DON'T PANIC CHELSEA GILMORE February 6, 2020 - March 1, 2020 Reception: February 14, [6-9 pm] Artist Talk: February 15, [6-8pm] As an installation artist, I create new landscapes that seek a balance of building new worlds from the waste of this one. I am compelled to find moments of intimacy, beauty, and wonder [...]
LOCAVORE KATIE THOMPSON, PAULA FITZGERALD, AND MEGAN MORGAN January 9, 2020 - February 2, 2020 Reception January 10, [6-9 pm] Celebrating Firehouse Artist Members through a juried group exhibition - featuring three artists exploring media and meaning right in our own backyard. Juror: Sandra Firmin, Director, CU Boulder Art Museum From the Juror: “I was [...]
Artist duo Lyndsey Webster and Cory McKague invited anyone to join them as a Working Artist for the duration of the summer South Gallery Residency. They provided the work uniform, name tag and supplies and visitors made the work. This exhibit represents the culmination of that project, with work from local artists, families, and students. [...]
ROBIN HEXTRUM, SAMANTHA SIMPSON, AND KATHRYN JILL JOHNSON CURATED BY BRANDY COONS AUGUST 7 – SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 RECEPTION AUGUST 9 [6-9 PM] Firehouse Art Center presents three painters addressing in their own way the challenges of exercising agency when individuals are caught by events beyond their control. Robin Hextrum’s oil paintings confront the […]
Alice Stone Collins, Saxon Martinez, and Pam Rogers Curated by Brandy Coons Three artists address habitat and what lies beneath the surface inside and outside our built environments. The exhibit is on view for only 18 days. Alice Stone Collins’ paintings address the spaces between, “imaginative myths we inhabit or the structures we call home... [...]
SOME MEN LIE ABOUT OTHER THINGS GUEST CURATED BY JESSICA KOOIMAN-PARKER June 12 - July 6, 2019 Reception June 14 [6-9 pm] An exhibition of the brain, body, being and breath of Bradley J Books The work of Bradley Books is genuinely distinctive. His drive to create comes naturally and his prolific output [...]
VIBRANT FEMMES: SUSPENDED DEVOTIONS GUEST CURATED BY KECIA BENVENUTO May 1 - June 8, 2019 Reception May 10 [6-9 pm] The Firehouse Art Center is pleased to present Suspended Devotions: A Vibrant Femmes show, guest curated by Kecia Benvenuto. Participating artists include Margaret Kenway Haydon, Diane Martonis, Margaret Josey-Parker, Rita Vali, Joy Alice [...]
FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
3RD ANNUAL JURIED STUDENT SHOW
April 10 -28, 2019
The third annual juried and competitive student art exhibition from Front Range Community College’s Boulder County Campus in Longmont is the continuation of an academic goal set by John Cross, Lead Faculty for the art program. Firehouse Art Center is a favorite gallery space of his where the college has formed an art connection with the Longmont community. “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.”
Featuring student artwork from 2018-19 studio art classes including: Drawing, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, and Ceramics.
Cross recruited Zoey Frank and Will Ross as jurors: both are experienced artists and educators based in Colorado. Winners receive prizes for best in show, as well as first, second, and third place in each category. Each year one work is chosen by FRCC’s campus Vice President to be purchased for the college’s permanent art collection.
SOUTH GALLERY: LEAH SCHRETENTHALER
“I WANT TO SEE THE LAND HOW IT USED TO BE”
March 7 – April 6, 2019
The land of Hawaii is vast, luxurious, and controversial. The growing population and tourism has threatened the space and its ability to accommodate all the occupants. The growth of research needs, social media, and transportation has all been affected by this growth. From the research telescopes on the mountain of Maunakea on the Big Island, to the crumbling rail project on Oahu believed to fix the traffic problem, these infrastructures have impeded on the land. Growth in Hawaii is not a good thing. Constantly building, growing, and expanding has created empty spaces, voids in Hawaii. Using traditional printed photographs that consist of selected, man made spaces attempted to be removed. The residue from the laser cut leaves a negative space of what is there. The act of trying to remove these man made objects to set the landscape free has made weakened the paper and inevitably weakened the landscape it is trying to depict.
“A GRADUAL LOSS”
March 7 – April 6, 2019
Noah McLaurine’s large-scale color images combine the traditional landscape with contemporary photographic realities: how do we approach and photograph public lands in a culture where everyone has a camera, when everyone’s evidence is the same? What impact does that have on the places we visit? How do we make art of the attempt to convey the scale and beauty of western spaces?
By bringing his pedestal to various locations for these photographs, and bringing back some physical part of the land, Noah references photography’s impact and language along with its relationship to the legacy of land preservation. We “take” photos when we venture into public land but what is it that we are taking? Are we taking ownership? Is a photograph a document without a footprint?
With his writing and presentation, Noah works to allow us our interest in engaging the landscape affectionately through photography’s realism and effectiveness at conveying a specific place at a specific time, but we are also able to apply a contemporary thoughtfulness in addressing the context of these images. Noah’s work is unique in that it both confronts and allows us our faults – combining artistic license with technical beauty.
GIARDINO SURREALE: DECODING NATURAL HISTORY
Jan 30 – Mar 2, 2019
Presenting the culmination of the Firehouse Art Center Winter Residency: the Giardino Surreale is the result of a three-month process to explore Restaino’s ongoing focus on interactive and constructive printmaking. The range of works playfully reference various historical and contemporary approaches to the study and presentation of natural history – from illustrative documents and field specimens to inventive works that come alive within the space.
Human beings have a dramatic relationship to the natural world: we have created art to understand it and our creations have changed it – leading to an era now called the Anthropocene. Restaino addresses this historical dance with her unique use of traditional printmaking techniques and surreal inventions that make the gallery environment their home.
The exhibit also features the community Gira e Rigira game: throughout the winter residency visitors have been encouraged to create their own tiles of the game, playing with design and composition in a way that mimics the repetition and chance combinations that we find in plant and animal life.
Jan 9 – 26, 2019
Milkweed pods are the only food source for the monarch caterpillar, and their presence along the migration route throughout North America ensures the continued survival of the species. In the exhibit Hilvitz combines the pods into a series of inventive and nearly-figurative Goddess forms, suspended and monumental fabric elements, and smaller, more intimate sculptural works. Representing personal narratives, cultural allegory and how human beings interpret the natural world to explain abstract ideas, these works have a texture and depth that combines the emotional with the intellectual.
Thoughtfully combining human narrative with organic processes, Hilvitz prompts us to consider our own part in the natural world, transcending borders of many kinds.
Dec 12, 2018 – Jan 5, 2019
Reception Dec 14 [6-9 pm]
JENNIFER DRINKWATER, JOEL SWANSON & MARIO ZOOTS
NOV 7 – DEC 8, 2018
RECEPTION NOV 9 [6-9 PM]
Recently the value and impact of current events media coverage has been in flux, as news organizations historically anchored in print media suffer from an ever-shortening news cycle and over-saturation of data. What import do we ascribe to information received, and how do we respond thoughtfully as a culture? The Firehouse Art Center presents work from three visual artists creating responses to media production and presentation.
Jennifer Drinkwater reproduces magazine covers in painstaking embroidery. Replacing print pixels with stitchwork, she pairs issues of Time and People to contrast the tone and imagery of two print publications released on the same date, emphasizing the variety in consumed information. While each magazine bears a short shelf-life, her carefully crafted work suggests permanence, allowing us to question the thoughtfulness and purpose of each publication.
Joel Swanson’s collection of Headlines presents a reinterpretation of how newspaper mastheads announcing the death of famous (or infamous) individuals linger in memory – literally stretching the page, as a reflection on the import and lasting impression those headlines have left in his psyche. Presenting them as a group emphasizes the seemingly relentless nature of such information, and the scale of the work suggests their outsize impact. By printing the work on delicate paper and designing them to trail the floor, Swanson does not let us forget that the source material is flimsy, fleeting and vulnerable.
Mario Zoots creates cutaway collage-like works from vintage issues of print magazines – recalling both the nostalgic import of historical publications as well as a myriad of 20th-Century artistic practices such publications inspired. His works are dream-like in their completed form, textured and abstracted. By choosing vintage magazines and playing with the physical nature of the prints, he creates objects that remind us of our cultural past, and contain a compelling, contemporary energy.
The Firehouse Art Center is proud to present a series of photographs chronicling the life and performances of Amalia Hernández, Founder of Ballet Folkórico de México. The exhibit was first assembled in 2017 on the 100th anniversary of her birth. Ballet Folklorico combines traditional folk dancing with ballet characteristics, emphasizing the artistic and cultural value of Mexico. This exhibit is presented in coordination with our annual Dia de los Muertos celebrations, and will coincide with community arts events, street fiesta, Gigantes procession, and Catrina Ball.
After several years as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer at the Mexican Academy of Dance, Amalia Hernández began her own dance ensemble. This group, first known as “Ballet Moderno de México,” gained popularity due to the imaginative choreographies created by Hernández. In 1959, with newfound and wide popularity in the country, the Tourism Board of Mexico asked Hernández and her dance company to participate in the Pan American Games of Chicago, Illinois. This was the first time the Ballet Folklórico de México performed outside Mexico. In 1961, Ballet Folklórico de México won first place at the Paris Festival of Nations, competing against renowned institutions including Russia’s Moiseyev Dance Company. Soon after Ballet Folklórico de México was given a permanent residence in Mexico City’s Palace of Fine Arts, El Palacio de Bellas Artes, by President Adolfo Lopez Mateos.
With multiple international tours and 3 weekly performances at El Palacio de Bellas Artes, El Ballet Folklórico de México has performed for more than 22 million people, since its creation in 1952.
This exhibit is provided thanks to the generosity of the Consulate General of Mexico, Denver.
Won’t You Make Believe With Me is the culmination of Tuceks three month residency in the South Gallery at the Firehouse Art Center. Constructed with collected materials, Won’t You Make Believe With Me explores the concept of home through inhabited time and space. It also aims to promote the idea of community while exploring our everyday.
In order to capture and understand the essence of this small community, Tucek walked the streets of downtown Longmont soliciting ephemera from businesses, individuals and passers-by. Each of her explorations and conversations are marked by an item, whether paper or object. You may also have met her at the Farmer’s Market or in one of our many parks. You may find your own receipts.
Suspending lines of memory from above, each item collected combines into an immersive mental map; a series of floating thoughts we’re invited to imagine as our own, and continue to multiply with the provided paper and pencils, the way particular ideas take hold and flourish. Old Town residents may even find their homes in the grid of polaroid sketches: notes commemorating place, the moment the photo was taken, and the artist’s response.
By assembling the physical evidence of remembered places, events, and interactions Tucek presents us with a whimsical yet concrete reflection of our own community, skillfully encouraging analysis and response. The project is ultimately about the evidence of human interaction; by artfully presenting us with this collection of scraps, we’re reminded that our interior and exterior lives have physicality…that each of us leaves in our path a wake of evidence, and all of our paths intertwine.
Assumption, hypothesis, and supposition drive human existence. We beautifully craft our reality by contending with extremes and often do so in a human and inexact way. I orchestrate this ideal with pieces that stray between ironic function and complete futility, often predicated on the collusion of biology with a technologically driven society. My sculptures, installations, and performances idolize the concept of fuzzy logic. Based on the computational term that refers to degrees of truth rather than exactness, my work plays with the idea of absurdity as a driving force of life.
Glen Moriwaki, Michael Brohman & C. Maxx Stevens each have a personal relationship to current or historically marginalized groups. “A Place in History” contends with memory, both individual and collective, and how self- perception and past experiences alter how people compile their own cultural and personal narratives. Importantly, these artists subvert expectations and stereotypes, revealing how communal trauma induces deeply personal revelations of truth.
Glen Moriwaki’s work forms a starting point to understand how we perceive history, when so many stories are unknown to us, or in some cases intentionally hidden from us. His work stems from the Japanese internment camp Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, which opened 75 years ago this year. It was here that his parents and his 97 year-old uncle (who now resides in Longmont) were interned during World War II. In processing the experiences his family had, he explores the idea of freedom with a large wall installation comprised of 70 sheets of watercolor paper painted with free-flying birds, tumbling across the sky at will. A companion piece next to the installation is a silent video portraying images of confinement.
Of his work, Moriwaki states, “art is a powerful force to connect people in divisive times. Having grown up as a Japanese American in a postwar California that was once galvanized against my immigrant community, I have been searching for ways in which art can reach out to both the individual and the larger community over issues no longer historical but contemporary and universal.”
Michael Brohman sets the stage from a different angle, creating works that tell the story of systemic oppression in a myriad of ways. In his formative years he struggled to find his identity as a gay man raised in a condemning religion, and uses his work to consider forced categorization. From the way in which borders divide people to how humans are segregated in life and in death. He also uses branding and labeling of people to challenge assumptions and stereotypes.
Brohman says, “words are used as descriptors to affirm inclusion or to alienate. Language is used subtly with verbal micro aggressions or directly as a display of dominance and hierarchy. It categorizes and separates individuals into groups with preconceived attributes or inferiorities.”
C.Maxx Stevens then shifts our perspective from an outside, collective conscience to the inner self and devotes her work to telling her story while affirming her family and cultural traditions. She explores the preconceived notions of what Native American art is and “should” look like.
“My work evolves around the notion of memory, life and narrative fiction. Negotiating with these stereotypes can be time consuming as I don’t feel I need to explain the way my work has evolved or what it means. In the two bodies of work in the show they are based on my process of using materials and being contextualized with my beliefs as a native artist. The spheres are personal and the two-dimensional works are contextualized on my life and memory views of both the native and non-native societies.”
Each artist grapples with these concepts as inheritors of marginalized status, but they do so as individuals, and the strength of the experience lies in the ways they challenge our expectations for such work.
“We aren’t satisfied simply telling stories; we work to be a part of the stories that are told.” – Powerhouse Factories
A retrospective of gig posters designed and printed by the team at Powerhouse Factories over the last 14 years. The bands that they have worked with span almost every musical genre and include artists like Radiohead, Tom Petty, Kanye West and My Morning Jacket. Each poster has it’s own highly curated concept and design style, aimed to excite the band’s biggest fans. Posters displayed cover hundreds of design styles and many of your favorite musical acts. Walls will be adorned with both framed and autographed prints as well as large spans of overlapping prints. The posters become a powerful collage of color, graphic and energy that make you feel like you’ve walked into an indie rock club. A full wall of posters stacked on top of each other from years and years worth of shows.
The second annual juried and competitive student art exhibition from Front Range Community College’s Boulder County Campus in Longmont is the continuation of an academic goal set by John Cross, Lead Faculty for the art program. The exhibition features student artwork from 2017-18 studio art classes including: Drawing, Painting, Photography, 2D Design, 3D Design, Sculpture, and Ceramics. Cross explains, “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 is an oral history project produced in collaboration between Women in U.S. History, Women’s Sexuality, and Art (the medium changes each time and we have used portrait drawing, digital photography, jewelry, and graphic novel design in the past). The students are divided into teams so that each team has representation from each of the three classes. The teams are assigned an interview subject and work together to complete a face-to-face interview. Following the interview, the students from Women in U.S. History and Women’s Sexuality write papers capturing the subject’s story and the art students create visual representations of the stories. Excepts of the papers are displayed alongside the art.
We choose interview subjects who can offer stories on the subject of women’s lives in the modern world. In the past, we have interviewed residents in their 70s, 80s, and 90s who live in a memory care home, Jewish women (including Holocaust survivors), Latina business leaders, immigrant women, and female veterans. This year, the exhibition focuses on the topic sexual harassment and how it impacts women’s lives and professions.
The topic of sexual harassment – which includes verbal and nonverbal harassment, intimidation, discrimination, and assault – affects all women and is the impetus behind the #metoo movement. By highlighting local #metoo stories, this year’s project attempts to capture the variety and ubiquity of sexual harassment. The women represented live and/or work in Boulder County and represent a wide variety of backgrounds: academia, armed forces, the service industry, and medicine. Sexual harassment is everywhere and affects all people as either primary or secondary victims. It is our hope that this year’s Reconstructing the Past can increase awareness and empathy around this important and emotionally charged issue.
I create out of necessity and enjoyment. Drawing came to me early in life as a tool to escape from the human world and into a fantastic utopia of characters and stories. As a child I knew nothing of my past and only fixated on the imaginative grown up world in a positive light. I never knew what the impact of drawing would have on my young adult life until now. I still use the act of drawing as a stepping stool to better peer into the world of the subconscious and imagination. While I explore these concepts they evoke images of objects and landscapes void of the figure.
During my residency at the Firehouse, I invited the public to collaborate with me on creating imagination-based imagery – the results culminating in “25 Mechanical Pencils”. These works are the visual synthesis between cloud gazing and drawing. Visitors were encouraged to draw on my pieces as I interjected in the studio with aesthetic choices. The depiction of my interactions with their drawings are set in graphite, sometimes with my hand, yet mostly by the public.
Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, email@example.com
Sam Parker has been a professional artist for more than two decades. He currently works at ‘Til Death Tattoo in Denver, CO. Follow him on INSTAGRAM: @samparkerartist
According to the dictionary, voice is the sound in a person’s larynx uttered through the mouth as speech or song. Voice is also defined as the utterance of a guiding spirit, typically giving instructions or advice. Throughout my career, I have created work that is, as defined above, my feminine voice. My artwork in this collection express my personal voice as a visual journal. Some of my work is very intimate such as “In Memory of my Unborn Daughter” and “The Gift” which speak of my miscarriages and hope for fertility. Others such as “Life Reflected” and “Outside of Myself” illuminate my cancer journey and speak to the broader awareness of the human experience. My most contemporary pieces speak a collective feminine voice of the worldly experience as accumulated through media and meditation. Each image has a personal story and message for me. And, I encourage the audience of my artwork to find their own voice within the world of my art.
Compelling acrylic mixed media paintings and fiber art are the expression of my intuitive voice. My impressionistic, painterly style illuminates the local landscapes and figures with variety of visual perspectives. Metaphoric symbolism evokes emotive contemplation within social and cultural contexts. With organic line and vivid color, my work is alive with texture of paint, fabric, paper, and found objects. Though my art is large in scale, the viewer will be drawn into my work as they discover bits of text under layers of tissue paper or an exciting polka dot batik. My artwork speaks to a large range of viewers who are invited to create their unique personal narratives. I have participated in many national juried shows, gallery exhibitions, artist in residence, and studio tours and have earned high honors and awards. I am a licensed Colorado K-12 Art Educator and continue to instruct all ages in the public schools and workshops in various media including acrylic and watercolor painting, drawing, and quilting.
Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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, email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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, email@example.com
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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com, 605.939.1008
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 605.939.1008
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.
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.
Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, email@example.com, 605.939.1008
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
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
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.
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.
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.