The Colors of Community

The Colors of Community exhibition features four Colorado artists who work in a large variety of scales. Pieces in this exhibit range from thirteen inches to thirteen feet. The works also cross different media, including painting, collage, and printmaking to name a few.

While these artists share many similarities, the strongest is their use of color. All four dive into a wide array of hues, as they delve into their respective styles. Their color palettes often overlap, making the exhibit complementary from piece to piece. This exhibition breathes life into the gallery, and just like the communities it represents, it is bright and full of vitality. The assortment of styles and individual narratives makes this collection of artists’ works powerful.

All four artists are also muralists, a unique opportunity for two-dimensional artists to engage with their communities. Murals yield a special opportunity for community participation, activating spaces like schools and public areas engage individuals during the process of creation, and long after.

The Colors of Community is on exhibit now through February 22.

Colin Hay: Living in the Present

Many people’s first taste of Colin Hay’s songwriting was with his 80s hits like “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?” when Hay was a founding member and frontman of the group Men at Work. Without realizing it, hearing those songs on the radio and in the movies led many to embrace the lyrics and melodies as a generational soundtrack. That’s was how much Hay’s music permeated lives—it was seemingly everywhere.

But, Hay’s musical career did not end with those 80s chart-topping hits. Arguably, his most enduring legacy is his solo work after Men at Work disbanded, which is a little softer now, less flamboyant, but with melodies that are none the less uplifting. Hay’s current tour brings him to The Lincoln Center on March 13.

“I’m always trying to say more with less,” Hay says, which is evident when you see him in concert. It’s hard to believe that one man with one guitar can elicit emotions you’ve almost forgotten you have. “I’m always trying to make myself feel things that make me feel emotional in some way.”

Maybe the way he is able to accomplish this is to be grounded in the present. “It all comes back to trying to deal with alcohol addiction,” Hay says. “It was difficult to stop. It was difficult to be present and calm.”

“When you try to defeat alcohol with willpower, it only works for a certain amount of time, but not on a permanent basis.” When he thought about not having a drink for the rest of his life, he declared it “a very depressing thought.”

“But, I think, I’m not going to have a drink today, and I can deal with that.” With every passing day, he was able to say I cannot have a drink today. To do that, he had to stop looking toward the future, but live in the moment.

This shift to being present perhaps started to express itself with the tongue in cheek “Waiting For My Real Life to Begin,” a sweet song about a man claiming he has a plan for the future, and that it is to wait for things to happen.

But it’s really songs like the popular “Beautiful World” that encapsulates the feeling of presentness which evokes such strong emotions. It’s a simple song that talks gently about the things he likes and, though it may not be enough for him in the future, it’s enough for him now. “There’s a lot to be said about getting out of your own way, and just letting yourself be,” says Hay.

“‘Beautiful World’ was written during that time. Because I was no longer getting messed up. I had a lot of time on my hands. What do you do with that time? You spend it in some kind of ritual. If you’re going to have a cup of tea, make it delicious, or don’t bother.” An electric teakettle or a microwave may speed up the time to make his tea, but Hay doesn’t want that. “I’ll have to spend my time doing other things.”

It’s this sense of humor that makes going to his show like meeting a friend. His songs are nostalgic, yet his presentness makes even his most melancholy songs playful and filled with hope. “I think that my natural state is melancholy with occasional bouts of hopefulness and humor,” says Hay.

Maybe this is what made his music the perfect fit for Scrubs, a TV series dramedy that focused on the very real stresses and comedies of medical life. Hay’s songs appeared in seven episodes and exposed his work to a younger audience. Coupled with his song on the Garden State soundtrack, he went from 80s hitmaker to a legend with indie cred.

So, what can you expect from Hay’s solo show? Hay likens it to going to a party. “You know a few friends will be there, but there will also be strangers you’ve never met before. The strangers are the exciting part,” he says.

Join Colin Hay’s party at The Lincoln Center on March 13. Seats from $15 at LCtix.com.

Art Through Movement

Beyond beautiful and athletic movements, world-renowned dance company Pilobolus continues to push the boundaries of dance with its newest creation Come to Your Senses. Combining dance, video, music and theater, Pilobolus will take you on a journey through unique and sense-provoking worlds on March 3 at The Lincoln Center.

“The concept of Come to Your Senses came from the idea that we just need to lift our shoulders up, lift our eyes up and look around and get back to what’s around us, not what’s through our screens, not what we have to deal with every day,” says Renée Jaworski, Artistic Director for Pilobolus. “We fully believe in the life experience and that we all need to get out and do that more, so we wanted to put together pieces from the past and the present that allow you to do that.”

Including works that span the last three decades of Pilobolus’s 50-year existence, Come to Your Senses serves as a showcase and look inside Pilobolus’s innovative creative process.

“I think one of the biggest things is that we’re not precious about making sure we look like one specific thing,” says Jaworski. “We definitely have an aesthetic but every time we go into the studio, it’s as if we try to go in with a beginner’s mind. We’re constantly trying to surprise ourselves with pushing things beyond what we thought was dance.”

“Incorporating many different elements is important to what we do as well. We invite people into our creative process that may, or may not, have any experience in making art through movement. We bring in graphic artists, literary writers, painters, video artists and musicians but we don’t really collaborate with them in a traditional way. We actually ask them to be involved in the choreographic process. It’s always exciting to me when we get to work with artists who come from different disciplines.”

Unlike most dance companies and performances, Pilobolus also lets their dancer’s abilities and personalities influence the movements and elements of a piece.

“We really like to play to the strengths of our performers,” says Jaworski. “We want them to own it in a way that is authentic. And we’re not precious about what the moves are. Each dancer is flexible in a different way. If we choreograph something for somebody who’s super flexible in one way, and then we hire somebody who’s not flexible in the same way, we just make sure that the move says the same thing that the original move was saying. It’s really about communication and less about doing the communication in a virtuosic way.”

While Pilobolus is synonymous with groundbreaking dance and performances, at Pilobolus’s core, it’s about more than dance.

“One of the most important things that we try to do with all of our projects—whether they be on stage or off—is to connect to people, and to connect people to other people,” says Jaworski. “That means that we’ll go to a football field with 200 light-up umbrellas and ask a bunch of people to help us make delightful images and film it from far above. We also have a program called ‘Connecting With Balance’ that we bring to senior centers. We get people together and we work on balance. All of these things feed the way that we make work that goes on the stage.”

Jarworski encourages the audience to be ready for anything and to connect with their surroundings when heading to a Pilobolus show.

“The show starts when you leave your house. Just notice everything around you. Take every opportunity to soak it in. Soak in the beauty that is around you that you might not see every day because you’re driving the same path. Maybe it’s a flower you didn’t notice that is growing and is in supreme beautiful bloom, the way that the snow is drifting up, or the way that the trees or the sky exists over you. Maybe it’s an interaction that you might have, a smile that you could give to somebody that you might miss because you weren’t looking up. And when you get to the theater, be ready for anything, because we’re here to surprise you and we’re here to put a smile on your face.”

Whether it is from the amazing strength, moments of illusion or feeling like you’re living in one of the worlds created by the dancers, each piece has a moment that is going to move the audience to awe. Come to Your Senses with Pilobolus on March 3. Seats from $15 at LCtix.com.

A Soundtrack to a Generation

From teenage songwriter to prolific performer, Carole King’s music became the soundtrack of a generation and you can experience her influence live onstage when Beautiful – The Carole King Musical plays The Lincoln Center February 27–29.

“Her music shaped an entire generation of background soundtracks to people’s lives,” says Kennedy Caughell, who plays Carole King in the national Broadway touring production of Beautiful. “And that means it continues to be relevant and continues to shape the music that comes out today.”

Based on the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom, Beautiful follows King from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann to finding her own voice and becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

This Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical features an array of beloved songs written by these hit songwriting teams including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and title song “Beautiful.” In addition to these favorites, audiences will be surprised and delighted to hear songs created by King and Goffin like “The Loco-Motion” first performed by Little Eva and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” for The Monkees.

“Whether it’s a song that they love or a song that they didn’t realize was Carole King’s, I love hearing the audience’s reaction when a song starts,” says Caughell.

Beyond the hits, Beautiful also explores Carole King’s personal life and events leading to her iconic solo career.

“I think people really resonate with the music but also respond to the story,” says Caughell. “Most people who come to the show don’t know everything that she went through. I think the way that she had the courage to be kind in moments when it’s hard to be kind, really touches people.”

“I do feel a pressure to really do her justice because she is a person and not a fictional character,” Caughell continues. “I want to bring authenticity and truthfulness to my role to really honor what she went through. I also feel very humbled to be able to step into her life because—I mean—you don’t get much better than Carole King.”

Feel inspired by the life and music of Carole King when you experience Beautiful – The Carole King Musical February 27–29 at The Lincoln Center. Seats from $20 at LCtix.com.