Look near the bottom of one painting for a not-so-coded message: “2020 sucked.”
That’s one reason all these paintings are here in this 2-acre field next to a Colorado Springs brewery. Because 2020 has not been kind to artists. And to make 2020 a little better.
The paintings covering palettes and panels from old walk-in coolers together make what organizers call The Cauldron Outdoor Art Gallery and the first outdoor art gallery in Colorado Springs.
The idea came from Andre Eddens, an artist of 20 years and founder of The Art Lab. After creating murals to cover the inside of Rocky Mountain Brewery, 625 Paonia St., he mentioned to head brewer Nick Hilborn that he always wanted to open an outdoor gallery. Hilborn said to go for it.
Eddens didn’t want it to be his show, though. He invited artists, professional and amateurs, from the area to participate. They could paint whatever they wanted on the empty walls and spaces.
“We just wanted the creative people in Colorado Springs to have a chance to come be creative,” he said.
It made even more sense amid the coronavirus pandemic, when indoor gatherings have been limited.
“A lot of us have been hit by COVID,” Eddens says in the description for the gallery. “We can’t gather inside like before and that has a direct impact on the creative world.”
Over five weeks, Eddens says about 20 artists have contributed to the industrial-looking, open-air exhibit. There has been no age or skill limit for contributors.
Because of that, there’s a wide range of art to walk through.
When Eddens looks at it, he sees “a lot of passion for the arts.”
“It’s kind of a sanctuary during these times,” Eddens said. “The whole vibe is really cool.”
The outdoor gallery isn’t going anywhere. He says the artwork will change sporadically over the next six months and then he’ll bring in a new set of artists. Admission is free.
“When COVID being the way it is, this is probably a perfect thing,” he said.
“With us being outdoors, you can keep social distancing.”
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