Page 1

/krē’āt/ mountain arts + culture quarterly

Published by Breckenridge Creative Arts | ISSUE NO. 5, Winter 2016+17


/krē’āt/ : to make or produce : to cause to exist : to bring into being Launched in 2015, /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 Marciniec

Art Director + Designer Kate Hudnut, GatherHouse Inc.

Contributing Photographer Liam Doran

Additional Photo Credits

contents features BASELINE 1,000 DEGREES

04

BEHIND SNOW GIANTS

16

FRESH COMPOSERS, LOCAL TALENT

26

departments Foreward

02

Objectified HOT SHOP

12

Conversations LAID BARE

14

Portrait MARK JOHNSTON, PUBLIC WORKS

24

Scene AN EDUCATION IN ART

36

Around Town ARTS INTERNSHIP

38

Sourced

40

Todd Brower + Fire Arts Festival photos by Liam Doran, Jenise Jensen, Carl Scofield, and Shane Shane; Laid Bare photo of pastel portrait by Nancy Branca; International Snow Sculpture Championships photos by Carl Scofield and Rob Neyland, courtesy of the Breckenridge Tourism Office; Summit Music and Arts photos by Joe Kusumoto, Michel P. Neville, Tom Fricke, Spinphony, and Rhythm Future Quartet

Cover Artwork Photo by Liam Doran Special thanks to the Town of Breckenridge for its generous support. @breckcreate // breckcreate.org


FOREWARD /krē’āt/ winter 2016+17

Our winter issue of /krē’āt/ strips away the paint, layer by layer, to reveal the stories that make the art happen—from the model posing nude for a drawing class, to the many hands working in concert to bring forth Breckenridge’s signature Fire Arts Festival and International Snow Sculpture Championships. Here we probe the machinations of Summit Music and Arts, a volunteer-driven nonprofit that presents musical acts and invites young people to embrace the art of music composition. We explore exciting new initiatives from Breckenridge Creative Arts, for whom education and outreach are key to cultivating creative connections. A single painting may hold a universe of meaning, from the artist’s intention to that construed by the beholder. But vaster still is the context that made the piece possible—from the creativity in the simple construction of a canvas, to our collective edification as makers and lovers of art.


/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

03


FEATURED CREATIVE Todd Brower + Fire Arts

Local glass artist Todd Brower joins other practitioners of the “hot arts” along with fire sculptors, performers, and more for the third annual Fire Arts Festival January 26-29.


/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

05


Baseline 1,000 degrees Extreme heat fuels artist’s work, Fire Arts Festival


T

odd Brower layers molten glass onto a wire, spinning it so that a design emerges in the glass. He’s demonstrating a technique known as lampworking, in which glass is worked behind a torch, generally for small-scale projects like pendants, marbles, and beads. Specifically, he is demonstrating how to make a glass bead. The bead will later be pulled off the wire—which is known as a mandrel—leaving a hole behind through which the bead can be strung. “Handmade beads are really beautiful,” said Brower, who hosts open studios, teaches workshops, and gives lampworking demonstrations at the Breckenridge Arts District. His biggest audiences have come from the Fire Arts Festival, scheduled each year to coincide with the International Snow Sculpture Championships down the street. This year’s Fire Arts Festival takes place January 26-29, offering a brilliant juxtaposition of fiery heat and light against the snowy mountain wonderland just as winter’s gentle flakes begin to drape Breckenridge in earnest. Held in the Breckenridge Arts District one block east of Main Street on Washington Avenue, it features an array of massive, fire-breathing sculptures; performances by fire dancers while a DJ spins tunes; make-and-take art projects; and nightly demonstrations of “hot

arts,” which encompass any art form that uses heat or fire, such as silversmithing, ceramics, candle making, glasswork, and encaustics. At last year’s festival, Brower estimates nearly 150 people passed through the Hot Shop facility each night to witness him work with molten glass. His preferred medium is borosilicate, which handles thermal shock—the differential expansion of molten glass that can lead to breakage—very well. “It’s a fun thing to work,” he said, explaining how it is durable enough that it can be put back into the flame to work further even after it solidifies, and how the resultant piece is hard to break—the perfect fit for extreme sports enthusiasts likely to abuse their jewelry. In his personal work, Brower is drawn to decorative marbles. “There are so many designs you can do within a marble,” he said. “One of my favorites is a vortex. When you look inside the marble you get the amplification of the curvature, and that makes all the inside decoration pop.” Sometimes he heads into a project knowing what he plans to make. More often, he said, “I just let the glass tell me what I’m making.” In addition to demonstrations, the Hot Shop can now accommodate intimate lampworking classes, thanks to a donation of equipment


from Jenny and Mike Lundin. Brower masterminded the upgraded lab. “I set up six hoses of propane and oxygen for each of our tables,” he explained. “That actually allows for two large torches, or two small torches and one large torch. I tried to make it generic enough to accommodate other lampworkers who might bring their own tools.” The glass comes in rods that are about a quarter-inch in diameter. Smaller pieces are made by heating the glass and pulling it to a smaller size. For beads, metal mandrels are coated in a liquid called “bead release,” which makes it possible to pull the finished bead off the wire. “You can make it as intricate as you want, or as simple as a one-color bead where you heat the glass up, twist it onto the mandrel, and you’re done,” he said. Brower returns to the Fire Arts Festival to demonstrate lampworking for a third time this year, joined by other artists working in the “hot arts” including silversmith Martha Peterson-Glomb, encaustic painter Victoria Eubanks, and candle maker Bernadette Foley of Breckenridge Candle Cabin. “We are so lucky to have these creative individuals living and working within our community,” said Jenn Cram, director of public

/KRĒ'ĀT/

programs and engagement for Breckenridge Creative Arts, which puts on the festival each year. “The Fire Arts Festival is a celebration of fire and the hot arts,” she said. “The Hot Shop is the studio where several of the hot arts come to life. We will be firing it up that weekend.” Of course the wildly popular fire sculptures return, this time lighting up an expanded area in and around the Arts District campus. Artist Jamie Vaida returns to unveil his “Music Tree,” a fire sculpture hewn of musical instruments he designed for partner fire arts festivals in Breckenridge and Telluride. Keith D’Angelo returns with a kinetic, interactive piece reminiscent of a mandala, and Ryon Gesink returns with “Demon Throne.” Several new sculptors add their talents to the mix this year, including Justin Gray of Graywrx Fabrication, who will showcase two fiery robots; and Shane Shane from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who will show “Obelisk” and “Biodiversity Fire Sphere,” made from a 1950’s era, 500-gallon propane tank. The electronics-driven fire sculptures hold particular appeal for Brower, who, as an electrical engineer, has a host of his own “crazy projects” underway in his Silverthorne studio. He is currently working on a Bluetooth

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

09


and Wi-Fi connected washer and drier for laundromats, which allow users to pay, lock machines, and receive notifications when their laundry is done via app. He has programmed an avalanche beacon training park, and worked on Kindara, a fertility awareness app. “If anybody wants to add Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to anything, I’ll talk to them,” he said, chuckling.

“Being an electrical engineer, I knew how to fix all the kilns,” he said. That skill has served the Breckenridge Arts District well, since Brower also serves as a studio tech for the Ceramics Studio. “With the pottery, I’m really attracted to what happens in the kiln as it gets fired and the chemical changes that are happening,” he said.

Brower in fact found his way to the hot arts through his work; after laboring 90-hour weeks with internet startups in Austin, Texas, he realized he needed an outlet, so he took a few classes in clay. Soon, he’d put together his own studio with multiple kilns, not to mention a bronze foundry.

Like so many artists whose fascination with fire combines to pull off each year’s spectacular Fire Arts Festival, Brower concluded: “It really does seem I’m attracted to things over 1,000 degrees.”

Fire Arts Festival // breckcreate.org/faf

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

11


/objectified/ An object of art


HOT SHOP One of the most popular studios in the Breckenridge Arts District, the Hot Shop accommodates “hot arts” like silversmithing, lampworking, and encaustic painting. A new facility designed to be harmonious with the historic buildings on campus, the Hot Shop is outfitted with state-of-the-art ventilation and lighting, and is home to demonstrations and hands-on workshops by local and visiting artists alike. The Hot Shop is one of nine facilities that serve as studio, classroom, and live/work spaces on the one-acre Breckenridge Arts District campus, which was recently designated as a Colorado-Certified Creative District by Colorado Creative Industries. Breckenridge Arts District // breckcreate.org/explore/arts-district Breckenridge Creative Arts class calendar // breckcreate.org/calendar

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

13


/conversations/


Laid bare Sitting nude with figure model Hayley Krantz

How long have you been an art model? I started modeling in the nude for paintings and drawings when I moved to Summit County in

a challenging pose, and by that I mean my arm might start falling asleep from deciding to hold it up a certain way. The poses where you

November of 2013.

get to lay down are super easy to stay in for longer time.

Were you embarrassed to pose nude? The first session I agreed to do was a little awkward at first. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t even have a robe to wear. I made a special trip to Target to get one. I just kept reminding myself why I chose to take the plunge in the first place—which was to gain confidence in myself and be comfortable in my skin. Do you get cold? My first session was in the dead of winter, but Nancy Branca, the instructor, made sure I was comfortable the entire time. She had pillows and blankets and even a small space heater for me. It was a very small, intimate gathering of four older ladies, and the instructor and me. Is it hard to sit still? On average I have to sit still for 30 minutes for one pose. It depends on what the class wants to do—whether it’s a bunch of short poses, which are about 15 minutes, or longer ones. I only find it hard to sit still if I put myself into

What do you think about while you are posing?

I try to focus on a certain point in the room just to keep myself still, but sometimes my thoughts wander to how the students’ drawings are turning out, or things that happened during the day. I like when the instructor plays music because then I can sing along in my head. Is it interesting to see the final pieces? I love, love, love seeing the paintings and drawings after they are done. It’s so cool to see how everyone draws in their own way or uses different mediums like charcoal instead of pencil, or chalk even. Plus everyone has a different angle since the room is set up with all the easels in a circle and the model poses in the middle. I still have a sketch one of the ladies gave me from my first session. I was in awe at how she managed to draw my foot so realistically—and in just 15 minutes.

Hayley Michelle Krantz, 24, is a recent graduate of the EMT program at Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and now works as an obstetrical surgical technician. The pastel at left depicts Krantz and is by Nancy Branca, who teaches drawing, painting, art appreciation, watercolor, and pastels at CMC, as well as figure painting classes at the Breckenridge Arts District.

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

15


FEATURED EVENT INTERNATIONAL SNOW SCULPTURE CHAMPIONSHIPS

The International Snow Sculpture Championships return January 24-February 5. Behind the scenes, a world of helpers join hands to pull off this annual favorite.


/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

17


Behind snow giants A hidden universe of helpers bring sculptures to life


C

hris Conway dissected a cheese grater and folded it around a trowel to make a sanding tool that Team Alaska could use to put the finishing touches on their snow sculpture. It was just one of many responsibilities that Conway, a local Breckenridge resident, took on when he and his wife Deb agreed to host a team for the annual International Snow Sculpture Championships. A time-honored Breckenridge tradition, this year’s snow sculpture championships take place January 24 to February 5, 2017. Teams of sculptors from around the globe converge to carve awe-inspiring, otherworldly manifestations from 12-foot-tall, 25-ton blocks of snow in the Tiger Dredge Lot in downtown Breckenridge, while tens of thousands of visitors brave sometimes subzero temperatures to witness them. During the day the sculptures gleam pure white against the high country’s azure sky, and at night they glow with multi-colored, LED-lighting set inside and out. The glistening behemoths are a sight to behold, but also inspiring are the hidden workings that make their existence possible—from the snowmakers at Breckenridge Ski Resort who blow the towering mountain of snow used to create the blocks, the Town employees who truck 80 odd loads of snow into the center of town, to the volunteers and employees who stomp the snow into molds, act as team hosts, prepare the exhibition site for the sculptures’ unveiling, and handle all the other tasks needed for the event to go off without a hitch. “Building the blocks is a big part of the job,” said Greg Gutzki, who manages technical aspects of the event for the Breckenridge Tourism Office, which co-presents the International Snow Sculpture Championships with Breckenridge Creative Arts each year. First, Breckenridge Ski Resort employees set up four snow guns at the base of Peak 9 and spend nights blowing a huge mound of snow, using added water to make the snow dense. “We’ve been doing this a long time for the Town,” said Brett Gray, snowmaking manager for the ski area. “We enjoy making the product for them.” Unlike snow sculpture competitions that use sometimes dirty snow piled in parking lots, Breckenridge’s event is known worldwide for the consistent, firm, pure white medium it offers sculptors. “The snowmakers take pride in their work,” Gray said. “They keep an eye on the guns and make the product that they like.”


/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

21


After the snow sits awhile so the excess water can leach out, drivers from Public Works’ Streets and Parks department take it by the truckload to Tiger Dredge, where a crane operator sets three 10x10x12-foot concrete molds into place, and Public Works uses two front-end loaders— one with an enormous snow blower affixed to the front—to transfer the snow into the molds. During the process, a group of 6-8 volunteers climb down a ladder into the giant boxes, shovel and level out the snow, stomp it down to pack it into the forms, and climb back out to await the next layer. As each block is finished, the crane operator breaks the mold free, lifts it up and places it in the next location. “It’s a pretty labor- and equipment intensive process,” Gutzki said. The volunteers work in 2-hour shifts, and it takes four full 8-hour days to get the blocks done, explained Mark Johnston, manager of Public Works’ Streets and Parks department. “It can be a little taxing, but in the spirit of the event everyone is just so upbeat that no one really thinks it’s work,” said Michelle Lyman, who stomped snow with a group of friends for years before getting a team together from Summit Combined Housing Authority to do it. “It definitely brings a team together,” she said. “There were lots of laughs all the way around.” Building the blocks is just the start, as an equally large effort goes into shoveling and hauling away snow scraps carved from the blocks by the sculptors during carving week, which runs through January 28. “On a continuous basis we are moving through the site with two skid steers and a group of people who go along shoveling snow into the bucket,” Gutzki said. “Can you imagine shoveling snow endlessly for days, while keeping up with your own snow that falls at home?” On top of that there are site management needs—building the scaffolding from which the artists work, erecting sun shades to protect the sculptures from the bright January sun, and providing tools like shovels, scrapers, and snow scoops.


Once the sculptures are finished, an army of volunteers and employees prep the site for Saturday’s viewing. “It’s a very hectic time with all hands on deck handling fencing, roping off the sculptures, and removing all the tools and scaffolding to get ready for the thousands of people who come to view the event,” Gutzki said. “We need to make sure the site looks pristine around all those beautiful pieces of art.” Nearly all 29 full-time and seasonal members of Johnston’s Streets and Parks crew support the event in some way—whether by hauling snow, building blocks, sanding the viewing site to keep it safe for guests, pulling trash, running extra buses, or doing the tear-down at the end. Even the tear-down is an opportunity for creativity, as Public Works employee James Smith demonstrated last year. “Are you ready to raise the roof?” Smith shouted before demolishing the snow-sculpted likeness of a cabin, eliciting cheers as he tore down that piece and many others. “It’s a big production,” Johnston said, “but I think it’s the coolest event there is.” Throughout, the international teams stay in rental properties donated by the local lodging community, and enjoy a night out courtesy of the restaurant community. Hosts do grocery and supply runs, provide meals when the teams first arrive and at the end, check in on teams to see how they’re adjusting to the altitude, navigate language barriers, provide hot chocolate, and anything else that crops up. One year the Conways chased down lost luggage while a shivering Team Lithuania got

to work in tennis shoes and borrowed gloves. “In the past I’d just go to see the end result,” said Lyman, whose team from Summit Combined Housing Authority also hosted an international team last year. They were there to support Team Mexico, but found themselves offering hot food and drink to other teams too in the deep, dark hours of night when the sculptors were cold and hungry. “Not until this last year did I get to see the work day in and day out for seven days,” she said. “It’s interesting to see the progression from the simple form to the final sculpture, and to see how the weather plays a role in if the sculpture stands until the end. It’s pretty amazing to us to see what it becomes. Our experience was so much greater than anything we could have imagined.” “The way we look at is we’re a part of a team,” said Conway, who has hosted a team for six years running. “We want them to succeed. We don’t want them to walk two miles if they don’t want to. We help by getting meals and groceries, and by being there to help throughout the event and offer encouragement as the sculpture is going along.” “I go into it with the thought process that I’m looking to build a friendship,” he said. “Every time we’ve worked with a different team, we’ve come away with exactly that. We could land in Whitehorse, Canada; Skagway, Alaska; or Lithuania—and we’ve got people who would take care of us there.” To this day, Team Alaska still totes Conway’s hand-hewn tools to Breckenridge.

International Snow Sculpture Championships // SculptSnow.com

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

23


/portrait/


Mark Johnston

Streets and Parks Manager, Town of Breckenridge Background Home: Silverthorne, Colorado Family: My lovely wife, Melissa; and Rex, our golden retriever Education: North Carolina State University Why Breckenridge? I love to ski; and I love the “real town” feel.

Art Medium: Wood and concrete Latest project: The North Highway 9 median and roundabout landscaping project Favorite creative space: Main Street before sunrise Source of inspiration: Whitewater rapids Creativity is: Best done with collaboration

Insights Personal hero: My dad Favorite book: “The Emerald Mile” by Kevin Fedarko Favorite restaurant: Hearthstone Song in your head right now: “Fire on the Mountain” by The Grateful Dead Unique home or office decor: We have a 10-foot carved log in our backyard the previous

owners of our house named “Nessy.” Favorite movie: “Into the Wild” Favorite causes: Habitat for Humanity Favorite way to spend free time: Rafting

Confessions What keeps you up at night? Snow Pet peeve: Not being accountable First job: Construction First choice for a new career: Rafting guide What do you do to recharge your batteries? Camping

Mark Johnston, 43, came on board as streets and parks manager for the Town of Breckenridge in 2007. He is originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

25


FEATURED ORGANIZATION SUMMIT MUSIC AND ARTS

Summit Music and Arts is a young, energetic nonprofit that brings diverse musical acts to the high country, and instructs young people in the art of music composition.


/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

27


Fresh composers, local talent SUMMIT MUSIC AND ARTS ELEVATES ARTS + EDUCATION


A

n average day for Len Rhodes involves responding to a flurry of emails while also directing traffic, solving problems, answering questions, planning events, and all the other behind-the-scenes work that goes into leading Summit Music and Arts—a Silverthorne-based nonprofit that puts on an annual concert series while supporting music education in local schools. Even still, he manages to keep his daily commitment to practicing, arranging, and composing music. “Being a performing artist is like being an athlete—you don’t take a day off training,” said Rhodes, who serves as music director and organist at Eagle River Presbyterian Church in Avon in addition to artistic director and artist-in-residence for Summit Music and Arts (SMA). “It’s time consuming, but I love what I do. I have always loved what I do.”

Recently, however, they’ve been expanding their repertoire, this year adding boundarypushing acts including “From Blue River to Moon River,” an evening of movie scores by Academy Award-winning composer and lyricist Johnny Mercer; gypsy jazz standards and original compositions by Jason Anick and The Rhythm Future Quartet; and Spinphony, the “pop baroque fusion” string quartet whose contemporary show mashes up classics with pop and rock favorites, replete with a light show. “I’m liking some of the new, diversified things we’re doing; it’s a fun mix,” said Bonnie Guthrie, a longtime volunteer with the organization who took on the role of board president this year. “Len is such a terrific artistic director; his enthusiasm carries through to all of us.”

Originally from London, the longtime Colorado resident moved to the high country eight years ago with his wife Sandra, the creative mind behind SMA’s marketing efforts. Here, he envisioned a concert series to fill the quiet period in Summit County’s chamber music scene, when the local National Repertory Orchestra and Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra were not in full summer session.

Rhodes relies on an extensive network of contacts built over his 30 years as a professional musician and educator in Colorado to program the concerts. “Part of our mission is that we try to create a platform for Colorado-based artists,” he said. SMA also supports visual artists, with works by local painters, photographers, potters, jewelry makers and more available for purchase atconcerts, often with the artists on hand to discuss their work. Students are invited to attend all SMA concerts free of charge.

Summit Music and Arts hosts six to eight concerts each year, from September to March. In past years they were primarily chamber concerts featuring small ensembles of classical musicians, along with periodic spotlights on other genres such as Celtic music from Four Shillings Short and Native American storyteller and flutist Leon Joseph Littlebird.

Collaborations with other Summit County organizations have allowed the small nonprofit to expand its reach. Its partners include Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge, where it presents chamber concerts; Lake Dillon Theatre Company, with whom Rhodes has served as music director and performer; the Town of Silverthorne; Dillon Community

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

31


Church; and the Dercum Center for Arts and Humanities, featuring a long-term musical collaboration between Rhodes and the group’s artistic director, Chas Wetherbee, including their New Year celebration concert, “Music for the Season,” that sells out the Silverthorne Pavilion each year. “I think Summit County is truly an amazing place,” Rhodes said. “I’m amazed, frankly, at just how much support there is for the arts here. It’s a wonderful place to be.” Rhodes takes particular pride in SMA’s collaboration with local schools, for which the organization teamed with Summit Middle School teacher Mark Clark to create a music composition curriculum for students in grades 6-8. “We were looking at how we could encourage composition as a creative outlet for the instrumental kids at the middle school,” Rhodes said. “It’s been really quite well received.” In 2015, Summit Music and Arts launched their Young Composers Competition, funded in part by The Summit Foundation, which is modeled after the internationally renowned Pikes Peak Young Composers Competition Rhodes created more than two decades ago on the Front Range. The local competition is open to young people in Summit County and nearby mountain communities, ages 10 to 18, and serves as a culminating activity for the Summit Middle School program. This year there were 34 entries, from public as well as home-schooled students, and a culminating concert featuring the students performing their own compositions. “I feel music is more than just picking up a piece of music and trying to play,” said Rhodes, who not only mentors middle school students but also AP students at Summit High School. “There’s a wonderful creative opportunity in music to really create something of your own and put your own stamp on it.” Composing music involves a structure—similar to how you would use a subject and verb when composing a sentence—but within that there are choices to be made in the selection of notes, the rhythms and basic melodic ideas, Rhodes explained. He encourages students to listen to what they’ve written to decide if they like it, or how they would change it. “You put the ball in the court of the student immediately,” he said. “They go practice it and come back, hopefully with a smile on their face. Then that’s a good start.” “It was heartwarming to see the courage of these young musicians perform in front of a large audience, and the look of pride—and sometimes relief—when they received their applause,” said Tim Panczak, vice president of the SMA board. As an organization, Summit Music and Arts is young—compared, for example, to a choir festival Rhodes attends in England that’s been going on for some 300 years. The concert series began in 2010, and SMA incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2013. It is supported by a contingent of volunteers who handle everything from grant writing, musician contracts, website updates, and serving on the SMA board to setting up and breaking down the box office and concerts.


“The volunteers who run the concerts do an amazing job, and they are just plain wonderful people,” said Panczak, who first found out about Summit Music and Arts through a friend. “I was very impressed with the professional caliber of the musicians, and the variety of music that was offered,” he said. Soon, Panczak was not only attending SMA performances, but helping out in various capacities from strategic planning to stacking chairs after concerts. “I don’t carry nearly the load that other members do,” he said, listing the many volunteers involved at the leadership level, as well as those who handle the ins and outs of each concert. “I enjoy being a part of a group that is committed to making Summit Music and Arts an outstanding organization, and it’s not hard,” he said. “They are a really great, fun bunch of people.”

Summit Music and Arts // summitmusicandarts.org Len Rhodes // lenrhodesmusic.com

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

33


MICHEL P. NEVILLE

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

35


/scene/

An education in art BCA expands teaching and learning initiatives

U

nderstanding art is an art in and of itself. Contemporary art, in particular, can be confusing if not intimidating to the casual beholder. Sometimes, the reaction is: “Well, I don’t understand it, so I’m going to walk away.” It’s a response that Becca Spiro, Breckenridge Creative Arts’ first director of learning and innovation, would like to avoid. “My goal is to make the art more approachable,”

said Spiro, who taught Spanish to schoolchildren, earned a master’s degree in contemporary art, and worked as a Breckenridge ski patroller before finding her “dream job” with BreckCreate. The key, of course, lies in education. “In many ways with art—especially contemporary art— more information is better, because people feel empowered to break through that outer


crust of the art and create that personal connection,” she said. Spiro manages educational, research, and outreach initiatives that connect BCA programs, tours, studio classes, and exhibitions to the organization’s many audiences, whether they’re on campus, online, or offsite. A member of the curatorial team, she develops new methods to aid visitors’ understanding of art by promoting creative, participatory, and interdisciplinary learning experiences. Her current projects include building out docent-guided and app-driven, self-guided walking tours of the Town’s 31 pieces of public art; creating online educational materials for teachers, parents, and children; and formulating credit-based internships for local students. One of the first initiatives to launch is BCA’s field trip program, which offers teachers the opportunity to bring their classes to the Breckenridge Arts District for a guided tour and hands-on art experiences. BCA has scheduled these to take place four times per year, coinciding with its Día de los Muertos—or Day of the Dead—celebration in October; its Fire Arts Festival in January; the WAVE festival in May and June; and the Breckenridge Festival of Arts in August and September.

connection can be made. For example, in October, a Spanish class from Vail Mountain School made Día de los Muertos lanterns with mason jars and tissue paper, toured the Tony Ortega exhibition at Old Masonic Hall in Spanish (with some English help), and applied their learning with a take-home activity book created by Spiro. Tony Ortega is the illustrator of the children’s book, “Days of the Dead: Aztec Adventures of Cholo, Vato, and Pano,” by Dr. George Rivera, which the group of middle schoolers read in advance of their visit. Thus the students were excited to recognize familiar work at the exhibition, which featured 12 of Ortega’s pastel illustrations alongside words by Rivera. The new field trip program began with middle and high school groups, but Spiro envisions leading college students and families too, not to mention offering tours in English and Spanish. “I’m prepared to get as academic as I need to, or go back to the basics,” she said. “The sky is the limit.” Spiro has been visiting other towns with comparable art scenes, studying what they do and imagining what could work in Breckenridge. “I think there’s a craving for that educational component,” she said. “It’s fun to think about future possibilities for educational initiatives.”

The field trips are not only for art students, but any students for whom a cross-curricular

BCA teaching and learning // breckcreate.org > learn

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

37


/around town/

Arts internship High school junior goes behind the scenes at BreckCreate + local gallery


E

veryone wants to be an artist—or so it is sometimes said. There’s an undeniable allure in choosing a path that encourages the free pursuit of creative expression. Behind the success of nearly every artist, however, are those who make it possible—from the galleries who spread the word about their work, to public organizations like the Town of Breckenridge and Breckenridge Creative Arts (BCA), who advance the overall cause through venues, events, and initiatives that create opportunities for artists. For young people interested in a career in the arts—whether as a creator of art or immersed in the world that supports them—a hands-on internship is a way to gain a perspective on career options, and make connections in the art world. “I was really interested in photography, so I decided to learn more about the arts,” said Hayden Van Loan, a junior at Summit High School who was the first to participate in a new internship program from Breckenridge Creative Arts, spearheaded by the organization’s new director of learning and innovation, Becca Spiro. Hayden splits her time between BCA and the local gallery Art on a Whim, where she spends 2.5 hours, two days a week, after school for a semester. “The goal is to expose her to both the commercial side of the art business, as well as mission-based, nonprofit arts management,” said Robb Woulfe, BCA’s executive director. The internship satisfies part of Hayden’s requirements for her one-credit internship class at Summit High School, taught by Tom Lutke.

At BCA, she helps install shows, welcomes guests to Old Masonic Hall, and researches arts programs in other towns. She manned the photo booth at Día de los Muertos, and even attended a Town Council meeting. At Art on a Whim, she shadows owner Brian Raitman on all aspects of what it takes to run a gallery. Then at the end of the program, she will give a culminating presentation to her class. “Whatever I’m working on, she’s working on,” said Raitman, who describes Art on a Whim— soon to be renamed The Raitman Gallery— as “the most contemporary gallery in Breckenridge.” “We are not your traditional gallery,” he said. “I think Hayden enjoys that. It does speak to the younger generation.” Hayden has studied the gallery’s best-selling artist, Chris Lundy. She writes letters and emails to clients, and helps move art around. In turn, Raitman gets an excellent short-term employee, and the rewarding experience “to foster the professional growth of someone in our community.” Looking forward, Spiro hopes to invite more galleries to participate in the internship program, and to add college and professional development credit opportunities for older students and professionals alike. “When we interviewed her, her big thing was to figure out how artists get accepted into galleries, so it was cool for her to see how we deal with our artists, and how and why we select certain work,” Raitman said. “It’s really neat for her to see, literally and hands-on, how a gallery operates. For someone who wants to get into the art industry, this is invaluable.”

BCA teaching and learning // breckcreate.org > learn

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

39


/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 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 235 S Ridge St. #2A thebrandonagency.com GatherHouse Inc. 110 Second Ave., Frisco gatherhouse.com KL Creative Design 304 Illinois Gulch Rd. klcreativedesign.com McGraphix Creative & Consulting 201 S Ridge St. mcgraphixcreative.com Nikki LaRochelle Design nikkilarochelle.com

Squeeze Designz squeeze-designz.com Straughn Design 552 97 Circle straughndesign.com Summit Creations 102 Continental Ct. summitcreations.com

Galleries Arts Alive 500 S. Main St. summitarts.org Art on a Whim 100 N. Main St. artonawhim.com Blue River Fine Art Gallery 411 S. Main St. blueriverfineartgallery.com Breckenridge Art Supply 201 S. Ridge St. artsupplybreck.com Breckenridge Fine Art Gallery 421 S. Main St. vailfineart.com Breckenridge Gallery 124 S. Main St. breckenridge-gallery.com Colorado Scenics 421 S. Main St. coloradoscenics.com Exclusive Collections 421 S. Main St. ecgallery.com Gary Soles Gallery 300 S. Main St. breckenridgephotoshop.com The Photo Shop 300 S. Main St. breckenridgephotoshop.com

Museums + Historic Sites Alice G. Milne House and Memorial Park 102 N. Harris St. breckheritage.com Barney Ford House Museum 111 E. Washington Ave. breckheritage.com Breckenridge Sawmill Museum Boreas Pass Rd. breckheritage.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 Children’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

Architecture

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

Arapahoe Architects 322-C N. Main St. arapahoearchitects.com

Global Candle Gallery 326 S. Main St. globalcandlegallery.com

bhh Partners 160 E. Adams Ave. bhhpartners.com

JK Studio 100 S. Main St., 2nd floor jkstudiollc.com

Equinox Architecture, LLC 520 S. Main St. equinoxarchitecture.com

Magical Scraps 310 S. Main St. magicalscraps.com

J.L. Sutterley Architect 500 S. Ridge St. jlsutterlyarchitect.com

Marigolds Farmhouse Funk + Junk 215 S. Main St. marigoldsfarmhousefunkandjunk.com

Matthew Stais Architects 108 N. Ridge St. staisarchitects.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

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

Michael F. Gallagher Architect michaelgallagher.com

Cabin Coffee Company 222 S. Main St. cabincoffeecompany.com

Neely Architecture 1705 Airport Rd. neelyarchitecture.com

Clint’s Bakery & Coffee House 131 S. Main St. clintsbakery.com

Healing Arts

Cuppa Joe 118 S. Ridge St.

Alpine Spa and Salon 500 S. Main St., 3rd floor alpinespaandsalon.com Ambika Healing 435 N. Park Ave. ambika.massagetherapy.com

Mug Shot Café 435 N. Park Ave. Starbucks 225 S. Main St. starbucks.com

Blue Sage Spa 224 S. Main St. bluesagespa.com Breckenridge Bliss Massage Therapy 325 S. Main St. breckenridgeblissmassage.com Meta Yoga Studios 118 S. Ridge St. metayogastudios.com

/KRĒ'ĀT/

PAGE

BRECKENRIDGE CREATIVE ARTS

WINTER 16+17

41


Sponsor and partner logos sculpted into ice by Stephen Fuller of Kaleidoscope Ice for the International Snow Sculpture Championships, which return to downtown Breckenridge January 28 to February 5, 2017.

krēˈāt issue 5  

mountain arts + culture quarterly