Eleven artists at The Gathering Place are in the process of taking 36 weeks of courses with the Art Students League of Denver. They are learning everything from color theory to figure drawing and the ability to work with a variety of media. In order to display the resulting artwork to the public and support this amazing collaboration, Art Restart and Leon Gallery created SHIFTING OUTLINES: A Collaboration between The Gathering Place and The Art Students League of Denver.
The exhibit featured the artwork of eight of the participating artists, each with their own style and methods. A couple artists chose to submit small, idyllic paintings, while another had large abstracted pieces, and yet another took inspiration from comic book illustration. The ASLD classes don’t encourage artists to change what they create, the instructors simply help to build foundational skills so that the artists can expand in their own ways.
The opening celebration of SHIFTING OUTLINES was full of food, drink, and friends from the community. Many artists from the class came to see their artwork hanging in a gallery, and brought friends and family with whom they could share their success. The display at Leon Gallery astounded some. The site of their artwork, framed and professionally hung, filled them with pride. When KC sold Aspen Splatter, she could hardly believe it. She jumped up and down and excitedly asked those around her take her picture with the artwork. With each artwork sold, the women felt more and more like the true artists they are.
Artists also displayed their art journals for all to see during the opening. One could flip through the pages to see color exercises, word references, self-portraits made of cloth, and more. So that they could continue their creative work, artists gathered their journals at the end of the night, but the Art Restart pop-up shop stayed up throughout the week-long exhibit. Everyone who entered the gallery was encouraged to support the artists and all that they create by purchasing the artworks on display and Art Restart products designed by the artists. Throughout the exhibit, eight paintings and even more products sold! That is a lot of money, and more importantly, validation, for the artists.
Press from The Denverite attended the event, and interviewed some of the artists in attendance. To learn even more about the exhibit and the women who participated, read “The Gathering Place and Art Students League Collaborate to Help People Who Have Experienced Homelessness Pursue Creative Careers” by Donna Bryson.
Thank you to everyone who made it out, and we look forward to hosting more gallery events in the future!
Special thanks to Leon: A Non-Profit Arts Organization for hosting the exhibit and providing a variety of ideas and opportunities for artists at The Gathering Place and the community at large. Thank you to the Art Students League of Denver for generously providing art materials and knowledgeable instructors, and The Gathering Place and all of its employees for providing daily services to women experiencing poverty. Another thank you to those that donated materials and food to make this event possible: La Cour French Bistro and Jazz Club, Odell Brewing Co., and Cherry Creek Framing.