Colorado Springs art center debuts Katrina aftermath art |

Colorado Springs art center debuts Katrina aftermath art

Special to the Daily

COLORADO SPRINGS ” When the levees broke in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, nearly an entire American city was swept away. New Orleans lay devastated and destroyed, just hours after one of the most horrific natural events ever to hit this nation.

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center presents “Katrina: Catastrophe and Catharsis,” the first exhibition dedicated to the works of internationally-respected artists responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The exhibit opens today (Friday, March 9) and will remain through Sunday, April 29 at the Fine Art Center in downtown Colorado Springs.

The exhibition showcases the works of leading artists and photographers, including David Bates, Luis Cruz Azaceta, John Scott, Douglas Bourgeois, Willie Birch, Jacqueline Bishop and Debbie Fleming Caffery. After debuting in Colorado Springs, the exhibition will travel to various venues throughout the United States.

The public is invited to the opening today from 5-8 p.m. Admission is free for members and $7.50 for non-members and includes hors d’oeuvres and live music from a jazz ensemble comprised of New Orleans musicians, who were displaced by the hurricane. The opening will be their debut performance.

According to the Colorado Springs Department of Emergency Management, about 460 families (1,800 individuals) came to Colorado Springs from the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005; the department estimates that approximately half remain in the city.

The exhibition was organized by Arthur Roger, one of New Orleans’ most prominent and respected gallery owners for over 30 years. Roger himself was displaced by the hurricane, but despite the catastrophes that afflicted his own personal life, he wasted little time in asking artists throughout the nation for work that reflected on the aftermath of Katrina.

In addition, a selection of more than 100 photographs from the New Orleans Museum of Art exhibition and book, “Katrina Exposed: A Photographic Reckoning,” complements the main exhibit.

– What: De Marsche will moderate the nation’s very first panel to discuss the effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and its artistic scene.

– When: Saturday at 10 a.m.

– Where: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Music Room, 30 West Dale St.

– Admission: Free event.

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