Inspiration is Free!- at The Fine Arts Center @ Colorado College, Downtown CO Springs

The Chihuly exhibit. I feel like I’m in an undersea Wonderland 🙂
The works of Nancy Lovendahl…
Hey there, Johnny!
All hail Saint Drogo- Patron Saint of Coffee!!!!

People of my generation don’t typically enjoy visiting places like museums and galleries. Normally when I ask peers if they want to visit a museum I get that strange deer in headlights look. To many, it’s boring. For me, though, I seek out museums and always enjoy myself there, it’s one of my elements as a history nut. Whether it’s a museum centered around history, art, space, etc., to me it’s a good way to spend the day. But then again, I’m an old soul and I feel a strong connection to history and former time periods more than my own generation and time period. I feel more comfortable amongst the antiquities than I do the modern world. I like feeling connected to a different time and place just by looking at something like an old tool from the 1600s.

Art galleries and museums are a fantastic way for my heart to time travel and teleport to different places and times. I thoroughly enjoy a visit to an art museum. I once planned an entire vacation to Boston around visiting the Museum of Fine Arts to enjoy the Degas exhibit (my absolute favorite artist). I can walk around and explore a gallery of art for hours and I enjoy everything from the striking Renaissance pieces to emotive Romanticism, whimsical Art Nouveau but most especially my favorite style of art- Impressionism. I’ll be honest, I’m not as inspired by modern art. A modern art piece has rarely sent a tingle up my spine or invoked emotion or joy within but it does happen sometimes. I find myself in my imagination being pulled into different worlds and different time periods at the art exhibits and I enjoy that. I feel a connection to the artist and sometimes the subject. Exploring an art gallery is an out-of-body experience for me you could say. It’s an imaginative, emotional and though-provoking experience. So yeah, I enjoy appreciating every fine detail and I often find myself making up a story behind the painting. Is that odd? Maybe! But as someone who loves travel, what better way to travel through time and space and sometimes into other dimensions and possibilities than perusing an art museum or gallery? The beauty of it is, there are no wrong answers since the joy of art is that it is subjective and each person gets something different from it. A piece may leave you feeling uncomfortable whereas someone else is intrigued, for example. I enjoy sharing an artistic adventure with someone else because we can swap our own experiences and feelings to each piece. It’s interesting.

Denver has fantastic museums but here in the Springs the museums may not be as grand or large but there is a wonderful little Fine Art Museum downtown attached to Colorado College. The obviously titled, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Once a month on the second week of the month they do a Free Museum Day. You still need to reserve a ticket but the ticket is free. There is a Permanent Collection there as well as other exhibits that change periodically. During our visit we got to enjoy: “Art of The Southwest”, “Papel Chicano Dos: Works from the Collection of Cheech Marin”, & “Nancy Lovendahl: Small Glimpses, Many Times”. It may be a small art center but it was nonetheless filled with fantastic, inspiring works. For me, I absolutely love Southwestern art. Especially the intricate pieces of pottery with those vibrant earth tones and fun geometric designs and I also love the sweeping landscape paintings in all different styles to celebrate and revere the natural beauty of the Southwest mountains and natural wonders. My favorite was the works of Dale Chihuly, it felt like walking into a Wonderland and the colors made my heart overjoyed. I actually got excited and my heart lifted 10 stories in this exhibit. My imagination had a fantastic time here. I also really, really enjoyed the works of Nancy Lovendahl! I’ll allow the pictures to speak for themselves because with art, as I stated earlier, it’s subjective and it’s up to each of us to draw our own conclusions and get whatever we receive from the art, whatever it inspires or invokes. But for me, her art was uplifting and made me feel giddy almost. She uses a lot of bright color resins in large rock forms which speaks to my love of crystals and bright colors. It all looks like it comes from the natural world but it doesn’t. I also thoroughly enjoyed the gallery, “O Beautiful! Shifting Landscapes of the Pikes Peak Region”, celebrating local art and landscapes and portraying them in different ways and utilizing different forms of media (it isn’t just oil on canvas) and each artist uses their own techniques to capture the unmatched beauty of the region splendidly. To my pleasure, some used an Impressionist style to capture the texture of the mountain-scapes perfectly and to give it drama. There were some funny pieces I enjoyed in the Art of the Southwest Exhibit, such as a large structure of John Wayne on a horse but you could swap his face oddly enough. There was even some art celebrating hot sauce and sushi. Why? Not sure… but it’s was fun all the same. The pottery pieces were fantastic as well keeping up with the Southwest tradition and I even found some black pieces with grey details that I found really gorgeous. Almost giving it a metallic look. I hadn’t seen anything like that before.

The best part of our visit was, we were the only ones there that day. Mainly because it was snowing. But the snow was gorgeous, lightly falling to the ground, it made it more magical. Having the place to ourselves gave us plenty of time to enjoy and take our sweet old time. The visit was about an hour maybe a little more as we wandered a bit more than others might. It was a great day excursion and it was free which was obviously very nice. We got some inspiration and uplifting energy for free! I’m absolutely looking forward to coming back as the exhibits and galleries change and new ones come in. Several were currently under construction so I’m excited to what goes in. I’ll definitely be back!

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