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Portrait: Lance Green

Lance Green's show, "Bringing It All Back Home," can be seen at the Business of Art Center in Manitou Springs from April 22 to June 12.
Lance Green's show, "Bringing It All Back Home," can be seen at the Business of Art Center in Manitou Springs from April 22 to June 12.
Lance Green

Lance Green’s new exhibit, “Bringing It All Back Home,” with 25 years’ worth of his acrylics, sculptures and ink drawings, is opening soon at the Business of Art Center’s Venue 515, 515 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs. The show opens 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 22, and is up through June 12.

Lance Green with painter Fritz Scholder, left.
Lance Green

Green, who was born in Denver but spent 40 years in Los Angeles, studied art at Rio Hondo College and, starting in the mid-1990s, with the renowned Fritz Scholder. At that point, he says, “everything changed. I’ve been in the studio every day since ­– about 15 years. I think it’s just been my fate.”

He also worked in the film industry, painted murals and displayed his work in California galleries before returning to Colorado in 2004. He paints in the Second Floor Studios, above the Michael Garman Museum on West Colorado Avenue.

That’s where he’ll listen to music while searching through his sketchbooks to find the right sketch to render on canvas.

“Then I just randomly let paint fly on the bare canvas – smear, scratch, remove, wet-in-wet, let grays appear but leave a lot of bright color – very aggressive. Then I usually paint the negative space in around the figure, leaving some charcoal rendering showing through. I love a rendered figure. Then, I paint over a portion of it – destroying it. When that paint dries I do the rendering again, paint in the negative space, and bring it to a 90 percent finished piece then usually destroy it again, usually with just one wrong brushstroke. It’s amazing how easy it is to kill a painting.”

Green’s influences include da Vinci, Carravaggio, Dürer, Mucha, van Gogh and Gauguin. But his biggest influence, he says, was his mother.

“She was the one that not only ‘got it’ but would have never spoken to me if I wouldn’t have pursued my art. She died really young – had a real hard life, and this is for her.”

Growing up, Green witnessed first-hand the violence prevalent in East L.A. He knew 14 boys his age in his neighborhood and says that nine were dead before age 25.

“Some of my art comes from a terribly dark place, but only in the initial stage. I take every figure, every scene, every subject through chaos and destruction and disfigurement and then I bring it back in beauty,” he says.

Green will talk more about his work at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, also in Venue 515.

Other BAC exhibits are: “Passion Retold,” frescoed images by Kevin Thayer; “Becoming Animal,” mixed-media work by Pauline Foss, addressing the relationship between humans and livestock; and “Prints of Peace,” Bijou School students’ work inspired by the Tibetans’ peaceful response to oppression. All open the same evening as Green’s show.

Thayer will talk about his work 6-7 p.m. May 4, and David Gardiner, associate professor and chair of the Colorado College department of religion, will talk about the “Prints of Peace” show at 6 p.m. April 28.

Exhibits and gallery talks are free and open to the public. The BAC’s main building is at 513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs; regular hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Call 685-1861 for information, or see the site.

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