The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., The Arts Alley District, are pleased to present solo shows by Brett Andrus and Lorelei Beckstrom.  Their first solo shows in three and two years, respectively, Andrus’ new body of work is called “Vögel(n),” and Beckstrom’s, “The History of the Future.”

 

The opening reception for this show will be on Friday, May 13th, 2011, in The Arts Alley District beginning at 5:30 and going until midnight.  Entertainment will include music by The Good Morning Accordion Terrorist, live free jazz by The Bottesini Project, and some special performances that you’ll have to see to believe!

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Colorado Springs native Brett Andrus studied painting and art history at The Savannah College of Art and Design before returning home to Colorado in 2001.  He has showed in Savannah, New York City, New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver, and Colorado Springs.  “Vögel(n)”  is his first solo show in three years, although he showed jointly with Lindsay Hand in August of 2010 for “The 30 Day Portrait Experience” at The Modbo.  Andrus is the co-owner of The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., and the sole curator for both spaces, as well as several satellite spaces in town: the VBar, the Blue Star, and the Colorado Springs Airport among them.

 

For Andrus, the process of creating a new body of work for “Vögel(n)”  has been a process of redefining his visual aesthetic and regaining his control of his medium.  “This is a show that I’ve been wanting to paint,” Andrus says.  Inspired by the magnificent art he saw on his recent honeymoon in Europe, Andrus conceived a body of work that was not only painted masterfully, but with the intent of connecting with the viewer on an emotional rather than solely intellectual level.  Additionally, he challenged himself to paint in a much looser and faster style than he had previously been accustomed to.  Andrus refers to his work as “skewed rococo.” Additionally, says Andrus, his work “possesses a touch of the absurd without being inaccessible.”  “Vögel(n)”  is comprised of over a dozen works, all of them large scale narrative oils on panels. 

 

Lorelei Beckstrom hails originally from Minnesota.  After studying painting, sculpture, and graphic design for seven years, Beckstrom ended up in the mountains of Colorado in 1994, thus fulfilling a childhood dream to move to the west.  She took a long hiatus from art to build a mountain dream home, and while she lived in a teepee adjacent to the structure-in-progress, found herself stretching canvases on teepee poles and resuming her artistic passion.  Beckstrom has shown prolifically in Colorado Springs—at the Plantera group, Rubbish Gallery, and The Business of Arts Center among others, as well as Closed Gallery in Denver and Cult Status in Minneapolis. 

 

“The History of the Future” is Beckstrom’s first solo show in two years.  Beckstrom notes that the impetus for the show came from watching the movie “Man on a Wire,” a film about Phillipe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center.  Beckstrom began to immerse herself in a world of wire walkers and audiences, painting with what she eventually realized was an ironic passion—the artist actually harbors a fear of both heights and crowds.  Beckstrom theorizes that she’s responding to her “fears in some odd way, and painting to work through them.”  For Beckstrom, painting with oils, as she has done for this show, was a bit of a novelty; although she had worked with them in the past, she has mostly used acrylics for the past 20 years.  Modbo co-owner Brett Andrus coaxed her into an oil class, and out of this, Beckstrom says she realized that she had “been an artist for all these years, but not a painter.”  She now considers herself to be a painter.  Beckstrom often feels like she’s “leading the painting, up until a point, and then it leads me.  The world created in the painting becomes richer than real life, more real, almost.”