Facing the Monumental is on display through May 30 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $5-$10, fac.coloradocollege.edu
Multimedia artist Rebecca Belmore’s work is internationally revered for the attention it calls to pressing political and social issues, as well as the care with which she treats each subject. Her new exhibition at the Fine Arts Center, titled Facing the Monumental, is the first showing of her art in the United States, featuring works in photography, sculpture and mixed-media from throughout her 30-year career.
“Her art asks us to consider where we are, and what we face in our future,” says Wanda Nanibush, exhibition curator and Art Gallery of Ontario’s curator of Indigenous art. “These works, seen in isolation, are beautiful. The facts they address, the questions they ask and the violence they reflect on — that is what is political.”
A member of the Lac Seul First Nation (of the Anishinaabe people), Belmore examines through her creative endeavors the plight of Indigenous women navigating a colonized world — or being ignored by it altogether. Her 2014 piece “1181,” for example, involved Belmore hammering 1,181 nails into a tree stump throughout the course of one day outside of the Hart House student center at the University of Toronto, while dressed in a construction vest. Each nail represented a murdered or missing Indigenous woman, and Belmore closed her performance piece by repeating the number over and over to the crowd.
Other works, like “Tower” and “tarpaulin,” ask the audience to consider the cruel conditions of homelessness. “Tower” is a sculpture made of 15 feet of shopping carts stacked atop one another with brown clay pouring and puddling onto the floor. It accompanies “tarpaulin,” a dirt blanket draped in the shape of a human.
Attendees will be able to explore this, as well as photography, more sculptures and media installations. The exhibition includes 14 major works, each striking in both message and execution.
“Belmore’s powerful works reveal a compelling duality: her lyrical representations of human dignity, the beauty of youth, a sleeping subject, the power of water or the quieting effect of snow are all images that exist in contrast to the turmoil of our world,” says Nanibush.
Visiting Artists: Jane Lackey and Thomas Lane
6 p.m., 5225 N. Nevada Ave., free, uccspresents.org
New Mexico-based artists Jane Lackey and Thomas Lane will share insights about their new site-specific installation Seat of Learning. This expansive art project encompasses multiple mediums and explores our perceptions of storytelling, time, memory and movement. The inspiration? A single vintage school desk. Learn how the project evolved and how UCCS students participated in its development. A reception will follow the lecture. The installation will be on view through July 18.
For the Love of Black Women
5-11 p.m., 18 S. Nevada Ave., $12-$15, goldroomlive.com
Local poet and storyteller Patrice Diechelle presents an event dedicated to showcasing the many talents of Colorado Springs’ black female artists and performers. The evening will open with a networking social hour that allows attendees to mingle and relax before a program filled with performances in dance, comedy and poetry. Attendees will also be able to check out photography and take in a short play. Come out and honor the creative efforts of our city’s creative black women.
Colorado Short Circuit Film Festival
5-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $8-$70, csc.eventive.org
Creating a good, engaging short film is no easy feat. It takes hard work, strong direction and talented acting to tell entire stories in mere minutes. The fourth annual Short Circuit Film Festival will screen more than 40 short films over two days, in genres such as horror, experimental, drama and comedy. Movie lovers can attend the whole weekend or break up their viewing into blocks featuring their preferred genre. VIPs will have the opportunity to attend a filmmaker meet and greet at the Principal’s Office Study Hall. Order a drink, snag some fresh popcorn and settle in for a marathon of shorts.
Leap Day Cleanup
9-11 a.m., 1704 S. 21st St., free, tinyurl.com/r85qnto
Bear Creek Dog Park is one of the coolest places for dogs to roam in the state of Colorado. The fully fenced, enormous play area clocks in at 25 acres and includes a long stretch of Bear Creek. However, any place that welcomes 100,000 visitors each year needs the occasional helping hand, particularly when those visitors like to poop wherever they choose. The Friends of Bear Creek Dog Park invite the community to help them with a Leap Day clean-up to gather trash and remove pet waste left behind by less-conscientious pet parents (or incredibly sneaky pups). Buckets, gloves and bags are all provided — all you have to do is show up with a can-do attitude.