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Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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28 March 2015

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

We have a gem of an art museum in Colorado Springs. Called the FAC for short, the Fine Arts Center is an Art Déco beauty situated one block from the Colorado College, on Cascade Avenue and Dale Street. The original building was designed in 1936, and an extensive addition was completed a few years ago, adding much more gallery space. There are many treasures to be found within its walls! The FAC has an outstanding and diverse permanent collection that includes Sargents, Chihulys, even a Lichtenstein and a gorgeous O'Keeffe, as well as a world class trove of retablos and santos. There are also several pieces from prominent local artists such as Floyd Tunson, among many others.

Pat and I spent last Saturday wandering around the FAC, something we haven't done in far too long. Currently they are featuring an exhibition of Audubon bird prints from the permanent collection juxtaposed with Denver artist Kevin Sloan's large scale bird paintings, rife with symbolism. I am of course very familiar with Audubon's work, but it was a pleasure seeing so many of them displayed together. And I was blown away by Sloan's paintings. They were fantastical, exquisitely detailed and ironic. They reminded me in many ways of Frida Kahlo's work. I thoroughly enjoyed this show and if you live in the area, I highly recommend you drop by the FAC and see it. (More info HERE.)

In addition to the Audubon/Sloan show, there is a collection of Myron Wood's prints on display. Myron was a well-known local photographer who passed away in the late '90s. I knew him from my years working in a camera shop downtown; he was a regular customer. Myron was tremendously talented. I own a signed silver print of his (that I purchased just days before he passed away) and an autographed poster, and I treasure them. An esteemed member of our arts community, Myron served as the assistant curator for photography at the FAC for many years. His work is significant as well as beautiful. In 1980 he created a portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe at her home in New Mexico, and it is simple, perfectly balanced, beautiful. I've seen it before but it's been years since I've had the pleasure of standing before it. You can see it too, along with many other images he created on his visits with O'Keeffe, if you visit the FAC before June 7th.

Today's photos were taken in the lower level galleries, where photography is allowed. All of the pieces pictured are part of the FAC's permanent collection. Enjoy!

Portrait of Miss Elsie Palmer or Young Lady in White by John Singer Sargent, 1889-90. This enormous portrait is, and always has been, my favorite piece of art at the FAC. If you live here or are a regular reader of my blog, you know that our city was founded by General William Palmer. Elsie was one of his three daughters.
Portrait of Gerald Maar by Peter Hurd, 1952. This is my second favorite piece at the FAC, and apparently two versions of it exist (this one is the original -- the story behind the two versions is HERE). Hurd was a well known portraitist who studied under illustrator N.C. Wyeth. I can plainly see Wyeth's influence in this painting. There is a lot about this portrait that I find compelling. I just love it.
In addition to the enormous Chihuly chandelier that greets you when you enter the FAC, there is a gallery on the first floor with several more of his pieces. I am fairly ambivalent about Chihuly's work but I can see why he's so popular -- it's all very beautiful to look at.
Here's Pat walking through the room with all the Chihulys. I'll have to do another blog post just to show you the wonderful Art Déco architecture of the Fine Arts Center, but I'll wait until summer to do that.


from Madrid said...

Gorgeous shots !


William Kendall said...

I like that first work. And the place seems to let in a lot of light in that first photograph.

Randy said...

There is some beautiful artwork there.