The Modbo is excited to reopen for May’s First Friday exhibit: New works by Lisa Deen, a beautiful show of linoleum block prints and paintings. The opening reception is from 5 pm until 9 pm on Friday, May 7th. Masks are still required. The show runs through Friday, May 28th. In addition to the opening reception, the gallery is open by appointment. The Modbo is located in the Arts Alley in downtown Colorado Springs at 17C E. Bijou. Find the stretch of Bijou that is between Cascade and Tejon, and go south down the alley. Street parking is available, but The Modbo recommends the lot on Cascade just north of Bijou, which costs $3. The Modbo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, themodbo.com, or 633-4240.
Lisa is an artist, wife, mother of twins, educator, and Westerner. Born in California, raised in Colorado, educated in Minnesota, she then circled back around for another go. Married in Denver, moved to Santa Barbara, and back to Colorado Springs. The geographic narrative and physical environment are imprinted on her visual vocabulary and personal aesthetic showing the strong influence of the landscape of the arid southwest. Lisa’s education includes a BA from St. Olaf College with majors in music and visual art and a MA from the University of Northern Colorado. A passionate art educator, she has taught workshops and classes for elementary through college students. Lisa currently teaches in the art department at Pikes Peak Community College. Her paintings and mixed media works have been exhibited in Minnesota, Oregon, California, New Mexico, and Colorado.
How many times have art lecturers said that artists hold up the mirror to the world? It always seems cliched and simplistic. Of course, there is more: self expression, ego, escape, desire. Maybe all when the work is honest. Two and a half years ago I began creating linoleum block prints of old trees. It was the perfect medium to express the sinewy, gnarled, textured trunks and limbs. Nearly dead and worn from wind and weather, all still had some small hold on life. A single branch or a protected corner that kept living and growing. I sought to express experience not merely representation. And then collaging the work with acrylic paintings, I explored the meditative and sublime. The work was quiet and reflective – a retreat and meditation. Loving this work, I dove deep into subtle color variations and imagery. A year ago, a pandemic took over our world. The stress and anxiety of the unknown, the separation from friends and family, the absence of social activities shocked my mind and heart. As the world became unrecognizable, The Old One at Palmer Park became nearly indecipherable in its complexity. As an introvert enjoying solitude last summer, I embarked on Roots in Color feeling freedom from expectation and planning. In the fall, Exposed took a look beneath the earth while becoming an expression of incredible sadness. Roots Exposed is anchored but uncomfortably balanced. Broken, the subject struck by lightning long ago, is a complex, layered mess of texture. My thoughtful, pre-pandemic lines and grids gave way to painting without direction – putting texture and color to surface in a desperate grasp for normalcy. Illuminated, the final work of the year, represents the moments when light penetrates the darkness.