Pollinate: Biennial Arts Festival Is Buzzing

    Pollinate: Biennial Arts Collaboration logo

    The arts community is buzzing this month. Right now, Pollinate: Biennial Arts Festival, a creative collaboration is underway, centered around the theme of energy.

    In 2011, Jessica Hunter-Larsen was curating a butterflies and moths show at the I.D.E.A. Space at Colorado College, and Daisy McGowan was doing the same with bees at GOCA. Former colleagues, they loved the synergy of insects and craved artistic collaboration. Together they launched what is now the Pollinate: Biennial Arts Festival. “We convened a group of arts leaders and realized we were pollinators; we were cross-pollinating arts audiences,” Hunter-Larsen says..

    The goal is to convene arts organizations in Southern Colorado to explore one compelling topic through exhibitions, events and experiences. This year’s list of collaborators is widespread: Colorado College I.D.E.A. Space, UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA), Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Smokebrush Foundation for the Arts, Manitou Art Center, Pikes Peak Community College Downtown Studio Gallery, Mountain Fold Books, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Dance Theater, the Story Project and more.

    This year the theme is energy. “Jessica and I were interested in the theme of energy — we wanted to invite artists to spark dialogue around the history and legacy of energy production and consumption, specifically nuclear and coal,” says McGown, executive director of GOCA. “Energy is especially relevant in the southwest, founded on a history of mining and nuclear energy, and it’s incredibly prescient of what is ahead for all of us as we move into a future with climate change.”

    Social media is where it’s at for the most complete listing of events. Pollinate pretty much sticks to Facebook — facebook.com/pollinateCOS — to get the word out. But you’ll likely see hashtags such as #Pollinate, #Power and, yes, #Energy on social media platforms promoting the wide array of offerings.

    Pollinate Events

    While shows and events launched in March, things are going strong right now. Don’t miss two Colorado Fine Art Center events through April 14:

    space art photo, Gary Emrich's Barbre Marietta
    From Gary Emrich’s photographic series, Barbre Marietta. Photo courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

    Promise: An exhibition centering around a video installation titled Contact by Gary Emrich, an artist who filmed honeybees in his garden and layered the footage with audio from early U.S. space exploration.

    Power Plant: An exhibition featuring photographs of power plants by Michael Kenna.

    Both shows run April 1–14th, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Colorado Fine Art center: 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.

    But Wait, There’s More

    April 12: Yoga with Jessica Patterson at GOCA

    April 14: ChitChat: Musical Energy + Future at GOCA

    April 16: Pollinate Pop-Up Dinner at GOCA

    April 16: Doctor Atomic Symphony by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts (after-party with conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech and violinist Elina Vähälä and the Center at Urban Steam)

    April 22: IDEA Cabaret: Student Interventions at I.D.E.A. Space

    April 26: ChitChat: Guerilla Placemaking + Poetry and Politics at GOCA

    Keep up with all the creative buzz on the Pollinate: Biennial Arts Festival Facebook page, facebook.com/pollinateCOS.

    —JL Fields

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    JL Fields is the founder and director of the Colorado Springs Vegan Cooking Academy and the author of several cookbooks, including Vegan Pressure Cooking and the forthcoming The Vegan Air Fryer. Fields is on the culinary arts faculty at the University of New Mexico-Taos, a newspaper dining critic, and host of a weekly radio program.