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July’s First Friday at The Modbo and SPQR: Claire Swinford and Tony Achilles

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. present July’s First Friday on July 1st, 2016.  In The Modbo, you’ll find new works by Denver artist Tony Achilles.  Meanwhile, in S.P.Q.R., it’s “Internal Logic: New Works by Claire Swinford.”  Both shows are open Fridays through July 29th.  The opening reception on July 1st will go from 5:30 pm til midnight.  The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at themodbo.com or by calling 633-4240 or emailing themodbo@gmail.com

Trained as a French literary historian, Colorado artist Claire Swinford used her undergraduate studies at Whitworth University as a convenient excuse to sketch her way through the collections of art museums from Strasbourg to Paris to Nice. Working as an alt-news journalist, she interviewed painter Brett Andrus in 2012 and subsequently began to paint the subjects of her literary research as part of his atelier. She has exhibited her work at Lied Center for the Arts, Black Cat, The Modbo & SPQR, Rooted Studio and, most recently, the Machine Shop. View more of Claire’s work on Instagram @claireswinford or learn more at claireswinford.wordpress.com.

In a new series of drawings and oil paintings, Claire Swinford explores reversals, permeating the perceptual boundaries between dark/light, child/adult, artist/subject, alone/surrounded. Each figure projects drama from within a cocoon of transparent fabric, but the narrative remains opaque, resulting in rich images that are best understood according to their own inner logic. “Internal Logic: New Work by Claire Swinford” showcases six months of intensive sketching and painting at The Modbo, an award-winning gallery in downtown Colorado Springs.

Tony Achilles is an oil painter, illustrator, mural artist, and art teacher, born and raised in Denver, Colorado.  He is presently working from his studio in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver.  Though he studied under master painters such as Ron Hicks, Margaretta Gilboy, and Mark Daily at the Art Students League of Denver, Tony considers himself to be primarily a self-taught artist.  Achilles has been showing publicly since 1989. Galleries and nontraditional art spaces where he has exhibited work include: Theory and Practice Gallery, Andrew Clark Photography Studio/Gallery, The Art Student’s League of Denver, The Arvada Art Center, The Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Inner City Art Expo Gallery, and most recently, The Modbo Gallery in Colorado Springs.  When he is not preparing work for exhibition, Tony stays busy with commissions and various commercial and decorative art projects. His murals can be found in various businesses, restaurants, and private homes throughout Denver and the surrounding areas.

Says Achilles, “Intrinsically, my artwork is a journal of feelings, perceptions and experiences. My paintings are usually inspired by an emotion that I desire to share or express, rather than a concrete concept. My paintings often don’t have a clear ‘meaning’ until they are completed and I have had time to reflect on things, like what I was processing in my life when the work was created.  Consciously, my work is an exploration of ephemeral beauty, relationship, and life as a sensual experience. Among my major themes are relationship, and personal freedom (or, more specifically, the experience of reaching one’s ‘divine’ potential).  Subjects and images that recur in my work as sub-themes and narrative devices include: the human figure, flowers, fish, birds, bird nests, and tethers.  By and large in my work, birds represent desire and the subconscious, the nest represents the body (the feeling self), tethers (…strings, ribbons, etc.) represent some form of relationship, and the figure simply symbolizes the complex human experience.  Then again… sometimes a bird is just a bird.”

 

June’s First Friday at The Modbo and S.P.Q.R.: Heather Bingham, Sarah Tenney, and The Modbo turns SEVEN!

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. present June’s First Friday on June 3rd, 2016.  The Modbo features a show celebrating The Modbo’s 7th birthday, featuring: Brett Andrus, Lorelei Beckstrom, Shannon Dunn, Lindsay Hand, Phil Lear, Christian Medovich, Cymon Padilla, Jess Preble, Troy De Rose, Doug Rouse, Elizabeth Selby, and Monique Viger.  Meanwhile, in S.P.Q.R., it’s “THE HOLLOW MEN and the FINE ART of DETRACTION” by Heather Bingham and “Post-Partum”by Sarah Tenney.  Both shows are open Fridays through June 24th.  The opening reception on June 3rd will go from 5:30 pm til midnight.  The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at themodbo.com or by calling 633-4240 or emailing themodbo@gmail.com

The Modbo was founded in June of 2009 by Brett Andrus and Lauren Ciborowski.  They opened a second neighboring gallery, S.P.Q.R., shortly thereafter.  Now, hundreds of shows later, the galleries are proud to still be serving the artists, buyers, and arts scene of Colorado Springs.  Andrus serves as the spaces’ creative director and curator, and teaches the many art classes held there while Ciborowski provides program management, administration, and PR functions.  They are delighted to have stuck it out this long, and thank their many generous and supportive buyers and artists for their loyalty over the years.

About Heather Bingham:

In 2004 Heather completed her BA in Fine Art at UCCS, and since then she has shown art in Washington DC, Colorado Springs, and Denver.  She has also painted murals for the residents of Cedar Springs Hospital, and enjoys painting portraits, commissions, and her own creations.

Now a full time artist, she and her husband Dustin reside in downtown Colorado Springs with two sweet old dogs, Mazzy and Tesla.  They enjoy backpacking, snowshoeing, and a quiet life filled with family and friends.  Heather is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to show art alongside her friend Sarah Tenney.  Sarah was the first friend Heather made when she moved to Colorado in 1999 and has been an important part of her life ever since.

About “THE HOLLOW MEN and the FINE ART of DETRACTION”:

In the many years between college and her pursuit of a career in art, Heather worked in offices.  She loved office work, but the interactions of people in workplaces disturbed her.  What bothered her most was her own willing participation in the act of detraction.  In the Catechism of the Catholic Faith the word detraction is used to describe the act of disclosing another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.  Very often she would find herself drawing empty suits next to her notes during meetings.

Although her styles are varied, there is a consistent theme in her artistic endeavors: to express emotional concepts and experiences through distortion and abstraction of figures and landscapes.  Eventually, the suits found themselves standing in Heather’s landscapes, using tools of golf as their implements of destruction.   The ridiculous scenes and the muted cool palette of the paintings are a deliberate choice to reflect the peaceful and rather silly attitude which she has adopted towards her past office life.  The titles are references to various business colloquialisms and slang. By the final pieces, in which the figures are alone, the artist wishes to convey the joy and peace of escaping the oppressive atmosphere of detraction.

The title of the show is a reference to T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”

About Sarah Tenney:

A born dreamer, Sarah grew up inventing and illustrating stories. In high school her friend and fellow artist Heather Bingham introduced Sarah to the world of painting and a passion was born.  Sarah completed her BFA in painting from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2006.  Since then she has displayed in over 30 exhibits in galleries, alternative spaces, and art fairs in Colorado.  Her work is in personal collections across the United States, Canada, and Australia.  Sarah enjoys travel by train, her zoo membership, leisurely bike rides, and banter with her witty husband. They live in Denver with their precocious son and two personable cats.

About “Post-Partum”:

Through the artist’s life-changing experience as a new parent comes a deeply intimate series of paintings regarding awe, fear, bravery, and the sad prospect of pipe dreams.  Metaphorical animals combined with raw self-portraiture and Front Range landscapes depict narratives about fighting depression, loss of confidence, and regaining inner strength.  With light-handed application, the artist uses a warm, earthy palette to convey a thinness of skin and vulnerability.  Apparent confrontations indicate a growing reality of personal fortitude and vitality, not aggression, fighting to make a subsequent postpartum experience different. (The artist is due with her second child on June 2, 2016.)

Don Paris Schlotman with Swelter and Burn at The Modbo

Don Schlotman

Please join us for a great night of music with Don Paris Schlotman.  He’s on tour from Brooklyn, and he’s funny and sad like a trainwreck full of clowns.  Opening for Don is Swelter and Burn, Colorado Springs’ only risque and comedic piano duet band.  Just a $7-10 donation, doors at 8, show at 8:30.  The Modbo is located at 17C East Bijou.

Don Paris Schlotman

Funny and sad like a trainwreck full of clowns, Don Paris Schlotman is a Brooklyn-based musician. Most recently he is fronting a wavegaze rock duo called Dolphins Don’t Love on vocals and electric guitar.

Don was born in a freak accident, the seventh son of a lightning bolt and a mountain lion. He plays music the way some people fall over, and his artificial left eye can see 4 seconds into the future. Don makes art, plays and writes music, wrestles conundrums, falls down sometimes, and is a cat lady in training. The reports of his wizardry are greatly exaggerated, although he has been known to make things disappear at times, including but not limited to himself.

He’s played stages great and small, from NYC’s Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom to Tokyo’s Shinjuku Jam and Shibuya Milkyway, to local watering holes all over America.

OTHER PROJECTS

Synth and bass with Brian Bonz & The Major Crimes

Bass player, vocals, and co-writer/co-founder of everyone’s favorite post-apocalyptic rock band, The Sky Captains of Industry. They come from the future to save the rest of your heart.

Two awesome events in the next week or so!

PBR got rescheduled to this Saturday, the 23rd– ignore the date in the image!

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Please join us for this short, informative mini-lecture taught by Brett Andrus. You may remember the image above (sans the PBR can) from most of the girls’ college dorm rooms you went into. Painted by John William Waterhouse in 1888, it is emblematic of the intriguing Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Don’t miss this opportunity to have a mini art history lesson for just $10! Please reserve by emailing themodbo@gmail.com

And before then, on Thursday the 21st…

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Join local singer-songwriter/performer Jeremy Facknitz as he releases his 4th solo album “All’s Well” on the unsuspecting citizens of Colorado Springs Thursday, 4/21/2016 at The Modbo. Doors open at 7pm and the music starts at 8pm. $10 at the door gets you admission to the show and a CD or thumb drive of the album. Metered parking, or use the city lot on Cascade just north of Bijou for just $1. Beer and wine available for donation to those of age. Show open to all ages.

April’s First Friday!

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. present April’s First Friday on April 1st, 2016.  The Modbo will host a group photography exhibit featuring Tamera Goldsmith, Kristen Rodriguez, Brian Tryon, and James Van Hoy.  Meanwhile, in S.P.Q.R., it’s Play Nice: The Conjoined Show, featuring twelve acclaimed Colorado Springs artists paired up, having created pieces in tandem.  Artists in this show chose to work together simultaneously, or by passing their pieces from one artist to the next.  You’ll see pieces by Brett Andrus and Elizabeth Selby, Phil Lear and Christian Medovich, Claire Swinford and Lupita Carrasco, Davoth and Cymon Padilla, Erin Jones and Jess Preble, and Holly Conlon and Jean Cuchiaro.  Both shows are open Fridays through April 29th.  The opening reception on April 1st will go from 5:30 pm til midnight and features music by Brian Elyo of mobdividual and Conor Bourgal.  The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at themodbo.com or by calling 633-4240 or emailing themodbo@gmail.com

Tamera Goldsmith first picked up a 35mm camera in 1985, and has been exploring her fascination with line, form and space ever since, lately making a return to shooting film. Her current work is shot using a Diana camera with a plastic lens. There is a nostalgic “snapshot” quality to the final product, taking the viewer back to the time when Polaroid or Kodak Instamatic cameras were the tools used to document life’s progression. Each roll of 120 film yields twelve photographs. The time frame from taking the photo to holding a finished print in one’s hands can be weeks, so the exercise of creating an image is very deliberate. Tamera challenges herself to make only one  photograph of any subject, so each roll of film comes back to her with twelve unique images and nothing repetitive – the opposite of cell phone camera culture.

Kristen Rodriguez is a self taught natural light photographer. Her obsession with photography began at age 13 when she picked up her first Minolta 35mm camera. Learning her craft in the mid 90s, prior to the digital photography age, afforded her the privilege of shooting on film and developing photos in a darkroom. It was the tangibility of film photography that first captured her heart. In recent years, Kristen has experimented with fusing her love of analog photography with digital technology, resulting in her recent Polaroid emulsion transfer work. In a world so obsessed with instant gratification, Rodriguez believes that it is vital to slow down and take the time to create meaningful images. Her work is a synthesis of several different styles, backgrounds and influences. Although her preferences and style evolve year to year, one thing remains constant; her work is an exploration of symmetry… Symmetry in all things, be it nature or human anatomy.  Her series “Linger” is a study of the female form in the soft light of morning. Of this series, Kristen states “There is something so beautifully fragile in the quiet moments we spend in bed each morning.” In these photographs, subtle gestures become visible manifestations of a reality hiding just beneath the surface.

Brian W. Tryon is a photographer/artist born in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He is a self-taught artist and photographer who is influenced by street art such as Keith Haring, Cincinnati artist Gabe Leonard, Diane Arbus, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Brian has exhibited at Go-See Art exhibition Venue, The Ivywild School, Kreuser Gallery, and The Cottonwood Center For The Arts. Brian lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and children.  Tryon’s photographs are a slideshow of the weird, wonderful and spiritual side not only of Colorado, but wherever his journey takes him. His love for photography and art brought him to this point of his art journey, and he feels he’s just beginning.  Black and white photography is his favorite to shoot. Street, portrait and anything he finds interesting are his photography subjects. Brian is also a freelance photographer.

Living in Colorado for 7 years, James Van Hoy has enjoyed the travel, environment and wonderful scenery here and throughout the southwest. Upon his semi-retirement as an electrical and electronic engineer, Jim began to seriously work on his photography by hanging around with other photographers and learning from them. And, taking lots of pictures! From this exhibit, one can see his interest in landscape and macro (close-up) photography. In addition, Jim began to experiment with adding texture layers and using digital filters to his work in order to add another dimension. Jim has won numerous awards in a number of shows here in Colorado, including two Best of Shows along with other place awards. More of his work can be seen on http://www.purposefulwanderingphotography.com.

March’s First Friday at The Modbo and S.P.Q.R.: Lupita Carrasco and Jess Preble

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. happily present March’s First Friday, opening on March 4th, 2016.  Featuring Lupita Carrasco in The Modbo, with her new show “Paints Like a Girl (observations of the male experience) and artist Jess Preble in S.P.Q.R. with “First, Second and Third Person.”  The shows will open from 5:30 until midnight on First Friday, and will remain up for viewing on subsequent Friday evenings through March, ending March 25th.  The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at themodbo.com or by calling 633-4240 or emailing themodbo@gmail.com

Jess Preble is a Colorado native who has spent time studying art in San Francisco, Austin and Colorado Springs. She creates her art in a neo-impressionistic fashion, portraying as much emotion as possible in each individual brush-stroke, and using a vignette of detail – leaving completion and emotional conclusion to the mind of the viewer.  About her new show, “First, Second and Third Person,” Preble says, “It  is a part of my story – moments I’ve reflected in, and while giving you my representation of the moments of others, asking you – the viewers – for the final perspective and interpretation.”

Preble believes that art is raw information, which should not be hard boiled and spoon-fed to the viewers. As the most honest form of communication, art requires a dialogue between the artist and audience – one that will differ with each person’s contemplation of a piece. She believes that using loose strokes, and bold implications lacking refinement allows this exchange to occur in an open and lasting manner.

Artist Lupita Carrasco creates a wide variety of work, from mixed media landscapes and haunting organic abstracts to portraits laced with symbolism. Her paintings are as rich in emotion as they are in detail and color. Even as a very young child she felt compelled to create as a coping mechanism for an often tumultuous upbringing. Over the years, Lupita has remained passionate about her art, always seeking out new knowledge from other artists and her own experimentation to better express her emotions, dreams and view of humanity through various mediums. Lupita’s vibrant Mexican culture and traditional Roman Catholic upbringing demand a strong presence in her paintings. Drawing her inspiration from the natural world, religion and social and political themes, her creative process revolves around her life’s desire to investigate and merge the images and themes that surround her literally and in her creative imagination.

Paints Like A Girl (observations of the male experience) is a continued exploration of societal expectations and labels placed on individuals based on age, gender, race and appearance. Carrasco spent some time talking to men about how they see themselves as opposed to how the world sees them, discussing their fears, strengths and things they identify with. Some of the images originated from selfies that caught the artist’s eye as perfect representations or expressions of their personalities. This collection of paintings is an intimate view of male vulnerability and strength, the essence of men Carrasco knows and encounters explored through the eyes, hands and heart of a woman.

A Mini-Class on Surrealism this Saturday, and New Kids Art Classes!

Please join us for the first in our new lecture series: Sound Smart at the Museum: SurREALism Style.  This mini-class, taught by Brett Andrus, will be a crash course in the surrealism movement.  Fun, short, cheap, and informative!  This Saturday, February 13th. 3:30-5:30 pm. $15. RSVP to the themodbo@gmail.com

Also, new kids art classes start this Saturday the 13th– please head on over here for more info!

 

February’s First Friday: the surREALism exhibition, plus a mini class!

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The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present The surREALism Exhibition, a new show of breathtaking art by local artists opening on February 5th, 2016.  Featuring: Sean O’Meallie, Andy Tirado, Rodney Wood, Catherine Porter-Brown, Davoth, Brett Andrus, Tom Vail, Lindsay Hand, Cymon Padilla, Clive Nyles, and Lauren Ciborowski.  The shows will open from 5:30 until midnight on First Friday, and will remain up for viewing on subsequent Friday evenings through February,  ending February 26th.  The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at themodbo.com or by calling 633-4240 or emailing themodbo@gmail.com

“I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so speak.” ― André Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism

Breton published his Manifeste du surréalisme in 1924, signaling the beginning of an artistic realm. The award winning artists The Modbo presents in this show may not consider themselves to technically be surrealists, but their work invites the viewer to access the subconscious. We invite you to wade in and experience a different world in this once-in-a-lifetime, all star exhibition.

Additionally, please join us for the first in our new lecture series: Sound Smart at the Museum: SurREALism Style. Saturday, February 13th. 3:30-5:30 pm. $15. RSVP to the themodbo@gmail.com

Modbo’s December Hours and the Ho Ho!

Wednesday, 12.9.15, come see Small Works from 5 pm til 8 pm as part of the Downtown Holiday Stroll!
Friday, 12.11.15, come see Small Works from 5:30 pm til 9ish!
Saturday, 12.12.15, come see Small Works from noon til 5 pm!
Friday, 12.18.15, come see Small Works from 5:30 til 9ish.
Saturday, 12.19.15, The Modbo Ho Ho, a Christmas Cabaret!
Wednesday, 12.23.15, come shop Small Works on Xmas eve eve, 5:30-7:30 pm.

The Modbo Ho Ho is here…

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The Modbo naughtily  presents The Modbo Ho Ho, an R-rated Christmas Cabaret! On Friday, December 19th, please join Cabaret Mistresses Claire Anderson, Lauren Ciborowski Andrus, and Solveig Olsen as well as many other guests for this naughty performance that will surely augment your holiday cheer! Two performances, one at 7 and one at 9:30 pm at The Modbo, 17C East Bijou, 80903.  $10-$12 strongly suggested donation. Seating is limited, and is first come, first served. Adults only please. More information at 633-4240 or themodbo.com

Now in its sixth year, The Modbo Ho Ho is an irreverent and festive romp through the holidays, including songs both earnest and tawdry, some dance of varying (and occasionally dubious) natures, and the odd skit here and there. We’d list the performers, but none of them want to get in trouble with their jobs.  It’s that kind of show.

 

Coming December 4th, it’s Small Works 8!!

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The Modbo jovially presents Small Works 8!  This amazing show features over 300 pieces of art by nearly 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 8 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.  Where else can you shop local, support local artists and local galleries, and knock out presents for nearly everyone on your list?!  The opening reception is from 5:30 until midnight on Friday, December 4th.  The show runs through Friday, January 8th.  The galleries are open on every Friday night at 5:30, with additional hours throughout the holiday season– check facebook or themodbo.com for more information.  The Modbo and SPQR are at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903, 719.633.4240, themodbo@gmail.com

 

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