100 Colorado Creatives: Pangloss Gravitron


#59: Pangloss Gravitron Pangloss Gravitron: Not a person. Rather, it's a diverse six-person collective of local artists who share a certain speculative, surreal and fantasmic scope in their works. "Pangloss" references Voltaire's optimist Dr. Pangloss from Candide; "Gravitron" is a spinning, flying-saucer-like amusement park ride using centrifugal force to elicit thrills.

See also:
- Pangloss Gravitron: Corpus Exuberis
- Blind Faith: Pangloss Gravitron's Half the Floating World
- The arts in Denver: Ten people to watch in 2013

Bound by the joy of art-making, the group's members -- a changing body of painters, sculptors, metal-workers and installation-builders that currently includes Tracy Tomko, Meagen Svendsen, Mark Penner-Howell, Patrick Loehr, John Haley III and Erin Asmussen -- like to collaborate on a theme when they get together for a joint show.

Their second exhibition as a collective, Corpus Exuberis, opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at the Emmanuel Gallery, and continues through August 29. To prep you for that show, we invited the artists to answer our 100CC questionnaire as a group. Read on for a closer look at the great Gestalt creature that is Pangloss Gravitron.

Westword: Who and what is Pangloss Gravitron?

Tracy Tomko: Pangloss Gravitron thinks the whole is greater than its parts. "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno." We are Musketeers in art.

Meagen Svendsen: A group of conceptual artists, equal parts serious and silly, bound by the centrifugal force that is Tracy Tomko. 

Patrick Loehr: This sounds familiar, but I can't say with 100 percent certainty that I have the correct answer. 

John Haley III: Francis Picabia, 391.

Erin Asmussen: Pangloss Gravitron is a carnival ride that hits optimistic highs and sets back down into reality on a regular creative basis. For me, it is a group of artists that I am excited to show next to and feel that I belong with.

If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Tracy: Eiko Ishioka, Julie Taymor, Kiki Smith and Leonora Carrington for their use of animals with the human figure and for theatrical expressions of emotions.

Meagen: A cognitive ornithologist (I might have just made that title up), a soundscape ecologist, a mockingbird or a dragonfly. Each could teach me to experience the world in ways I can't perceive. 

Patrick: I would like to collaborate with Jesus of Nazareth because of his visionary outlook, supernatural abilities and strong carpentry skills. I feel these attributes would result in some interesting work. Or, maybe I would choose the Lord of Darkness for similar reasons. In this scenario, am I allowed to withdraw myself from the equation, and let Jesus and the Lord of Darkness collaborate on this project? Please get back to me ASAP. 

John: Probably Charles de Gaulle, because he was so crafty.

Erin: I would collaborate with Tim Burton. I wanted to work with him before I understood what an artist was. Seeing his work always made me wish to be a part of the world he was composing.

Continue reading for more on Pangloss Gravitron.

Location Info


Emmanuel Gallery

Auraria Campus, Denver, CO

Category: General

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