Hometown Boy

An artist springs from Colorado Springs

Atomic Elroy (aka Tom McElroy), a fixture in the Colorado Springs art community, isn’t 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 he’s comfortable with that. “It’s like I’m the one who’s constantly reinventing the wheel. I’ve got the feeling like somebody’s got to do it. We can’t 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. “It’s 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: “It’s just me talking about being stuck in this black-box tomb I’ve created for myself, how I’m trapped in a prison I make.”

Remember to bring your grain of salt.

Hometown remains on view through March 28; go to www.csfineartscenter.org/exhibitions.asp or call 1-719-634-5581 for more details.
Jan. 31-March 28, 2009

 
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