Colorado Springs seems to have an on-again, off-again relationship with its arts community. But many seem to agree that the city could do more to expand local opportunities for artistic engagement.
Don Decker from the northeast side is a business analyst
When I say "art in Colorado Springs," what comes to mind? I like the Art on the Streets in the downtown area. It really helps promote appreciation for art and for the freedom to express thoughts and emotions.
What do you like most about it? After a stressful day it's a good escape; it's unique and mysterious.
What do you consider to be art? I have a very broad definition, and art is everywhere. There's natural art, artificially created art, abstract art ... each snowflake is art.
Do you go to galleries to see art? Not as often as I'd like to, but Colorado Springs really offers a lot. There's a lot of talent here, and the city could do more to promote that. The recent political climate seems to have detracted from our ability to promote local talents.
Wendy Fairchild from Pueblo works in administration
What do you think about the Colorado Springs art scene? It seems like it's becoming more dynamic and attractive, especially downtown, on the west side and at the Fine Arts Center.
Do you come up very often for exhibitions? Well, mostly I go to Denver, Santa Fe and Taos.
What type of show would draw you specifically to Colorado Springs? Historic, regional art from the early 1900s. And I love American art from the Arts and Crafts period.
What would it take for the Springs to rival Denver or Santa Fe as an arts destination? More diversity and more art of the people, like the folk art and Chicano art we have in Pueblo. And Pueblo has a good underground arts movement. Colorado Springs still seems less diverse and less tolerant, even in the downtown area.
Mad Maxx from the northwest side works for the government
What's your favorite part of the arts scene in town? I like the Modbo and S.P.Q.R., but mostly I use the Internet to explore art.
What's your least favorite part of the local arts scene? It seems really tight-knit, too closed. I'm an artist, and there's lots of talent in town, but I don't feel like I belong. But I'm kind of a loner, anyway.
Can you imagine this ever becoming known as an art town? Well, anyplace can become that, but the community has to want to make it happen.
So how does an individual artist become successful? You have to sell yourself to sell your art, and most of all you need to spark curiosity.