May 7, 2021 | LIFE | By Frances Thyer | Photo by Iris Guo

As the year comes to a close, students can look forward to an exciting new project that will mark the final weeks of the block and welcome back the CC community on our return in the fall. 

Colorado College Mobile Arts, introduced by project director Dr. Naomi Pueo Wood, will display a broad range of local artists and creators with a focus on interdisciplinary events and community accessibility. 

In the early fall, Wood began thinking about ways to host safe, in-person events that could utilize a National Endowment for the Humanities grant at her disposal. 

“A big part of what I was missing this year was just collective spaces where art happens,” Wood said. 

Wood first reached out to the director of the Fine Arts Center alongside other professors in the art department about collaborating on various projects. A partnership with the Bemis School of Art has also led to rumors of a mobile pottery wheel. 

The CC Mobile Arts vehicle is a potentially useful tool for illustrating the intersections between the humanities and performing arts. Wood has connected with the liaison for community and cultural programming, multiple individuals in the theater and dance departments, and even professors in the religion department about workshopping ideas they may have for events to enrich the Colorado Springs community. 

“My idea is really to do as many interdisciplinary events as possible,” Wood said. 

Wood has a history of curating exhibitions during her time at CC. She has brought in graffiti artists, a muralist, salsa groups, hip hop groups, and more. The experience that Mobile Arts hopes to provide to the community has always been Wood’s research and teaching interest, and the grant is merely an indicator that this is valuable work. 

The project will intentionally spotlight Colorado Springs’ history and diversity, with plenty of potential partnerships moving forward. The program may work with the African American Genealogical Museum, a Juneteenth celebration this summer, the Children’s Museum, and many other organizations, events, and individual artists. 

Wood’s focus is on building strong community partnerships. She has connections throughout the city from years of activism and engagement, but believes the local community remains separated from student life. The project hopes to remedy some of this division with free events integrated with the community and in shared spaces. 

The project director also notes her excitement at the widespread interest from students and colleagues for CC Mobile Arts. Students who attended the last event, an outdoor screening of “Sorry to Bother You” with the truck’s 20-foot blow up screen, projector, and sound system, reacted enthusiastically to the event and look forward to more opportunities in the future. 

“It was a nice change in scenery from what we have been doing since COVID hit,” one student said. “It was just nice to have an in-person event where I felt safe.”

Based on an interview with Wood from about a week and a half ago, CC Mobile Arts is planning on collaborating with a film professor for a second movie screening this coming Sunday, May 9. Mobile Arts will also potentially be co-hosting a small-scale event on May 13 that would include music, dance, and food in conjunction with the Luso-Brazilian Studies Student Club. 

When asked about the future of the project, Wood responded, “Everything is possible for now.”

On May 7, CC Mobile Arts will host an official launch with inspiring artists and interdisciplinary events that will cater to a variety of student interests. From 4-8 p.m. at 116 E. Boulder Street this Friday, the CC community will have the opportunity to see the Mobile Arts truck for the official debut of this new initiative. 

Two local artists have been designing murals on the sides of the truck, and the team has been working to ensure the activities are COVID-safe. CC Mobile Arts would like to showcase many different possible uses of the truck at the event, including a painting workshop, live salsa performance, spoken word poetry, and more. 

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