Atomic Elroy (aka Tom McElroy), a fixture in the Colorado Springs art community, isnt an easy person to explain. A one-man artistic mover and shaker, he puts you in mind of a Phil Bender, but...a Phil Bender in Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family, NORAD, Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base, just to name a few bastions of Colorado conservatism. But as McElroy puts it, Atomic Elroy is a self-proclaimed lone voice in the forest, and hes comfortable with that. Its like Im the one whos constantly reinventing the wheel. Ive got the feeling like somebodys got to do it. We cant just let all those religious nuts rule the roost.
The quirky video, installation and performance artist will get a chance to explain the role of the lone voice with a sprinkling of self-mocking humor when the exhibit Atomic Elroy's Hometown (his first solo in a major venue) opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight at FAC Modern, 121 South Tejon Street in Colorado Springs. Its been helpful for me in terms of dealing with the issues that go with being like an artistic salmon floating up the stream in Colorado Springs, he says of the show, which includes everything Elroy, from one deliberately poorly executed Michael Garman Magic Town constructed out of black Fome-Cor and crudely drawn on with chalk to an eight-by-eight cube housing a video monitor: Its just me talking about being stuck in this black-box tomb Ive created for myself, how Im trapped in a prison I make.