It's OK to run with scissors at Manitou Art Center
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Natalie Johnson, executive director of the Manitou Springs Creative District and Manitou Arts Center, is heading up an effort to form the Manitou Creative Arts District in the wake of the town being turned down as a Colorado Creative District. The mural of Manitou Springs local artist Floyd Tunson was recently painted by artists El Mac and Fuse on the side of the M.A.C. Thursday, June 23, 2016. photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

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5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Manitou Arts Center, 513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs. Free. Info: manitouartcenter.org, 685-1861

If your mother ever scolded you not to run with scissors, the Manitou Art Center could help you to safely satisfy that long-repressed yearning. On Tuesday, the center will celebrate not just one but multiple ribbon-cuttings to officially welcome exciting additions to the downtown Manitou Springs facility.

The MAC's Running with Scissors is an open-to-the-public event where attendees will be given complimentary plastic scissors and will be encouraged to use them at a succession of ribbon-cutting ceremonies. At the end of all those freshly cut ribbons will be live music, cocktails and nibbles.

"It was an accident so many things were completed at the same time," said Natalie Johnson, MAC executive director. "But we're so proud of all of them."

The piece that inspired Tuesday's event is a mural on the north side of the MAC building. It's a collaboration between artists Miles "El Mac" MacGregor and Larry "Fuse" Masters that depicts Manitou Springs artist Floyd D. Tunson using "patterned graffiti imagery." The plaque on the mural reads: "Floyd D. Tunson, a Colorado native son, is known for his eclectic and courageous art. Locals call him a legend."

"We feel so fortunate to have the El Mac/Fuse mural, which is about 18 feet tall by 20 feet wide," Johnson said. "El Mac came out a month ago and finished his part. Fuse has collaborated and the ribbon-cutting was based on the idea that it might be finished at that time."

The mural will be either just finished or nearly finished Tuesday, depending on if the weather cooperates with Masters as he puts on his finishing touches.

Also to be unveiled during the celebration are The Classroom for Creativity, a creative space made possible by a generous gift from the Lori Cohen Charitable Trust; Leadership Pikes Peak "MAC Attack," a Manitou Art Center promotional video produced by Andrea Dubbert, Joe Farr, Eric Hardy, Gayle Hibbert, Danen Jobe, Meredith Jones, and Steve Noblitt; Tesla Station, an electric vehicle charging station funded by Tesla Motors and to be tested by Sparky, the electric Volkswagen Beetle built by Manitou Springs High School students; and Wayne Lambert Studio, a photography studio and darkroom honoring late Manitou Springs photographer Wayne Lambert.

Lambert, who died in January, donated the studio to the MAC. He studied with renowned photographer Ansel Adams, among others, and was a studio artist at the center - which he had protested might be becoming a little too bustling.

"He was constantly asking when we were going to become a quiet, contemplative center," Johnson said with a chuckle.

MICHELLE KARAS, THE GAZETTE, 476-1602, MICHELLE.KARAS@GAZETTE.COM

Features Reporter/Special Sections Editor

Michelle is a features reporter and special sections editor for the Gazette. A Penn State journalism graduate, she joined the Gazette in 2015.

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