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The Art Center

Gifts through Giving First & Colorado Gives Day enrich the community by providing: 1) Scholarships to deserving students 2) Free materials to children's programming 3) Access to programs such as Artability and The Art Center Lectures 4) Exhibition opportunities for students, teachers, members, and artists from around the country 5) Outreach partnerships to bring art experiences to other neighborhood locations 6) Up-keep to our building, art studios, galleries, and grounds.

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Arts Education

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children ages 5 to 21
At-Risk Populations
Families
General population

Description

The Art Center's education program offerings are deep and varied. The Center provides a variety of two dimension (painting and drawing) and three dimension (ceramics) courses. The Art Center continues its very popular Artability: Arts for All program. What began in 2007 as a single program for the clients of STRIVE (formally Mesa Developmental Services) expanded in 2009 to include clients of the Center for Independence, Ariel, and Mosaic (disabled and autistic children). It has become obvious to The Art Center and the staff of the above organizations that art education brings new and important experiences for these challenged populations.
The Art Center hires artists of all ages and from accredited universities as well as from traditional mentoring programs regionally and nationally. Art Center artist in residence Terry Shepherd, current workshop instructor Sara Oakley, and Spring Art Week instructor Robbie Breaux were awarded at different times The Champions for The Arts Award by The Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture. Ceramics instructor KyoungHwa Oh was recognized as one of the top emerging ceramics artist nationally.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Artability: Arts for All program has grown ten-fold since it's inception in 2007. This growth can be attributed to more and better course offerings, regulars who register multiple time a year, as well as active response to class requests and a diversified marketing approach.

Many times, parents mention that they were kids in Summer Art Camp at The Art Center as they are picking up their own children from the program. This shows that the education programming is being passed on from generation to generation.

Our exhibitions continue to draw strong attendance from local residences and visitors.

Exhibitions

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public

Description

The Art Center is considered a home and social hub for Western Slope artists and the art-curious. The four galleries house national exhibits; as well as featuring the range and talent of our own Western Colorado community. Through traditional and contemporary exhibits, The Art Center actively cultivates a more vibrant, inclusive arts community and aims to foster a collective spirit among artists, teachers, students, children and families, and the general public. Throughout the year The Art Center works to bring in 73% Colorado Western Slope and local artists, 25% regional and national artists, and 2% international artists as showing artists.
The Art Center hosts 25 exhibitions a year, seven of which are annual exhibitions for local arts organizations. In addition, we hold annual shows to benefit our membership. The Art Center's annual Members Exhibit allows members of The Art Center to show their work for four weeks in February. The 2013 exhibition featured over 203 members and 357 art works. The Members Exhibit for the second year in a row has occupied the entire building and includes both big band and acoustic performances during the annual receptions. This opening was the largest in recorded history estimating over 600 attendees to that opening alone. The Student and Instructor Annual Exhibit in July is another four weeks that highlights the work of over 70 students and instructors.

The Art Center is also the venue for two Colorado Mesa University (CMU) exhibitions, the CMU faculty exhibition and the all campus exhibition. The all campus exhibition is in its 37th year and has called The Art Center home for most of that time. For over 41 years, The Art Center has also been home to the High School and Middle School Art Fair hosted by the Grand Junction chapter of Altrusa International. In 2013, this exhibition again featured the works of over 300 District 51 students. The traditional Saturday opening was attended by hundreds of teachers, students, parents and friends.

In addition to these annual shows, The Art Center offers the community exhibitions that are diverse in artists and mediums. In recent years exhibitions have featured designers, architects, installation artists, painters, video artist, fiber artists, and clay artists among many others. All are planned to show the community the wide ranging diversity of what art is, who makes it, and the forms that it can take. Three years ago The Center began exhibiting its permanent collection in three major external venues annually -- Mesa County Library, The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens and most recently in 2012, St. Mary's Hospital.
The Art Center holds 11 First Fridays during the year that are attended by well over 300 visitors for each 2 hour event. In 2009, The Art Center encouraged for-profit galleries in town to hold First Fridays. At present, 9 to 12 galleries are open each month and their attendance is growing.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Art Center is the only resource in Mesa County and the region that provides an exhibition venue for students of all ages, local artists and art guilds, exhibits by nationally and internationally renowned artists, more than 25 diverse art exhibits annually, and a Permanent Collection that preserves More and more artists have been showing in the Members Exhibit and Student, Instructor, and Open Studio Exhibit over the past five years. Summer Art Campers and Artability: Arts for All students with disabilities are showing their work in exhibits now more than ever. Students of all ages from all over the Grand Valley tour the exhibits as part of their school curricula to enrich their education with art.

Events

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public

Description

The Events Program at The Art Center includes fundraising events, facility rental events, Spring Art Week, monthly First Friday events, and The Art Center Lecture Series. This program supports The Art Center mission by supporting local artists, bringing the community together to celebrate the arts, serving as a venue for individuals and organizations alike to host their own events in an arts setting, introducing young people to different artistic practices, and creating forums for understanding and dialogue about art process, context, and content.
Fundraising Events
The annual fine art auction is held in May and is now in its 16th year. The auction is the biggest and most important fundraising event of The Art Center's year. There is a silent auction that features donated art works, goods, and services from local businesses and private individuals. The silent auction is coupled with the live auction where local and regional artists donate their work to be sold to the highest bidder. The 2013 auction was attended by over 300 people. Proceeds from the evening support the artists themselves as well as The Art Center's art education and exhibition programming.
The annual Holiday Fine Art and Craft Fair is held every November and is now in its 42nd year. The fair attracts on average 35 vendors and an estimated 1300 attendees yearly, mostly from western Colorado, but has attracted vendors from Oklahoma, Nevada, and Wyoming. Proceeds from the craft fair benefit the vendors as well as The Art Center general operations.
Facility Rental Events
The Art Center space is available for rental year round for all types of events from weddings to private parties to fundraisers. Organizations such as Light Gives Heat, the City of Grand Junction, the Western Colorado Writer's Forum, Colorado Discover Ability, and local businesses have rented the space for private fundraisers, parties, and member meetings. Facility rentals support Art Center operations and give groups in the community an opportunity to support their causes and have fun in an arts setting.
First Fridays
The monthly First Friday event, which is free and open to the public and part of the First Friday art walk in Grand Junction, celebrates the opening of new exhibits and features food, music, and interactive art making for community members of all ages. First Fridays are a great way to reach the community and they provide a gateway for people to learn about The Art Center and potentially become members. These events are also a way for people to talk to each other face to face in an artistic and social environment. The CMU Juried Student Exhibit opens the First Friday in the April. This is a joint venture between Colorado Mesa University and The Art Center where CMU students get the opportunity to exhibit their work in an off-campus venue. In January 2013, local and regional poets collaborated with The Art Center to bring artists from all over Colorado to take over the building with poetry reading. In November of every year, the first Friday is a "Demo Night" where local artists set up booths and demonstrate their processes for visitors.

Spring Art Week
Nearly 2000 students from the Grand Valley and surrounding area fill The Art Center for the week-long annual Spring Art Week. This Grand Valley tradition is in its 24th year. Students and teachers alike look forward to the event. Many parents have fond memories of coming to The Art Center themselves as youngsters, and enjoy comparing notes with their children about the Spring Art Week experience.
Spring Art Week is a one or two-hour demonstration program for grades K-12 , local private, Special Education, Home School and Artability Programs, where students can observe artists working in various media. There are eight stations that include blacksmithing, writing, dance, sculpture, printmaking, music, painting, and clay.

Spring Art Week isn't just for visual art classes. Music, language arts, and classes in all disciplines benefit by attending Spring Art Week. Spring Art Week is held during the annual Altrusa Art Fair, which feature artwork from area middle and high school students. This is a great chance for kids to see art created by their peers.

The Art Center Lecture Series
This sponsored series of lectures provides the only venue in the Grand Valley where people can engage and learn from experts in the field of art free of charge. The lectures tie in with concurrent exhibits and workshops to increase understanding of artistic processes and promote active dialog between artists and the community.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2007, when the First Friday event was introduced, it was attended by about 100 people each month. Now that number has increased to an average of 200. The facility is not just rented by local art clubs for member meetings as it once was but is drawing interest from local non-profits and other organizations for celebrations and fundraising events. The events program is strong and has much potential for growth both inside and outside the building.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.