thINK!

Featuring Morgan Alynn, Teacake Art, Harry Catsis, Rene Cordero, Lindsey Foy, Adam Fuscaldo, Alicia Hatfield, Brandon Huckabey, Evan Lorenzen, Sarah Lu, Gabby Maravelas, Andrew Milko, Josh Topher, Onnie O’leary, & Jules Wenzel

JANUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 4, 2018

EXHIBITION STATEMENT
Firehouse features international tattoo artists in a captivating display of body art.

It started out only a trend for sailors, prisoners, and freaks. Slowly the artists, bartenders, mechanics, nurses, and teachers started showing visible ink. Tattoos have slowly become more of a norm in society. Bosses are starting to accept the form of self-expression in their employees. Fathers are inscribing their children’s names on their bodies; mothers, getting matching tattoos with their daughters. The once taboo practice is now a way of collecting affordable art. The quality of the art is stunning, surprising, and makes you think twice about judging those carrying such striking imagery right on their sleeves. Over 45 million people in the US have at least one tattoo and that number grows exponentially by the day. 1.6 Trillion dollars is spent annually in the US alone on tattoo work. It’s time to recognize the pace of this intimate art form.

thINK!, aims to bring forth the creatives that are pushing boundaries to show us uncommon and inspiring styles of tattooing. Extreme ingenuity by tattoo artist demands respect for a once trivialized medium. Bold, illusive illustrations open a portal to a world unknown. This show is not only for seasoned tattooed patrons, but for anyone that can appreciate well-made art. You don’t have to like tattoos, have tattoos, or have full sleeves to see the splendor in these artist’s work. The curiosities of those with virgin skin will be answered with a fine art display of this misunderstood craft; from new plays on tradition, abstraction, illustration, and even stick and poke.

CURATOR STATEMENT
I hear it all the time. A hushed voice as someone describes a person with tattoos. If you forget someone’s name you can ask, “What is that girl’s name, with the dark hair?”, but if you ask, “What is her name, the girl with the tattoos?” it is whispered. As if the girl that chose to carry a large volume of visible ink on her skin would mind if you mention the obvious. As if that girl wouldn’t describe her desire to get tattoos in a positive way. As if tattoos deserve the stigma attached to them.
thINK is an exhibition curated by that girl, the one that people whisper about her tattoos. I have seen first-hand how impressive a tattoo can be, yet still looked down on or judged. I have seen the prejudice that tattoo artists experience, their work marginalized or seen as kitschy. I would like every patron of thINK to discover for themselves the fine-art quality of the ever-evolving and complex art of tattooing. They deserve a platform for proving their worth, as they have chosen the most permanent of mediums. These are artists creating work that belongs in a gallery, so why shouldn’t it also go on our skin?

 

Guest Curator: Grace Gutierrez, graceg@firehouseart.org

FIREHOUSE PROGRAMS SHOW

Visual highlights from the community programs that are at the heart of the Firehouse. Art classes for under-served children and adults, poetry and writing for all, private studios for local artists and contemporary film.

DECEMBER 5-22, 2017

ART COLLECTING 101

Featuring local artists Drew Austin, Angela Beloian, Thomas Evans (Detour), Brian Fouhy, Ashley Frazier, Lucia Francis, Robyn Francis, Anna Hultin, Android Jones, Suchitra Mattai, Kamla Presswalla & Liz Quan.

NOVEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 3, 2017

CURATOR NOTES

This exhibition is intended to be an entry point for those interested in contemporary art collecting, but are not sure where to start. By curating a collection of accessible works, my hope is to inspire new and seasoned collectors alike. The work included points to the expanding variety of mediums, styles and types of artwork available and highlights a small sample of the incredible diversity of work being produced in our area. This eclectic grouping includes captivating small works on paper, rare porcelain curiosities, unique weavings, cutting edge embroidery techniques and fresh mixed media work as well as bold paintings, contemporary collage, dynamic sculptures and accessible prints.

Purchasing an original piece of art is not only a truly unique gift, but it is a purchase that comes back to you through expanding arts and culture in our community. When you support local artists, you support imagination and curiosity. Consider the education, perspective and emotion that an artist puts into a piece of work. Then consider how incredible it is that you can purchase a tiny piece of that to share with your friends and family for years to come.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org

RETRATOS DE LOS MUERTOS

Featuring Travis Hetman 

OCTOBER 11 – NOVEMBER 5, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

This body of work sets out to explore the under-the-surface realities of who we really are. Space explodes from random shoulders and bright colors scatter throughout in order to deconstruct and perhaps even playfully attack the powerful notion that we are an ego locked up in a bag of bones, quite separate from the external world. A more interconnected concept of identity might begin to shine throughout these works. Much like gazing upon the stars on a cloudless night though, one might find oneself with more questions than answers and I think that’s where the fun begins! Reflecting on ultimate purpose, identity, death and the like is a very heavy game. When navigating between meaning and meaninglessness though, there is also always plenty of room for a chuckle at the absurdity and beauty of it all.

CURATOR NOTES

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gathering family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed. Altars are created to invite souls of the deceased to come back for a visit and often feature photos of the deceased.

Retratos de los Muertos (portraits of the dead) features portraits of those remembered and those forgotten. The exhibition honors the spiritual journey our loved ones have taken and questions the impact of memories.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org

ARTIST OCCUPIED SOUTH GALLERY

Stephanie Hilvitz & Paula Fitzgerald

August 31 – November 5, 2017

SOUTH GALLERY RESIDENCE

Over a period of nine weeks, our resident artists will bring together artists and community members to work collaboratively on pieces for the second annual Dia de los Muertos Gigante Procession. Using the South Gallery as a studio, they will build hand painted puppets (gigantes) with cloth costumes including paper mache head, torso and decorated framework structure.

LIZ MILLER

Acrimonious Efflorescence 

AUGUST 31 – OCTOBER 7, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

My mixed media installations are elaborate, abstract fictions that incorporate fragments of reality. The elegant, lacy silhouettes of imagery from sources such as firearms, killer bees, and deadly plants are spliced with imagined forms to create sculptural interludes that are absurd, menacing, and poetic. Pattern and tactility confuse and complicate identification, camouflaging recognizable forms and evoking recognition when applied to non-objective forms. The tensions between fact/fiction and dimensionality/flatness are endlessly fascinating to me, playing out in my work as a dialogue between reality and illusion, while conflating fantasy and fiction.

Acrimonious Efflorescence creates a complex, multilayered topography within Firehouse Art Center. Utilizing a diverse range of materials– including sensuous gold corduroy, stiffened felt, and brightly colored rope–the installation creates a dreamscape both seductive and sinister. Abstract forms weave through the space, suggesting an alternate reality, refuted in turn by the forms’ insistent materiality. Silhouettes, magical and mysterious from a distance, reveal themselves as banal on closer inspection, creating a tension between our longing for fantasy and our ultimate recognition of fact.

CURATOR NOTES

I am thrilled to introduce Longmont to Minnesota based artist Liz Miller. For years we have dreamed of bringing in a national artist who’s work would take up the entire gallery and create a completely immersive experience. Luckily for us Liz was intrigued by our space and able to ship most of her materials with ease. Her incredible shapes, textures and colors have transformed our space into a forest of allure and wonder. Bursts of light and energy fill the sky, steady platforms tumble into organized chaos, pinnacles of nobility stretch beyond view while shapes and shadows fall at your feet. Meander through, around and under her work, look from all angles and soak up the innovative utopia. It is the closest I’ve come to walking through an artists imagination.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org

JESSICA FORRESTAL

Artist in Residence Exhibition 

AUGUST 3-25, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

Banal objects drift unnoticeably in and out of American consumer culture. User manuals and deconstructed parts refer to the consumer ritual that promises functionality and life improvement. Mimicking the ways in which we encounter these objects, I construct large hand-drawn diagrams. Intensive labor and crafting is essential to my creative process as I challenge concepts of quality, disposability and time. Using this format of production, objects are reimagined and recontextualized as artworks that challenge the economy of the art object.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org, 605.939.1008

MODERN AMERICA

Libby Barbee, Justin Beard, Adán De La Garza, Clay Hawkley, Jennifer Ivanovic, Cindy Sepucha and Mario Zoots 

JUNE 29-JULY 30, 2017

EXHIBITION INFO

Curator Jessica Kooiman Parker asked 7 artists to respond to life in Modern America. Artists include Libby Barbee, Justin Beard, Adán De La Garza, Clay Hawkley, Jennifer Ivanovic, Cindy Sepucha and Mario Zoots.

The Firehouse Art Center is pleased to announce Modern America, an unabashed political and social commentary from the hearts and minds of local artists. Our political landscape is volatile and more often than not it is hard for artists to produce political work, for any number of reasons. This exhibition provides a chance for artists to scream at the top of their lungs or to quietly reflect on an issue or issues they feel passionate about.

Kooiman Parker encouraged artists to use their creative practice to process authentic reactions to modern times and to channel that energy into new work. By encouraging work of this subject matter, the artist becomes a sincere reflection of our society and the issues we face. Stemming from frustration and feeling powerless, Kooiman Parker embarked on a mission to give artists an opportunity to create political work. Art that doesn’t hesitate to slap you in the face with tough facts and information. Art that inspires you to literally take to the streets. Ugly art for an ugly world.

Since the beginning of time art has been a reflection of society. The pyramids reflected Egyptian culture just as street art in LA reflected a tenacious subculture. Today, many of us are struggling to comprehend the news we are subjected to. We have become numb to so many things; personal data gathering and surveillance, environmental catastrophes, extreme income gaps, political misuse of power, and the list goes on. Fortunately for us contemporary artists are able to unpack all of this information, filter it through their creative practice and present it to the world as a mirror to the chaos. Ideally, we stop, think and change. It’s an important role for artists to play and it is equally important to offer the opportunity for them to create work in this vein. Artist are essentially a way to ‘check’ audiences and document our society.

Artists were asked the following questions: Do you believe in something enough that you are willing to fight for it? What do you stand for? What are you embarrassed of? Their responses are as varied as our society at large; from fossil fuels and feminism to housing issues and TSA pat-downs.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org, 605.939.1008

JENNIFER PETTUS

Plot Twist 

May 24-June 25, 2017

EXHIBITION INFO

The work in Plot Twist stitches together the tactile qualities of fiber art and re-purposed mixed media often used in prop and costume construction to create objects for an unknown plot. It asks the audience to find a story whose outcome is not disclosed or guaranteed.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The complication of life inspires me to use complicated combinations of materials and methods in my work. I create three dimensional shadowboxes, free form assemblages, and installations that defy categorization with calculated hodgepodge. I spend a lot of time “making the stuff to make the stuff,” re-purposing second-hand and throw-away materials with techniques like knitting, knotting, stitching, wrapping, staining, poking, gluing, and smashing. I use excessive texturing in conjunction with vibrant colors and curious objects to create a visual pull, asking the viewer to come closer than they might otherwise to a work of art. My hope is to use this material mishmash to keep the viewer engaged with clues to a certain complexity behind the familiar.

The work in Plot Twist stitches together the tactile qualities of fiber art and re-purposed mixed media often used in prop and costume construction to create objects for an unknown plot. The “plot twist” by definition is a tool for defying expectations. I am interested in its translation into a visual language. For a long time I have been fascinated with the ability of theater to bring people together in a shared, extraordinary, emotional experience. Live theater (but also amusements parks, carnivals, and even museums) give us a sense of the fantastic, pulling us out of our everyday existence to tell a story. Visual cues via props and costumes are vital to the illusion. They are replications designed to drive the plot forward or define a character. In conjunction with dialogue, they allow us to sensually inhabit a temporal world. We comprehend the story, in large part, through the interconnection of visual and verbal breadcrumbs. This work defies expectations by disconnecting the breadcrumbs with unexpected combinations of materials and techniques. It asks the audience to find a story whose outcome is not disclosed or guaranteed.

jenniferpettus.com

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org, 605.939.1008

MIDNIGHT POTATO MUSEUM

Dustin Holland, Connor Magyar, Jared Romero, Madi Chamberlain, Janelle Fine, Nick Holland, Alex White, Bradley Books, & Maggie Shearon

May 3-21, 2017

POTATO STATEMENT

We ate potatoes every night of the last week of 2016. In that week, we found ourselves staring into frying pans to admire the shapes and sounds before us. Sizzling in an almost exultant and decidedly final sort of dance. A baking potato will swell ever so slightly as it heats in the oven before falling into itself. A French fry will giggle and gasp in oil. A potato chip will leave maps in grease stains on the bottoms of innumerable paper plates. We want to take the incidental art of our favorite starchy nightshade and give it some agency. We want to see how beautiful the potato can be when it’s trying.
-Dustin Holland and Connor Magyar

ANNUAL JURIED HIGH SCHOOL SHOW

Niwot, Lyons, Longmont, Silver Creek, Skyline, Eerie, APEX and Frederick High Schools 

May 3-21, 2017

EXHIBITION INFO

Since 2013, the Firehouse Art Center has supported local student artists with an annual Juried High School Exhibition. Each year student artists are selected with media ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and jewelry. This year we partnered with Arts Longmont and selected work from the St Vrain Valley District Art Show.

FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Juried Exhibition
Reconstructing the Past

APRIL 12-30, 2017

FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

JURIED EXHIBITION 

The Art Program from Front Range Community College’s Boulder County Campus are hosting their first juried and competitive student art exhibition at the Firehouse Art Center this spring. “We are very enthusiastic about this opportunity to partner with this fine Longmont institution of art in showcasing the hard work and creativity our students put forth in the creation of art projects throughout the year in our studio art classes,” John Cross, lead faculty for the program. “We realize that offering our students the opportunity to display their work in a professional setting is an important step on their path toward becoming artists. The students are excited about the possibility of awards of recognition and the opportunity to see their work on display and share their efforts with the public.”

 

RECONSTRUCTING THE PAST

Students in women’s history, women’s studies, and art classes at Front Range Community College learned the stories of immigrant women living in the Boulder County area and turned those stories into a multimedia exhibition. The students at the Boulder County Campus worked under the direction of Professors Catlyn Keenan, Women’s Sexuality, Mary Ann Grim, Women in U.S. History, and Jay Schaffer, Digital Photography, to produce an interdisciplinary service-learning project called Reconstructing the Past.

Teams of students interviewed immigrant residents about their lives and the history experienced though living and participating in multiple cultural contexts. Women’s studies and history students wrote narratives, and photography students created portraits that honor and commemorate the women’s lives.

ANDY MANN

Month of Photography

MARCH 5 – APRIL 9, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT & BIO

Andy’s work is helping tell the story of our rapidly changing planet through conservation-focused marine expeditions. Though his roots are deeply bound in the rock climbing world, where he started as Senior Photographer for Climbing Magazine, his focus has moved back to the sea where he once studied marine biology in college. He is fond, not fearful of sharks and reports they are as curious about him as he is of them. The resulting photos are remarkably memorable and vital. The expeditions to research and study these magnificent fish are now essential for their preservation.

Andy has recently aligned with Sea Legacy and National Geographic to document the last wild places and streamline their protection. He has worked effortlessly on all 7 continents as a visual storyteller and is just as involved in the political processes of protection as he is in capturing the stories in the field.

His latest journey is a thirty five day mission to Antarctica for National Geographic Magazine, returning just in time for the opening of the exhibition. Andy’s work will tell the story of human impact on this precious natural area – specifically the impact of krill fishing on the region’s wildlife, which includes orca whales, seals, and penguins.

Exploring and photographing our planet’s last wild places aligns perfectly with Andy’s love of adventure and conservation values. His still photos remind us of the magic of a captured moment and how the emotion of an image can touch our spirit. Naming Greenland as his favorite place “where the mountains and sea collide,” Andy relishes time spent in sparsely populated, nearly untouched, wild locations.

Andy lives in Niwot with his wife, Orien, and 18-month old daughter, Josie.

LINDSEY MARIE KARNUTH & BRANDON JAMES: Light to Darkness

MAR 8 – APR 9, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

Artistically these two local fine artists philosophies are on opposite ends of the spectrum. She is light. He is darkness. This collision of opposing perspectives from full to empty, light to dark, both artists chose to focus on their strengths. Taking Brandon James’s photography Lindsey Marie Karnuth stitched thread through and drew over each print. Each artist is represented individually to harmonize together.

This series sends a powerful message. Art is a perception of what you feel not what you see. All perspectives are welcome. Do you choose to see the dark or the light? In our modern world of instant gratification they remind us to slow down. Compelled to examine the details the artists invite you to form your own conclusion. For it is not their intention to persuade you, it is none of their business. It’s what the artwork says to you that speaks volumes. They love you enough to let you be free to decide and encourage curiosity. Let go of your fear that no one will love or understand you if your perspective varies.