Georgia O'Keeffe Exhibit ELOQUENT OBJECTS Coming to Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 2015
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) announced today that it will be one of only four cities in the U.S., and the only venue in this region, to host the international traveling exhibition, Eloquent Objects: Georgia O'Keeffe and Still Life Art in New Mexico, from June 27-Sept. 13, 2015. This new, first-of-its-kind exhibition will include more than 40 magnificent paintings by O'Keeffe and her contemporaries - artists she influenced and those who influenced her. Many of these works are rarely seen, and are on loan from major museums and private collections.
Artists included in Eloquent Objects: Georgia O'Keeffe and Still Life Art in New Mexico range from the pioneering generation (e.g., Joseph Henry Sharp, Catherine Critcher) to mid-century arrivals. They include Modernists long associated with New Mexico (Andrew Dasburg, Raymond Jonson, Victor Higgins) as well as those who found inspiration during singular sojourns there (Maurice Sterne), and who have ties to the FAC through its predecessor, the Broadmoor Art Academy.
In celebration of this exceptional opportunity, and in keeping with its unique mission as a multi-disciplinary arts center, the FAC has hailed 2015 as The Year of Georgia O'Keeffe, and has built much of its planned multi-disciplinary programming throughout the upcoming year around the artwork and themes related to the amazing woman who defined our contemporary image of the American Southwest. Throughout 2015, programming will explore themes that are at the heart of the historic institution: American Modernism, a celebration of the feminine voice in creativity, environmental sensitivity, naturalism and appreciation of the rich cultures and history of the southwest.
This is a unique opportunity for Colorado Springs, and perfectly complements the Fine Arts Center's mission dating back to its founding in 1936, which was founded by three strong women, and with a unique collecting and exhibition focus on both sacred Southwestern and Modernist American art. The special occasion to showcase this exhibit, and dedicate a year of museum, theater, and educational programming, pays perfect homage to the FAC's roots, and represents a bold statement for the region's cultural contributions.
"Georgia O'Keeffe stands as one of the most famous and endearing artists of our time. Her work shaped the world's image of the American Southwest, and we see her and her contemporaries as a perfect fit for us at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center," says Jim Raughton, Chair of the FAC's board of trustees.
As the FAC celebrates the remarkable work of Georgia O'Keeffe, it also will salute and display her contemporaries, such as B.J.O. Nordfeldt and Olive Rush. The museum at the FAC will exhibit its own O'Keeffe painting, Dark Iris No. 1, works by other artists, and a related selection of objects from the extensive permanent collection, as well as a photo exhibition showcasing the wealth of iconic black-and-white photographs that local artist Myron Wood captured of O'Keeffe.
"The Year of Georgia O'Keeffe will find its center at the FAC, but we won't own it, the community will," says David Dahlin, the FAC's new President and CEO, who begins his new post July 7th. "We're working with partners throughout the community to find unique and compelling ways to build around these significant themes and make this a true community effort and inspiration. We're already collaborating with businesses, organizations, educators, and artists, such as the Pikes Peak Library District, the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Institute, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Women's and Ethnic Studies Program at UCCS, Aspen Pointe, and others. This will create a lot of local interest and pride in our community and will also create a tourism opportunity and bring new revenue to the Pikes Peak Region."
Several classes, programs, and workshops at the FAC's Bemis School of Art will draw themes from O'Keeffe's work, including floral arranging, culinary classes, and even once-in-a-lifetime photography workshops both here and in Santa Fe, instructed by renowned fine-art photographer, Craig Varjabedian.
Many of the FAC's theatrical productions and events in 2015 will support and expand on these themes including the 2015-2016 main stage season -opener, Margaret Atwood's THE PENELOPIAD, a retelling of THE ODYSSEY from the female perspective and the ROUGH WRITERS new play festival, which will request submissions of plays that are related to O'Keeffe.
"This memorable exhibition and related programming will stimulate our community's imagination, creativity, and sense of regional pride," says Executive Museum Director and Chief Curator, Blake Milteer. "It also has the potential as a cultural beacon to draw enthusiastic audiences from a multi-state area."
Eloquent Objects has been organized by International Arts under the curatorial vision of Charles C. Eldredge, former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and currently Hall Distinguished Professor of American Art at the University of Kansas. It will include loans of O'Keeffe paintings from distinguished institutions across the country.
Image: In the Studio (detail), 1980, Gelatin silver print. Photograph by Myron Wood © Pikes Peak Library District, 002-9147