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UCCS to program downtown gallery

UCCS will take over artistic management of the art gallery space located at 121 N. Tejon in the Plaza of the Rockies building.

The space formerly known as the FAC MODERN will be reborn as the UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art 121, or GOCA 121, and will continue to build on the long tradition of contemporary art exhibits at UCCS. Since 1981, UCCS has operated the Gallery of Contemporary Art in the Science Building at UCCS.

“Our goal was to provide a space downtown for the arts,” Chris Jenkins, President of Nor’wood, said. “The presence of UCCS in downtown with an arts and culture focus builds on downtown’s momentum.”

UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak thanked Nor’wood for providing the university the opportunity to showcase the work of regional, national and international artists in an additional venue made available to the university without charge. GOCA 121 will be situated between two other downtown artistic centers, Nosh and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR). Together with Nosh’s artistic cuisine and COPPeR’s pulse on the art community, they will add vitality to the local arts scene.

“The FAC MODERN served us well,” said FAC President and CEO Sam Gappmayer. “We will be forever grateful to the generosity of Chris Jenkins and Nor’wood Development for providing the Fine Arts Center and its patrons this amazing space. The MODERN allowed us to continue to present world-class exhibitions without interruption during our expansion. But the time has come for us to pay it forward. We couldn’t be more pleased to hand off the MODERN to UCCS and their talented gallery director Caitlin Green, who will bring exciting programming to the Plaza of the Rockies.”

Opened in April of 2006, the FAC MODERN expanded the Fine Arts Center’s reach into the heart of downtown Colorado Springs with gallery space in the first floor of the south tower at the Plaza of the Rockies. Early exhibitions by big-name artists, like Dale Chihuly, James McNeill Whistler and Annie Leibovitz, led the MODERN to be called the “best thing to happen to Southern Colorado business” by the readers of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and the ‘Best Art Museum’ by the readers of The Gazette in 2008. In recent months, the MODERN featured more local and regional artists with more community collaborations with UCCS, Colorado College, the Pikes Peak Library District, Leadership Pikes Peak and the Cultural Office for the Pikes Peak Region.

The Fine Arts Center’s final exhibition at the FAC Modern closed Nov. 13. UCCS will open its first exhibit Feb. 5, 2010. Details of the exhibit will be announced later.

Currently housed in the under-renovation Science Building at UCCS, the Gallery of Contemporary Art recently launched a new public art program, “AWOL: Art Without Limits,” to create new venues for art through site-specific installations and non-traditional exhibit spaces such as downtown parking garages and beneath the Colorado Avenue bridge. Caitlin Green, interim director, Gallery of Contemporary Art, said the new venue provides an opportunity to reach new audiences and develop a forum for critical discourse on contemporary art.

For more information on the Gallery of Contemporary Art, visit

Past Exhibitions at the FAC MODERN

Lasting Legacy: A Selection of Recent Gifts to the Fine Arts Center’s Permanent Collection ... Aug. 10 - Nov. 13, 2009

BluePrints Project ... May 8 - June 5, 2009

Call and Response: A Celebration of National Poetry Month ... April 3 - May 1, 2009

ATOMICELROY'S HOMETOWN ... Jan. 31 - March 28, 2009

Dream City 2020: Through the Eyes of the Artist – Past, Present and Future ... Dec. 5, 2008 - Jan. 10, 2009

Styling the Modern: Fine Art Meets Fashion ... May 10 - Oct. 4, 2008

Altered Space: 21st Century Installation Art ... Feb. 2 - April 26, 2008

Faces in the Crowd: Portraiture from the FAC Permanent Collection ... Oct. 13, 2007 - Jan. 20, 2008

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray ... July 1 - Sept. 30, 2007

Portraits from the Golden Age of Jazz: Photographs by William P. Gottlieb ... May 5 - June 24, 2007

Katrina: Catastrophe and Catharsis ... March 9 - April 29, 2007

Spring Forward: Four Colorado Artists ... Jan. 27 - March 4, 2007

Dale Chihuly: New Works from the Fine Arts Center Collection ... Sept. 8, 2006 - Jan. 7, 2007

James McNeill Whistler: Selected Works from the Hunterian Art Gallery ... May 25 - Aug. 20, 2006

Annie Leibovitz: American Music ... April 15 - May 14, 2006

Plaza of the Rockies, 1st Floor, South Tower | 121 South Tejon Street | [view map]

Sponsored by:
El Pomar Foundation Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado Nor'wood Development Group