (for Planes of Existence) is a duo consisting of musical soulmates, Desirae Garcia (Bass/Ukulele/Vocals) and Inaiah Lujan (Guitar/Vocals), founders and core members of popular folk group The Haunted Windchimes. in/PLANES offers a different take and spin on American music, drawing influences from 50’s pop and doo-wop to the more modern chamber pop sound of the indy persuasion.

The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. present March’s First Friday opening.  On Friday, March 6th, 2015 Christian Medovich will present “Ungrievability” in the Modbo, while Elizabeth Selby’s “Food Porn” premiers at SPQR.  The work of these talented oil painters will open from 5:30 until midnight on First Friday, and will remain up for viewing on subsequent Friday evenings through March.  The opening reception will also have live music by Katey Sleeveless around 9 or so.  The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at or by calling 633-4240.


March’s First Friday at The Modbo and SPQR: “Ungrievability” by Christian Medovich and “Food Porn” by Elizabeth Selby


The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. present March’s First Friday opening.  On Friday, March 6th, 2015 Christian Medovich will present “Ungrievability” in the Modbo, while Elizabeth Selby’s “Food Porn” premiers at SPQR.  The work of these talented oil painters will open from 5:30 until midnight on First Friday, and will remain up for viewing on subsequent Friday evenings through March.  The opening reception will also have live music by Katey Sleeveless around 9 or so.  The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at or by calling 633-4240.

In the Modbo:

Christian Medovich was born in New Jersey in 1973. Medovich works in oils as his primary medium. He studied theater and production design from Georgia Southern University. Medovich began his painting education through The Modbo under the instruction of Brett Andrus. Medovich has shown work at The Bridge Gallery and at SPQR.  In 2014, he was awarded  an honorable mention at the  2014 plein air festival in Victor, Colorado.

Regarding his show, Ungrievability, Medovich says, “My paintings are from images and photographs that have invoked a personal or emotional response. The ideas are cultivated, analyzed, and sewn together to provide a narrative. I am drawn to the human condition, the everyday and the unseen. The artists who inspire me are Antonio Mancini, Anders Zorn, Ilya Repin, and John Singer Sargent. I currently have had recurring thoughts on the struggles of those affected by terrorism and war outside our countries borders. The subject is the everyday, it is often unseen, yet I question my involvement to this human condition.”


Raised in southern Alabama, Elizabeth Selby has experimented with a myriad of creative mediums from an early age.  After studying counseling at The Master’s College, she now divides her time between being a wife, her work as a barista, and painting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  After a life long relationship with acrylics, she recently began painting with oils, becoming fascinated by the medium under the tutelage of Brett Andrus at the ModboCo School of Art.


Food Porn is a sensual, intimate look at how food welcomes and comforts us.  Instagram and Twitter have become a virtual Rolodex of savory treats, vibrant and tempting from our phone’s small screens.  The series is a gallery of guilty pleasures on an exaggerated scale, inspired by our obsession with the artificial and delicious.


The ModboCo moves back to The Modbo

Brett and Lauren are moving art classes from the Ivywild School back to The Modbo Gallery in central downtown Colorado Springs. After 17 months of operating at Ivywild School, we’ve decided the most pragmatic financial decision would be to re-consolidate our operations to their original downtown location, The Modbo Gallery. (The Gallery was home to classes for nearly five years before the move to Ivywild.)

We enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the growing and vibrant Ivywild community!

Art classes for both adults and children will still be held on a similar schedule, with adult classes in oil painting, drawing, and more on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. Kids’ art classes will be held on Saturdays, and will cover introductory levels of art as well as drawing and painting. New classes begin on February 23rd for adults and February 28th for children. The class schedule will be announced within the week and posted at

Current classes will finish out in the Ivywild space.

It’s the Modbo’s SEVENTH Annual Small Works Show!


The Modbo merrily presents its SEVENTH Annual Small Works Show!  This amazing show features over 400 pieces of art by over 100 community artists in both The Modbo and S.P.Q.R.  The pieces are hung floor to ceiling in a spectacular display.

A perfect show for holiday shopping, Small Works is a cash-and-carry event.  See a piece, buy a piece, take a piece with you!  All pieces are under 24″ in every dimension.

Shop local! Support local artists and local galleries!  Knock out presents for nearly everyone on your list!

The opening reception is from 5:30 until midnight on Friday, December 5th.  The show runs through Friday, January 9th.  Don’t miss it!

The galleries are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903. 719.633.4240.

Everything you need to know about Small Works submission.


The Modbo is delighted to announce a Call for Artists for its wildly popular annual Small Works Show– now in its seventh year! SEVENTH!!

Intake is at The Modbo, 17C East Bijou, from 10 am until 3 pm on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014.

All works must be under 24 inches in every dimension, including the frame. There will be a $3 hanging fee per each piece that is accepted (after a light jurying process). All pieces must be wired and ready to hang (two screw eyes or two D-rings).

The show will open on Friday, December 5th in both The Modbo and its adjoining gallery, S.P.Q.R.

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


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.

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.


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 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

orlowski combo

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.

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.”


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