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Erica Erickson and Paul Hanke

Meet Our January Members of the Month: Erica Erickson & Paul Hanke

Why did you become members of the Fine Arts Center?
We want to support the FAC because it’s a wonderful local resource for the community. AND because we love the exhibits, especially the touring national exhibits. We also really appreciate the special member benefits like the first Saturday events.

When did your interest in the arts begin?
We think we were born with a curiosity and appreciation of creativity. Perhaps the earliest appreciation came in elementary school, noticing how differently each student tackled an art assignment.

What has been one of your favorite experiences at the Fine Arts Center?
The exhibition Sandzén in Colorado (2010-11). It included a broad variety of works in various media over many years. Birger Sandzén had a history with our area and the Bemis School of Art. Oh, and the exhibit was stunning! It is fascinating how his seemingly abstract application of thick strokes captured landscapes. It was great fun to get nose-close and see his application of paint, then step back to see how those incredibly thick strokes magically became images. Paul: African Drum performers at the BloodLux Bash Halloween party (2014) – a primal orgy of sound and light; with cavorting skeletons and reeling ghosts; each vanishing into the dark only to reappear; transported; briefly entangled by another shaft of light; their mad flight tracing sonic trails of thundering drumbeats through space; so loud that you feel the sound so much as much as hear it; and lose track of the boundary between yourself and the unfolding spectacle enveloping you.

What is your favorite work of art at the FAC?
Erica: Tough question. It’s like picking a favorite child. Frankly, my favorites change with my mood. One visit it will be Dale Chihuly, the next the Moran watercolor of local hoodoos. Paul: Young Lady in White (Portrait of Miss Elsie Palmer) by John Singer Sargent. In my eyes, she is the Mona Lisa of Colorado Springs. I can never pass by this painting without being transfixed. No matter the mood I’m in, the painting amplifies and reflects that mood back at me – but always subtly changed for the better. In the objective sense, this is a portrait of Elsie Palmer – in a personal sense, it is a portrait of my soul.

What else do you like to do for fun in Colorado Springs?
We hike or bike most weekends, dine at local restaurants and enjoy local theater. (We’re season ticket holders for FAC.)