Focusing on Old Colorado City, the Westside of Colorado Springs

Chris Alvarez - Professional Artist and Instructor

June 11, 2012 Simon

I met Chris Alvarez, a professional artist and instructor, by chance in Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City. He was running an outdoor oil painting workshop with several student artists. That day he had long hair. When we met the next day, I wondered who the shaven headed bald man was approaching me and saying hi.

Chris is artist, instructor, businessman, father of 2 children, six and nine years old, a soccer coach and a cub scout den leader. The sudden loss of hair was part of a deal he made with his cub scouts, if they all completed their achievements, he would shave his head. They did, so he did! Finding a balance between work and family can be a challenge, but now his kids are at school, he has more time to focus on his . His freshly shaved head clearly illustrated his commitment to his other teaching responsibilities in his life, has not wavered.

Although the class schedule is subject to change, currently there are figure drawing lessons on Monday morning and Tuesday night. Classes are offered to small groups of all levels and are held in the studio lofts above the Michael Garman store. Beginners study next to more advanced students, and that works well, as new students trying to learn a concept benifit from studying next to more experienced students, trying to master the same concept.

After arriving in Colorado Springs from New Mexico in 1988, and fulfilling his commitment to the US Army. He decided to call the Westside home. He liked the friendly nature of the place, and how a 10 minute walk could take over an hour. Each porch he passed with a person sitting on it led to a conversation, and even the occasional cold beer. To him, the west side had a feeling the feel of a small town. Although the address is Colorado Springs, the Westside felt more like a community.

The path to turning a serious hobby into a profession, began when the voice that kept telling him to become an artist wouldn’t shut up, so finally he decided to stop ignoring it. He started taking classes at the Cottonwood Art Academy and engrossed himself in the local art community. Eventually progressing to begin teaching his own classes 10 years ago. Since then he has become one of the hubs for local artists in Colorado Springs.

At his studio loft he holds classes for figure drawing, oil painting and outdoor oil painting, still life, workshops on quick sketch figure painting, and travels to locations such as Breckenridge for outdoor painting workshops. This summer in August, there is also a kids art summer camp for kindergarten through 5th grade. Contact Chris for more details on his current classes and learning opportunities.

Increasing clientele is a slow process but he hopes to build his online presence this year, and start blogging about his courses, workshops and experiences. He would like to continue building his reputation as both and artist and teacher and entering national shows. With enough recognition the business will begin to self sustain, and invitations to teach in the surrounding area will start to develop.

My grandmother, Jay Andrews was a professional artist her whole life, but sadly the drawing gene has skipped past me. Try as I might, I just can’t capture a likeness with anything other than a camera. Chris’ response to that? “Come see me for a few weeks and see what you say then”. He sees my attitude as a challenge, but I don’t think he realizes what he’d be up against! If you think Chris can unlock your artistic potential get in touch with him through Facebook or his website. His work is available to purchase at his studio and at various galleries in the area. Contact Chris Alvarez directly for details.

http://www.chrisalvarezpaintings.com/

https://www.facebook.com/calvart

 

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Simon Andrews teachers photography classes and workshops at Colorado Photography School in his west side Colorado Springs photography studio, and writes/photographs for Westside Focus. If you'd like an article written about your west side business, need a photographer or would like a lesson in his Old Colorado City photo studio, call Simon on 719-502-9045 or email info(at)admirePhotography.com.