First Fridays in Colorado Springs offer an occasion to gather and socialize in local settings throughout the city. Small businesses and museums stay open later to invite newcomers into their spaces and to reconnect with friends. Art galleries debut their artists’ latest creations, and the artists are often present during these openings to answer questions about their work.
In July of 2022, Emily and Clay Ross started The Look Up Gallery inside their retail space Yobel, a boutique in downtown Colorado Springs that specializes in ethically sourced, sustainable clothing.
Giving Back through Art
“We wanted to invite our community to pause, look up, and take a moment to connect with art,” says Clay, “The Look Up Gallery is an extension of our love for people by featuring local artists and giving back to our community.” Proceeds from The Look Up Gallery’s sales are donated to local charities. As Clay puts it, “A little local love does a lot of global good.”
In April, the gallery will display a collaborative project between abstract painter Karen Mosbacher and photographer Dave Gochis. Sales from this show, titled Chromaeasthetic Juxtaposition, will benefit the nonprofit Community Cultural Collective to restore the Colorado Springs Auditorium.
“When we heard about the project to renovate the auditorium, we decided to come together and collaborate on a new and different mixture of media and styles,” Gochis says.
Mosbacher, a recent transplant from the vibrant Santa Fe, New Mexico, art scene, found a welcoming, supportive community upon arriving in her new city.
"I wanted to gather the leaders of the art community in Colorado Springs to model for the photos and to include them in our support of the efforts to renew the City Auditorium,” she describes.
They asked local community leaders, including gallery owners, dancers, and musicians, to wear clothes from Yobel and pose for the large-scale black and white photographs. Mosbacher painted over the photographs, letting each image dictate what the painterly style should be.
"Painting the photos of the models has been a great deal of fun for me," she says. "Each painting tells a story, and sometimes a mystery, that I imagined about the art leaders and their roles in Colorado Springs."
The show brings together different members of the Colorado Springs community, and Yobel provides the gathering space. Chromaeasthetic Juxtaposition debuts at the Look Up Gallery on First Friday, April 7, and will remain on display through the end of the month. This collaboration is but one example of how First Fridays can serve as a monthly reminder to take the time to look up at art and each other.
Facebook + Instagram: @thelookupgallery