FAC to get new museum shop, join First Friday and more news

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Heather Oelklaus - FAC
  • FAC
  • Heather Oelklaus
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has a slew of big changes coming, let's get to it.

First, you can now buy fine art there. It's opening up a new, concerted museum shop run by local artist and curator Holly Parker. The space that held Alice's will lose the counter and beverages, get a new coat of paint and proffer fine art and goods, with an emphasis on local and regional artists.

"I love the things that artists make," Parker says, "I love assembling the things that other people make in one space."

Beyond jewelry and other wearables, Parker will also coordinate the Colorado Originals series: a bank of bins that each have small, medium and large works on paper that customers can easily flip through. Such works will be easy for traveling visitors as well as beginning collectors. Parker aims to make much of the goods in the new museum shop affordable. 

Expect artists like Chris Weed, Karen Fish Fisher and Lance Green to have works in the shop, with more to come. The shop will open mid-May (phase "point five," Parker says), and building up as the months go along.
Holly Parker - FAC
  • FAC
  • Holly Parker
Parker will also oversee a new rotating gallery space in the FAC's Deco Lounge. That space will still operate primarily as a social area, but will have new shows on display every two months. Starting May 1, three local photographers, Heather Oelklaus, Carol Dass and Kay Williams Johnson will have works on display, all culled from their past shows in the FAC's galleries. These too will be available for purchase.

Artists are welcome to apply to show in the shop and Deco Lounge. Parker accepts digital submissions; find guidelines for the Deco Lounge here, Colorado Originals here, and general Museum Shop here

Kay Williams Johnson - FAC
  • FAC
  • Kay Williams Johnson
May 1 will also mark the FAC's formal entree into First Friday-dom. From 5-8 p.m. that night, there will be a reception in which the museum will announce next year's theater and museum schedule. It will also be organizing a shuttle to take patrons downtown and back, with stops along the way.

The FAC is also in the process of revamping its website and finishing off a new app that uses iBeacon technology to act somewhat like audio tours. It's free, currently only on iPhones.

Thanks to a recent grant, the FAC will reinstate its Public Free Days to monthly events, starting May 20. Entry to the museum is free (though special shows like O'Keeffe are not). Starting in June, the third Friday of each month will be a free day.

Lastly, the FAC's going to reopen its restaurant, still under Garden of the Gods Gourmet, called Taste. It opens May 3. Watch for updates on that in our Side Dish column.

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