Visualize: University Art Museum Benefit

The sculpture "Steel Splat" by Doris Laughton sits in front of the University Center for the Arts. With the recent removal of the Soup Can sculpture from the UCA, the building will be adding new art instalations throughout.
The sculpture “Steel Splat” by Doris Laughton sits in front of the University Center for the Arts. With the recent removal of the Soup Can sculpture from the UCA, the building will be adding new art instalations throughout.

An elegant evening of champagne and art will be hosted tonight at the University Art Museum, with all proceeds benefiting the museum’s expansion campaign.

“Each year that we’ve done this fundraiser, it has had a different format and a different focus,” said event organizer Keith Jentzsch. “This year really focuses on the current exhibition, which is Innovators and Legends: Generations in Textiles and Fiber.”

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The evening will kick off with an introduction to the new exhibition before moving on to a showing  of documentary shorts about fiber artists and their accomplishments throughout history.

The keynote speaker for the evening is Elissa Auther, who has had much success in the scholarly side of the art world. Her accomplishments include writing String, Felt, Thread and the Hierarchy of Art and Craft, a book that looks at artists who have worked with fiber throughout American history.

The book also questions why these artists often don’t receive the recognition and prestige some, including Auther, believe they deserve.

“Her scholarship argues for a more inclusive art history that gives these artists more prominence,” said Director of the University Art Museum, Linda Frickman, explaining the importance of Auther’s book.

All this ties in nicely with both the exhibition and the museum’s mission to educate the campus, and the Fort Collins community, about topics that are often overlooked. Frickman also hopes the exhibition will call attention to the fiber program at CSU.

“What is really exciting is that eight of the 50 artists have connections to CSU and/or Fort Collins, demonstrating the strength of the Department of Art’s fiber program over many years,” Frickman said.

The fundraiser will end with a preview of the Innovators and Legends exhibition and appetizers accompanied by fine wine and local beer.

Tickets for this event are sold out, so anyone left without one will miss the first unveiling of the exhibition. Everyone is encouraged, however, to head over the the University Art Museum to admire the arguably under appreciated art of textiles. Zoology major Kelly Fetchenhier plans to do just this.

“As a science major, I sometimes wish I had more exposure to art because I really enjoy learning about it, but can’t fit it into my day to day schedule,” Fetchenhier said. “So I will definitely try to get over to the Art Museum because they put together some really cool exhibits.”

The museum is located at the University Center for the Arts on Remington Street and the exhibition is open to the public starting on Saturday. It will remain open for most of the semester, closing in early April.

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During this time, there will be various events taking place at the museum including a week-long residency with Mark Newport, one of the exhibition’s featured artists. Newport is best known for his knitted superhero costumes that bravely challenge common stereotypes.

He and three other artists will also be part of a series of gallery talks about their work as well as the technical side of fiber arts.

Collegian Entertainment Reporter Katie Salka can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.