OPENING: APRIL 30 | 6 PM TO 9 PM CLOSING: MAY 21
The classic comment "My kid could make that" may have truth in response to certain artworks, but perhaps a better way to think about it is: Could an adult be tasked with the kind of free and unfettered creative expression that seems to come so naturally to the young? Aesthetic appreciation of children's art as untainted by adult influence was extolled by Franz Cižek, an Austrian painter and teacher, who called a child's drawing "a marvelous and precious document". Discovery of the aesthetic quality of the unskilled visual expression by children was related to the aesthetics of modernism and, in case of Cižek, to the Vienna Secession in 1897.
As valued as young people are in cultures and societies around the globe, they are often overlooked both as legitimate viewers and creators of art. Studies conducted on the topic have reported a dissonance between the culture of art museums and the culture and identity of young people, who "do not feel as if they are a part" of these institutions, even sometimes experiencing what's known as "threshold fear;" a kind of psychological barrier which dissuades people from entering spaces where they feel uncomfortable. This is evident in many young people's perceptions of their own role as creators, and unlikeliness to submit their work to non child-specific shows.
The art of young people need no longer be relegated to available space on the refrigerator, instead finding recognition and validation in the galleries of today's art world. Though each of Cottonwood's 2016 exhibitions is open to artists in this age group, Minor Threat is a declaration of support and celebration for the next generation of creative thinkers, dreamers, and doers whom we see sharing the goal of fostering arts, culture, and beauty in Colorado Springs.