June First Friday Artwalk at the Manitou Art Center
Join us for First Friday on June 2!
Let’s kick off Summer with two new shows! K8E Orr’s “Hiraeth” will debut in the Hagnauer, and there’s a brand new show in the First Amendment Gallery! Entertainment provided by Emily Navarro, a long time favorite in the southern Colorado music scene, with a unique blend of pop and country.
“Hiraeth; a Longing for Home That Never as,” explores the complex emotions and experiences of growing up with an untreated schizophrenic parent. The bizarre, repetitive images and behaviors, and surreal experiences I was exposed to are used to create a visual collection of memories and true-life events that capture the fear, vulnerability, and authenticity of childhood trauma.
People who suffer from complex PTSD sometimes yearn to return to the home where trauma took place. The chaos, confusion, and an unyielding sense of isolation I faced as a child has become an integral part of my identity. I have been walking the halls of my trauma for years, but each time I return, I learn more, go deeper, and make friends with the ghosts that haunt me.
Hiraeth is my manifestation of healing artistic expression, used as a platform to raise awareness about mental illness and the impact of growing up in the space between reality and disillusion. By becoming intimately acquainted with the unpredictability of mental illness and navigating a world filled with fragmented perceptions and constant uncertainty, Hiraeth is my search for solace, understanding, and ultimately healing. It is a visual testimony of the resiliency of the human spirit and the power of art as a catalyst for self-discovery.
K8e Orr was born in Colorado Springs in 1983. Growing up had more than its fair share of ups and downs, but her aptitude for creativity and problem solving led her to seek solace in art. In her youth she was a skilled improviser and explorer, as well as her brother’s comic book inker. He called her Jibwa. In her earliest years, her mother was supporting her father’s creation of “Spirit People” – handmade, indigenous, thoughtful art based on storytelling. She attended her first powwow at three days old and travelled all over the USA with her parents and older brother.
Her parents ran a gallery in Crested Butte, but eventually decided to build the house they designed on the edge of a quiet mountain town they loved, Manitou Springs, CO. Her parents passed their skills and knowledge onto her, and regularly participated in creating art and sharing stories with her.
At the age of four her story changed – when her parents divorced and her mother developed Schizophrenia. Her mother and primary caregiver remained untreated for over 20 years, making childhood anything but ordinary. Existence itself was a struggle. She faced too many of the harms created by the myriad of systems and institutions, and constantly fell through the cracks. Only by pursuing her own art and healing, was she able to stop herself from falling, expressing the emotions and experiences that were often too difficult to put into words.