The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. present July’s First Friday opening.  On Friday, July 3rd, 2015 Chelsea Boucher’s “The Sun and the Neighbors” will open at The Modbo, while Hannah Moghbel’s “Appetite” debuts at S.P.Q.R. The opening reception is from 5:30 until midnight on First Friday, and the pieces will remain up for viewing on subsequent Friday evenings through July, ending July 31st.  The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903.  More information at themodbo.com or by calling 633-4240 or emailing themodbo@gmail.com

Chelsea Boucher has lived in Colorado Springs for 17 years off and on, with stints in Denver and both U.S. coasts. It was life in San Francisco and a Midwestern childhood that created desire to elevate the mundane in a culture of extravagance, and a return to Colorado that kickstarted this expression through public exhibition. Since 2011, her work has shown a number of times in juried shows at S.P.Q.R. and The Modbo, a recent solo show, Girls, at G44 Gallery, and in 2014’s The Postmodern Show at Cottonwood Center for the Arts, where her bricolage piece “The Condition of Mary” was awarded Second Place. She is continually fascinated with human interaction, also motivated by a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting, and the not-traditionally-found-in-high-art use of everyday and specifically non-archival materials. In addition to The Modbo’s The Sun and the Neighbors, a collection of her new works is currently showing in A Fertile Dialogue, a five-woman show at Cottonwood, where she works from studio 104.

The Sun and the Neighbors is a story about all of us, as we live under the same star with wildly varying results. Humble materials mix with more expected media in this observation of how we, as humans, both shape and are shaped by the perceptions and expectations of our literal and figurative neighbors, and the number of turns we take (or don’t) around the Sun. Themes throughout this collection of work range from cause and effect, to conditional interest, and our tendency to distance ourselves from those we perceive as “other,” or “less than.” The viewer is asked to consider what happens in their own shadow, and the scope of impact it has on neighbors near and far, on and beyond this little blue dot.

Hannah Moghbel grew up as a German-Iranian immigrant in the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania. She earned her B.A. in Art Education from Shepherd University in 2007. She explores themes of lust and feminine identity through large scale representational paintings.  She moved to Colorado Springs late 2014 to pursue an artist residency in her grandma’s basement and has since transitioned to painting in her boyfriend’s closet.

Says Moghbel, “All art is self portrait.  I began painting fruit as an undergrad.  The vision of lusty otherworldly tangerines came to me first, not unlike a dream.  It came on the eave of a struggle with infatuation.  My husband at the time, my former high school sweetheart, had developed a serious crush on a girl at work.  I, myself had always had crushes growing up, so I in part understood.  When our marriage ended my own tendency to hyper-focus on that sort of idealized perfection of the intangible came back with a vengeance.  I continued to paint through the years as I wrestled with the idea of lust and longing verses everyday love and the realities of having.  In the meanwhile I have fallen in love with the textures, colors, and luminescence of fruit.  The act of painting has become more about my own perfectionism, my obsession for detail, as well as a desire to create and to exist in my own little utopian bowl of cherries.”