Exhibit pays homage to 19th century Japanese artist

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Sept. 1, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
kguthri2@uccs.edu

The Galleries of Contemporary Art’s upcoming exhibit will pay homage to Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

Between 1826 and 1833, Hokusai created a legendary woodblock print series that became known as “36 Views of Mt Fuji.” To honor their renowned work of art, GOCA will display “36 Views of Pikes Peak.”

The exhibit is a collaborative project between GOCA, the Pikes Peak Library District, and KRCC’s “The Big Something,” part of Radio Colorado College. While the collection focuses on using Pikes Peak as a focal point for depicting a conceptual work of art, it includes but is not limited to photography, printmaking and mixed media sculpture.

Daisy McConnell has been the director of the gallery for the past four years. She explained the exhibit was created by KRCC’s Noel Black.

“The (Hokusai) prints were made in the 1800s, but it’s a very contemporary concept, so we brought that idea to artists who live
and work in the Pikes Peak region,” McConnell said. “I wanted the artists to answer a question that I asked them, which was ‘What more is there to say about Pikes Peak?’.”

McConnell explained all of the pieces are influenced by the Pikes Peak region, even if they may not seem that way at first glance.

One piece in the collection is a Victorian styled portrait of a woman entitled “Caged Bird Sings” by Holly Parker Dearborn. The portrait is comprised primarily of used motor oil and dirt, and depicts a flying bird in the head of a woman. It conveys a sense of freedom while at the same time establishing a sense of Victorian Era art.

Throughout the multiple displays a faint violin piece can be heard in the background. The music stems from an untitled video playing in the center of the exhibit. It is a contribution from artist Marina Eckler. The video features the scene of an ice skater on a frozen pond playing forward and backward in a loop to the sound of the violin piece.

Near the  entrance is another piece entitled “36 Shots of Pikes Peak.” What at first appears to be 36 shot glasses lined up in two rows of 18 is actually 36 street views of the various aerospace companies that make up much of the Pikes Peak regions’ business.

The artist, Corie J. Cole, writes that he wished to convey a picture of the town and an appreciation for the subliminal impact that the defense sector has on Colorado Springs.

Colorado College student Camille Febvre and her friend visited the exhibit in an effort to support the local arts. “I think it’s really beautiful,” Febvre said.

“I really like seeing such diverse impressions, descriptions, and reactions. It’s an exhibit … of different lenses and different artists looking at Pikes Peak.”

“It’s very diverse in terms of the different artistic approaches to the subject matter,” adds fellow art fan and Colorado College art student graduate John Christie. Christie came to the exhibit to support both local art and friends of his at UCCS who helped contribute to the collection.

Melissa Goodall, Visual and Performing Arts major, works at the exhibit and helped explain many of the unseen aspects of the artwork.

“It’s more of a contemporary art, which allows you to embrace … almost anything people come up with that can be art,” Goodall said. “It is not just pictures, it is visuals and demonstrations. I think it speaks to our culture.

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