/krē’āt/ mountain arts + culture quarterly
Published by Breckenridge Creative Arts | ISSUE NO. 11, Summer 2018
: to make or produce
: to cause to exist
STREET ARTS: PATRIOTICA!
: to bring into being /krē’āt/ is an online magazine published quarterly by Breckenridge Creative Arts. Each issue profiles a creative individual or business, cultural organization, event, and object of art in a thoughtfully curated visual journey that aims to highlight and promote the greater creative community of Breckenridge. Creative Director Robb Woulfe, Breckenridge Creative Arts
Editor + Content Writer Erica M. Davis
Art Director + Designer Kate Hudnut, GatherHouse Inc.
Contributing Photographer Liam Doran
Additional Photo Credits Street Arts: Patriotica photos by Liam Doran and Joe Kusumoto; Barter Boat Trading Post images
BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Banowetz, Thomas Dambo, and Edina Tokodi images courtesy of the artists; Albert Paley images courtesy of Paley Studios and Tomas Flint; Chimney Choir images courtesy of the artist; Gravity & Other Myths image by Andy Phillipson; Manual Cinema image by Maren Celest; C.J. Mueller as George Washington image courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office.
Cover + Back Cover Artwork Photos by Liam Doran Special thanks to the Town of Breckenridge for its generous support. @breckcreate // breckcreate.org
Objectified SACK RACE
Conversations STEPPING OUT
Around Town CHIRP!
Scene SK8 + JAZZ
Portrait C.J. MUELLER, SPEED SKIER
courtesy of Radar Art; Jordyn Barratt and Andy Macdonald images courtesy of the athletes; Nicole
FOREWARD /krē’āt/ SUMMER 2018 Our summer issue of /krē’āt/ embraces the transformative role of outdoor art— creating myths, legends, and a renewed sense of place as we breathe meaning both to and from our streets, parks, and forests. From our nostalgic July 4 celebration of small-town Americana at Street Arts: Patriotica, to new folklores shaped by massive, hidden artworks and carnivalesque performances at the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, we frolic among our cultural landscapes, inclusive of our natural and built environments and the interpretations we place thereupon. In so doing we celebrate creativity wherever it is found—whether in the virtuosity of a skateboard trick or a pair of clean lines carved in smooth snow. We can exercise our “Art Fitness” to draw meaning from creative endeavors—among them, “Syncline,” the contemporary new work in downtown Breckenridge by renowned American sculptor Albert Paley.
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FEATURED EVENT STREET ARTS: PATRIOTICA!
BCA presents Street Arts: Patriotica!, a nostalgic homage to good, old-fashioned American fun, delivered in a democratic exhibition of visual and performing arts July 4.
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Street Arts: Patriotic
BCA waxes nostalgic for small-town Americana at July 4 jamboree
reckenridge Creative Arts gets ready to celebrate the good ol’ US of A with pomp and circumstance on the Fourth of July, hosting old-timey fun at the Breckenridge Arts District from pie-eating contests, tug-of-wars, and sack races to a chalk art contest in conjunction with the Town’s annual July 4 event. The new “Street Arts: Patriotica!” builds on BCA’s earlier festival but reinterprets “street arts” with a European flare to encompass any and all genres where the work is open, inclusive, participatory, or democratic. “The street arts have a long and colorful history in Europe,” explained festival creator Robb Woulfe, CEO of Breckenridge Creative Arts. “From public processions to street theater, artists have co-opted traditional symbols and art forms to serve contemporary or political messages reflective of a specific place and time. In Breckenridge,” he said, “we look forward to celebrating our independence, heritage, and freedom in a way that is uniquely ours— based in our rich local history while poking good-hearted fun at ourselves.”
That spirit is reflected in BCA’s planned parade float, which will feature a giant mermaid hawking “Mile High Mermaid Altitude Sickness Tonic” in a playful throwback to 1920’s-era snake oil salesmen. “It’s incredibly satirical and as happy as it could possibly be, with all its ecstatic claims of how it could change your life,” said Andi Todaro, the Denver-based creative professional who masterminded the float, which will be assembled during her Arts District residence June 18 to July 7. Todaro’s satire takes aim at modern phenomena from our obsession with pharmacology—“all our solutions are in pill form,” she said—to the commercialization of mythological creatures like mermaids, who have been transformed from “sirens that kill people” into “adorable loving creatures.” At the same time, the float is meant to be fun and funny; at the parade’s end it doubles as a photo booth, and guests are invited to climb inside for photo opps with the mermaid. “I sort of resent the title of artist,” said Todaro, whose multidisciplinary work ranges from
murals and a stained glass window to engineering a series of harmonographs that “draw the abstract relationship of two diminishing sounds’ waves” as frequencies change. She has created and sold jewelry, modeled in fashion shows, published coloring books, and produced a photography series. “Anything that suits my fancy at the moment, that’s what I’m doing,” said Todaro, who also does her own promotions and window displays. “The term artist pigeonholes you,” she said. “By calling myself ‘a creative,’ I’m making a way for an artist to be what it was supposed to be originally—to challenge the status quo and ask questions and live more freely and make a float with a mermaid on it.” Breckenridge Heritage Alliance partners on historic costuming for the float’s characters, and Todaro will also contribute her talents to the overall décor of Patriotica, including the “dusty, World War II, antiqued red and blue” color scheme planned for signs and ephemera throughout. “I think the creative class of any culture is very, very important to its health because it is a mirror and expresser of what that culture is going through,” she said, emphasizing the vital roles of “political art, street art, arts and crafts, street artisans,” and essentially all “people who are proud of what they make.” “Creativity is a collective responsibility,” she added. “Anybody can use more creativity in their life. You don’t have to be afraid to be creative.” Another exhibition, titled Barter Boat Trading Post, plays on “America’s love affair with ‘The Sale’” while connecting people across the nation through relinquished treasures. Created by the artist collective Radar Art, Barter Boat is a temporary storefront with an Old West
saloon-style façade “inspired by the kitschy cheerfulness of Burma-Shave advertisements,” where visitors can trade anything from small trinkets like keychains and action figures to stories, jokes, and live performances. In exchange, artists Desireé Moore, Robin Schwartzman, and Anna Abhau Elliott trade hand-selected packages they curate and craft using objects from the boat’s previous stop. “We are those people that keep weird small things. We go to estate sales and yard sales. Any photograph, anywhere—I am going to buy it and add it to my collection,” said Moore, who will be in residence at the Arts District July 1 to 22. “The idea of a family letting go of those memories has always been so sad to me. I think they should have a home, and be cherished.” This “passionate relationship with stuff” inspired Barter Boat, which the three collaborated on after meeting at an artist residency in 2015. “The art world can be very academic, and it can be very exclusive,” said Moore. “We were all interested in branching out from that and doing something that was more about the process. We are interested in objects, and we are interested in having conversations with people.” “There is a lot of sentimental value in objects that may not have monetary value,” she explained. Thus with each exchange, the artists share the item’s “origin story,” collected along with the object at the previous stop. In this way, seemingly meaningless objects become catalysts for human interaction, “creating new histories that may have never been there,” Moore said. “We’ve been able to connect people who are very different, with very different beliefs, through these objects. I think it’s a great way to bring people on different sides of the country together.”
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Among the packages to be traded in Breckenridge are “gold star” items deemed to be of high value based on rarity, uniqueness, sentimentality, or origin story. These prized objects “go to someone who is really invested in the process,” Moore said. Wrapped in opaque gold packaging, they evoke gold panning, “where one has to sort through the junk to get to the good items.” “We would love people to think about what they have at home that they are willing to part with,” Moore concluded. “We trade just about everything, so bring it to us. Don’t decide yourself that we won’t take it—bring it to us and we’ll see what happens.” Other activities lined up for Patriotica include a craft-making booth for kids, an exhibition of children’s artwork from BCA’s summer camp partnership, a blue ribbon ceremony at the days’ end to recognize contest and race winners, a beer barbecue, and some foot-stomping traditional folk music.
“We conceived our Patriotica celebration with the utmost respect and affection,” said Woulfe. “In it, we very intentionally blend parody with homage, mixing high art with home-grown culture in a way that comments on the traditions of small-town America while promising a whole lot of fun for the Fourth of July.” “It is a ritual in Breckenridge to celebrate,” said Nicole Dial-Kay, BCA’s director of exhibitions and special projects. “We are constantly having festivals and fairs. With Patriotica we are adding to that tradition by offering familiar activities that people can participate in year after year. Our hope is to contribute to the Breckenridge identity—that strong sense of place that makes so many people want to visit and live here.”
Street Arts: Patriotica! // breckcreate.org/festivals/street-arts-festival Andi Todaro // instagram.com/plusdashplus Desireé Moore // desireenicholemoore.com Breckenridge Heritage Alliance // breckheritage.com
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/objectified/ An object of art
Sack Race Behind the Welcome Center in downtown Breckenridge, a bronze sculpture of three children captures the innocent glee of a sack race, evoking family fun, childhood memories, and the nostalgia of yesteryear. The piece is based on an old newspaper clipping of artist Jane Rankin’s childhood friend competing in a sack race. Donated to the Breckenridge public art collection by the Bunchman family, “Sack Race” commemorates Pat and Harry Bunchman, who supported the development and beautification of Breckenridge since the 1960’s. Breckenridge public art collection // breckcreate.org/explore/public-art Jane Rankin // janerankin.com
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Stepping out New National Repertory Orchestra CEO Dave DePeters speaks on latest initiatives
You came on board with the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) last year. How are things going? Things are going great, thanks for asking. While we are a summer music festival— eight weeks in June and July—we never stop working throughout the year. There are so many events and concerts over the eight weeks, it takes the other 44 weeks to organize, plan, and raise funds. I am astounded at the level of commitment from the board, staff, and community; I am so impressed with how everyone feels ownership of the festival. And you hail from IRIS Orchestra? How does the experience translate? IRIS is a truly unique organization—an all-star orchestra filled with some of the best musicians in the country, all coming together to perform at the highest level. In many ways, the NRO is the same, except with the NRO we have extraordinary young musicians. These musicians are the very best in the country, and come together to share their passion with each other and our Summit County audience. Can you tell us about the new pop-up concert series? We have a very exciting new program this season, in many ways inspired by BreckCreate and the amazing WAVE and BIFA festivals. I am attracted to interactive presentations and engagements. When the BreckCreate festivals are going on, the entire town is activated. I would like our NRO season to be similar, so we have created our pop-up series which partners with BreckCreate and Breckenridge Heritage Alliance (BHA) to bring music, art,
and history to life. Our concerts will take place next to historical points of interest and public art. Docents from BreckCreate and BHA will participate, along with NRO musicians, for free public performances with an educational twist. We will also be giving free concerts on the porch at Breckenridge Realty, Main Street Station, Warren Station, and elsewhere in Summit County. Can you share some other highlights of the upcoming summer season? Probably the most exciting is the two performances of “The Wizard of Oz” movie with live orchestra on July 7—a matinee and an evening. We will have five guest conductors, including Michael Stern with the Kansas City Symphony and JoAnn Falletta with the Buffalo Philharmonic. We are performing two percussion concerti—Russell Peck’s “The Glory and the Grandeur” and an incredibly innovative piece featuring two percussionists, jazz combo, and orchestra based on music of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. We are also featuring eight violinists on one concert in both the Vivaldi “Four Seasons” and the Piazzolla “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.” This is all in addition to the outstanding pops, classical, and Fourth of July concerts we have each year. The Fourth of July concert is a community tradition. What can you tell us about it? The Fourth of July concert dates back to the beginning of the Blue Jeans Symphony (our original name). At one point we did three concerts in one day—morning in Dillon, afternoon in Evergreen, and evening in Breckenridge. I love this concert. It is special
for any organization to be able to honor America and especially our servicemen and women. This concert really is for them. There is nothing more American than the Fourth of July. I think a concert like this, now more than ever, helps make us all remember that we have more in common than we think. It’s a chance to bring the community together, and the Town really outdoes itself every year with the fireworks! I understand you have some collaborations planned? We are partnering with pretty much every arts organization in Summit County this summer. One that stands out is the reception for the Paley art installation on June 20. This will be a great event for our musicians to be a part of, and I am looking forward to this addition to the already thriving public art in Breckenridge. I am also very proud of our partnerships with First Responders, FIRC, and Building Hope. This year we will give concerts honoring each organization, and proceeds go to supporting their work in Summit County. These organizations make Summit a better place, and we are fortunate to be able to give back to them.
How are you enjoying the local mountains? Living in the mountains has always been my dream. I started skiing young, and my brother is a freestyle ski coach—in fact, his son was on the 2010 US Olympic team. I started a “ski with Dave” program this winter. Every so often I would go out with board members, donors, and supporters to ski around the mountain and talk about the NRO. My wife Elizabeth and I came to Summit County every year for about 15 years in a row, summer and winter. We decided to buy a house here a few years ago, before the NRO position. Then the job came open—and the rest is history. Anything you would like to add? I think it’s important to mention how privileged we are to be part of such a vibrant arts community. When I left New York City and Philadelphia to come to Summit, my friends said I would be bored and miss the arts. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am constantly amazed at the sheer number and quality of arts events throughout Summit County. Working with people like Robb Woulfe and the other arts leaders, as well as the Town, is fulfilling. Breckenridge is a great place to live.
National Repertory Orchestra // nromusic.com /KRĒ'ĀT/
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FEATURED CREATIVES BRECKENRIDGE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS
Regional, national, and international artists prepare to transform local landscapes into the stuff of legends at the 4th annual Breckenridge International Festival of Arts
BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS
Shifting landscapes Artists conjure myths from street to forest at Breckenridge International Festival of Arts
here’s always more to a landscape than meets the eye. The splendor of a snow-capped peak is inescapable—but what of the things we cannot see, like the hidden networks of mycelium under the soil? Or the cultural meanings we imbue, if only inadvertently, through our interaction with a place, in a moment in time? These questions underlie new commissions from Nicole Banowetz, Edina Tokodi, and Thomas Dambo, which will animate local landscapes from serene forest hideaways to sunny plazas and streets at the 4th annual Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA), taking place August 10-19, 2018. Nicole Banowetz Denver-based artist Nicole Banowetz will exhibit her large-scale, inflatable sculptures—which are inspired by hidden aspects of the natural world like bacteria, fungi, viruses, and rotifers—in both town and forest. She will create two public artworks for BIFA—one on a wooded trail, the other on the façade of Old Masonic Hall in downtown Breckenridge. The trail work will be “playful and whimsical,” she said, “based off the idea of plant communication systems, and how plants have this complex network of communications that is invisible to humans.” Rather than a scientific replica, the sculpture will be “a sort of mythological representation of what that would look like,” inspired by imagery of plant rhizomes. The artist designs and sews the forms in durable, plastic-coated nylon on her sewing machine. Once inflated, they will reach heights of 10 feet and extend 15 feet or more across the forest floor. “There’s so much happening in the world of plants and nature for us to understand,” said Banowetz, who hopes to encourage environmentalism by sparking realizations about nature. “Sometimes you have people who shut down when you try to talk about environmental or charged issues,” she said. “Inflatable art is so playful, you are open to it in a way you aren’t always with contemporary art.” While the forest piece is intentionally playful, her Old Masonic Hall piece—with root-like forms “coming out of windows and dripping down the façade”—illustrates nature’s strength and power. It takes its inspiration from Anping Tree House in Taiwan, where a banyan tree has grown through and overtaken an old house. “When I saw this house, I was overwhelmed by the power in nature,” she said. “A human building seemed very unimportant when consumed by a tree.” Banowetz will create the facade piece while in residence at the Breckenridge Arts District July 9 to August 22. It is likely to have an indelible effect, transforming that public space even after the work comes down—a phenomenon Banowetz observed with the annual display of light sculptures at the Amsterdam Light Festival. “The city is filling with the history of these artworks,” she said. “People are very affected by that. It can’t help but seep into their memory of that space.”
Edina Tokodi New York-based artist Edina Tokodi will exhibit a set of works within the interior space of Gallery@OMH as well as forested trails around Breckenridge. Tokodi, who is known for animating degraded urban cityscapes with “graffiti” made from moss, works in natural materials like grasses, soil, and living plants, dissolving barriers between natural and built environments. Although some have referred to her work as “graffiti,” the Hungarian-born artist never identified as part of the street arts movement. “Growing up I always had a garden,” she said. “I always had a connection with plants. When I moved to the big city, I started to feel that something was missing.” The sentiment led her to create artworks with plants—and then, she explained, “I put these works out to the street so people can get closer to nature.” Tokodi’s indoor exhibition of mixed media landscapes—which use everything from soil to concrete to handmade paper and ink—are an evolution of a concept inspired by Japanese Zen gardens. “My idea was to create some sort of prefab meditation garden to have at home or indoors,” said Tokodi, who will offer an artist talk on her landscapes August 11. She will also create a large, temporary installation made to resemble a rug but formed entirely from soil and salt. “I really like the temporary aspect of these works,” she said of her rug series, each of which is tailor-made for a given location and time. In the forest, Tokodi will create a faceless yeti with a palette of pre-grown grass, in which passersby can replace the missing face with their own. “With the natural materials, it’s going to blend into the background, so you have to find it first,” said Nicole Dial-Kay, director of exhibitions and special projects for Breckenridge Creative Arts, which puts on BIFA. “It’s very participatory, and very approachable,” she said. “For me, it’s like demystifying a mystery in a fun way.”
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The yeti fits well into the 2018 festival’s exploration of myths, legends, traditions, and rituals—those elements that have, throughout history, transformed public spaces worldwide into a tapestry of cultural landscapes rich with meaning. Thomas Dambo If there’s any artist whose work will inspire new legends in the forests around Breckenridge, however, it is Thomas Dambo and his troll—a friendly, 15-18-foot behemoth hewn of repurposed wood scraps and perched on a pinnacle quietly stacking stones. “People can help to stack smaller stones on top and around it,” said Dambo, who is based in Denmark. “I hope it will pull people on a hike—whether to go up to see the sculpture, or to help stack stones.” The Breckenridge troll is part of a larger, multi-chapter story Dambo is creating, which starts with trolls “living in the world since the sun rose for the first time…in harmony with nature,” he said, before human beings come to earth and begin messing it up. His trolls, perched around the globe, tell the story as it unfolds—after early encounters with humans, a series of angry trolls “eat people and throw rocks,” including one in Chicago who casts stones at passing cars. Eventually, however, they are going to be friends with people once more, he explained. The idea has its origins in Scandinavian folk stories, though Dambo’s trolls are all his own. The Breckenridge giant “is one of the trolls that hasn’t had too much contact with people,” he said. “It’s enjoying the mountains and sitting and having a good time, playing and making rocks there.”
Dambo creates his sculptures with recycled materials like old fences and pallets so that “people will remember trash as something positive, that has value,” he said. “If we keep on treating the world like we are right now, we are just going to fill the world with trash. When you are throwing out your trash, think, ‘Who could this be a treasure for?,’ then give it to those people.” The Breckenridge troll is designed to outlive the festival for years, but not forever. “The wood will disappear, but the stones will still be there,” said Dambo. “In this way it can create some kind of a legend in the area. Maybe 50 years down the road kids will ask their grandfather, ‘How did those rocks get here?’ and he will say, ‘A giant came from Denmark and stacked the stones, and the giant left but the stones are still here.’” Acrobats, shadow puppets, Rites of Holi + more BIFA 2018 welcomes a full slate of performers and exhibiting artists in addition to the regional, national, and global artists spotlighted above. New in 2018 is the Australian acrobat troupe, Gravity & Other Myths, who will put on their contemporary circus performance, “A Simple Space,” August 17-19 at the Riverwalk Center, in addition to a free children’s circus workshop August 14, and trailside previews August 14-16. The Riverwalk Center will also host the Colorado premiere of Manual Cinema’s “Lula del Ray,” a coming-of-age story told with shadow puppets, actors in silhouette, and live music, on August 16. As part of their annual partnership with BIFA, Breckenridge Music Festival presents “Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi,” a collaboration between the late filmmaker Prashant Bhargava and
composer-pianist Vijay Iyer with footage from Hindu Holi festivities and live chamber ensemble, followed that evening by a Vijay Iyer Trio performance. In addition, the BMF and Meta Yoga present a tetralogy of works by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottír, accompanied by interactive light and sound, on August 11. Steven Schick conducts both evenings. Another new event, Concrete Jams: Sk8 + Jazz, will take place at the Breckenridge Recreation Center skate park August 11-12, featuring improvisational skateboarding by professional skaters Bucky Lasek, Jordyn Barratt, and X Games legend Andy Macdonald to a blend of jazz, funk, and hip-hop by Denver’s The Other Black, followed by a community skate. The popular Trail Mix program expands to include a new vocal sound sculpture series. Chirp!, by members of Chimney Choir; and Acoustic Flow returns to the banks of the Blue River with free outdoor classes in yoga, meditation, and healing arts accompanied by live music. On
August 15, Banowetz and Smith join Tony Overlock of Breckenridge Open Space and Trails to discuss what it takes to put on the BIFA Trail Mix series. There will be a performance by Andrew Bird on August 12; a roll-in movie night called Kick Push on the Riverwalk Center lawn August 14; and a variety of artist talks, workshops, and kids’ activities offered in partnership with local organizations. Many of the interactive experiences at this year’s festival are made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. “Throughout all of our festivals and exhibitions, we seek a balance between exposing our audiences to the absolute best in the national and international art worlds, and showcasing the amazing artwork happening here in Breckenridge and Colorado,” Dial-Kay said. “The legends created at the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts will continue long after the festival, to become part of the fabric of Breckenridge.”
Breckenridge International Festival of Arts // breckcreate.org/bifa Nicole Banowetz // nicolebanowetz.com Edina Tokodi // mosstika.com Thomas Dambo // thomasdambo.com Andrew Bird // andrewbird.net Manual Cinema // manualcinema.com Gravity & Other Myths // gravityandothermyths.com.au
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Chirp! Trail Mix series welcomes Chimney Choir vocal collaboration
f five voices weave pure vocal harmony through the trees but it’s not posted online— what kind of sound did it make? Only those present at the new Trail Mix series “Chirp!” will know for certain.
“We like to break down expectations and take the audience on an unexpected journey,” said Kevin Larkin of the Denver-based group, Chimney Choir, known for its distinctive blend of folk, electronica, and theatrical performance.
This summer at the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA), Larkin and bandmates Kris Drickey and David Rynhart will join singer/songwriter Natalie Tate and musician/ animator Evan McCandless for a first-time vocal collaboration, undertaking 12 performances on the trails around Breckenridge. “The experience is by far the most powerful when you are in the woods hearing all these voices,” said Larkin, who looks forward to the site-specific concept after the group’s recent theater-style work. “I’m excited to pare it down and get back to the folk music roots, without all the production,” he said. “It will be cool to hone back in on pure vocal harmony, which is a lot of how our project started.” Chimney Choir is rooted in folk music traditions—Larkin himself spent years playing Irish sessions in Denver and then Ireland, bluegrass in Mississippi, and Cajun music—and the band’s members met in the world of traditional folk music. “‘The well is so deep you can never get to the bottom of it,’” a friend in Louisiana told him once. “You can learn from an entire lineage of people who really get into it,” Larkin said. At the same time, however, Chimney Choir has embraced technological developments in electronic sound design and manipulation, melding that with folk influences to create their signature sound and performance style. “While all of us love the tradition of folk music, I think everyone has a pretty original voice and does not feel limited in any way,” Larkin said. “One of the exciting things about the band is trying to take that to a new place that feels like all those influences are comingling into one thing that is
our take on music—our voice in music, I guess.” The group is always looking to collaborate, and Chirp is no exception. “We are really excited to work with Natalie and Evan as the other voices for this project,” he said, explaining how the concept itself is also a collaboration. Breckenridge Creative Arts CEO Robb Woulfe sought a vocal-based performance encapsulating ‘“an ethereal mood you find in the forest that takes you somewhere,’” Larkin recapped. “The more we talked, the more I understood his vision. We love thinking that way—how to incorporate the environment into the show, and designing a show specifically for the purpose.” Larkin actually performed at last year’s festival, joining other musicians high in the trees for “Tree-o” on the invitation of local cellist Russick Smith, whom he met at the Colorado Creative Industries summit. Now, he said, he can never walk by that tree again without seeing three musicians playing high up in its branches. “Any powerful performance, especially incorporated into the environment, will change your thoughts on environment in general,” he said. “It opens you up; you’re more aware of your surroundings at that point. Your perception on the world can change.” As for Chirp, one simply has to be there to experience it. “We will never do this show again,” Larkin said. “It will only happen at the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts this year.”
Chimney Choir // chimneychoir.bandcamp.com // #chimneychoir // @chimneychoir Evan McCandless // panthermartin.bandcamp.com // @panthermartinband // artstation.com Natalie Tate // natalietatemusic.com
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Sk8 + Jazz Pro skateboarders improvise to live music at Concrete Jams event
f street art is the art of the masses, writ upon the public sphere—then skateboarding is the ultimate example.
Early skateboarders took to the streets, finding curbs, abandoned pools, culverts, and underpasses to practice their art, which combines athletic skill with endless options for creativity. Today, public skateparks around the country provide even more concrete canvas for a skater to paint, and Breckenridge is no exception, with the Breckenridge Recreation Center’s recently remodeled skatepark abuzz with activity all summer long. On August 11-12, 2018, Breckenridge Creative Arts embraces the artistic side of skate culture with Concrete Jams: Sk8 + Jazz, a new event combining live improvisational demonstrations by professional skaters Bucky Lasek, Jordyn Barratt, and X Games legend Andy Macdonald with a live fusion of jazz, funk, and hip-hop by Denver’s The Other Black. Co-presented by the Rec Center as a part of the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, the event is free to all and includes open skate sessions before and after the demos, as well as a children’s workshop on Friday, August 10. “There’s a lot of creativity in skating—especially in skating bowls and parks,” said Barratt, a recent high school graduate and X Games medalist who won the VANS Combi Classic in 2017. “There are so many different obstacles, curves, hips, and heights. You can go back and forth, carve it to the right, carve it to the left. Everyone can skate it completely differently,” she said. “I feel in skateboarding you can choose how and what you skate,” added Lasek, a repeat X Games gold medalist who is widely considered
the number one vert skater in America. “Some choose an out-of-the spotlight form and others choose a more mainstream approach,” he said. “Skateboarding is an art form either way—it carries a unique expression of your own style, very much like art.” For Lasek, creativity is present “the moment you first step on a skateboard, choose which way you stand and then which foot you choose to push with, followed by your path and inspiration. Skateboarding is very much in the moment and you have to improvise all the time,” he said, but it “does come down to relying on skill. There’s nothing like making back-to-back tricks that in the moment you make look easy, but in reality they usually each take many tries to make. Contest runs are usually the culmination of these magical moments.” Both Barratt and Lasek have taken part in demos that combine live music and skateboarding before—a scenario that promises for good energy, a good crowd, and a good skate session. “Having a crowd and live music really pumps me up,” said Barratt. Often, it means she’ll try a trick she hasn’t done before over a certain obstacle, or take a trick she knows to greater heights. She hopes guests will walk away from Concrete Jams “knowing that skating is something creative and good for people to do,” in contrast to the bad rap it sometimes gets. “Also, girls and guys can do it,” she said. “I would hope they visually get their minds blown—and take away what skateboarding has to offer as an outlet to so many,” said Lasek. “Maybe even pick one up for themselves and have a go.”
Andy Macdonald // andymacdonald.com Jordyn Barratt // jordynbarratt.com Bucky Lasek // buckylasek81.com /KRĒ'ĀT/
BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS
FEATURED PROJECT ‘SYNCLINE’ BY ALBERT PALEY
Guests exercise ‘Art Fitness’ on Albert Paley’s ‘Syncline,’ the newest addition to the Breckenridge public art collection, with help from MCA Denver.
BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS
But what does it mean?
Guests are invited to exercise ‘Art Fitness’ around Paley sculpture u
hat long-awaited moment has finally arrived. On June 20, Breckenridge cuts the ribbon on the latest addition to its public art collection—a 24-foot-tall, azure blue, fabricated steel sculpture by the renowned American artist Albert Paley. Called “Syncline,” the iconic work incorporates folds and curves that make up the geological feature from which it takes its name, and its color from the blue reflected by light projected deep into snow. One of the foremost metalsmiths in contemporary art, Paley’s works grace cultural arts centers from the Smithsonian Institution to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Breckenridge will be the first Colorado town to own one. The project is five years in the making, from planning to installation. It will occupy a prominent downtown space adjacent to the Riverwalk Center. “The town really rallied to get this important work here,” said Nicole Dial-Kay, director of exhibitions and special projects for Breckenridge Creative Arts (BCA), which will host a series of activities and events for Paley Week June 18-21. “That’s something to be proud of,” she said. “It’s going to be a defining visual of our community.” “Syncline” is an abstract or “nonliteral” artwork, despite the symbolic dimensions that inspired Paley to design his site-specific piece to occupy a prominent public arena in Breckenridge. The fact that it is nonliteral “opens it up to each individual’s interpretation,” he said, noting the diversity of the Breckenridge community, from snow-sliding locals to guests from around the world. “In doing so it gives you the broadest possible interpretation.” Still, interpreting a contemporary work of art can be intimidating, which is why BCA is
collaborating with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) to offer its Art Fitness program in Breckenridge Tuesday, June 19. The program invites audiences to study and develop their own interpretations of contemporary art using a few basic tools, according to MCA Denver’s director of programming, Sarah Kate Baie, who developed the concept nearly a decade ago with museum director Adam Lerner when they worked together at The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar. Participants begin by examining a work of art and asking themselves what they see. The facilitators seek descriptive answers, for example: “It’s 3-feet-wide by 5-feet-tall, mostly red, with thick paint and white speckles,” Baie said of a work in her office. Often, people will answer something to the effect of: “‘I see a classic abstraction.’” That’s “art fat,” she said, and trimming it away is the first step toward art fitness. “Starting at the building blocks, you break through the jargon people think they need to have to understand something,” Baie said. Next, facilitators guide participants through a conversation about the characteristics they observed, and why they think the artist made the choices he or she made. “How would the work be different with thinner paint?” she said. “What does that say about why the work is the way it is?” “You become like an arts detective looking at a work. In so doing, you start to break out and access those parts of what makes art interesting,” she explained. Those who study art in a formal setting are familiar with the process—you spend long periods of time looking at an artwork, often resulting in “a transformative experience.” The goal of Art
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Fitness is to “translate these experiences in a way that is fun and accessible,” she said, so that “people who might not even think they are interested walk away as believers.” “It’s very playful,” Baie emphasized. “We wear workout clothes, sweatpants. We are going to warm up, work out, and cool down.” The cool down takes the form of reflecting on the experience. “Sometimes people walk away saying, ‘I still didn’t like that work, but I understand it better,’” she said. Others express surprise at how fun it is to look at art with other people. “We hear that all the time,” said Baie. “I think it’s shocking because I love looking at art.” Without “art fitness,” people tend to rely on an artist’s statement to interpret a work. “That is one way to get to an understanding,” Baie said, “but it is not the same as having your own rich view of a work of art.” To avoid coloring people’s perspectives before they have a chance to look for themselves, she waits until the “cool down” to read the artist’s or curator’s statement aloud. Frequently, she finds that “people are shocked that the thing they said about the work of art mirrors what the artist or critic said about the work—and they got there on their own.” In Breckenridge, Baie’s fitness team will help participants work out with Albert Paley’s “Syncline.” Additional opportunities for dialog and artistic exploration include a “Build Your Own ‘Syncline’” family workshop on June 18; the ribbon-cutting featuring music by the National Repertory Orchestra followed by a reception at Gallery@BRK with Albert Paley June 20; a public screening of “Albert Paley: In Search of the Sentinel” on June 21; and an exhibit of drawings, maquettes, videos, and other supporting works at Gallery@BRK, on view through September 9, 2018.
Paley believes his work will engage people on many different levels. “A community isn’t one thing; it’s a diverse spectrum of people,” he said. “The sculpture is creating a unique experience. People bring to it what they can bring to it.” That said, he designed the sculpture specifically for Breckenridge—its irregular contours creating “a play of drama with light and shade” as the sun makes its way across the sky, evocative of the ephemeral nature of mountain light, and its scale a humbling reminder of the towering magnificence of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Beyond that, there’s an emotional energy he tried to capture. “Whenever anybody talks about Breckenridge, by and large it’s the skiing and the activity involved around that,” Paley said. “The only thing that allows skiing to happen is its downhill slope—its syncline. When a skier goes down the slopes there’s a sense of energy, a sense of dynamism, a sense of lyricism. That aspect of excitement, engagement, physicality of sport—all of that is reflected in the sculpture.” It’s similar to the way music can be nonliteral, he explained, but still articulate emotion. “If you are in an elated state, you might respond to a certain type of music,” he said. “Hopefully there’s a sense of identity—they have that feeling, and when they see the sculpture, it’s what they’re seeing. That’s what good public art can do—create a sense of place, a sense of identity, a personal experience.” “Breckenridge is becoming a market for thought-provoking contemporary art experiences juxtaposed against our rich historical backdrop and spectacular mountain vistas,” said Robb Woulfe, CEO of Breckenridge Creative Arts. “We look forward to exercising our ‘art fitness’ with ‘Syncline,’ and with arts appreciation in general.”
Albert Paley // albertpaley.com Museum of Contemporary Art Denver // mcadenver.org Gallery@BRK // 121 S. Ridge St. // Free admission // Hours vary
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C.J. Mueller speed skier
Background Home: Alden Spilman’s Hobbit House, Breckenridge Family: Daughter Melina Education: Littleton High School, Peak 8 University (Beta-50 Fraternity) Why Breckenridge? My first job offer in the mountains was High Tor Lodge off Tiger Road. I stayed for the long, high-altitude ski seasons and cool summer climate. Art Medium: Soft snow Latest project: Fresh tracks Favorite creative space: Crystal, Peak 10; My Line, Peak 7 Source of inspiration: Kopicky, Pup, McKinneys, Lewis, Hirscher, Shiffrin, Stenmark,
Thoeni, Heuga, Kidd Creativity is: Imagination coupled with execution Insights Personal hero: Stan and Grant Miller Favorite book: “On the Loose,” by Renny and Terry Russell, a gift from Chris O’Brien Favorite restaurant: Fatty’s, Mountain Flying Fish, Empire, Relish Song in your head right now: “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash Unique home or office decor: Swedish Dala horses, or Dalahaestens Favorite movie: “This is Skiing” (Warren Miller); “The Performers” (Dick Barrymore);
“The Thin Line” (Joe Jay Jalbert); “Downhill Racer” Favorite causes: Doc PJ, Doctors to the World, The Summit Foundation Favorite way to spend free time: Hiking on Baldy, dancing Confessions What keeps you up at night? An uncomfortable bed or pillow Pet peeve: Selfish drivers, skiers, snowboarders First job: Laborer, Iliff Garden Nursery First choice for a new career: Consultant What do you do to recharge your batteries? Ride a chairlift instead of the T-bar Guilty pleasure: Chocolate cake and a glass of whole milk
Local speed skiing legend and Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famer C.J. Mueller, 66, reached 137 mph at the height of his career. Today, dressed as George Washington, he reads the Declaration of Independence each Fourth of July in Breckenridge.
BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS
/sourced/ A guide to creative businesses and organizations in and around Breckenridge Cultural Organizations Breckenridge Backstage Theatre 121 S. Ridge St. backstagetheatre.org Breckenridge Creative Arts 150 W. Adams Ave. breckcreate.org Breckenridge Film Festival 103 S. Harris St. breckfilmfest.com
Nikki LaRochelle Design nikkilarochelle.com Squeeze Designz squeeze-designz.com
Alice G. Milne House and Memorial Park 102 N. Harris St. breckheritage.com
Straughn Design 552 97 Circle straughndesign.com
Barney Ford House Museum 111 E. Washington Ave. breckheritage.com
Summit Creations 102 Continental Ct.
Breckenridge Sawmill Museum Boreas Pass Rd. breckheritage.com
summitcreations.com Breckenridge Heritage Alliance 309 N. Main St. breckheritage.com Breckenridge Music Festival 217 S. Ridge St. Alley breckenridgemusicfestival.com Breckenridge Tourism Office 111 Ski Hill Rd. gobreck.com National Repertory Orchestra 111 S. Main St. nromusic.com
Branding + Design The Brandon Agency 160 E Adams Ave. thebrandonagency.com GatherHouse Inc. 110 Second Ave., Frisco gatherhouse.com KL Creative Design 304 Illinois Gulch Rd. klcreativedesign.com Angela Knightley knightleydesign.carbonmade.com McGraphix Creative & Consulting 201 N Ridge St. mcgraphixcreative.com
Museums + Historic Sites
Galleries Arts Alive 500 S. Main St. summitarts.org Blue River Fine Art Gallery 411 S. Main St. blueriverfineartgallery.com Breckenridge Gallery 124 S. Main St. breckenridge-gallery.com Colorado Scenics 421 S. Main St. coloradoscenics.com Gary Soles Gallery 300 S. Main St. breckenridgephotoshop.com JK Studio 100 S. Main St., 2nd floor jkstudiollc.com Raitman Art Galleries 100 N. Main St. 421 S. Main St. artonawhim.com
William H. Briggle House 104 N. Harris St. breckheritage.com Country Boy Mine 542 French Gulch Rd. countryboymine.com Edwin Carter Museum 111 N. Ridge St. breckheritage.com High Line Railroad Park 189 Boreas Pass Rd. breckheritage.com Lomax Gulch 301 Ski Hill Rd. breckheritage.com Mountain Top Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum 605 S. Park Ave. mtntopmuseum.org Prospector Park 112 N. Main St. townofbreckenridge.com Red White and Blue Fire Museum 308 N. Main St. breckheritage.com Summit Ski Exhibit 308-B S. Main St. breckheritage.com
Boutiques + Specialty
Breckenridge Photographics 500 S. Main St. breckphoto.com
Allen Guerra Architecture 1915 Airport Rd. allen-guerra.com
The Glass Art Company 411 S. Main St. #16 theglassartcompany.com Global Candle Gallery 326 S. Main St. globalcandlegallery.com Magical Scraps 310 S. Main St. magicalscraps.com Marigolds Farmhouse Funk + Junk 215 S. Main St. marigoldsfarmhousefunkandjunk.com Ole Man Berkins 326 S. Main St. olemanberkins.com Portiera Designs 326 S. Main St. portieradesigns.com Ready Paint Fire 323 N. Main St. readypaintfireco.com Ruby Jane 232 S. Main St. valleygirlboutique.com Wandering Daisy 326 S. Main St. Young Colors 226 S. Main St., Unit 1 youngcolors.com
Arapahoe Architects 322-C N. Main St. arapahoearchitects.com bhh Partners 160 E. Adams Ave. bhhpartners.com Equinox Architecture, LLC 520 S. Main St. equinoxarchitecture.com J.L. Sutterley Architect 500 S. Ridge St. jlsutterlyarchitect.com Matthew Stais Architects 108 N. Ridge St. staisarchitects.com Michael F. Gallagher Architect michaelgallagher.com Neely Architecture 1705 Airport Rd. neelyarchitecture.com
Breweries + Craft Beverages Après Handcrafted Libations 130 S. Main St. apreslibations.com Breckenridge Brewery 600 S. Main St. breckbrewpub.com Breckenridge Distillery 1925 Airport Rd. breckenridgedistillery.com Broken Compass Brewing 68 Continental Ct. brokencompassbrewing.com
Cafes + Coffee Houses Amazing Grace 213 Lincoln Ave. amazinggracebreck.com Cabin Coffee Company 222 S. Main St. cabincoffeecompany.com
Clint’s Bakery & Coffee House 131 S. Main St. clintsbakery.com
Alpine Spa and Salon 500 S. Main St., 3rd floor alpinespaandsalon.com
Cuppa Joe 118 S. Ridge St.
Ambika Healing 435 N. Park Ave. ambika.massagetherapy.com Blue Sage Spa 224 S. Main St. bluesagespa.com
Mug Shot Café 435 N. Park Ave. Starbucks 225 S. Main St. starbucks.com
Breckenridge Bliss Massage Therapy 325 S. Main St. breckenridgeblissmassage.com Meta Yoga Studios 118 S. Ridge St. metayogastudios.com
BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS
Local legend C.J. Mueller broke world speed skiing records for more than two decades, and placed 10th in the 1992 Olympics when speed skiing was introduced as a demonstration sport. Part of his annual Fourth of July ritual involves leading a racer group for the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race, before riding in the Breckenridge parade on his bicycle dressed as George Washington.