What scares you?

Oct 032007
Authors: Anica Wong

With Halloween just around the corner and scary incidences happening with tainted toys and spinach recalls, there is a lot to fear in our world. But the artists who will participate in the Fright Fear Fobia show will productively transform these fears into pieces of art.

The Fright Fear Fobia exhibit will open at the Colorado Coalition of Artists (CoCOA) gallery in Fort Collins on Friday at 6 p.m. The show is a collaboration between CoCOA and Front Range Community College (FRCC).

Artists from as far as France and Chicago will send in their art work to be included with the art done by Fort Collins residents and students from FRCC. Approximately 20 pieces of art will portray the artist’s own fears, as well as what scares our society today.

Al Koppel, one artist participating in the show, is a Fort Collins resident who has been creating art since he was a young boy and is now able to focus more on such creativity since he is retired.

Koppel’s piece shows a frightened, disheveled girl who looks imploringly at the viewer as if she is asking for help.

“Only one word for that painting,” Koppel said. “Holocaust.”

Koppel, who is from Germany, experienced many horrible things while living in the country. He once saw a similar picture and decided to create his own piece of art as a remembrance. Koppel is not sure whether this girl was raped, beaten or told she had to go to the gas chamber.

“Others will relate to it because they know about the Holocaust,” Koppel said. “I think it is important that I painted it.”

Although it was made more than 10 years ago, this painting is sure to induce feelings that might be upsetting to people. But Koppel feels that it is necessary.

“The painting evokes traumatic feelings,” he said. “It was meant to be dramatic.”

He added that his wife and daughter couldn’t look at the painting because it was too emotional for them and that at times, he has a hard time viewing it as well.

Koppel’s painting is done in pastels, which, in this case, help to create the perfect colors, he said.

“(I use pastels) because you can really put color into a painting, even in something that is scary or traumatic,” Koppel said.

For Hayley Spurrier, the Fright Fear Fobia show seemed like a perfect place to send some of her photographs. A student at FRCC, Spurrier had created a portfolio of “creepy pictures” for one of her photography classes.

“These are pictures that don’t look normal,” said Spurrier, who is in her second year of her associate degree of arts with a certificate in digital imaging.

Spurrier entered two of her “creepy pictures,” done in black and white, into the show.

The first one depicts a girl’s doll stuck in a barren tree under a cloudy sky. This picture shows Spurrier’s fear of losing one’s childhood. Spurrier created this picture by manipulating two images, one of the doll and one of the tree, on the computer.

In the second picture, a woman’s face is put between two landscape images.

“This symbolizes losing your place in the world,” Spurrier said. “Hold on to what is yours.”

Spurrier made this picture by sandwiching negatives together in a dark room. The woman in the image is Spurrier’s sister, Robin, who will be playing her violin at the opening of the show.

“See what speaks to you and see if one of them is your fear,” she said.

CoCOA, which strives to unify local artists, is a non-profit organization that encourages people to talk about the art that they see.

“The more you collaborate, the more dialogue you can create in a community,” Laura Brent, the director of CoCOA, said.

People value art and museums, but it doesn’t necessarily motivate them to go to the museums, so in turn, they don’t create that dialogue, Brent said.

Along with hosting shows, the gallery holds several different types of art classes and rents out studios for artists to use.

The opening reception for the Fright Fear Fobia show will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and will last until 9 p.m. The show will run from Oct. 5 until Oct. 26.

For more information on the Fright Fear Fobia exhibition visit the Colorado Coalition of Artists Web site at www.cocoaart.com.

Staff reporter Anica Wong can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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