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The Birds and The Bees on Display at Branigan Cultural Center

The exhibition, The Birds and the Bees, was inspired by the birth of the artist’s son and explores the complications of love, pleasure, and the act of creation – literal and metaphorical, biological, and artistic. The exhibit opened on January 2 at the Branigan Cultural Center and will be on display until the end of the month.

Artist Paul Flippen has been painting for over two decades. His work has been shown in galleries and museums around the country, including solo exhibitions in New York, Texas, the Mid-West, and the Washington, D.C., metro area. He currently teaches Foundations Painting at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The Birds and The Bees is a series of paintings of pollinating birds and bees that suggestively interact with abstractions of antique marriage certificates. The painted elements are then layered over digital transfers of the chemical synthesis of progesterone, which is necessary for the healthy development of a baby, yet is also found in various forms of birth control. These images are further layered over manipulated digital photos of lace patterns of lingerie and wedding dresses. They are mechanized patterns that both display and obscure, like lace.

Flippen’s paintings are visual puzzles, meant for interpretation by the viewer. Flippen elaborates: “My paintings are autobiographical, functioning as metaphorical self-portraits. Images contain multiple possible and correct readings – my paintings allow for the interpretation of the viewer to speak in collaboration with my intent, and thus develop an understanding significant through its personal relevance. Some aspect of my meaning will be discrete from yours, but we will have commonalities. And these commonalities allow for a shared experience as we attempt, together, to reach some understanding of what a painting communicates.”

The Branigan Cultural Center hosts changing cultural exhibits, as well as educational programs, classes, and other special events. It is located at 501 N. Main Street, next to the Museum of Art. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm and free to the public. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s web site at

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