Active Engagement at CC

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File this under: It's about time.

Haller with a veteran.
  • Haller with a veteran.

Proving to be an integral and deeply active force for art in the community, Colorado College's I.D.E.A. Space, led by Jessica Hunter Larsen, will unveil its newest project this weekend, Come Together: Colorado Springs.

Come Together is an event and art show by Portland, Ore., artist Harrell Fletcher that aims to engage different parts of the community together — especially the military portion — for conversations. Fletcher, currently an artist in residence at CC, will host "Active Engagement," a forum at 5 p.m. this Sunday that will blend photography, video, dance and narrative outlining the "intersections" between the military community and the local community at large.

Fletcher's collaborative exhibit in the gallery Active Engagement: Learning About the Military Community in Colorado Springs, crystallizes the topic with multiple interdisciplinary facets:

• Facilitated by artist Monica Haller, The Veterans Book Project is a national project that holds bookmaking workshops across the country. In these workshops, combat and non-combat veterans, their family members, and others affected by war are invited to edit and design their archives and stories into soft-bound, print-on-demand books. In a week-long workshop, participants compile their digital and handwritten archives into book format using software specifically designed for this project. The Veteran’s Book Project worked with area veterans and community members from March 3 — 10. Active Engagement features books selected from The Veteran’s Book Project’s national archive; local participants’ books will be added to the exhibition upon publication. Monica Haller has a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies, an MFA in Visual Studies and has received fellowships from foundations including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation and the Jerome Foundation.

• Working in collaboration with artist in residence Harrell Fletcher, students in four Colorado College classes worked individually and in teams to research and create projects that explore various aspects of military life in Colorado Springs. The courses involved were Art & Society, Introduction to Photography, Video Art, and Dance Composition. The Active Engagement exhibition features photographs, video pieces, and performances created as a result of these investigations.

• Other elements of the exhibition include images and text by Harrell Fletcher, as well as artworks, photographs, narratives, and videos created by regional veterans. Professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, Harrell Fletcher has worked collaboratively and individually on socially engaged, interdisciplinary art and performance projects for over fifteen years.

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