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Learn to Look: at artists

A four part educational lecture series, come to as many sessions as you like!

In our next Learn to Look series of classes, we’ll look at the artists whose work and lives challenged art norms. In each session, we’ll find connections between seemingly unconnected artists, separated by time and space. Join us as we “paint broad brushstrokes” across time, place, expertise, and genius!

Each Session: $20 FAC Members; $30 Non-Members
All Sessions: $60 FAC Members; $100 Non-Members

Session 1: John Singer Sargent and Wassily Kandinsky

Thursday, March 15, 2018 5-7 p.m. Music Room

Gain a broader appreciation of Sargent by learning about his famous oil paintings, as well as his lesser known, but equally magnificent watercolors. Fast forward in time and discover one of the pioneers of abstract modern art- Wassily Kandinsky. He believed that total abstraction offered the possibility for profound, transcendental expression and that copying from nature only interfered with this process. Instructors: Chuck Benson and Dave Alvarez.

Session 2: Marcel Duchamp and the Renaissance Masters

Thursday, March 22, 2018 5-7 p.m. Music Room

Few artists can boast having changed the course of art history in the way that Marcel Duchamp did. See how his first “ready-mades” challenged the very notion of what is art and sent shock waves across the 20th century art world that can still be felt today. Then learn about the great Renaissance masters of Mantua, Italy- Andrea Mantegna and Giulio Romano. Discover Mantegna’s paintings in the Camera degli Sposi, which feature a painted ceiling with perfect recessional perspective, looking up into a sky on a flat surface! We’ll explore Romano’s frescoes and architecture at the Palazzo del Te, which features salons filled with his bizarre grotesques. Instructors: Chuck Benson and Dave Alvarez.

Session 3: First Nation Artists and Arshile Gorky

Thursday, May 3, 2018 5-7 p.m. Music Room

Learn about artists of the Pacific Northwest, Bill Reid and Susan Point. Bill Reid, a Haida master carver and goldsmith, was deeply engaged in the resurgence of Canada’s Haida monumental carving traditions including totem poles and war canoes. Reid’s style evolved from expert knowledge of time-honored Haida design forms combined with a new modern energy. Susan Point is a renowned Coast Salish practicing artist who works with diverse media to create spectacular wood carvings, totem poles, weavings, glasswork, and silkscreen prints. Then we’ll look at Arshile Gorky’s diverse body of work which was crucial to the emergence of Abstract Expressionism. He adopted the biomorphic forms of the Surrealist painters, but further freed those forms through the process of painting; emphasizing a more lyrical color and personal content. Instructors: Chuck Benson and Dave Alvarez.

Session 4: Jasper Johns and Pieter Brueghel

Sign up  Thursday, May 10, 2018 5-7p.m. Music Room

Jasper Johns’ stylistic and technical experimentation place him at the forefront of American art. His richly textured paintings of maps, flags, numbers, and targets laid the groundwork for Pop art, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art. Then explore the “worlds within worlds” that live in Brueghel’s scenes of everyday 16th century Flemish life such as Hunters in the Snow, Peasant Dance, Peasant Wedding, and The Tower of Babel. Instructors: Chuck Benson and Dave Alvarez.

Instructor Bios

David Alvarez:

David Alvarez is a Colorado Springs native whose family has lived in the area for almost 100 years. Dave graduated from Palmer High School in Colorado Springs and has a BA in Fine Art from the University of Colorado in Boulder, with Masters’ degrees in Secondary Education and Art History. He is a former Harrison High School art teacher, and has over 25 years of experience in both the advertising and marketing fields. Although currently retired from the business aspects of professional life, Dave divides his time lecturing on Art History, creating his own art, and traveling the world.

Other classes taught by Dave:

May 16 | Touring the Kirkland Museum in Denver

Chuck Benson:

Chuck Benson has been teaching the history of art, architecture, and design for over 30 years. Chuck is an instructor for the FAC’s Bemis School of Art and is an occasional architectural consultant with various local architectural firms. He has lectured for several years at the Essex Library Architectural Series in Essex, Connecticut. Chuck has led numerous trips abroad for the Fine Arts Center – most recently to Italy and Washington D.C. He has an ongoing dedication to encouraging audiences to become passionate and enthusiastic about art and architecture.

Other classes taught by Chuck:

Sept. 5 | Columbus Indiana Reconsidered

Oct. 10 | Hewn from Living Stone- 4,000 Years of Carved Architecture

Dec. 5 | Shigeru Ban- Japanese Modern Visionary