Red Rocks Event Wraps Up a Year-long Celebration of the Arts
ArtSmart program encourages all to appreciate the art in everything
LAKEWOOD, CO – A powwow, traveling children’s theatre, giant paint-by-numbers painting, live elevator music, and random “art attacks” were just a few of the activities provided by Red Rocks Community College’s ArtSmart committee this past year. The college is hosting a free celebration this Monday, May 7 from 6-8 p.m. as the finale of their year-long program of recognizing the arts in everything around us.
ArtSmart was a collaborative effort by RRCC staff, faculty, and students to appreciate the presence and potential relationship of art—not only in the traditional form—but in academic subjects and everyday objects. The challenge to discover the arts in every department of RRCC was given, along with a generous donation, by local businessman Terry Stevinson.
“Red Rocks is very special, as it is one of the few community colleges in Colorado that provides a full spectrum of the arts,” said Stevinson, whose daughter graduated from RRCC’s Theatre program in 2002. “It is essential for the college to keep embracing this discipline as much as any other of its many disciplines.”
Stevinson, who owns car dealerships, said that growing up in the auto industry helped inspire his interest in art. “The new look, shapes, colors, and design improvements of each model year would add to the drama of unveiling new cars every year,” he said. “I am in awe of the people who design new cars, buildings, or even a necktie. The designs, colors, and materials of everyday items that we take for granted show how creative people can be.”
Over the course of the 2011-2012 school year, the ArtSmart planning group accomplished its goals through a variety of interdisciplinary projects, activities, media, and publication of information aimed at exposing every day art. For example, some of RRCC’s math, English, business, and criminal justice classes centered assignments on a quilting and fiber arts show held in the college’s art gallery in February. Lectures and assignments focused on the geometry of patterns, business side of art, and analyses of fibers.
In addition, the ArtSmart committee hosted events that combined the talents of multiple RRCC departments. “The Magic of Maple Bar” was a book reading that featured a children’s story written by an RRCC English instructor and illustrated by an RRCC student. The college’s fine woodworking department created huge wooden cut-outs of characters and items in the book, transforming the library into the imaginary land that was the subject of the story.
“It has been wonderful to see the influence of the ArtSmart program on the students and staff at Red Rocks, and also the impact on our entire community,” said Michele Haney, RRCC president. “Art brings out the best in us. It promotes a diversity of culture, encourages expression, welcomes dialogue, and perhaps most importantly, brings people together.”
“Creating ArtSmart was incredibly productive and exciting,” said Pamela Jamruszka-Mencher, coordinator of the ArtSmart planning group and department chair of RRCC’s Theatre program. “We discovered new applications of all the arts in many academic disciplines and classes, and in real life situations. It amazes me how prevalent the arts are in the world around us, and how very important they are in the formation and maintenance of healthy, balanced cultures, societies and individuals. ArtSmart had a very positive impact on the community of our college, and also assisted us in forging new relationships within our community at large.”
The “Year of the Arts” celebration is free and open to the public. The event will feature live music, food, art exhibits, and presentations. Please RSVP to Shyrel Smith-Hosseini at 303-914-6636 or email@example.com.
The RRCC Community Room and adjoining Susan K. Arndt Gallery is on the west end, lower level of the Red Rocks Community College campus at 13300 W. 6th Ave. in Lakewood (www.rrcc.edu/maps). Visit www.rrcc.edu/artsmart for more information on ArtSmart and to view samples of artwork.
More about Red Rocks Community College: Established in 1969, Red Rocks Community College delivers high-quality, affordable education programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates. The college serves over 15,000 students per year online and at campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada.