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/krē’āt/ mountain arts + culture quarterly

Published by Breckenridge Creative Arts | ISSUE NO. 6, Spring 2017


/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

contents features LAND OF CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS AN INSTITUTION TRANSFORMS TECHNOLOGY. NATURE. HUMANKIND.

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departments Foreward

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Editor + Content Writer Conversations HONEST MUSIC

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Portrait MARY HART, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT

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Scene ECOLOGY THROUGH AN ARTIST’S LENS

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Smith, and Russick Smith.

Around Town GIVING VOICE TO ART

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Cover Artwork

Objectified PROWLIN’

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Sourced

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Erica Marciniec

Art Director + Designer Kate Hudnut, GatherHouse Inc.

Contributing Photographer Liam Doran

Additional Photo Credits Colorado Creative Industries photos by Liam Doran, Jenise Jensen, and Joe Kusumoto; WAVE photos by Valéry Bellengier, Tom Dekyvere, Mark Pickthall, Amanda Parer Studios, Purring Tiger, Andrew Wade

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


FOREWARD /krē’āt/ spring 17

The spring issue of /krē’āt/ sheds light on our many points of intersection— from our relationships with the natural environment and the modern, digital world we have created, to those that exist among all of us. In anticipation of the Colorado Creative Industries Summit taking place in Breckenridge in May, we look at how partnering in the context of art and society helps to foment creative convergence, from our town to greater Colorado to the U.S. and beyond. Meanwhile in Breckenridge, four local galleries weigh in on the business then and now. June promises the return of WAVE: Light + Water + Sound, a light festival featuring technology-rich, large-scale, public artworks that invite community interaction and dialog. Underlying the playful installations is a call to contemplate ecological issues, and our role in the vast, intersecting web of nature, technology, and humanity that forms the framework of our existence.


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FEATURED ORGANIZATION Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado Creative Industries is the state arts agency dedicated to spurring growth in the creative sector among nonprofit organizations and private businesses alike.


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Land of creative entrepreneurs Colorado builds up arts economy; Breckenridge is a role model


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olorado is proving to be a land of opportunity for artists, performers, creative sector employees, and entrepreneurs, thanks in part to efforts by the State to build up the creative economy. With support from Colorado Creative Industries and a growing list of partners, new Creative Districts are popping up in communities across the state, and Colorado musicians are touring towns whose residents thirst for live shows but don’t get enough of them. Artists can apply for subsidized live/work space through the Space to Create program, and stakeholders from across the creative spectrum meet up annually to network and collaborate. The recent push to invest in the State’s creative economy began in 2010 under Governor John Hickenlooper, who led the charge to merge Colorado’s previous arts agencies into Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), now under the Office of Economic Development. “What really makes us unique is we are the only state arts agency that serves both the for-profit creative sector as well as the nonprofit sector,” said Margaret Hunt, CCI’s executive director. Nonprofit arts organizations benefit from funding, but so too do aspiring artists, for example, who can apply for a Career Advancement Grant or various calls for

entry. “We approach our work as an economic development strategy,” Hunt explained. “We’re about job creation.” Nationwide, creative sector growth is around 2% annually. But Colorado has witnessed an annual growth rate from 4-6% in its Creative Districts and other investment areas since it began collecting data in 2013, Hunt said. The Creative District program, launched in 2011, recognizes communities who have invested in creative centers that are walkable; distinguished by physical, artistic, and cultural resources; and have a concentration of arts and cultural organizations and creative resources. To become certified, communities must have a sustainable financial plan and arts programming in place. Benefits include technical and marketing assistance, training, networking, and access to funding. “When a community has a Creative District, it sends the message to creative workers—you’re valued here; you are part of this economy,” Hunt said. “When creative workers cluster together it’s like the rising tide rises all ships. We are seeing increases in revenue and job creation, as well as community identity. People want to live in communities where there are interesting people and things to do.”


Breckenridge earned its Colorado-Certified Creative District designation in 2016. The district includes cultural corridors along and intersecting with Main Street, as well as local creative businesses and organizations. At its core is the Breckenridge Arts District, a lively campus of renovated historic structures that now function as studio spaces for classes, workshops, affordable rentals by local artists, and a visiting artist-in-residence program. “Breckenridge is an exemplary Creative District for a number of reasons,” said Christine Costello, CCI’s manager of Creative Districts and community engagement. “It is probably our best example of how a town and council have supported a Creative District financially. We point to Breckenridge as an example of how they’ve integrated the Creative District into their overall tourism strategy. When people from other districts and states ask us who is doing a good job using their Creative District for tourism and securing funding from the community, we say, ‘Breckenridge is your town.’” On May 4-5, 2017, Breckenridge will host CCI’s 6th annual Creative Industries Summit—a two-day professional development event for creative entrepreneurs, artists, Creative District leaders, and municipal and nonprofit

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cultural workers. Among the keynote speakers are Daniel Windham and Bob Harlow from The Wallace Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit group that works to improve learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children, and uses evidence-based strategies to foster the vitality of the arts for all audiences. While the summit attracts creative stakeholders from around the state, an important component is how it connects into and showcases the host community with events that feature local creative organizations, artists, performers, and resources. “What we’ve created here is really a learning community of multiple municipalities and artists and creative sector workers across the state,” Hunt said. After last year’s Creative Industries Summit in Salida, one local artist was invited to exhibit in Telluride. “It’s interesting to see how the communities are sourcing one another,” she said. “It’s really created a supportive, collaborative, statewide network.” The State recently unveiled components of its new Colorado Music Strategy, a multi-pronged effort in partnership with the Bohemian Foundation that is designed to bolster the Colorado music industry.

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One part is Detour, in which local bands and musicians embark on a three-week tour to rural and mountain communities. Piloted in 2015 with the Denver band Flobots as the lead, the first tour met with people from all walks of life, and included down time for the musicians’ own development. Along the route, locals opened their homes to house and feed the musicians, who in turn mentored younger musicians. “What we are setting up is touring routes, if you will,” said Hunt. “There were communities they went to that have never had a live music performance before. It was profound for the communities and profound for the musicians themselves.” Other components of the Music Strategy include working with the Western States Arts Federation’s IMTour, to help Colorado musicians access touring opportunities outside Colorado; and the Colorado Music Licensing project, led by DeVotchKa percussionist Shawn King, which helps local musicians connect into paid media projects like commercials and videos. Hunt emphasized that data collection and analysis will be a major component of the strategy’s evolution. “We know that we have a Colorado brand, that music is part of the Colorado identity,” she said. Now the goal is to figure out how to advance that Colorado brand. Last year, Breckenridge Creative Arts (BCA) launched the first-ever Colorado Music Convergence—a weekend gathering and showcase for independent artists, bands, and industry professionals from around the state, which featured career development workshops, mentoring, networking, and performances. The hope is that the Convergence will become a blueprint for similar networking events statewide. BCA also plans to host music

showcases in support of the Music Strategy around this year’s Creative Industries Summit. “We are really looking forward to hosting the Creative Industries Summit,” said Robb Woulfe, CEO of Breckenridge Creative Arts, or BreckCreate, the nonprofit organization formed by the Town of Breckenridge in 2014 to manage its cultural assets while driving tourism through multidisciplinary arts programming. “It’s exciting to share our story with the Colorado arts world,” Woulfe said. “Hopefully it inspires others to see how communities and municipalities can work together to create these types of programs, and to recognize the value of public art.” “Breckenridge is an amazing example of what a Creative District can be,” Costello added, for reasons ranging from its efforts in historic preservation and provision of creative facilities for the public to “programming that rivals any big city.” She applauded the Town’s approach to the structure and management of BCA, and the fact that it chose to hire a “CEO of cultural arts” to lead the new enterprise. “From the beginning Breckenridge has taken this very seriously,” Costello said, “and the quality of talent and leadership has been really key to the development of the Creative District in Breckenridge.” For Breckenridge, becoming a ColoradoCertified Creative District was the start of something. It opened up fundraising opportunities, and helped BCA connect with other partners. “It allows us to be a greater partner with the State,” said Woulfe. “Instead of staying in our own little world, we can reach out beyond our community, and help to make a difference in a larger context.”

Colorado Creative Industries // coloradocreativeindustries.org

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/conversations/


Honest music Russick Smith plays in the trees, cultivates music community

Tell us about your musical background. I started playing cello when I was 9 because it was big and nobody else was checking it

Tell us about the Breckenridge Authentic Music Project. The Breckenridge Authentic Music Project

out during the instrument petting zoo in the school’s cafeteria. When I was in my teens I switched over to electric bass to play rock n’ roll. I ended up studying jazz theory on the bass. I had also been toying with other instruments in those years, and recording them on a four-track cassette. That got me into recording and I ended up studying audio engineering at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences.

(AMP) is my way of trying to encourage local musicians to refine the original music they’re writing into a finished product. It started because I knew some people who were writing really good songs that would never leave their living rooms. I wanted to use my background with music and recording to help get those songs out to a broader audience. We released “This Is What We’re Doing” to give a window into some of the music that was happening around the community.

Do you prefer certain styles of music? I prefer music that is honest, regardless of genre or style. I’ve played anywhere from classical to electronica to country to Goth rock to metal to religious contemporary to RnB to avant-garde. It’s all just sounds that express different aspects of the human experience. The record I’m working on right now is cello, upright bass, mandolin, guitar, and banjo. It could be described as chamber music on traditionally bluegrass instruments. But my live set, depending on the venue, also has electronic pieces and lyric work that aren’t currently out on record. Where were you before Breckenridge? I grew up in Colorado. Between then and moving back, I worked on traditionally-rigged sailing ships on the east coast, and before that in recording studios in Woodstock, NY.

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And Songwriters’ Circle? Songwriters’ Circle is an extension of that project. Part of helping musicians grow artistically and professionally was helping them start and finish their songs. As far as I knew there were places to present music (i.e. open mics), which was like Step 2 in the artistic process, but nowhere to work on Step 1. So Songwriters’ Circle started as a monthly group where people could come to get constructive feedback from other musicians in the community. The Songwriters’ Circle is nice because it connects the community while also helping everyone to improve. Why cultivate a community of music? I believe a strong music community contributes

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to healthy general community; it adds depth and cultivates character. There have been a number of musicians who have come through town seasonally with whom I’ve really enjoyed working, but they left for other opportunities. With a stronger music community, they might have more reason to stick around.

which is very personal. That close proximity has created some really beautiful interactions that wouldn’t have happened any other way. It’s also fun to let the kids (and some adults too!) try the cello. I remember how it felt the first time I put the bow on the strings, so I love passing that moment on to a future generation.

What did you think of last year’s Colorado Music Convergence? I loved the Convergence! The Convergence allowed us all to make connections that would not have easily been made without it. There’s some cool stuff happening in the Colorado music scene, but it can be difficult to connect region to region. The Convergence allowed that to happen; it gave a forum for our collective identity to grow.

Where else have you played? I’ve played in the middle of a river, on the deck of a schooner under sail, inside art installations, for a gate guard at a rodeo, off the ground in a tree stand for a solo performance piece called “Music for the Birds.” I really like to change the setting where music happens because it changes the way the music is received. A performance, at its best, transports both the audience and the player and creates a singular, beautiful moment. The non-traditional presentation strips away the audience’s pre-conceived expectations, allowing them to be more open to the performance and music, which can resonate at a deeper level.

What’s your take on the Colorado music scene? It’s great to watch it develop. When I was growing up, the scene didn’t seem to be all that prevalent. We’ve had some recognizable Colorado artists in the past number of years who have increased our visibility on the national stage. As a result, opportunity has increased for artists. The cooperative attitude of the Colorado music scene is really heartening across genres and geography. There are a lot of genuine people working together to overcome challenges and actualize opportunities. I understand you also busk? I like to sit in Blue River Plaza on summer evenings. You are right next to your audience,

From where do you draw creative inspiration? In general, personal experiences. More specifically, the subtext of those experiences. Like writing about a landscape but not its physical features; writing instead about what that landscape generates introspectively. Describing a mirror by its reflection. Writing musical harmonies to the melodies of a specific moment or event. My creative inspiration uses life’s subtext as a catalyst for some cool musical sounds.

Russick Smith // russicksmith.com Breckenridge Authentic Music Project // breckords.com/breck-amp Songwriters’ Circle // breckcreate.org


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/portrait/


Mary Hart

Principal, Mary Hart Design LLC Background Home: Breckenridge, Colorado for 22 years Education: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Penn State University Why Breckenridge? The amazing community and mountain environment

Art Medium: Outside places Latest project: Maryland Mountain Trail System in Black Hawk, Colorado Favorite creative space: New places that require travel Source of inspiration: Design clues from context, so that solutions are authentic to place Creativity is: Finding a unique way to connect people to their place

Insights Personal hero: He knows who he is. Favorite book: “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery Favorite restaurant: Cuppa Joe for coffee and eggs Song in your head right now: “Believe” by Mumford & Sons 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: “Young Frankenstein” (My family knows every line.) Favorite causes: Sustainability Favorite way to spend free time: Summers mountain biking, winters skiing—up, down, sideways

Confessions What keeps you up at night? My ornery old cat, Louie Pet peeve: Social media First job: Lifeguard First choice for a new career: Yoga What do you do to recharge your batteries? Swedish Fish, and a second cup of coffee

Landscape architect Mary Hart aspires to create communities and places that are harmonious with the environment and authentically rooted to context. One of her projects was site planning and landscape design for the Breckenridge Arts District. She is originally from Fairport, New York. Mary Hart Design // maryhartdesign.com

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FEATURED CREATIVE BRECKENRIDGE ART GALLERIES

Once the go-to place to shop for art, local galleries now compete with online sales and art fairs. Here, four local galleries discuss the modern gallery landscape.


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An institution transforms Local art galleries weigh in on the business then + now


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nce upon a time you went to an art gallery to shop for art. Now, consumers can browse artworks online in the comfort of their own homes. They can also frequent art fairs— those periodic assemblages of art, both fine and kitsch, gathered into booths and at times accompanied by a raucous party. For better or for worse, the gallery landscape has changed. Parallels exist in other industries, such as movies and music, where the internet has taken such a large market share that storefronts selling video rentals, DVD’s, and CD’s have quietly disappeared. “I grew up going to every single gallery possible. My parents dragged me all over the place,” said Brian Raitman, who opened Art on A Whim in Breckenridge—since renamed Raitman Art Galleries—with his parents and brother a decade ago, followed by their Vail location in 2013. “It’s really changed. Galleries are no longer the only place to find art.” Raitman, 34, describes the gallery’s collection as “really unique and uplifting artwork with a contemporary edge,” and takes pride in focusing on Colorado artists. At the same time, he explained, “wall space is precious,” so they are extremely careful about what artists they represent. “We live in an age of so much ridiculous access to information,” Raitman said. “Art is not immune to that. We get 80 formal artist submissions a year. Our duty in selecting art to put on this kind of a platform is to filter out so much of what we see in the world, and present it in a way that is clear, concise, and exciting.” If a customer doesn’t find what she seeks at Raitman Art Galleries, the owners send her to Gary and Janet Freese at Breckenridge Gallery, by far the town’s most long-lived gallery. It opened its doors in 1969, and the Freeses purchased it in 1976. It carries original works from Western subjects to contemporary abstract paintings. “We like to find emerging artists and watch them grow,” Gary Freese said. “Several of the artists we have carried for years are now in permanent museum collections.” Breckenridge Gallery is working to increase its online presence to reach a broader audience, and relies on a strong base of second-home owners for clientele. Down the street at Blue River Fine Art Gallery, owner Jerry Georgeff relies heavily on repeat business—a great deal of which, too, is from customers who own homes in the area but don’t live in the high country full time.


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“I’ve got clients who’ve been buying paintings from me for 14 years,” said Georgeff, a landscape artist who opened the gallery in 2013 after the gallery that represented him for more than a decade closed its doors. “My clients come for Christmas and bring the whole family in. Often, we go out to dinner,” he said. “I’ve flown to primary homes to deliver art, and to spend the weekend. You develop a real comradery with your clients.” Much of the work featured at Blue River Fine Art Gallery is representational and has a local theme, but not all. “I sell a lot of water lily paintings, for example,” Georgeff said. His collection centers on paintings and sculpture, and includes works in ceramic, metal, glass, and wood. “You come in with a certain concept and see what people like and try to surround yourself with what you think people will want to buy,” he said. “It will surprise you sometimes.” For Georgeff, word-of-mouth and walk-in business is part of the equation, although he admits it used to be easier to attract customers by displaying artworks outside the store, before he received a citation for doing so. “I feel sometimes like we’re swimming upstream with some of the politics of the city,” he said. “It’s nothing major—just sometimes it’s a little more difficult to operate than it used to be.” Georgeff maintains a growing client list and follows up with his customers regularly. “Sometimes you work months or years before you get someone to buy something,” he said. To that end, Blue River Fine Art Gallery does a lot of commission work, producing paintings to a customer’s specifications for size, subject, or price. Raitman, too, sees the customer-gallery relationship as a crucial component of what galleries offer the modern art buyer. Recently, he shipped a painting to a customer sight-unseen, and when she didn’t like the top edge of the piece, he offered to have the artist repaint that portion. “Quality—in terms of artwork and in terms of customer service—have become more important as the art world expands,” he said. “At the end of the day we are a relationship-based business. People are spending thousands of dollars with us. They have to be able to trust us—that we’ve got what they’re looking for, and that we are going to stand behind it.” Taking pains to change with the changing times, Raitman was just back from representing the gallery—and thus the towns of Breckenridge and Vail—at Miami Art Week, one of the biggest gatherings of art fairs in the nation. The Raitmans participate in some of the local art fairs too, even though there’s a long-held sentiment that the fairs compete with shops for visitor business. “Literally every weekend in summer there’s an art fair in the mountains,” he said. “It’s a bummer we’re the one industry that faces that. They don’t have ski swaps every weekend of winter. It’s kind of become a necessary evil for us to put art in a tent.” “It’s harder now,” Raitman added. “When we opened there were 15-20 traditional art galleries in town. We’re down to six.”


The newest gallery in Breckenridge is Exclusive Collections, which opened in 2015 in the space that once housed Breckenridge Fine Art. Owner Ruth-Ann Thorn—who also has galleries in San Diego, Beverly Hills, and Las Vegas—had worked with the previous owner, Jim Tyllich, as an artist agent, so when Tyllich decided to close the store, he asked her to take it on. Exclusive Collections carries an eclectic mix of original pieces and limited edition prints, with prices ranging from $200 to $100,000. “We want everyone to have the ability to collect something if they want to,” Thorn said. The work is geared toward a younger demographic, between the ages of 35 and 60. “I think as an art dealer it’s really important to remain relevant,” Thorn said, describing how she bounces ideas off young people to get a sense of what they like. “I put my ego aside and look at it through their eyes,” she said, even if a work doesn’t appeal to her own aesthetic. “You have to be willing to listen to other people’s opinions when you’re curating for a gallery.” Thorn admits there’s been added competition from online sales and art fairs in recent years, but she also sees that as a way for her artists to stand out even more. “I’m pretty confident I’ve chosen some of the best artists of our time,” she said. She advises would-be art buyers not to be intimidated when they walk into a gallery. “Collectors should feel empowered; they should feel like their opinion matters,” she said. “I always want to let them know—just allow yourself to decide what you enjoy. I want to encourage people to have that experience of enjoying art and living with it. Ultimately it’s mind-blowing how a painting that someone

created from their soul affects another person’s soul. That’s what great art is all about.” The new gallery launched a series of Locals Nights, which take place on the first Thursday of each month. Over food, wine, music, and giveaways, Thorn’s goal is to provide a space for the community to meet up. “Most of the businesses here cater to the tourists,” she said. “I thought—there are so many people who are making this their actual home, why not send a flyer?” Thorn applauded WAVE, the free festival launched last year by Breckenridge Creative Arts that features interactive, illuminated sculptures downtown in Blue River Plaza. “Anything that can be done to support the arts or focus on the arts is wonderful,” she said. And yet, others remain concerned that even sale-free events take attention away from their galleries. “The gallery business can be very fragile, especially when there is an abundance of outside programming in our busiest seasons,” noted Freese, of Breckenridge Gallery. “We have lost countless galleries in Breckenridge over the years, so it is important for those of us who are still standing to come together and make sure that Breckenridge is a destination for art.” For Freese, the outlook for the future is nonetheless good. “We are always optimistic that our gallery will continue to attract collectors,” he said. “We believe in our artists and the work that they produce—and strong art will always find a home.”

Raitman Art Galleries, formerly Art on a Whim // 100 N. Main St. #108 // raitmanart.com Breckenridge Art Gallery // 124 S. Main St. // breckenridge-gallery.com Blue River Fine Art Gallery // 411 S. Main St. // blueriverfineartgallery.com Exclusive Collections // 421 S. Main St. // ecgallery.com/our-galleries/breckenridge /KRĒ'ĀT/

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FEATURED EVENT WAVE: Light + Water + Sound

World artists mesh with local talent June 1-4 for the 2nd annual WAVE festival, featuring interactive, contemporary art curated around the themes of water, light, and sound.


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Technology. Nature. Humankind. WAVE explores impact + connections with light + water + sound


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reckenridge prepares to transform its downtown landscape once again with WAVE: Light + Water + Sound, a festival in the tradition of Scottsdale, Arizona’s Canal Convergence and other “light festivals” around the world, launched by Breckenridge Creative Arts (BCA) last year. Taking place June 1-4, WAVE will animate public spaces from Blue River Plaza to the river itself with a whimsical riot of large-scale, contemporary public art, both illuminated and interactive. Artists rely on state-of-the-art digital technology to produce immense, colorfully lit pieces that burst the bounds of traditional art. Curated around the themes of water, light, and sound, WAVE also emphasizes artworks and activities that explore ecological topics, echoing local residents’ love and concern for the natural environment in a playful way that invites participation without preaching. ‘Intrude’ by Amanda Parer

Imagine if town were taken over by six enormous bunnies—some reclining, some perched alert at the ready, and all towering above your head, 20-40 feet tall. That describes Amanda Parer’s forthcoming installation, which calls attention to the ecological impact of this seemingly harmless introduced species in her native Australia. Many people think of rabbits as cute and cuddly creatives, evocative of story tales, or chocolates and Easter. And yet, introduced to Australia 200 years ago by white setters, rabbits have wreaked havoc upon the native flora and fauna. “I use the rabbit as a symbol,“ said Parer. “We are doing a lot of trudging around the earth without the forethought of

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the effect.” At the same time, “seeing a giant rabbit in the landscape is funny,” she said. “It’s a humorous way to pass on a serious message.” Parer began doing installation art in 2014 after years working in paint. Even then, her preferred format was large-scale—paintings meant to fill an entire field of vision. “I like the idea of encompassing people in a space with an artwork,” she said. Many of the galleries who collected her work preferred smaller pieces, however, which she found restrictive. “I saw festivals as a way to break out,” Parer said. “I’m really enjoying this sort of invading whole spaces; it’s really fun. I haven’t picked up a brush since.” Parer is currently working on a new piece called “Fantastic Planet,” inspired by a Czech animation of the same name in which human beings become the feral species of the future. The work will feature five enormous but playful humanoid figures, soon to take over parks and city spaces worldwide. ‘Polygonum 2.0’ by Tom Dekyvere

Belgian artist Tom Dekyvere will create a massive overhead network of glowing ropes, tracing unseen connections between people, environment, and the digital world. The artist visited Breckenridge in February to study connection points between local structures and natural objects like trees. “I always work site-specific with the structures I make,” he said. “The work is custom made for Breckenridge.” Dekyvere’s glowing rope structures explore intersections between humans, nature, and technology, showing “similarities in form language between our analog world—the fauna and flora, the natural environment; and

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our digital world—our social networks, our behavior on the internet, bytes and data,” he said. “That is what the work is all about— artificial structures that have the same form language as natural structures.” He uses 6-millimeter-thick nylon ropes knotted together without touching to form a geometrical pattern “like a bone structure growing through each other,” he said. The ropes are illuminated by ultraviolet and deep blue lights projected on them. Most of his materials are upcycled from previous installations, and he chose LED lights because they consume less energy than traditional light sources. “I wanted to be able to paint in the sky,” Dekyvere said of his chosen medium. As a child, he was intrigued by the lines traced across the sky by passing airplanes. “For me all these lines were making crosses with each other,” he said. “It meant people traveling from one place to another—intersections, people connected to each other without knowing it.” The 32-year-old has shown his work around the globe, from Sydney to London to the Van Abbe Museum in the Netherlands, where he shared exhibition space with some of the biggest light artists in the world. In February, he made his U.S. premiere at Canal Convergence by Scottsdale Public Art, which helped BCA to bring Dekyvere on board for WAVE.

“I’m always thinking about how people move, how this installation makes people move,” said Kawai, a Japanese choreographer and dancer who partners with American new media artist Aaron Sherwood in Purring Tiger, the collaboration that brought MICRO forth. “Whatever the reaction coming out from people—the honest reaction, surprise, or sometimes there’s a fear to touch, shifting into wonder and enjoying the movement and the touch itself,” Kawai said. “That type of movement honestly coming out of people’s bodies—that dance aspect—is mostly what I’m focusing on.” Sherwood, who explores cause and effect in his work, did the music, electrical design, and engineering for the piece. Visually, the hanging spheres evoke a world of subatomic particles and quantum physics. Mechanically, they speak to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle—wherein “you try to observe something, and just by the very fact of observing it you change it,” he explained. So with MICRO, “you touch it; it lights up; it makes a sound.” Often, the artists observe, tentative exploration gives way to surprise and then wonder, and there’s an opening up as people begin to play with the piece. “Kids definitely love it,” said Sherwood. “What’s really interesting to us is when we see the adults start acting like kids and playing with it, stepping out of their day-to-day reality.”

‘MICRO’ by Purring Tiger

The interactive installation “MICRO” by Aaron Sherwood and Kiori Kawai aims to elicit spontaneous performance art from audiences, moving them to dance by the sound and light responses triggered each time they touch one of 200 spheres suspended from above.

Sherwood and Kawai will arrive in Breckenridge prior to the WAVE festival to do a residency at the Robert Whyte House, during which Kawai will reach out to local dancers to choreograph a site-specific performance with MICRO for the festival.


Partnerships + Pieces

Also exhibiting at WAVE is Andrew Wade Smith, a Portland-based media artist who will do a residency at the Tin Shop in the weeks leading up to the festival. Smith aims to integrate the science of “cymatics”—which translates literally to “wave” and utilizes vibrational phenomena— in some of the large-scale, site-specific digital projection and sound environments he is planning for the interior and exterior of Old Masonic Hall. WAVE will also feature light and shadow installations by Denver-based artists Sophia Dixon Dillo and Jane Guthridge. The festival welcomes a host of local and regional artists and partners for the first time this year, including High Country Conservation Center (HC3) and Keystone Science School. HC3 is providing repurposed water bottles for a participatory public art installation, while sharing educational statistics about water use and the global plastic pollution crisis. Children’s workshops from Keystone Science School will concentrate on water ecology in our local rivers with activities such as water quality testing and a hunt for microorganisms. The local partnerships help to create more connections between art and environmentalism, according to Becca Spiro, director of learning and innovation for BCA.

“None of us can do it alone,” said Robb Woulfe, CEO of Breckenridge Creative Arts, who modeled WAVE: Light + Water + Sound after Scottsdale’s Canal Convergence. “We are working to develop a robust partnership with Scottsdale Public Art. This is our first foray into what I would call co-presentations, and eventually co-commissions.” Partnerships with arts organizations and creative sector members make it possible to commission new artworks, or share ideas and costs on projects such as WAVE, he explained. “You learn from your colleagues; you share with your colleagues; and you hopefully all grow as a sector.” “WAVE is special because it takes our familiar, day-to-day public spaces and uses them as canvases upon which fantastic and meaningful pieces of contemporary art are created. These artworks are so sensational, so engaging, they can’t help but bring people together,” Woulfe said. “Whether you’re playing with people you’ve never met while interacting with MICRO’s hanging spheres, or pausing to reflect on our environmental impact beneath Amanda Parer’s giant bunnies, we hope these moments of spontaneous interaction will bring people together, building community in the shared space of wonder and awe.”

Aaron Sherwood + Kiori Kawai, Purring Tiger // purringt.com Amanda Parer // amandaparer.com Tom Dekyvere // tomdekyvere.com Andrew Wade Smith // processartifact.com Sophia Dixon Dillo // sophiadillo.com Jane Guthridge // janeguthridge.com

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/scene/

Ecology through an artist’s lens Local organizations partner on arts + environment

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rt has long served as a catalyst for dialog, particularly when it turns its interpretive lens to reflect upon the major issues of an era. On April 20, 2017, art and nature lovers will meet up at Breckenridge Theater to explore the topic of art ecology—the intersection of people and their environment through an

artist’s lens—with a film screening and discussion led by High Country Conservation Center (HC3). The event is part of BREW: Ideas + Creation Lab, a monthly salon series from Breckenridge Creative Arts (BCA) that provides a forum for discussion among creative professionals.


“An increasing number of contemporary artists are shaping their subject matter around environmental issues,” said Becca Spiro, BCA’s director of learning and innovation, who is also working with HC3 on educational activities for WAVE: Light + Water + Sound, BCA’s June festival that explores water and environmental topics through public art. “Art represents a way to inform and influence change,” she said.

food production, High Country Conservation Center kicked off its new water conservation program last year around the same time as BCA’s first WAVE festival. Partnering together to raise awareness seemed like a natural fit. “We are excited to engage with a new audience, and get word out about our organization,” said Burley. “We are thankful BreckCreate has decided to partner with us.”

The April BREW will feature a screening from “Ecology,” a PBS documentary from Art21 featuring the work of contemporary environmental artists, including photographer Robert Adams, whose subject is the American West. “It’s a region for which the country had great hopes and something very distressing has happened in the course of that effort,” Adams told Art21. “We’ve got to try to fix it but not lose heart.” His work documents “what’s glorious in the West and remains glorious,” while also showing “what is disturbing and what needs correction.”

In addition to hosting the April BREW, HC3 is collecting used plastic water bottles, which volunteers will use to create a work of art with BCA’s guidance at the WAVE festival in June.

HC3 will use the film segment as a jumping-off point for a discussion on “how art can activate our sense of place and our relationship with the environment,” explained Jessica Burley, the group’s community programs manager. “Can we better utilize art to tell the story of changing landscapes, and motivate communities to imagine a more sustainable and harmonious future?” A nonprofit organization that promotes waste reduction, water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable

“Water bottles are one of the largest plastic pollutants in the world,” said Burley. Although they can be recycled or reused, many end up polluting waterways and natural spaces. “It calls into question the need to have these water bottles at all,” Burley said. HC3 will share statistics on the bottles’ environmental impact, and a series of ways viewers can engage with the group and other organizations to take action. The idea is modeled after the Denver Zoo’s exhibit of “Washed Ashore, Art to Save the Sea,” featuring art created from beach debris along with information on how the debris impacts sea life. “Our goal is to create meaningful connections between the exhibited artwork and environmental issues,” Spiro said. “We hope that visitors will be emotionally impacted and inspired to learn more about local and global environmental issues.”

High Country Conservation Center // highcountryconservation.org PBS documentary ‘Ecology’ // art21.org/films/ecology

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/around town/


Giving voice to art New audio tours tell the story of Breckenridge public art

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here’s no denying Breckenridge is rich in public art—from the stalwart bronze sculpture of Civil Rights leader Barney L. Ford downtown, to the whimsical steel and stone bridge over a waterway at the town’s north end, to the abstract sculpture of rocks and weathered steel that reaches for the sky at the ice arena. In total there are 31 pieces of public art in the Breckenridge collection, amassed over more than 20 years, and each with its own story to tell. Now, Breckenridge Creative Arts (BCA) makes those stories accessible to all with the release of its new Breckenridge Public Art + Arts District Audio Tour, hosted on the mobile app CultureSpots at https://spts.us/bca. The app contains three self-guided walking tour routes—Public Art Downtown, Public Art North and East, and the Breckenridge Arts District campus and nearby cultural venues— accessed by typing the URL into a web browser on your mobile device. In addition, a printed map showing walking routes and numbered stops is available at Old Masonic Hall and the Breckenridge Welcome Center. Each stop includes the story of a given artwork or studio, voiced by a local community leader, along with photographs and written information. Local Public Art Advisory Committee member Janis Bunchman came up with the idea after taking part in a similar audio tour at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Fine Art at Utah State University.

“It’s very user-friendly, and free, so we are hoping people will take advantage of it,” said Becca Spiro, BCA’s director of learning and innovation, who spearheaded the project. Spiro is also retooling BCA’s docent-led “Art Around Town” walking tours, which will be offered from May to October at 3:30 p.m. Fridays and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays. Each of the new family-friendly tours includes five to seven artworks and is organized thematically with titles like “Skiing: History, Folklore, and Art” and “Human Connection and Harmony with Nature.” The tours will be led by local docents selected from a pool of applicants who complete a series of classes taught by Spiro. “As our collection continues to grow, this is a good time to stop and take note of what our current collection has to offer, and the rich history behind each piece,” Spiro said. At the same time, she hopes viewers will come to understand that these are not standalone artworks sprinkled randomly throughout town. Rather, they combine to tell a collective story of the generations who have come to call this land home—from the earliest native inhabitants to the miners and skiers who followed; from nature-lovers and adventure-seekers to artists, musicians, and dreamers—all gathered under the shadow of the majestic Ten Mile Range to appreciate what the high country has to offer.

Breckenridge Public Art + Arts District Audio Tour // spts.us/bca

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/objectified/ An object of art


Prowlin’ During construction of the Breckenridge Arts District, a well-loved family of foxes lived on campus, under Randall Barn. So when the Public Art Commission spotted Parker McDonald’s graceful, steel-fabricated piece at the Loveland Sculpture Invitational, they knew Breckenridge had to have it. The red fox is a ubiquitous sight in Breckenridge, where it has assimilated with its human neighbors, raising generations of furry families. “Prowlin’” not only commemorates a particular family of foxes, but all of our fox friends who remind us of the wild beauty of this place. Breckenridge Public Art Collection // breckcreate.org/explore/public-art Parker McDonald // parkermcdonald.com

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/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 Blue River Fine Art Gallery 411 S. Main St. blueriverfineartgallery.com Breckenridge Art Supply 201 S. Ridge St. artsupplybreck.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 JK Studio 100 S. Main St., 2nd floor jkstudiollc.com The Photo Shop 300 S. Main St. breckenridgephotoshop.com Raitman Art Galleries 100 N. Main St. artonawhim.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 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

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

Healing Arts Alpine Spa and Salon 500 S. Main St., 3rd floor alpinespaandsalon.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 Cuppa Joe 118 S. Ridge St.

Ruby Jane 232 S. Main St. valleygirlboutique.com

Ambika Healing 435 N. Park Ave. ambika.massagetherapy.com

Mug Shot Café 435 N. Park Ave.

Wandering Daisy 326 S. Main St.

Blue Sage Spa 224 S. Main St. bluesagespa.com

Starbucks 225 S. Main St. starbucks.com

Young Colors 226 S. Main St., Unit 1 youngcolors.com

Breckenridge Bliss Massage Therapy 325 S. Main St. breckenridgeblissmassage.com Meta Yoga Studios 118 S. Ridge St. metayogastudios.com

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The 2016 WAVE festival featured a series of short, water-themed films projected on an exterior wall of Old Masonic Hall in downtown Breckenridge. Presented in partnership with the Breckenridge Film Festival, ‘WAVE Reels’ returns for this year’s festival in June 2017.

krēˈāt issue 6  

mountain arts + culture quarterly

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