It is amazing what you can discover right outside your front door. It is often too easy to get caught up in school and not observe and experience the city surrounding campus. Foothills Art Center (FAC) is one of those gems that despite being almost on campus can be easily missed in the crazy whirlwind of school.
The Art Center is located on the corner of 15th and Washington in the neat old brick building with wonderful stain glass windows, catty-corner from the Engineering Annex, where many of us took EPICS I as freshmen.
The proximity to campus makes the Art Center a great afternoon destination to take a break from classes, as admission is free to students with blaster cards. For such a small art venue, the assortment of work is quite astounding.
Three galleries in the FAC exhibit a wide array of art from traditional oil and more contemporary painted works, to abstract sculptural forms. Currently, exhibits include the community gallery filled with local artists, “3 Scientists- 3 Artists- 3 Forms; An Exhibition In Stone”, and “Street Fonts and Funk”. The difference in media, form, and story that each artist shares across the three-gallery setting, creates a unique and wonderful setting.
“Street Fonts and Funk” is one of the most interesting exhibits on display. Traditionally, graffiti is relegated to the sides of railway cars as they trundle by, or down a side alley; now it is the focal point of a gallery.
The work on display by the artist Jolt is quite amazing; he brings life, character, and identity to the four letters of his name. His work varies from traditional graffiti lettering to extremely abstract renditions in which letters are almost indistinguishable.
Two of the most striking pieces are large murals that the artist painted directly on the gallery walls- the scale and movement of the work is truly inspiring.
The gallery also includes a section of the artist’s photographs from around the city, providing a view of his stylistic evolution and giving a small sense of the numerous murals he has created. Make sure to stop by the Art Center before October 15th to view this amazing collection of work.
All past, current, and upcoming exhibits are listed on the Foothills Art Center website, as well as tours, classes, and youth camps. Hassan Najjar, Executive Director of FAC, notes that each is unique and popular in its respective way. The 2018 exhibit schedule has not been finalized, but is sure to speak to a variety of individuals and artistic tastes.
Foothills Art Center has been here since 1968, and Najjar says “too often I chat with students and faculty that had no idea we were right here,” of the Art Center’s location.
FAC is open seven days a week, and each day is equally opportune to visit. Hassan Najjar says that the collections rotate, and therefore he cannot speak to a personal favorite. FAC is best known to some for its Holiday Art Market and involvement in the candlelight walk at Christmas. They often collaborate with many community organizations throughout the year, and students can expect to see them at Mines events, such as Celebration of Mines.
Foothills Art Center has partnered with Mines to grant faculty and students free admission for the 2017-2018 school year.
BONUS: The FAC hides a glass orb somewhere in Golden at 9AM every day of September- if you find it you can keep it!