Two Free Exhibits You Need To See

I hope one of your New Year’s resolutions was to look at more art!
There are two exhibits up in Colorado Springs that you need to go see, immediately.

Strange Beauty: Baroque Sensibilities in Contemporary Art

At the I.D.E.A. space on the Colorado College campus. Free.

This is a great show, featuring some big names in the art-world, brought together by a common influence: Baroque styles.

My favorite works in this show are three paintings by Kehinde Wiley. In the same way that Rembrandt elevated the status of shepherds by painting them in the style of nobleman, so Kehinde Wiley elevates the status of young, African-American men by surrounding them with ornate, baroque stylings. These paintings are huge, beautiful, and totally awe-inspiring.

Framing Community, Exposing Identity

At the Pioneer’s Museum, downtown. Free.
A fantastic collection of photographs tracing the history of Colorado Springs. My favorites were of Fannie Mae Duncan, an African-American entrepreneur in the 1950s who started the famous “Cotton Club.” Her club hosted greats such as BB King, Duke Ellington and Fats Domino. During a time when racial segregation was ubiquitous, Duncan placed a sign outside the Cotton Club that read “Everybody Welcome.

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