Exhibition of New Work by Lindsay Hand and Phil Lear
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., The Arts Alley District, proudly present a new opening on Friday, October 5th. Lindsay Hand will show her new body of work, “Speaking with the Dead” in The Modbo, while Phil Lear will have new work at S.P.Q.R. The opening reception is on Friday, October 5th, from 5:30 pm until midnight. The show will remain up until Friday, October 26th. The Modbo is located at 17B and 17C East Bijou, and may be reached at 633-4240, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.themodbo.com.
About the artists and
Lindsay Hand was born, and currently lives, in Colorado. She is primarily self-taught and has consistently exhibited her work since 2005 at various galleries throughout the state. Hand began painting with oils four years ago; the richness and depth of the medium has allowed her to create works that express a vision, a world of captured moments infused with nostalgia. A keen interest in working with paper has fueled her exploration of various print and book making techniques. As a strong believer in the powerful energy of creation, she had been a teacher, facilitator and volunteer with the nonprofit organization FutureSelf, which advocated transformation through the Arts to the youth of Colorado Springs. She was recently nominated for a Pikes Peak Arts Council Award for Excellence in the Arts: Artist of the Year.
Says Hand, “As I began work for this show, I noted the empathy I experienced while studying my source material. Exploring the phenomena of shared memories, I painted each piece from photo’s left behind in a strangers wake. My mental cobwebs began to clear as I walked through my own past while meditating on someone else’s. Hence, ‘Speaking with the Dead.’“
As a narrative figurative painter, Phil Lear’s mission is to create work that embodies a classical ideal, and speaks to the universal and timeless aspects of the human experience.
Murky grays, browns, and strokes of sky blue pile on the canvas to form a barrage of color that both intrigues and gratifies the eye in a fresh painterly realism. As a painter,
he is a story-teller. The often odd settings and remarkable characters of his work is are once inspiring and disquieting. “I’m not much of a landscape painter,” he says. “I paint
portraits.” Charming yet sinister, playful and mischievous, they are portraits not just of people, but of humanity.
Lear’s newest body of work intends to challenge viewers to examine themselves through the scenes and subjects in the paintings. Part urban myth, a sprinkling of Shakespeare, a bit of murder mystery, these pieces illuminate the darker side of the causes and effects of people behaving on impulse.
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present their newest opening on Friday, September 7th, 2012, from 5:30 pm until midnight. Modbo will host the incredible talent of local artist Sean O’Meallie in his newest show, “Things That Burn.” Meanwhile, a juried exhibition of art from community members called “The Figure, Form, and Decay” will be displayed in S.P.Q.R. The show will run through Friday, September 28th. The Modbo is located at 17C East Bijou, and may be reached at 633-4240, email@example.com, or www.t
.O’Meallie has been a leading artist in the region for years. He’s had two solo exhibits at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center which owns four of his sculptures, and his work is also in the permanent collections of the Museum of Art & Design in NYC, The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, and the Decorative Arts Museum in Little Rock, AR. His work has been toured in the US and Europe, and is included in the college text, Launching the Imagination, by McGraw/Hill Higher Education. O’Meallie has a 20’ painted bronze sculpture of an abstract cowboy with its guns drawn in downtown Denver called Cowboy Pajamas.O’Meallie has a background in higher education (he taught art at UCCS for 9 years) and toy invention (10 years in the international market). Though known as a highly skilled object maker, his work is cited for its wry observational wit and originality.Not to be typecast, last year O’Meallie created the largest public artwork ever in the Pikes Peak Region. Working under the aegis of Manitou’s Business of Art Center, O’Meallie lead the community of Manitou Springs, using their own property, residents and cityscape, to create “The Chair Project”, a line of empty chairs over a half-mile long through the center of Manitou’s historic district, photos of which are now used to promote the city in its marketing.
Things That Burn is an acknowledgment that these hand-shaped wood sculptures can combust – combustion being on the mind of late – but it’s also a double entendre.
I’ve worked in wood for years though, primarily because of its physical qualities. It’s also biodegradable, renewable, and practical – you can burn it for protection, to see at night, cook with and keep warm. I happily accept wood’s cultural baggage, but I think I’d also be happy sculpting cheese for lots of the same reasons.
There are a number of ideas at play in my work which reveal a range of considerations in my explorations of perception, and discovery. There may be some social commentary – usually about identity politics and human silliness – but there is often a lot of delight and honesty in the result. The art has an idea that guides it, sometimes wholly restrained by it, sometimes not, but it reflects my relationship with time and circumstance. People say the work makes them smile and think, and delights them, too.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a “fair value” art market in Colorado Springs for what I do, but I still support and participate in the frothy mix of art and culture here. Variation is good. Contributing is also important. The art I do display in the area is usually at the request of wonderful, hopeful, hardworking people and organizations. There are many worthwhile returns in doing so. I love what Lauren and Brett are building here and I’m honored to show in their space.
“What thrills and disturbs me about Sean O’Meallie’s sculptures is their ineluctable play between surface and meaning; invitation and repulsion; direct statement and pun; light pop fancy and ponderous foreboding. With surfaces as smooth as porcelain or plastic, one can’t even be certain these sculptures are made of wood. The Jolly Green Giant’s baby’s arm raises a fuck you finger atop an architecturally rendered box in the style and palette of Michael Graves. “Because,” it seems to say before you’ve even had time to ask Why?” – Noel Black
NEW EXHIBITION by BRETT ANDRUS
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present “An Invitation: A New Exhibition by Brett Andrus.” The opening reception for this show will be on Friday, August 3rd, from 5:30 pm until midnight. There will be spontaneous performances by Sansara Modern Dance Company and Moonhoney Gypsy Tango Cabaret. In addition to works by Brett Andrus, two Modbo Collective artists, Lorelei Beckstrom and Nina Peterson, have been invited to show work. The show runs through Friday, August 31st. The Modbo can be reached at 633-4240, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For “An Invitation,” Andrus has created an entirely new body of work to fill both galleries, the Modbo and S.P.Q.R., and in an entirely new medium– house paint. (Specifically, Behr Premium Paint and Primer in One.) Typically an oil painter, Andrus sought to challenge himself with this new medium while remaining true to his narrative figurative style and also maintaining his focus on the female form. The result is an oeuvre that conceptually challenges the viewer as voyeur and plays with the idea of time and story through each piece.
Colorado Springs native Brett Andrus studied painting and art history at The Savannah College of Art and Design before returning home to Colorado in 2001. He has showed in Savannah, New York City, New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver, and Colorado Springs. Andrus received a Gold from The Gazette last year for “Vögel(n),” his most recent solo show. He was the also the mastermind and artistic director behind the recent “Rubrittica vs. Ceralusia” show at the galleries, a body of work that has also been displayed in Trinidad and will travel to other Front Range locations in 2013. Andrus is the co-owner of The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., and the sole curator for both spaces, as well as several satellite spaces in town: the Rabbit Hole, the Blue Star, Locals, and the Colorado Springs Airport among them. He also teaches art classes out of the gallery.
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present an art opening on Friday, July 6th, featuring works by Trevor W. Thomas and Jess Preble in The Modbo and by Troy DeRose and Jeremy Grant in S.P.Q.R. The opening reception for this show is at 5:30 pm on Friday, July 6th, and goes until midnight. The galleries are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, and can be reached at email@example.com, 633-4240, or online at http://www.themodbo.com.
Trevor W. Thomas is an artist based out of Colorado Springs. Trevor has a strong background in figurative work, having studied in Italy, Spain and Sweden during his college studies. Through his schooling and
travels, Trevor has studied under artists including Eric Bransby, Charles Cecil, Chris Alvarez, Bogdan Swider, and Sparky LeBold. After graduating from Colorado College in 2010, Trevor worked alongside Eric
Bransby for 18 months on a mural for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. With a passion for historical narrative and figurative painting, Trevor currently is working with local institutions and business ventures to create more significant murals in Colorado Springs. He is also a member of the Modbo Collective.
Jess Preble, 23, is a native Colorado artist who has spent time studying fine art and painting independently in multiple cities in Colorado as well as in San Francisco. Jess has become integrated in the local artistic community recently in hopes of strengthening the presence of all forms of tactile, visual and sensory emotive expression. She is the newest member of The Modbo Collective. Jess works as a figure model for various art studios and galleries, as playing muse for another seems just as pertinent as finding them for herself.
Troy DeRose is one of the original members of the Modbo Collective. He is an artist/graphic designer living in Colorado Springs where he and his wife Sara own Fixer Creative Co., a boutique studio that provides design and writing creative services for businesses and organizations. Fixer Creative was recently selected
as the designers for the new Colorado Springs logo, which was unveiled this spring. Says DeRose, “There are times when artists have guiding principles, explorations or grandiose themes, and then there are times when we just need to relax, have fun and create work. This body of work is just that. This is me working in a medium that I love, with images that I find compelling, crafting a response that I think is beautiful.”
Jeremy Grant works in the medium of found object assemblage, and is following the theme of redemption. Redemption is that act of finding or revealing the full worth of something; and worth is often found in unexpected places. The teachings of Jesus show that God finds value in every person no matter how cast-off, messed up or just plain ordinary. Exploring that same idea, Jeremy Grant finds beauty and creates worth in cast-off objects, reclaimed wood and old photographs. Using these found-objects, and the associations that come with them, he creates stories and elevates the ordinary.
P.S. Jeremy Grant and Troy DeRose are among the designers at Wild Fire Tees, http://www.wildfiretees.com. The profits from these shirts get donated to Care and Share, Colorado Red Cross, Colorado Fire Relief Fund 2012, and Immediate Local Wildfire Relief. Congrats, Jeremy and Troy, on this wildly successful, charitable effort!
The Rubrittican Trust for Historic Preservation and the Historical Society of Ceralusia present “Rubrittica vs. Ceralusia,” opening in the Arts Alley District on Friday, May 4th. This opening will take place at The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. and goes from 5:30 pm until midnight. The show runs through Friday, June 1st.“Rubrittica vs. Ceralusia” is an historical exploration of war; an opportunity to examine both human nature and the foibles of memory.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Historical-Society-of-Ceralusia/373620532649872 and https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rubrittican-Trust-for-Historic-Preservation/113045722155133 .
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., The Arts Alley District, proudly announce the Fourth Annual Small Works Show. This stunning exhibit features work from over 100 local artists and is hung salon style, floor to ceiling. Voted Best Exhibition in the 2011 Gazette’s Best Of. This year’s show features over 350 works, all under 24” in every dimension, exhibited in both spaces! Can you think of a better place to find your Holiday gifts? The opening is on Friday, December 9th, beginning at 5:30 pm and going until midnight thirty. The Show will run through January the 13th.
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., The Alley Arts District, are pleased to present a new art opening on Friday, November 11th, 2011. The Modbo will host work by Marc Huebert and Clive Nyles, while husband and wife team Douglas and Mallori Rouse will present “6 Years of Ink” on the walls of S.P.Q.R. The opening will go from 5:30 pm until midnight on 11.11.11, and the show will run through Friday, December 2nd. The galleries are located at 17B and 17C East Bijou in Colorado Springs. Info at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719.633.4240.
At S.P.Q.R., viewers will be treated to “6 Years of Ink,” a show by Douglas and Mallori Rouse that celebrate moments and memories of the INKQB8TOR. The INKQB8TOR, sometimes referred to as the INK, is a large warehouse studio/art space originally occupied and created by Timber Kirwan and Douglas Rouse in the spring of 2005.
The INKQB8TOR has been both an art studio and a gathering place for like-mindeds to play together and let their souls be free. It has hosted a number of memorable parties, a ton of art, and the 3-day “Let’s Make a Deal” event which brought together a phenomenal group of artists and performers in a whole new setting of selling art. Since the death of Timber and the union of Douglas Rouse and Mallori Meyer, the INKQB8TOR has become a man-and-wife project, mainly for the incubation and production of artwork and community art projects. Just yards from the railroad tracks, facing Pikes Peak, the inspiration that this space has given us is magical. This show celebrates some of that magic.
Douglas Rouse, now a 10-year resident of Colorado Springs (the longest he’s ever stayed in one spot), is a professional artist specializing in mural painting, live speed painting, trompe l’oeil, and 3D chalk art. He considers himself a contemporary artist when it comes to works on canvas and usually enjoys working large. This show, however, inspired by the recent monochromatic exhibition at the Modbo, is “smaller and more accessible,” according to the artist. Rouse is also creator of the 12 Mural Project and recently completed the mural on the Warehouse Restaurant building and at the Corepower Yoga Nevada studio. Visit www.rouse66.com for a complete portfolio and to find out more about upcoming projects. Says Douglas, “I am able to thrive in Colorado because my community believes in me. Thank you Colorado Springs.”
Mallori Rouse was born in Colorado Springs and currently resides here as well. She began painting at an early age at the FAC and in school, thanks to her wonderful elementary art teacher. While living in New Zealand she realized her passion for painting and began exploring the art form with deeper expression. Her latest series of paintings is a style she refers to as “vibrating with life”. Mallori’s work was most recently seen at a duo show at A Call to Life and Dine & D’Art fundraiser for ArtReach in Denver.
The Modbo is delighted to host talented local artist Marc Huebert in conjunction with Clive Nyles, a Georgia-based artist.
Marc Huebert is a Colorado Springs artist whose work invokes multiple ideas. He is interested in advancing his technique, but can’t quite shake the childlike joy of random gesture dictating the content. Maybe someday. He graduated from UCCS in 2004 and also studied at UC Boulder and at Bard College in the 90s. He lives on the westside of Colorado Springs where he skateboards, paints, and raises his two kiddos. He also loves rainy days, long walks on the beach and rambling on for days about his feelings.
Clive Nyles attended the Savannah College of Art and Design. Although originally from England, Nyles remained in Georgia after his time at S.C.A.D. He is thrilled to have his first show in the west, having recently shown in galleries in the southeast where he won several awards for his unique abstract works. Nyles draws from such influences as Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell. Nyles’ large, non-objective compositions strive to inspire contemplation.
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., the Arts Alley District, are delighted to announce a new second Friday art opening on Friday, October 14th, beginning at 5:30 pm. In The Modbo, look for new works by Denver artist Davoth, while you can find the latest pieces by local favorite and Modbo Collective artist Phil Lear over at S.P.Q.R.
The opening reception will feature music by both beloved local band Dear Rabbit and the Denver-based free jazz ensemble, The Bottesini Project, comprised of Paul Riola on saxophones, Danny Meyer on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Glen Whitehead on trumpet, Kim Stone on bass, and Jay Ellis on drums.
Phil Lear graduated from Pensacola Christian College’s Commercial Art program in 1997, where he studied for four years under established illustrators and designers. It was during this time that 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-growing desire to become an artist himself.
After illustrating for missionaries in Switzerland in 1999, Phil returned to the United States and began taking steps towards 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. Phil now furthers his study and artistic journey in the company of a group of young artists known as The Modbo Collective, at The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. Galleries in Colorado Springs, CO. He also shows at Mountain Living Studios in Manitou Springs, CO. In 2010, the Colorado Springs Gazette awarded him the Gold Medal for Best Art Exhibition of the year.
Phil Lear has always strived to bring an emotional charge to his work, a charge that he intends to have resonate with the viewer long after the initial viewing. Murky grays, browns, and strokes of sky blue pile on the canvas to form a barrage of color that both intrigues and gratifies the eye in a fresh painterly realism. As a story-teller, his canvases are peopled, with a disparate, ragtag band of characters whose entrance on the scene can be at once inspiring and disquieting—wild-eyed youth, brooding poets, defiant downtrodden martyrs, spellbinding vixens, and fallen angels, tragic heroes and the criminally bent. They are strangers, but with a deep connection to the distant song of reality and life. “As a narrative figurative painter, I feel a mission to create work that embodies the classical ideal, and speaks to the universal and timeless aspects of the human experience.”
Davoth was born in Chicago, grew up in Kansas, and escaped to Colorado Springs in 1996. He began making sculpture and eventually paintings as both a positive and negative response to a trip to Santa Fe, NM. Davoth has kept his creative and aesthetic education to the very individual and minimal so as to both control direction and also to limit influence from various schools of art theory and conserve originality. He now resides in Denver, CO.
Davoth finds the world to be a chaotic, yet incredibly beautiful place. In shunning his more natural sense for clarity and order and making the effort to notice his surroundings at each second, Davoth is able to stay open to the new and the fresh; it is then that he is most in awe of the world. His work comes from a place of simple idea, over which many changes occur organically. The artist prides himself on avoiding academic aesthetic choices, instead trusting his instincts to produce meaningful artistic compositions.
Please join The Arts Alley District—The Modbo and S.P.Q.R.—for its newest art opening! Our +1 Monochromatic Show opens on Friday, September 9th, at 5:30 pm. In the Modbo, look for monochromatic works by members of The Modbo Collective. In S.P.Q.R., you can find monochromatic works by community members who were selected through a jurying process with jurors Rodney Wood, Lorelei Beckstrom, and Brett Andrus.
The opening reception will feature live music by Paul Riola’s Cellar Door!
Modbo Collective members represented include: Lorelei Beckstrom, Trevor Thomas, Troy DeRose, Brett Andrus, Phil Lear, Jess Preble, and Nina Peterson. In S.P.Q.R., look for 29 community artists such as Sean O’Meallie, Phil Vallejo, up-and-coming artists Dave Tweedy, Monique Viger, and more!
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., The Arts Alley District, are delighted to present a new opening, “Boys vs. Girls,” on Friday, August 12th, from 5:30 until late. This exhibit will feature Trevor Thomas, Drew LiVigni, and Jeremy Grant in The Modbo and Jess Preble, Erin Jones, and Nina Peterson in S.P.Q.R.
The Boys in The Modbo
Drew LiVigni is primarily self taught and has worked with many types of media through the years. He is currently working in digital/mixed media. His works are small narrative snapshots filled with nostalgia and whimsy. Drew lives and works in Colorado Springs, is married to artist Lindsay Hand, and they are expecting their first child.
In college, Jeremy Grant began to collect pieces of junk and, drawing on his past 15 years of experience in art classes, began to assemble those found objects into wall-hanging sculptures. This means of restoring and redeeming the throw-away artifacts of society inspired him and, in this union of concept and form, Jeremy found his artistic niche. Seven years later, after receiving Bachelor degrees in Illustration and Graphic Design from John Brown University, Jeremy continues his restorative sculpture work as he plays a mild-mannered graphic designer by day and a fearless fine-artist by night. He seeks to restore the good faith of his neighbors, friends, and anyone else willing to engage with contemporary art through speaking about art in a way that is inclusive and easy to understand. Jeremy Grant’s sculpture has been featured in Colorado galleries, public spaces and online.
Trevor Thomas is a representational painter and draftsman from Colorado Springs, CO. He is a recent graduate of Colorado College (2010) with a B.A. in fine art and is currently the apprentice to Eric Bransby on a mural commission for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center [projected to be completed in fall 2011]. Trevor is also represented as a collective member of the Modbo and SPQR in downtown Colorado Springs.
Trevor has a strong foundation in figurative drawing and painting. While at Colorado College, he devoted himself to studying the figure. This involved several study abroad programs, including a three monthfigure drawing intensive at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy. Locally, Trevor has studied the figure with Bogdan Swider, Chris Alvarez, and Eric Bransby.
Since November 2010, Trevor has worked along side Eric Bransby on the Fine Arts Center Mural. During this time, Trevor has established a profound understanding of the figure and wall painting. Under Eric’s tutelage, Trevor is learning fresco painting practices and figure drawing intricacies. Upon completion of the mural, Trevor has aspirations to earn an MFA in painting.
The Girls at S.P.Q.R.
Nina Peterson, a member of The Modbo Collective, recently graduated from UCCS with a degree in Art History. She intends to pursue a graduate degree in Art History as well. Her current work attempts to identify and dismantle gender stereotypes by redefining traditional gender roles and reappropriating the female nude. The usage of two disparate mediums, paint and ball point pen, allows Nina to explore control in relation to both gender and artistic relationships. However, aesthetics are paramount to her finished work as she finds her subject matter – nude women or mutilated rabbit maxillae – to be beautiful. Nina spends many hours sunbathing in her studio as she works under the adoring gaze of her most supportive and fluffiest fan, Fat Cat Bobby.
Erin Jones, 20, is an emerging artist native to Colorado Springs. Her role in the community started in 2003 with the non-profit youth art organization, Futureself, where she dove into countless art mediums as a student, volunteer, assistant, and teacher. She gained success in high school with enrollment into AP and IB art classes, a paid internship at the Smokebrush Foundation of the Arts, and participation in many juried art exhibitions such as Wunderkind, Scholastics, and the Young Peoples Art Exhibitions. Since then, Erin has shifted her attention to a new-found love of oil painting. With a primary focus in portraiture and figurative studies, she is inspired by the opportunity to capture one’s story by depicting scenarios just outside of reality. Erin is eager to continue creating a body of work to show in galleries across the state and country.
Jess Preble, 23, is a native Colorado artist who has spent time studying fine art and painting independently in multiple cities in Colorado as well as in San Francisco. She currently attends Pikes Peak Community College in the Associates of Arts program. Jess has become integrated in the local artistic community recently in hopes of strengthening the presence of all forms of tactile, visual and sensory emotive expression. She is the newest member of The Modbo Collective. Jess works full time as a figure model for various art studios and galleries, as playing muse for another seems just as pertinent as finding them for herself. The juxtaposition of experience and personally subjective interpretation of provoked external influence has culminated in her current series of misfit portraits and cityscapes.
The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., The Arts Alley District, are pleased to present solo shows by Brett Andrus and Lorelei Beckstrom. Their first solo shows in three and two years, respectively, Andrus’ new body of work is called “Vögel(n),” and Beckstrom’s, “The History of the Future.”
The opening reception for this show will be on Friday, May 13th, 2011, in The Arts Alley District beginning at 5:30 and going until midnight. Entertainment will include accordion music by The Good Morning Terrorist, live free jazz by The Bottesini Project, and some special performances that you’ll have to see to believe!
Colorado Springs native Brett Andrus studied painting and art history at The Savannah College of Art and Design before returning home to Colorado in 2001. He has showed in Savannah, New York City, New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver, and Colorado Springs. “Vögel(n)” is his first solo show in three years, although he showed jointly with Lindsay Hand in August of 2010 for “The 30 Day Portrait Experience” at The Modbo. Andrus is the co-owner of The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., and the sole curator for both spaces, as well as several satellite spaces in town: the VBar, the Blue Star, and the Colorado Springs Airport among them.
For Andrus, the process of creating a new body of work for “Vögel(n)” has been a process of redefining his visual aesthetic and regaining his control of his medium. “This is a show that I’ve been wanting to paint,” Andrus says. Inspired by the magnificent art he saw on his recent honeymoon in Europe, Andrus conceived a body of work that was not only painted masterfully, but with the intent of connecting with the viewer on an emotional rather than solely intellectual level. Additionally, he challenged himself to paint in a much looser and faster style than he had previously been accustomed to. Andrus refers to his work as “skewed rococo.” Additionally, says Andrus, his work “possesses a touch of the absurd without being inaccessible.” “Vögel(n)” is comprised of over a dozen works, all of them large scale narrative oils on panels.
Lorelei Beckstrom hails originally from Minnesota. After studying painting, sculpture, and graphic design for seven years, Beckstrom ended up in the mountains of Colorado in 1994, thus fulfilling a childhood dream to move to the west. She took a long hiatus from art to build a mountain dream home, and while she lived in a teepee adjacent to the structure-in-progress, found herself stretching canvases on teepee poles and resuming her artistic passion. Beckstrom has shown prolifically in Colorado Springs—at the Plantera group, Rubbish Gallery, and The Business of Arts Center among others, as well as Closed Gallery in Denver and Cult Status in Minneapolis.
“The History of the Future” is Beckstrom’s first solo show in two years. Beckstrom notes that the impetus for the show came from watching the movie “Man on a Wire,” a film about Phillipe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Beckstrom began to immerse herself in a world of wire walkers and audiences, painting with what she eventually realized was an ironic passion—the artist actually harbors a fear of both heights and crowds. Beckstrom theorizes that she’s responding to her “fears in some odd way, and painting to work through them.” For Beckstrom, painting with oils, as she has done for this show, was a bit of a novelty; although she had worked with them in the past, she has mostly used acrylics for the past 20 years. Modbo co-owner Brett Andrus coaxed her into an oil class, and out of this, Beckstrom says she realized that she had “been an artist for all these years, but not a painter.” She now considers herself to be a painter. Beckstrom often feels like she’s “leading the painting, up until a point, and then it leads me. The world created in the painting becomes richer than real life, more real, almost.”