Art Restart Blog

Change is in the Air! August 17, 2018 12:01

Art Restart welcomes a new team member this month, Kierra Aiello, Business Development Associate. Kierra will be focusing on social media presence and business expansion so that we can help even more women with art opportunities and product royalties. Make sure to look for Kierra at Art Restart pop-up shops around Denver, and come introduce yourself!

Every change in the workplace, including bringing on new employees like Kierra to help, can create stress and high levels of emotion in the workplace. For this reason, we wanted to share “10 Tips for Dealing with Change Positively in Your workplace.” The article focuses on strategies to navigate transition periods and fear with a smile on your face (or at least without letting anxiety get the best of you).


Some of our favorite tips:

“3. Confront your feelings and seek support.”

We love this tip because it’s used every day by the wonderful women at The Gathering Place. Art Restart seeks to help develop a community where TGP members and employees alike can fully recognize their feelings and receive the support they need.

“5. Be flexible and embracing of change.”

Accepting an environment of change can help to relax the situation. This sense of calm can then be transferred to people in the same work environment or our loved ones so that everyone feels more comfortable. Even the way things change can change, so it’s good to remind yourself and others to limber up and stay flexible!


Read “10 Tips for Dealing with Change Positively in Your workplace” by Ban Weston, and leave a comment on this page to let us know your favorite tip! 


Painting Possibilities Recap August 11, 2017 10:24 1 Comment


Last Wednesday, Art Restart had our debut art exhibit at Fascination St. Fine Art in Cherry Creek North. We spent months planning for the event and were supported by local business. Without the support of local businesses, we couldn't have pulled it off--there were many details they stepped up to help finalize. 

One of the details we had to work out was transportation to and from the gallery. Teresa connected with Ambassadors Car Service a few weeks prior. They donated their car service for the evening. Our driver arrived in a luxury SUV to take all of our artists to the gallery. The artists were impressed with the service as they got in and were offered waters. Ambassadors Car Service made sure our artists got home safely. Our driver even took the time to appreciate the art before taking them home! 

The second detail we had to work out was food. I called restaurants and sent donation request letters, but I wasn't having any luck finding someone who could donate food for the event. Teresa visited with restaurants in the Cherry Creek area to see if we could partner with them. When she went into Sol, they were excited about the event and offered to provide appetizers for our guests. 

I've saved the largest detail of the evening for last. During the months leading up to the event, Aaron LaPedis, owner of Fascination St. Fine Art, showed his support for Art Restart, The Gathering Place and our members. It seemed like every time we met with Aaron, he offered us more. Normally, the gallery takes a commission when art is sold, but Aaron donated his space and time for Painting Possibilities. He also took care of having the artwork framed. With the donation of the space and the frames, we were overjoyed, but Aaron also contributed to the artist prize and took care of many details from beverages to curating a guest list and advertising the event. The event could not have happened without Aaron's support. 

Ambassadors Car Service, Sol and Fascination St. helped ensure that the event was not only a success for Art Restart, but for the artists. Each artist was presented with new possibilities that night. 

Because of donations, we were able to award a prize to first ($250), second ($150) and third ($100) place artists.

Our first prize winner was SAM. Sharon had two pieces at the gallery: The Old Denver Clock Tower (oil and acrylic featuring blueprints of the clock tower) and Lookout (burlap and pencil). Both pieces sold that evening.  

Our second prize winner was LDT. Darlina had two pieces at the gallery: Soul of the Earth (oil) and Searching for the Eyes of God (oil).

Our third prize winner was NSF. Nikki had four pieces at the gallery: Cat, Blue Dog, Birds and Owl (studies of animals in marker, colored pencil and crayon). Owl sold that evening. 

We also had two gift cards to award to artists. Sevilla (SS) and Vanessa (VDC) both received $50 gift cards to Michael's.

Sevilla had two pieces at the gallery: Two Birds in Paradise (oil and acrylic) and Buena Vista (oil and acrylic). Buena Vista sold that evening.  

Vanessa had one piece at the gallery: Home (oil and acrylic). Home sold that evening. 

Our first art exhibit, Painting Possibilities: An Evening of Art, was successful. We've already started talking about making this an annual event.

Look for more art exhibits from Art Restart in the future! 


Stationery Sets Continue to Sell December 19, 2016 08:30 1 Comment

Holiday markets fill our evenings and weekends this time of the year. We had the honor of being a vendor at the Ellevate and Colorado Ivy+ Women’s Jingle & Mingle event. On Thursday, December 8, I packed up our stationery sets and headed to One Cheeseman Place. 

Immediately, I was welcomed into the space by the coordinators of the event. It was myself and a Carly Oduardo, a vendor with Threads Worldwide. With our displays set up, we chatted about social enterprise and how both of the business we represent give back to communities. The jewelry was just as beautiful as the mission of Threads Worldwide. I placed the cards on the table and throughout the night, I invited attendees to flip through the Colorado, Holiday and Transformation Collections. 

As the event started, I met women who are CEOs, business owners, and engineers. The room buzzed with conversation between women just beginning their careers and others who have worlds of experience.  

Each woman at the event made a point to stop at the vendor tables and ask us about our organizations. Most of them walked away with at least one stationery set. They were drawn to the table by the beautiful artwork, but to them, buying cards from Art Restart was more than the beautiful image--it was a way to support other women. 

Before the guests entered, I snapped a photo and posted it to the Art Restart Instagram. December 12, we saw my photo on the 5280 Get Involved page! Abbey White says, "Picking the perfect holiday card can be tough. But picking up a one-of-a-kind card that benefits a local nonprofit is easy." Abbey is absolutely right. Any time you're looking for a card, holiday or general greeting, you can benefit the artists that come to The Gathering Place. 

Need a last minute gift to take to a holiday party or family event? Swing by TGP during hours and pick up a stationery set, call Teresa (303) 996-9034, or email her for details. 

Our stationery sets are a regular product for Art Restart now, so consider buying them for your year-round greeting card needs! 

Impress Your Host with Gifts This Holiday December 05, 2016 08:04

The holidays are here. As holiday party invites flood your inbox, you're left wondering what you should bring the host. A bottle of wine or some chocolates is a good option, but I have new host gifts and stocking stuffers for this year: packs of cards from Art Restart! 

We've added three stationery sets to our Art Restart catalog. The Holiday Collection, the Colorado Collection and the Transformation Collection contain eight cards with four designs from various artists.

Stuffing stockings or bringing a host one of the packs is a unique gift they’ll be able to share with others. The joyous cards in the Holiday Collection deliver holiday cheer. Twin Snowmen and Gold Trees by EHS, Mountain Cornucopia by JJJ and Snow Storm by VEC brighten the mailboxes of those you know.

You can give them the Colorado Collection so they can send a piece of Colorado in the mail. This collection has four iconic Colorado scenes and includes Blue Two by SAM, A View of City Park by VEC, Buffalo by CLM and Aspen Sky by WA.

In the spirit of the approaching year, you could choose the Transformation Collection and transform lives with a greeting for every season. This collection includes Aspen Sky and Colorado Dreaming by WA, Spring Bouquet by CFF and Poolside by CLM.  

Whether you’re looking for holiday cards or something for every season, our greeting card collections have what you need.

To order a collection, contact Teresa or Ashley.

Teresa Densmore, Director of Art Restart



Ashley Waterman, Business Development & Marketing Associate for Art Restart

(303) 996-9024


Interested in putting together your own collection? We can arrange that as well!

The Holiday Giving Is Just Beginning November 28, 2016 07:30

Most of us begin thinking about the holidays the minute the leaves start to turn yellow, orange, and red. Holiday decorations often fill the shelves before Halloween. After we’ve had our fill of turkey on Thanksgiving, many people rush to the stores to get the best deals on holiday gifts, but each year, more and more people are opting to relax with their family and shop the online deals.

As we enjoy spending time with our loved ones, we often think about people who may not have anywhere to go for the holidays. I often find myself asking how I can help those in my community. For me, this often means going through the house and selecting gently used items that I can give up. Whether it’s writing a check for a charity you’ve noticed is impacting your community or going through your closet and donating clothes, every donation counts.

Here at The Gathering Place, we’re ready for you to bring in a variety of items. Our Top 5 Needs List gives you the top five items for our food pantry (Betsy’s Cupboard), the Family Program, Education and Jobs Readiness, the Resource Desk, the Arts Program, Housing Stabilization, Bridget’s Boutique (our clothing closet), and our Chore Cart (special thank you items for members who help keep our building beautiful). The programs at TGP are always updating their needs list. You can find specific requests for our programs on our donate goods and services page. If you’re planning on bringing in a donation, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment. You can call program specific advocates, or call the Welcome Desk—(303) 321-4198—and they’ll connect you with the right person.   

Another way to give back to your community this holiday season is to purchase greeting cards through Art Restart. Although we don’t offer any crazy deals for the holidays, your greeting card purchase provides a member at The Gathering Place with a source of income. Our holiday cards feature winter themes and snowmen as well as holiday specific designs. 

How Art Relieves Stress November 21, 2016 07:15 1 Comment

If you know any artists, or are an artist yourself, you’ve probably heard them explain that completing a project feels like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. For many people, creating art provides a release that can feel physical and emotional. 

The Journal of American Art Therapy Association recently published an article titled “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making.” The study discussed in the article found that even if you have little to no artistic talent or training, forty-five minutes spent creating art decreases stress. 

Four times a week, members of The Gathering Place have a creative space to hone their skills and decrease their stress. Walking into the art room, artists throw themselves into creating and are able to put everything else aside for a few hours. Steve Hartbauer, the Arts Program Manager, teaches techniques and manages the creative outlets at TGP.

Their cards and triptychs relieve their stress and TGP provides a place for them to sell their art. The walls display framed artwork created with water color, acrylic and every other medium you can think of.  Every time I walk into the art room, my stress is immediately relinquished. Being around the artists is calming.

I’m sure you’ve felt this when you’ve walked into a gallery showing, or spent the afternoon in an art museum. Appreciating others’ creativity is almost as relaxing as creating art yourself.

If viewing art in a gallery makes you feel at peace, creating a gallery wall in your home, or sending a piece of art in the mail, could have the same affect.

Today, the artwork that makes me feel at peace is Colorado Dreaming by WA. Displaying this card in my home or sending it to friends and family this holiday is a way to share creativity and promote stress-free moments. 

Holiday Cards That Give November 07, 2016 07:30

Mountain Cabin by VEC

Mountain Cabin by VEC


What if your holiday card could do more than send a season’s greetings to your loved ones?

Growing up, holiday cards were hung on plastic card display strands in the doorway between the living room and the dining room in my parents’ house. Cards began trickling in the first week of November. Cornucopias, trees, snowmen—I admired them all. Each card with its simple season’s greetings or holiday wishes written on the inside was sent with love from friends and family.

The protocol in our house was if they sent us a card, we sent them a card. An envelope with return address labels torn from holiday cards past emerged from the junk drawer each year to ensure no one was forgotten. As cards rolled in, my mom handed them to me to open and hang. The doorway held the joy of connecting with friends and families near and far for the holidays

Most of the cards were ordered from companies that offered personalized messages and envelopes with return addresses. The sender had thousands of options for designs,and customization. Each card sent assured the recipient that they were thinking of you.

The greeting cards we sell offer the same options as the greeting card companies do, but our cards are greetings that give back. Each card is customizable and co-branded with company logos and personalized messages. 

Ordering your holiday cards from Art Restart gives artists at The Gathering Place a chance to transform their lives.    

Have you ordered your holiday cards yet? There’s still time!

Check out our holiday cards and send a card that gives more than just a holiday greeting.

Have you heard about Art Restart? October 31, 2016 09:02

Have you heard about Art Restart?

You may have heard about it through The Gathering Place, or maybe someone sent you a card that prompted you to look up the organization on the back. Regardless of how you got here, welcome!

For me, the new Business Development & Marketing Associate for Art Restart, the program came into my life through word of mouth. Living in Denver, there is art running through every neighborhood. Commissioned murals on the sides of buildings and monthly art walks make art part of our everyday lives.

But who are these artists? Many of them have no formal art training. Many of them make art on the side and work full-time. Many of them have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, or are currently homeless.

Walking into the art studio at TGP for the first time, I felt welcomed. It was like I entered a café where artists occupied every space with their art materials strategically organized to create one-of-a-kind handmade pieces. The artists measured, cut, glued, painted, and drafted designs for The Card Project while they chatted and enjoyed the space.

One of the artists walked me through The Card Project process. Although separate from the cards sold through Art Restart, this is often where greeting card designs are created. Three times a week, artists can use the art studio to work on designs for cards to sell at TGP, through our vendors, and online with Art Restart. They’re given card stock with TGP’s logo on the back. Then, they create. Once they’re finished, each artist puts their cards in their box to display on the shelf. Some of the cards are unique designs that you’ll only see once, while others are recreated to make a set. Artists can choose to submit their card designs to Art Restart and have the opportunity for their art to be turned into traditional greeting cards.  

As I looked through the boxes of cards, I was astounded. The members at TGP are talented. There is a card for every occasion and then some. Whether you’re looking for a pressed flower design, Colorado scenery, or even Judge Judy, you’ll find it in the artists’ boxes.

Receiving mail and selecting a card with a beautiful design is uplifting. With Art Restart, sending mail is just as uplifting as receiving it.

Teresa, the Director of Art Restart, says, “Art Restart allows our artists to be who they are now and also provides a path to who they want to become.” The energy in the art studio embodies this.

If you haven’t heard about Art Restart, it’s time to check it out.   

Pumpkin Patch by EHS

Today's featured image is Pumpkin Patch by EHS

The Importance of Art Restart August 12, 2016 14:49

Hello! I’m Teresa, Director of Art Restart. You may have seen my press release from the 6/21/2016 blog posting. I’ve now been part of The Gathering Place team for two months and I am even more excited to be here than when I first started!

Over the past several weeks, I’ve met and talked with many of our artists who create the beautiful art for Art Restart cards. I’ve worked with an artist who was commissioned to create art for a Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships invitation, an artist whose art was selected to be displayed on the front cover of the July issue of Denver Urban Spectrum, and I’ve seen women receive royalty checks for their art they’ve created.

I’ve seen so many successes in these past weeks!

But underlying the successes, I’ve heard the stories of struggle and seen the tears of sadness of women trying to overcome their circumstances.

I’ve already learned so much in my time here. Most importantly, I’ve learned how important Art Restart is for our artists. Not only does it allow our artists to earn an income, but it provides an opportunity for them to engage in a creative outlet, to focus on creating beautiful art. It offers a chance for them to place their mark upon The Gathering Place, our customers and our hearts.

Art Restart allows our artists to be who they are now and also provides a path to who they want to become. 

Teresa Densmore, Director of Art Restart

Press Release: Teresa Densmore June 21, 2016 11:30

Contact:         Deb Radman
The Gathering Place Appoints Densmore to Head Art Restart
TGP’s Social Enterprise Features Original Art and Greeting Cards
DENVER, June 20 – The Gathering Place (TGP) has named Teresa Densmore as Director of its social enterprise, Art Restart.  Art Restart provides customizable greeting cards with unique art created by members of TGP who are experiencing homelessness and poverty.
Densmore has worked for over a decade in the nonprofit sector and knows firsthand the challenges that nonprofit organizations face. Having recognized how business concepts can be brought to bear on these challenges, she invested in an MBA, concentrating in Nonprofit Strategy and Operations. “I am eager to use my skills to continue building The Gathering Place’s social enterprise program,” says Densmore. “I’m passionate about working with our artists and supporting them as they use this opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives.”
According to many experts, most social enterprises and even small business start-ups struggle to reach immediate profitable growth.  Art Restart was profitable from the start, increasing net profit by 61 percent by the end of its second year of operation.  Even more important, says TGP President, Leslie Foster, “Participating artists not only earn income, but they also are learning how to produce commercially viable artwork.
“The social enterprise business model is helping us generate revenue and is demonstrating that non-profits can build a sustainable future,” she continued.  “At a time when accountability is severely-challenged, Art Restart proves that we can positively impact the lives of those we serve, help fund TGP’s mission, and be true partners with our sponsors and donors.  But that’s not all,” Foster says.  “We are also providing the public a simple way, through the use of socially responsible greeting cards and direct mail, to engage and support the homeless. “  
About The Gathering Place
TGP created Art Restart as a social enterprise to provide its members with opportunities to earn money and to build earned revenues.  For 30 years, TGP has offered essential resources and personal growth programs to women, children, and transgender individuals during the day.


Art Restart Holiday Cards Designed by Women in Need Still Available for Season’s Greetings December 14, 2015 12:53

Art Restart still has holiday cards available for companies and individuals to send season’s greetings to friends, families, clients and customers. The original art for these custom cards is created by women who are members of the Gathering Place and are experiencing poverty or homelessness.

L.A. Jennings, Director of Art Restart, says, “The Art Restart program gives homeless women the ability to use their talents to begin to rebuild and restart. As Art Restart artists, they receive royalties when their art is chosen by companies and individuals, while the rest of the proceeds from each sale go back to the Gathering Place to assist with the furthering of programs and services.” To place an order for cards this year, Jennings urges interested parties to contact her at or to order online at

Companies like RE/MAX are using Art Restart cards as a demonstration of their commitment to corporate social responsibility: “For the past several years, we have been honored to support The Gathering Place through the Art Restart Program by sharing the beautiful artwork of their members with thousands of our Associates around the world.  Our friends, family and co-workers appreciate the personal touch in each card and in knowing that we are helping our community.”

- Gail Liniger, Mike Reagan of RE/MAX, LLC.

Art Restart was conceived to develop new revenue streams to support the vitally needed services The Gathering Place provides. “It is a creative way for businesses to demonstrate a commitment to being socially responsible and directly help homeless women and children,” says Jennings. “Our portfolio of design is limitless and we make sure that our women artists can earn money to help them put their lives back together and get on solid ground financially and emotionally. “

Through Art Restart, The Gathering Place licenses artists’ designs and sells them for commercial applications and usage. Each artist who participates, receives a percentage of the profits from commercial sales. The benefits of this effort accrue to helping homeless women get back to a place of feeling self worth and economic stability.

Art Restart seasonal cards are available year-round including Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, birthdays, and even wedding packages. For more information, go to or





Artist Spotlight: OUI November 17, 2015 11:24

There are countless stories of hope and resilience at The Gathering Place, Denver’s only day-time drop-in shelter for women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness. For Caroline Pooler, artist and activist, her story is embodied in her unique works of art, her paintings gravitating towards her love of nostalgia and innocence, and more pointedly, her unconditional love of dogs. A long-time member of The Gathering Place, Caroline began contributing work to the new Art Restart program last year, seeing it as a way to both increase her visibility as an artist and give back to the organization.

Art Restart has its roots in The Card Project, an initiative started by The Gathering Place more than 25 years ago. The Card Project sells individual handmade cards and distributes the profits to the artists as each card is sold. While the Card Project program is great for purchasing single cards, Art Restart provides those same unique, handmade cards in large quantities, which is perfect for businesses, schools, organizations, or individuals looking to send out cards in bulk.

Caroline’s exposure to both The Card Project and Art restart led her to a scholarship for a Bachelors of Fine Arts at a local art college to expand her experience. Additionally, in Art Restart’s pilot year, one of her pieces was chosen for a large order purchased by State Representative Alec Garnett. The artist was delighted that her piece was purchased and with the royalties from the order, Caroline was able to give her son a Christmas.

Art Restart works to empower our artists, to expand their artistic experience, and show them that they can use their talents as some financial support. Caroline’s art sparks joy not only in the creator, but in everyone who receives one of her cards. Caroline has been an immense influence on the progress of Art Restart and has helped to develop it into a successful social enterprise through her support and continued production of incredible art pieces. In return, Art Restart has positively impacted Caroline’s life. In Caroline’s own words, “The art programs at The Gathering Place have given me numerous opportunities to feel safe in a supportive space and experience a therapeutic level of self-expression. Programs like this nourish the wounded soul and give us the hope to push forward to rebuild lives affected by abuse and other forms of family crisis.”


Check out all of Caroline's art here.