UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art to open “The Black Power Tarot” downtown; “These Things are Tangible” on campus

Daisy McGowan, (719) 255-3504, dmcgowan@uccs.edu Joanna Bean, (719) 255-3732, jbean2@uccs.edu

COLORADO SPRINGS – The University of Colorado Colorado Springs Galleries of Contemporary Art will open new exhibits in January at its campus and downtown galleries.

“The Black Power Tarot” by King Khan and Michael Eaton under the supervision of Alejandro Jodorowsky will open with a gallery talk and reception 5 – 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at the downtown GOCA121 gallery, 121 S. Tejon St. The project has received broad acclaim and attention and was featured on Slate.com and Vice’s Creator’s Project. The exhibit at GOCA will be the first in Colorado, with plans to travel to other venues nationwide.

A second exhibit, “These Things are Tangible,” opens 5 – 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 in the campus GOCA1420 location. The exhibit features three contemporary fiber artists – Claudia Mastrobuono, Jodi Stevens, and Sonya Yong James – independently and collaboratively investigating and pushing the edges of what is possible with sculptural fibers.

Gallery hours at both locations are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment. “The Black Power Tarot” is on display through April 1. “These Things are Tangible” will be on display through March 18.

Multiple events are planned, including Race & Social Change: Readings with authors Aaron Carter, Idris Goodwin and Rhiana Yazzie (part of UCCS Theater/Dance Race & Social Change National Town Hall) 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 21. A March 6-7 Black Power Film Festival and a Chit Chat on the topic of Notorious B.I.G. & Tarot on March 9 also are planned. Visit GOCA’s website at www.uccs.edu/goca for details.

Black Power Tarot (courtesy King Khan):
11.jpg – XI: LA FORCE – Strength – Tina Turner, The Black Power Tarot, courtesy King Khan

About “The Black Power Tarot”

Arish Ahmad Khan, known by his stage name of King Khan, is a Canadian-born, Berlin-based multi faceted musician, producer, writer and artist. Khan divined the idea to create his own tarot deck through a series of dreams and visions he had while working on the film score for “The Invaders,” a documentary about a Memphis black power group with whom Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked.

Surrealist filmmaker and spiritual guru Alejandro Jodorowsky introduced Khan to the way of Tarot and spent years working with Philippe Camoin, the direct heir of the last of Tarot de Marseille printers in Marseille, France, to reconstruct a precise version of the Tarot de Marseille from the 1760s. Khan asked Jodorowsky to supervise the creation of the Black Power Tarot and recruited Michael James Eaton, a Belfast-based artist and designer for television series “Game of Thrones,” to draw each card, which were then presented to Jodorowsky for his approval.

Combined with Khan’s personal interest in reading and interpreting Tarot, he found a way to bridge the “path of illumination” in the Tarot and the concept of black power by choosing the likenesses of 19 African-American musicians, two African- American magicians, one civil rights leader and one African-American comedian to replace the archetypes found in the major arcana of the Tarot De Marseilles and to birth a new mythology for the 21st century. For the exhibit, the cards are presented in maximal scale of 3.5 x 6 feet. A limited number of tarot decks and a Black Power Tarot coloring book will be available for purchase at the gallery.

These Things are Tangible:
(left) Jodi Stevens, TRANSFERENCE, 2013, Yarn; (center) Claudia Mastrobuono, Weight, fiber and stone; (right) Sonya Yong James

About the Exhibit, “These Things are Tangible”

Using their medium as a framework, all three artists, Claudia Mastrobuono, Jodi Stevens, and Sonya Yong James, engage with the concepts of self-discovery, gender, and labor, reflecting on an art practice rooted in their experiences as women and makers, as well as the political legacy of fiber art.

The artists will be in residence at UCCS for two weeks leading to the opening and are concurrently creating a site-specific installation at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The artists will speak at an opening for that exhibit 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., amplifying across two cultural sites in our city.

GOCA is a regional hub of contemporary art, culture, and conversation. By featuring world-class artists, hosting artist and expert talks, and offering meaningful events, GOCA engages UCCS students, faculty, staff and Pikes Peak Region community members in contemporary culture and life. GOCA is a contemporary arts organization with two galleries, one founded on the UCCS campus in 1981 and a satellite downtown location that opened in 2010 in the Plaza of the Rockies building.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest-growing universities in Colorado. The university offers 45 bachelor’s, 22 master’s and five doctoral degree programs. UCCS enrolls about 12,000 students on campus annually and another 3,300 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.