Not Your Average Paintings

A Place Remembered and Imagined is an immersive installation of watercolor paintings on large rolls of paper by Maja Godlewska. This breathtaking installation runs through March 4, 2023, in The Lincoln Center Art Gallery.

Maja has been researching the spectacle of global “Insta”-tourism, following and photo-documenting travelers in the most Instagram-able destinations such as Greenland, Iceland, Mauritius and Sicily—and in North America, the National Parks and Monuments of the West. In May 2019, she continued this work in Tasmania as an artist-in-residence at the University of Tasmania Cradle Coast. She started this project through a collaboration with the local community for whom (not unlike Fort Collins) a spectacular, sought-after, pristine nature is a part of everyday life.

While electronic devices serve as intermediaries in the travelers’ experience—allowing for curating of the experience for an online audience—her own studio practice in response to the phenomenon is painstakingly slow-paced. Thinking of the landscape as a space half-remembered, half-imagined, she paints large-scale paper scrolls to be displayed as free-standing, contemplative installations she calls “Islands.”

Recently she has also been exploring how the pandemic—disrupting global tourism and travel—has altered our perception of the outdoors, which has now become a safe space. Local state parks, city parks and greenways have become a refuge for those living in the cities, including many who have never considered themselves outdoorsmen.

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The Art Gallery in the Lincoln Center lobby features selected Pianos About Town Murals in an exhibition titled Painted Fragments. This exhibit is also on view through March 4.

Pianos About Town is a collaborative project between the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places Program, Bohemian Foundation and the Downtown Development Authority. The 2023 season marks the 13th year for the program and begins in May. So far, 158 murals have been painted.

Pianos About Town combines art and music for the enjoyment of the community. Each summer, a new piano is painted every two weeks allowing the public to interact with artists as they work. The completed pianos rotate to locations throughout Fort Collins, inviting people to admire the artwork and play a tune.

When the pianos are no longer playable, they are disassembled and what isn’t recyclable is offered to artists to create new projects. When the pianos are prepared for painting, plywood panels are added to the back to give the artists a flat surface to paint. Painted plywood panels from past piano murals by Amanda Acheson, Jenna Allen, Elisa Gomez, Michael Ryan and Anne Thouthip are featured in this exhibit.

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