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Colorado Springs artist creates secret garden in new exhibit | Arts & Entertainment

What lurks below a thriving garden might be even more beautiful.

Liz McCombs has spent months building a secret garden in her studio. What has emerged are ceramic and mixed-media humanlike sculptures all caught in the mysterious process of metamorphosis. Greenery sprouts up out of curled-up human figures; rootlike vegetables have grown heads sporting full lips and round eyes; and femalelike figures are given tangled roots for legs while lush gardens push up out of their skulls.


Popular ghost stories walking tours in Manitou Springs expanding this Halloween season

Her pieces start with kiln-fired ceramic to which she adds recycled materials, such as wood, bark and pieces of glass.

“A key element of the show was transformation from one thing to something else,” says the longtime Colorado Springs artist. “In the garden you have birth, death, one thing nourishing something else, all things that make life life. I incorporate those ideas into each of the pieces. Each one has a unique story. They all fall under the overreaching idea of transition.”

“Secret Garden” is open now at Bridge Gallery. You can see the show from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays through October. McCombs also will be working in the gallery throughout the month. Also on display will be a series of Halloween-inspired pieces, some influenced by the Day of the Dead Mexican holiday.

McCombs, an avid gardener, has always been fascinated by the cycle of life under the surface, and in this case, the garden. A simple seed is planted, watered and nourished with loving care and attention. How will that seed grow? What will it become? The possibilities are endless.

“It’s like the acorn turning into an oak tree,” she says. “I like the revealed and concealed idea. There are secrets inside all things and if given the right

Why the Rose Garden COVID-19 fiasco was dismal news for the return of live entertainment

At the celebratory judicial nomination event for Amy Coney Barrett, scores of maskless, prominent Americans–elected officials, high-ranking staffers, the President of the University of Notre Dame–were seen hugging, kissing and other examples of the up-close-and-personal behavior most ordinary Americans are avoiding in service of personal and community safety. It looked like no one at the Sept. 26 event in the White House Rose Garden had paid any mind whatsoever to the potential ravages of COVID-19 at a nomination celebration for a member of the United States Supreme Court.

Although it certainly fits the broader political narrative on both sides, this wasn’t entirely true.

Attendees were actually given rapid Coronavirus tests, developed by Abbott Laboratories of Lake Bluff, prior to admittance. As the Wall Street Journal and others have reported, a guest took Abbott’s so-called ID NOW test, waited around for a few minute for the result, and, in the event of their negativity, was told that they could make their way into the event without worrying about infection. In an apologetic subsequent homily, Rev. John I. Jenkins of Notre Dame said he had removed his mask (the regulations on his own campus notwithstanding) because he had been told by the White House it was safe to do so.

Wrong choice. In hindsight.

While it rarely has been entirely clear who infected whom where in this crisis, and that is true here, the evidence of multiple infections at this event suggest that the hopeful idea that rapid tests could be used as a kind of instant pandemic metal detector, a notion that has been floated well beyond the White House, is not a viable plan. The virus appears to be way too tricky a beast for that hopeful solution to our current problem.

These rapid tests have been especially beguiling to

From ‘Love Island’ to ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ Caesars Entertainment keeps Las Vegas on TV

Love Island

Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

The cast of “Love Island” parties on the rooftop of the Cromwell.

If it’s true that everyone’s watching a lot more TV while staying home during the pandemic, viewers across the country are getting plenty of Las Vegas scenery during their favorite shows.

The second season of the U.S. version of dating competition reality series “Love Island” wraps up this week and has seen growing ratings since its premiere on CBS on August 24, according to Variety. Like its U.K. and Australian editions, the show is typically filmed at an actual island destination, with young competitors chasing romance and a big cash prize while attempting to avoid elimination from the voting public or their castmates.

International travel restrictions and other coronavirus concerns threatened to cancel the new season until executives from ITV, producers of “Love Island,” connected with colleagues at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, resulting in the entire production moving to the Strip to be headquartered at the Cromwell. Much of the show has been filmed at the resort’s rooftop Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub, redecorated to serve as the “Love Island” villa, and just off the Strip, the Rio has served as a secondary production site.

Caesars Entertainment Vice President of Production Kate Whiteley said while “Love Island” in Las Vegas came together quickly, it’s a huge production with 125 people working as cast and crew at the Cromwell and 200 at the Rio.

“It’s been a lot of fun watching it come together and it’s a really big undertaking for us, so we’ve been fortunate to have this partnership with ITV to work together to create a COVID-safe way to do it,” Whiteley said. “There’s a lot of different factors at play beyond Las