Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
The main entrance
|Location||30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Area||1.6 acres (0.65 ha)|
|Architect||Meem,John Gaw; Rogers,Platt|
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||July 03, 1986|
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) is an arts center located just north of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. Located on the same city block are the American Numismatic Association and part of the campus of Colorado College.
The center uses a thick red outline of a square as its logo.
With $600,000, Alice Bemis Taylor funded the 1936 construction of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and provided a $400,000 donation for an endowment. It was built on property owned by the Broadmoor Art Academy. Constructed during the Great Depression, Taylor saw the project as a means of employment for unemployed laborers. Taylor donated her extensive Indian and Hispanic art and her collection of 6,000 volumes of Americana. She envisioned a place that would be accessible to all people, with no admission charge. The Broadmoor Art School previously stood on the grounds of the current art center, on land donated by Julie Penrose. Elizabeth Sage Hare also collaborated with Taylor and Penrose on the building which became a center for a museum, art school and performing arts venue for the growing city.
The fine arts center was designed by New Mexico architect John Gaw Meem who works often combined Pueblo Revival Style and Spanish Colonial into "Santa Fe Style" architecture. In 1940, Meem's most modern design earned a Silver Medal at the Fifth Quadrennial Pan American Congress of Architecture. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
At the original Grand Opening in April 1936, Martha Graham performed Lamentation-Dance of Sorrow; "art icon Alexander Calder executed the stage design for an operetta; and Frank Lloyd Wright lectured on the new building." Art luminaries Boardman Robinson and Robert Motherwell were early teachers at the art school.
The Fine Arts Center is a modern poured concrete Pueblo structure that integrates Southwestern, Art Deco and Classic architectural elements. It has one, two and, for the theatre fly tower, four stories. Within the building are galleries, art studios, performing art facilities including a 450-seat theater, a library, music room, museum shop and storage and office space. The murals on the exterior of the building were produced by Boardman Robinson and Frank Mechau.
For the National Register of Historic Places, it was described as follows:
Its monolithic pueblo massing, its undisguised modern use of concrete, aluminum and glass; its southwestern details, its Native American designs abstracted into Art Deco ornamentation; its streamlined elegance; and its classical proportions - all result in a timeless character - with fundamental roots to the region and the time as well as manifesting an innovative architectural reflectionof the building’s underlying function, which is to preserve culture and to honor the contemporary.
It borders Monument Valley Park and has a view of Pikes Peak. It is near the city’s business district, in a combined residential and office building zone, in the Colorado College campus. Its well-preserved state, reflects the initial building construction with maintenance and restoration.
The multi-purpose center includes:
- Taylor Museum - Several galleries, where the permanent collection of Southwest art is displayed, in addition to other permanent works and traveling shows.
- The Performing Arts department's SaGāJi Theatre, the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company, produces comedies, dramas and musicals. It also hosts music and dance events and film festivals.
- Bemis School of Art offers art education to the local community, with seven new art studios as of 2007. It offers classes for adults and children. Once a month it holds free "Family Adventure Days".
- Café 36 and the Deco Lounge
Notable pieces and exhibits
- Dale Chihuly chandeliers.
- One of the country's "strongest collections" of Native American, Latin American and Hispanic American art.
- Notable artists within the FAC permanent collection include: John Singer Sargent, Georgia O'Keeffe, Richard Diebenkorn, Walt Kuhn, and Ansel Adams.
In 2006, the center was expanded by more than 48,000 square feet. A new wing was constructed adjacent to the Center's Bemis School of Art to add studio space for classrooms and rehearsal spaces for the newly name SaGaJi Theatre. A new building was constructed that now provides modern exhibition space for the Center's museum. There are large expanses of gallery spaces reserved exclusively for American Indian, Latin American and American art. It was designed by award-winning architect David Tryba and built to American Alliance of Museums standards.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "Dream City Vision 2020: Alice Bemis Taylor". The Gazette. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
- "Judson Moss Bemis House - NRHP Nomination Form". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Linda DuVal; Banks; Laurence Parent (14 June 2011). Insiders' Guideо to Colorado Springs. Globe Pequot Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7627-6936-0. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- "Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center - NRHP Nomination Form". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- Sharyn R. Udall (19 June 2012). Dance and American Art: A Long Embrace. University of Wisconsin Pres. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-299-28803-7. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- "An Extremely Grand Opening". Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. February 9, 2007. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- "75th Anniversary". Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- Linda DuVal; Banks; Laurence Parent (14 June 2011). Insiders' Guideо to Colorado Springs. Globe Pequot Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-7627-6936-0. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- "Fine Arts Center Brochure". Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- Bemis School of Art expansion- Retrieved 2012-01-07
- "Cate at the FAC". Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- "Admission". Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- Michael Paglia (August 2, 2007). "Well Done: The new Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center expansion gives plenty of reasons to applaud.". Westword Magazine. pp. 1–2. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- "Building Expansion: The new building is now open!". Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center,Colorado Springs, USA". Guide4Tourist. January 17, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
- Paul Cummings (1975). "Oral history interview with Robert Beauchamp, 1975 Jan. 16". Oral history interview. Archives of American Art. Retrieved 30 Jun 2011.
- "Press Release - Update on the 75 th Anniversary mural created by local art legend". Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Retrieved June 1, 2013.