The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., the Arts Alley District, are delighted to present a new arts opening on Friday, March 1st from 5:30 until midnight. The Modbo will host Shannon Dunn and Monique Viger, while S.P.Q.R. will present the work of Cole Bennett and Logan Bartlett. There will be a plethora of live music at the opening reception– beginning at 8 pm, you’ll be treated to the sounds of Chela Lujan, Desirae Garcia, and Briffaut. Don’t miss this explosion of arts and music– it’s the perfect way to bring March in like a lion!

On Display In The Modbo:

A Chicago native, Shannon Dunn attended Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois where she studied Art and Education. Shannon’s painting style is inspired by her background in printmaking and her love for stylized, simplified drawings. She paints in oils, ink, acrylic, and resin. Shannon’s work is largely focused on the human figure. Her concepts draw inspiration from the natural world, her observations of social behavior and her spiritual beliefs. Her work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions at galleries, restaurants and coffee shops throughout the Pikes Peak Region, and she is an original member of The Modbo Collective. She currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO with her husband and young children.
Says Dunn, “In the light and shadow series, I experiment with how lighting conditions distort and abstract
objects. I also investigate how negative and positive space can represent shape, pattern and textiles. Most of the paintings are silhouettes of human figures set over abstract color fields. Sometimes what I don’t show is just as important, if not more important than what I do show. For example, a thin, curved line implying a shoulder in shadow can be much more dramatic than a rendering of the whole arm. The human figure is one of the most challenging and fascinating subjects for me as an artist. Ultimately, this series aims to explore the human form’s design and beauty while representing how the natural laws of this world affect its appearance.”

Monique Viger had always wanted to paint, but ended up putting that wish on the back burner for many years. Instead, she focused her time and energy building a career as a hairstylist and raising her two children on her own after a divorce early in their childhood. After her kids were grown she realized that the time had come to focus on her own dreams. A few years ago she happened upon The Modbo Gallery one evening, and as she watched Brett Andrus paint she remembered that painting was, in fact, one of her long lost dreams and so began taking classes. She has been studying under him ever since. She has enjoyed the learning process and is excited to see where it goes and thinks that if she continues to push herself through the process, more and more of the pieces will come together, both in her art and self.

Monique has recently become fascinated with the play of light in nature, and this is evident in her newest body of work.. She loves to run through the mountains of Colorado and has always been taken by the surroundings and by the way the light shines through it. In this body of work she has focused in on the study of light found in the details of landscape. Monique has shown at the Blue Star, Wooglins Deli, Locals Barbershop, Eden Salon and Barbershop and was part of the War Show, which was shown at The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. Galleries and then again at Rodney Wood’s space in Trinidad, Colorado.

On Display at S.P.Q.R.:

Cole Bennett is a Colorado Springs Native who is invested in the burgeoning arts community. Having returned to the Springs three years ago, he has had multiple collaborative and group shows with musicians and local artists. He is a member at the BAC in Manitou, the Bridge Gallery, and takes classes at The Modbo. Cole is a member of the King’s of Space music and art collective, dedicated to expanding the integrity of art and music and fostering connections between creative communities along the Front Range. He teaches art at West Middle School in Old Colorado City.

Says Bennett, “I am interested in art that invites the viewer to participate and rewards curiosity. I don’t ever want my audience to feel like they have bumped up against a wall, and the artwork no longer allows them to explore. With this show, my themes are simple and whimsical. I have a perpetual delight with the iconic purity of monsters and social archetypes. Their universality fosters cultural dialogue. I felt it would be delightful and slightly jarring to treat them delicately, in contexts that might otherwise be associated with serenity, by referencing traditional Japanese Woodcut. Making my own paper and assembling each sheet in three large panels is another layer of this reference. My hope is that the viewer will find the textures of the paper, the detail in the renderings, and the thematic content of the illustrations to be engaging enough to have an expansive relationship with the piece, while perhaps finding some delight in their playfulness. People familiar with the area and our arts community will also find another level of meaning in some iconic aspects of these pieces.”

Logan Bartlett, a Colorado Springs native, has had a lifelong love of art. He was inspired at a young age to begin drawing after seeing comic strips such as Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson) and Peanuts (Charles Schulz). Cartooning remained his passion throughout his childhood as he created countless comic strips and cartoon characters. After graduating from Manitou Springs High School, Logan began to branch out into using new media and subject matters, choosing to put the cartooning on hold in order to build technique and skill. It wasn’t long until he fell in love with using watercolor, ink, and pen. As time has progressed, he has continued to expand and evolve his style, slowly mixing a more realistic style with his distinct cartoon style. Logan strives for his paintings to evoke some type of emotion from the viewer, considering every piece that does so a success. He never ceases to learn something new from each piece of work, and continues to look forward to what techniques he will explore in the future.

For this show Logan has chosen to work with a variety of media, so as to display his enjoyment of all types of paint, inks, and pens, along with showing a wide range of styles and techniques from realistic to psychedelic. Logan has branched out from painting classic portraits with dark and muted colors to a more loose and organic feel. He has chosen to focus on the flow of colors and lines to give pieces a deep, rich look. A series of his more recent watercolors (primarily featuring monsters) are all unplanned until the color has been laid out on clayboard. The free-flowing pieces are filled with small, intricate details to gain the interest of the viewer and to bring the pieces together. Each piece is an intricate endeavor that Logan uses to further develop his technique and advance himself as an aspiring artist.