Why did you become a member of the Fine Arts Center?
I’ve been a member of the Fine Arts Center, off and on, since retiring from the Air Force in 1999. I think it’s extremely important to support the arts, and the FAC is well worth supporting! It’s truly a “center” where you find paintings, sculptures, plays, musicals, classes, tours–whatever you’re looking for. Fortunately, the FAC personnel don’t just stop at “Here’s a painting, look at it.” They help you “Learn to Look” through the art appreciation classes and the monthly members’ tours. Since I’ve been taking advantage of the classes and tours, I can understand and appreciate art so much better.
When did your interest in the arts begin?
In college, I took several French Culture and Civilization courses. Of course, part of the curriculum was to learn about the French Impressionists. The instructor explained how Impressionism was different from previous painting styles, and told us about the artists’ lives. The culmination was a field trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which is a huge, imposing building housing countless works of art. The Impressionists were just a small part of it, and I wanted to know about the rest. Since then, I’ve enjoyed learning as much about art as possible, and visiting various art museums.
What has been one of your favorite plays, classes or exhibits at the Fine Arts Center and why?
This is difficult to narrow down, but the Chihuly exhibit was my absolute favorite. His glass sculptures are just phenomenal. His color choices are ingenious, and everything is so well put together. His works really speak to me. I’m so glad the FAC was able to purchase a number of his sculptures, especially those stunning chandeliers and the pieces styled after Native American baskets. In 2014, I saw a large number of his creations displayed in the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. Walking through the exhibits at night, while the glass was lighted, was a magical experience.
What is your favorite work of art at the FAC?
My favorite is Ute Agency by Paul Pletka. The artist did an amazing job of depicting and sharing his fascination with Native Americans. The two things I like most about it are the intense, vivid colors and the rich details. First, the colors reach out and grab your attention. Once that happens, you start to notice the staggering amount of detail. You can see every bead in the vests and moccasins, every hair on every head, and every stitch in the blankets. This painting captures the feeling of the Southwest and reminds us of who was here first.
What else do you do for fun in Colorado Springs?
I’ve lived in Colorado Springs since being stationed here in 1985. Lately, I’ve been spending my free time gardening. After xeriscaping my whole place during the drought in the early 2000s, I have no lawn, just plants and flowers. I‘ve been working on the landscape since then. This year, I added a vegetable garden and hope it succeeds. I’m also interested in local history, so I enjoy going to the Pioneers Museum and to the monthly history lectures at the Old Colorado City Historical Society. Last, I like to take long walks, either in the neighborhood or on one of the trails.