A collaborative multimedia experience with visual art, choreography, poetry and music will open the first night of CBCA’s 35th Anniversary celebrations and fundraising events on November 5, 4:00 – 5:00 PM. Greeley-based painter, muralist, and performer Armando Silva, along with spoken word poet Bobby LeFebre will engage in a unique artistic collaboration where one artist’s work inspires the other.

Bobby describes the experience as “ekphrastic,” and says, “I came into this with no pre-conceived notion of what I was going to create. My process generally involves a listing of thoughts, images, words, that something conjures for me and then I take those things and start to see if there are connections and shape it based on what I am seeing and feeling.” Bobby has been reviewing a multimedia expression and painting by Armando, as he says “over and over again, letting it affect me.” Bobby is working on a spoken word performance, in response to Armando’s work, that will be premiered on November 5. Armando’s painting will also be revealed that evening and is featured in CBCA’s silent art auction.

Armando says “It will be collaborative; there will be multi-media elements, and I’ll be working to build the audience’s trust while making myself vulnerable by creating something that will evolve through our conversation and ultimately be reflective of our collective experience,” he said. “From a creative standpoint, I am hoping it will be something new and different for me and the audience. None of us will know what to expect, including me, but through it we all will learn something and take something away with us.”

Armando is a Greeley-based painter, muralist, and performer who has spent the last few years working to make art more accessible to a wider group of people by creating murals, hosting live art performances, and choreographing dance through the Colorado Dance Collective. His art is highly narrative, kaleidoscopic, and immersive, and when created during a live performance, it instantly becomes accessible and helps people create an emotional attachment to the piece.

“Often when you see a finished piece of art, you’re not able to connect with it in the same way as when you see the artist work in real time, being vulnerable and open in front of you,” he said. As a choreographer, Armando sees a blank canvas or wall in a similar way to a performance. “You look at art as having a lot of different stages and bodies; you contemplate the composition, the staging, how improvisations will occur, and in a live art performance, I have to rehearse beforehand so that when it comes time to perform, I’m ready and can handle the unexpected.” Armando thrives on his ability to create art that people feel connected to, and attendees of the 35th celebration can expect a show like no other.

Bobby LeFebre is an award-winning writer, performer, and cultural worker fusing a non-traditional multi-hyphenated professional identity to imagine new realities, empower communities, advance arts and culture, and serve as an agent of provocation, transformation, equity and social change.  In 2019, LeFebre was named Colorado’s 8th Poet Laureate, making him the youngest and first person of color to be appointed to the position in its 100 year history.

For Bobby, “Poetry is such an observational art form. I think it exists much in the sort of collection and distilling of images and emotion and obviously this year has indeed changed the psyche of how I am interpreting things. There for sure has been some sort of psychological effect on what I am creating.” Over the next year, Bobby’s work will focus on what he describes as “radical imagination,” the process of reimagining a new world post-pandemic that imagines a public sphere where people are using or adopting new ways of doing things.

Armando and Bobby will engage in a conversation on November 5 where they discuss their creative processes, reactions to one another’s works and what CBCA’s 35th Anniversary theme of “rewind, play and fast forward” means to them. The conversation will be moderated by Marcia Romero.

Marcia is the Community Affairs Manager at U.S. Bank based in Denver overseeing a multi-million-dollar community investment and social impact portfolio supporting the Colorado and Utah markets. Her professional growth is fueled by a personal commitment to serving the community as both mentor and leader. A Colorado native, Marcia passionately volunteers for many organizations and serves on the boards of Latin American Educational Foundation (LAEF), Latinas First Foundation, the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver and Fiesta Colorado Dance Company. She has an impressive performing arts background as a trained dancer that has taken her from the stages in the Southwest U.S. to Sydney, Australia.

Participation in the event is free, but registration is required.