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427 E Colorado Ave
Colorado Springs, CO, 80903
United States




INTAKE: December 13, 2016 - December 17, 2016 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: January 6, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: January 28, 2017

Contemporary Realism is the straightforward realistic approach to representation which continues to be widely practiced in this post-abstract era. It is different from Photorealism, which is somewhat exaggerated and ironic and conceptual in its nature. These works may seem photorealistic from a distance, but they break down with proximity, where the texture of the paint becomes a tool that builds the subjects and brush strokes or layers of glaze become abstract moments within the world of the painting.

Realist painters are recognized by their choice of subject matter. A realist paints the world as around them they experience it and finds beauty and interest in everyday people, places, and things that the rest of society might find mundane. The realist is also defined by their technical execution, which aims for an accurate, truthful representation of the subject. Furthermore, much of the contemporary realist art that is agreed to be quality still has the edginess of subject matter that was the essential characteristic of nineteenth-century realism. This edginess may come from the portrayal of nudity, for example, but it can also come from the honest portrayal of subject matter not normally represented due to its banality or commonplace nature. All media will be considered except for photography.

January 26, 2017 - January 28, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: February 3, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: February 25, 2017

Quiet, restrained, powerful. This concept revolves around images that tell their stories quietly and succinctly with a “less-is-more” approach to composition and color. 

As an overstimulated society, we instinctively welcome calmness and visual respite that works as a contrast to the increasing visual noise in our lives. On the surface level images should be direct and uncomplicated with aims to engage emotions and spirit with a clean and clear message. This minimal expression focuses on refined expression and the distillation of complex ideas into elegant simplicity.

This quiet work is a chance to find peace in a complicated and noisy world. Pieces can be meditations, studies, reflections, introspections, and more but above all should bring peace and calm into your life and into the work. All media will be considered.

February 23, 2017 - February 25, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: March 3, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: March 25, 2017

Art depicting the human body and figure has been one of the central topics of visual art since pre-history, with the human form often considered the ideal of beauty from an aesthetic standpoint. A universal shared experience is having a body, although the ways we inhabit and experience these bodies as well as how our bodies are experienced and viewed by others vary widely. As a way to represent and understand identity and its facets, including gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality, the body is one of the most common artistic subjects, almost universal in its ubiquity across cultures.

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of social upheavals all around the world, with one of the most significant the fight for equality for women with regards to sexuality, reproductive rights, the family, and the workplace. During this time, artists and art historians began to investigate how images in Western art and the media—more often than not produced by men—perpetuated idealizations of the human form, and in particular the female form. Feminist artists reclaimed the female body and depicted it through a variety of lenses.

Representing the human form is a way to express a reality, an aesthetic, or a story. Pieces created can explore sense of self, culture, or identity. All media will be considered.

INTAKE: March 30, 2017 - April 1, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: April 7, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: April 29, 2017

Divine living illustrates our search for greater purpose. The word “divine” has two meanings. It means delightful, magnificent, and special, and it also plugs into the idea of supreme beings, heavenly bodies, and a desire for the marvelous, for quasi-mystical or religious experiences from monasticity to spirituality. Both of these aspects play out on the visual landscape, and include a surge of concepts such as goodness, intention, and interconnectedness. Soul-searching and contemplation are key elements and purpose, carefully selected treasured objects, and personal experiences dominate over mass accumulation.

Recent trends show people in moments of repose, asking themselves questions about how to live more meaningful lives and includes people’s search for connecting with something greater than themselves. In an overwhelming visual world, purpose is at the core of this narrative.

As eye-minded beings we are in a continual process of becoming and seeing and images should uplift and offer reflection and revelation. Where do you find the divine? All media will be considered.

INTAKE: April 27, 2017 - April 29, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: May 5, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: May 27, 2017

In art and design, a pattern is a regularity in design where an element or elements repeat in a predictable way. Decorations or visual motifs may be combined and repeated to form patterns that are designed to have a specific effect on a viewer. Patterns have been and continue to be integral to art all over the world, including the intricate geometric patterns of the Islamic world, the colorful floral embroideries of Turkey, Japanese woodblocks, and the diverse mosaics from Mexico, Rome, and the Byzantine empire.

An art movement sprung up around patterns in the 1970s known as Pattern and Decoration which blurred the line between art and design. Inspired by items such as wallpapers, printed fabrics, and quilts, P&D artists were acutely aware of the universe of cultures beyond or beneath Euro-American horizons and of the alternative models they offer for art. Varieties of art from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as well as folk traditions in the West all blur distinctions between art and design, using abstract design as a primary form as well as ornament as an end in itself.

Patterns can be made out of shapes, colors, designs, or virtually any other element of a work, and inspiration can be drawn from nature, mathematics, household objects, and other artwork from all over the world. All media will be considered.

INTAKE: June 29, 2017 - July 1, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: July 7, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: July 29, 2017

Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality.

Developed as an avant-garde style before the First World War, expressionism extends to a wide range of the arts, including architecture, painting, literature, theatre, dance, film, and music. The Expressionist emphasis on individual perspective has been characterized as a reaction to positivism and other artistic styles such as Naturalism and Impressionism. Though at times suggestive of angst, quiet expression of one’s mood, thoughts, or feelings is a theme also found throughout the movement.

Pieces created should invoke an emotional response and create a dialogue about moods and ideas, taking viewers out of their physical reality. All media will be considered.

INTAKE: July 27, 2017 - July 29, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: August 4, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: August 26, 2017

Autobiographical art is a representation of an event or events that have happened in the artist’s life. Different from a self portrait, autobiographical art focuses on experiences or memories; however, that doesn’t mean that the self need be absent from the work completely. The artist may choose to depict important figures from their past or present, situations or locations with strong emotional resonance, or even more abstract images that trigger specific feelings or attitudes. Autobiographical art persuades viewers to relate their own lived experiences and personal history to the work, and indeed the audience’s own life may be crucial to understanding it. Lived experience and personal history shape how viewers respond to autobiographical art. 

Autobiography transforms a life story into narrative, often as a way of making sense of that life. Although autobiography is perhaps most readily identified as a literary genre, it has also played an important role in visual art: from Van Gogh to On Kawara, from Rembrandt to Faith Ringgold, autobiography and exploration of the self has a long standing role in the arts. Within contemporary art, many artists draw on the personal experiences that shaped their lives to address social and political issues or to create new kinds of relationships between people. In this sense, autobiographical art can operate both as a way of conveying lived experience and as an apparatus for experiential, relational viewing. In this practice of relational viewing, an artist’s work can function as a powerful catalyst whereby viewers draw upon their own life stories to connect with the work. 

The story of a life is always being rewritten, and an artist trying to capture all of themselves in a work is an exercise in futility. The ultimate goal of autobiographical art is not to portray the essence or complete being of the artist, but rather to intentionally document an aspect of the artist’s identity. Any aspect of the artist’s sense of self may be represented, such as important memories, age, family history, sexual identity, insecurity, commitment, doubt, confidence, trust, or communication. All media will be considered.

INTAKE: August 24, 2017 - August 26, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: September 1, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: September 23, 2017

Messthetics is about harnessing the power of the ugly aesthetic. It’s a rebellion against the order of everyday life that revels in the physicality and soul of human nature. The visual cues of Messthetics are all physical, the messy, grimy, sweaty, and visceral. It’s born out of our desire to break away from the sanitation and predictability of everyday life and be more human. With the velocity of visual consumption ever increasing, we are engulfed by sameness, with very little content standing out or breaking the rules. 

Messthetics goes beyond the appreciation of flaws, however. This is deliberate exploration of awkwardness and vulgarity. Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. In a sterile and technology driven world dirt and mess suggest agency, activity, autonomy, and humanity.

In its purist form, Messthetics is about impact rather than imperfection. It’s deliberate smearing, rebellion, and play. It has grounding in current social and cultural issues that give it a sense of action, power, and defiance. This aesthetic is about intentionally reveling in an extreme, intense, comfort-free, primal state of being. All media will be considered. 

INTAKE: September 28, 2017 - September 30, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: October 6, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: October 28, 2017

Abstract art can be a painting or sculpture (including assemblage) that does not depict a person, place or thing in the natural world – even in an extremely distorted or exaggerated way. The theoretical foundation of abstraction, however, comes from Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, who wrote and painted about art’s potential to evoke psychological, physical, and emotional responses. One of the very first painters producing work that could be considered “abstract,” he rejected the figure or recognizable object in favor of shapes, lines, and discordant colors in his work. He deployed color, line, shape, and texture to create a rhythmic visual experience that evoked an emotional response.

Music played an important role in the development of Kandinsky’s abstraction in no small part because he experienced a rare neurological phenomenon called synesthesia in which one sense, like hearing, concurrently triggers another sense, such as sight. People with synesthesia might smell something when they hear a sound, or see a shape when they eat a certain food. Kandinsky literally saw colors when he heard music, and heard music when he painted. For Kandinsky, color had the ability to put viewers in touch with their spiritual selves. He believed that yellow could disturb, while blue awakened the highest spiritual aspirations. Despite the importance of synesthesia to Kandinsky’s work, those artists who do not experience the condition can still find music and color to be inspirations, aesthetics, or artistic processes. 

Since total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything physical or recognizable, the focus should be on using color and the artistic representation of sound to evoke something in the viewer. Work submitted should be less about what the piece is “about” and more about conveying a mood-state or atmosphere, invoking thoughts or feelings, dialogue with the viewer, or even just the process. Originality and command of materials are required. All media will be considered.

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INTAKE: October 26, 2017 - October 28, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: November 3, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: November 25, 2017

Monochromatic art has been an important component of avant-garde visual art throughout the the history of art and specifically in the 20th century and into the 21st century. For centuries artists used different shades of brown or black ink to create monochrome pictures on paper and canvas. The ink would simply be more or less diluted to achieve the required shades. Shades of grey oil paint were used to create monochrome paintings, a technique known as grisaille, from the French word ‘gris’ meaning grey. In such work the play of light and dark enabled the artist to define form and create a picture. Painters around the turn of the 20th century explored a single color, the examination of values changing across a surface, and the expressivity of texture and nuance, expressing a wide variety of emotions, intentions and meanings in a wide variety of ways and means. From geometric precision to expressionism, the monochrome has proved to be a durable idiom in Contemporary art.

Monochrome art is meant to create a “zero point” for art, a relief from the artistic burdens of color and color theory. The result of simplifying the variety of color is a deeper appreciation of the interaction of tone, shade, contrast, and the subject matter. The other basic elements of art that may be less immediately noticeable than color, such as form, line, shape, space, texture, and value, to become apparent, allowing for deeper appreciation of an individual work and also training the eye to appreciate these things in art viewed afterwards. 

Work submitted should contain only a single color, including black and white, with as many or as few shades or hues of that color as desired. All media will be considered.

Download full call for entries
Download intake form/exhibition contract