Hanging any gallery show takes time. But for the upcoming Small Works show, Brett Andrus and Lauren Ciborowski of The Modbo and SPQR will hang 400 pieces from 97 artists in their galleries. They'll spend around 80 hours getting everything up.
"It's our biggest community art show, in the sense that we do very few calls for artists through the year, and this is the one big one," says Ciborowski. "We hang both spaces floor-to-ceiling ... It's the perfect art show for someone who's ADD."
It's a tradition that predates the Modbo, too. Andrus held the first Springs Small Works show at the now-defunct Rubbish Gallery nine years ago, stuffing the walls with pieces no larger than 24 inches in any dimension.
Ciborowksi says that, right next to well-known local artists like Cymon Padilla and Phil Lear, she sees many artists have their first showing — and, often, their first sale — at the Small Works Show, noting that it's far and away their best-selling show. It's also a buy-and-carry event, so the gallery thins out over the show's month-long run time. But more than that, Ciborowski calls it a great survey of what's going on with the arts in Colorado Springs.
"The thing that we've noticed is that artists are getting better and better at their jobs," she says, "in the sense that they're getting better with the quality of work that they bring to us, and they're getting better at presenting it in the way that it needs to be presented for a gallery." She clarifies that she and Andrus see more and more pieces that meet their stated requirements for size and for being ready to hang, hardware and all.
"It's a huge difference," she says. "We feel like people are really taking pride in their work."