November’s Arts Alley Openings: Catherine Porter-Brown and Jeff Brown, Betty Ross and Holly Conlon


The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. proudly present November’s first Friday art openings, Friday, November 2nd, 2012, from 5:30 pm until midnight.  In The Modbo, you’ll find works by Catherine Porter-Brown and Jeff Brown, while S.P.Q.R. will house works by Betty Ross and Holly Conlon.  The show runs through Friday, November 30th.  The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou Street, 80903, and may be reached at or 633-4240.


Catherine Porter-Brown has been commissioned by corporations, municipal governments, schools and universities, and scores of private individuals to paint portraits.  Her artwork is in collections in Colorado, California, and many Eastern states, especially in the New England area.  Ms. Porter Brown’s past and present representation is: Portraits, Incorporated in New York City, The Van Straten Gallery (formerly the Sandy Carson Gallery), Denver, CO, Rich Design, Colorado Springs, CO, Bryan and Scott Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO and The Dragonfly Gallery, Oak Bluffs, MA.  In 1970, Catherine received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art from The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY.  Catherine is profiled in the 17th Edition of Who’s Who of American Women.  Working extensively in the media of oil and pastel, Porter -Brown has exhibited her non-commissioned, very personal, “magic realism” throughout Colorado, New England and the East Coast. Her work is featured in the Fine Art Center’s permanent collection.

Says Catherine Porter-Brown, “For the past 10 years or so, the source of inspiration for most of my paintings has been my dream work and spiritual work with a focus primarily on the human figure and its relationship to its internal and external environments. The work in this show includes some of those figurative pieces. The inspiration for the more recent work here came from more mundane subjects; simple things I pulled out of my cupboard or picked up while walks on the Colorado prairie or while hiking in the backcountry hills of New Mexico.  It has been great fun to explore and play with the small miracles and quiet magic that can inhabit the color, shape and form of common everyday objects.”

Jeff Brown has been the Artist-in-Residence at The Fountain Valley School since 2009.  He received his MFA from the University of Guanajuata in Mexico, and his Master of Art Education at the Hartford Art School in Connecticut.  He has also served on the advisory board and as the Chair of the Outdoor Sculpture Committee for the Pioneers Museum.  Brown was an artist representative for the Art Commission of the Pikes Peak Region, as well as a member of the board of trustees at the Fine Arts Center.  He has shown extensively in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Denver, California, and Taos.

Says Brown, “Discarded bits of cultural ephemera, lost artifacts, corroded materials and time-worn weathered surfaces and patinas, evident of nature’s ravaging effects– these are the particulary romantic and exotic sources that inspire my work.  Many of pieces are nostalgic and reminiscent of once-significant objects, often from my own childhood; a Cracker Jack toy “surprise,” a discarded lead soldier or a fragment of foreign paper currency.  The aesthetic criteria for a found object’s inclusion in my assemblage or collage is its venerable sense of time, wear and use with a a feeling of origins from another time or far-away place.  I’m after a sense of familiarity mixed with a feeling of rebirth and even a reaction of challenge or mystery with that which we would otherwise feel comfortable… that, and a purely aesthetic combination of materials, objects, and original artwork.”

Betty Ross has been painting and costuming for Theatreworks since arriving in Colorado Springs in 1974. She has worked in watermedia, collage, on paper and canvas and she has exhibited regionally (several times at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center) and in Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago. Her most recent exhibits were in 2010 at COPPeR, paintings based on travels in Greece and England. and four abstract paintings included in the Ugly/Beautiful show at the Pike’s Peak Community College Downtown Studio this spring. She will costume The Wild Duck for Theatreworks in April of next year.

Betty’s current show, “Travel and Paint” was prompted by travels in England and Sweden in January and May of this year.  Says Ross, “On site I sketched and photographed, later using the information to develop larger images on canvas in the studio.  They retained more specificity than usual for me.  In the case of the Swedish paintings I was also influenced by the dark detective novels of Henning Mankell, as well as by Sweden’s novelty as a country both European and looking eastward to Poland and Russia and beyond. In many cases these are backyards, quaint or spooky, elegant or exposed, as in the Baltic Sea painting. Mood is achieved through color, construction, planning and accident.”

Holly Conlon lives and works in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  She received her B.A. in English from the University of North Texas.  She has shown extensively in Colorado Springs, including shows at The Modbo, The Bridge Gallery, Smokebrush, Nocturnal Mockery, and The Rubbish Gallery.  She has also shown in Taos, New Mexico.

Regarding her new show, Little Mysteries, Conlon says, “The work for the show is a continuation of my previous work in the sense that it is about nature and ‘magic.’ By magic, I mean the beautiful numinosity and mystery that are available to us. The work for this show has helped me to clarify my vision by allowing me small glimpses into this mystery. The format of the shadow box lends itself perfectly to the work. I like the idea of small work because it mimics the experience of seeing, however briefly, through a window into the unknown, the magical, the numinous, or whatever name you may call it. I am inspired by experiences from my Catholic faith, as well as, by nature, and artifacts from Stone Age Great Britain.”