Art Restart Blog

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! 

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. 

Why What We Do Matters: Inside Art Restart with Felicia Magliula November 15, 2016 08:18

Hello Reader! My name is Felicia Magliula and I currently have the honor of serving on the Board of Directors at The Gathering Place, Denver’s only daytime drop in center for women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty and often homelessness. Joining the board at TGP was not something I ever imagined was in the cards for me. You see, many years ago I once was a client at an organization very similar to TGP, so the idea of evolving from client to board member seemed far-fetched. After overcoming many obstacles, I was fortunate enough to make my way to university where I fell in love with women’s studies and social justice. Finally, I had the words to understand the struggles that I had gone through as a child and teenager. My passion for working with women and children who are experiencing hardships was born, and I have spent the last five years doing so at multiple non-profit organizations across the country.

One of my first priorities after joining the board was to really dive into the work that The Gathering Place was doing which led me to the office of Teresa Densmore, the Director of Art Restart at The Gathering Place. Art Restart is a social enterprise which sells original art in the form of greeting cards created by the artists at The Gathering Place.

I love Art Restart because it offers a truly unique way to improve the lives of women experiencing poverty. When businesses or individuals purchase cards from Art Restart, the artist receives a royalty check. The more cards that are purchased, the larger the check becomes. It’s a pretty simple concept that when magnified on a large scale could potentially provide enough income for someone to no longer live in poverty. I know that this is a very extreme scenario that is unlikely, but I am a big picture kind of person so hear me out. I know firsthand that poverty is intersectional and layered with many complicated obstacles that can often feel designed for failure, but sometimes small flickers of hope such as a modest check are enough to give someone the strength to continue overcoming the obstacles.

One person may not be able to purchase enough cards to produce a check in the amount of a livable wage for a woman experiencing poverty, but one person can purchase a small pack of cards. One business can commit to ordering annual holiday cards or thank you cards. One family can encourage their friends to buy cards from Art Restart. Even something as simple as sharing this blog post with a few friends is a great way to help spread the word about Art Restart. If enough of us do our part, we can make a much larger impact, together. 

Thank you for reading my post and please check out the beautiful cards for sale before you leave.

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