The new Garfield Art Gallery is a space with multiple missions.
Nestled in the basement of Community Prep School in the historic old downtown Garfield School, the gallery will offer three-quarters of its walls to local and regional artists.
“I wanted to provide more space for artists who don’t think they can be exhibited elsewhere,” said gallery founder Bryon Tryin. He is also a teacher of photography, visual arts and outdoor education and a substance abuse counselor at the school. “We are too limited for a city of our size. There aren’t many options. I wanted to be another option.
The last wall will be spared for the work of at-risk students in the alternative high school.
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“The majority of students are visceral, hands-on learners,” Tryin said. “I have found that art and photography have always helped me as a tool for a healthy escape from bad things. Even if they are not in art, they can draw skills from it.
The April exhibition, “Reclamation,” featuring abstract expressionist oil paintings by Kevin Persaud, will be the gallery’s second exhibition. It opens with a free reception from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the first downtown Friday. It’s throughout the month.
Persaud likes to make art about love and relationships, identity and how to reclaim.
“I’m a brown male,” he says. “A lot of identity issues stem from race and being male, and trying to find my place in a growing society where we’re trying to be more open to everyone – how do stereotypes affect us when we all want to be ourselves.”
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Growing up in Colorado Springs, the Mesa Ridge High School graduate and longtime artist never saw the community reflected in the art he saw in local galleries. Aspen-filled landscapes and the Garden of the Gods never seemed relevant to Persaud.
“Growing up, I wanted to create art that had meaning,” he said. “I do abstract expressionism, but I try to give meaning or feeling to this rugged, almost chaotic energy in a physical form, because we as people are abstract creatures. We need to see something that reflects us, something that lets us know we are seen or heard.
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Tryin, whose photos have also been exhibited in the Pikes Peak area, identifies with his students. He, too, was an at-risk kid when he attended Widefield High School, where he ended up working as a janitor and security guard before becoming a mentor to children and then landing the teaching job at the school. preparatory. .
A quarter of the proceeds from the gallery’s art sales will be donated to the photography program he created and funded at school. He wants to make sure the arts program stays in place no matter what type of financial situation may arise.
“I don’t want any excuses where it’s taken away because it’s money-based,” he said.
Contact the author: 636-0270
Contact the author: 636-0270