Colorado Creatives

Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Cecily Cullen

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Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

I have been enamored with Wangechi Mutu's collage and mixed media work for years and am thrilled to be working with her this year. I recently spoke with Wangechi about the meaning behind some video works of hers that will be included in our upcoming Spatial Stories exhibition in February. She has a strong activist voice in these particular works representing women who are acting against violence in their lives. These works are less fantasy mash ups than the collage work she is known for, but powerful and poetic singular actions.

I am interested in artists and others who are utilizing various platforms to affect a change in thinking. Swoon, Ai Wei Wei, Pope Francis, even the Food Babe -- she is a bit unconventional, but seriously taking on food giants like Monsanto and Starbucks and pushing them, first to be transparent about what toxic ingredients are in their products and secondly to use safer, real food ingredients.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

I think most trends are birthed for a reason, or morph into something positive even if they didn't start that way. The model of canvases and cocktails where everyone copies the same stylized painting of trees on a hill is pretty shallow. It does little to generate creativity or a meaningful interaction with ideas and art. However, there is a wave of ingenuity where a few have taken the prototype and ramped up the art making, urging participants to challenge themselves and make original pieces. That aspect of the trend is positive. Eventually, maybe folks will get brave and stop parroting the purple swirly cloud painting.

Continue reading for more from Cecily Cullen.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd