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The Boulder Creative Collective: An Inspirational Art Community

The Boulder Creative Collective: An Inspirational Art Community

Scott Rowland • July 5, 2016 • Art • 

The artisan’s sun is rising in east Boulder where strong-rooted intentions have been caste to fulfill a mission of strengthening community within the Boulder art scene.

The poignant realization of artist displacement and the ideals of an exciting, vibrant community have catalyzed into dedication for two inspiring people to preside over The Boulder Creative Collective. Addrienne Amato and Kelly Cope Russack have created a workable vision to reinvigorate support and cultivate a synergetic network of creatives.

Amato and Russack are enthusiastic, caring people who come from the developed artist communities of Park City, UT and NYC. Much of what they experienced back home is being incorporated into their model of coordinating participation from Boulder’s cultural creatives and solidifying connections between artists and enthusiasts. Their drive is to not only establish a place for themselves but, more importantly, to nurture creativity however it appears.

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“We were craving something that didn’t necessarily exist for us in the way we wanted to be fed,” says Russack.
Photo by Barret Rogers

Boulder is full of exceptional visionaries. People who see the world in unique and progressive ways. But the dynamic is shifting from self-orchestrated craftsmanship to the upper echelon of corporatized creativity that spawns from the tech industry. Not exactly what is needed for a thriving community welcoming all facets of expression.

Three years of the “baby steps forward” approach has led to collaborative exhibits with designers, publicists, photographers, architects, musicians, sculptures, painters and so many more unique and inspiring artisans.

“We don’t want to compete with anyone,” Amato expresses. “We want to work with people and we want everyone else to succeed as well. Because then we can reach more. We can bring more here. We can do more.”

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Photo by Barret Rogers

Imagine skies, rakes, pales, an entire garage of clutter decorated for an in-home gallery. A projection of The Boulder Creative Collective mission statement lighting up the garage door, similar but distinct artist exhibitions in each room.

Maybe you catch the band “Sun Jr.” (formally known as St. Croix) performing their bluesy, rock-n-roll repertoire in the backyard. Patrons enjoying craft beer provided by Sanitas Brewing Co. The Verde Food truck serving Sonoran-Mexican food. The notion to “expect the unexpected”.

Their final in-house curation attracted over 200 people, encouraging a change to host Pop-up exhibits at various locations around Boulder. Sanitas opened their tank room to the whim of The Boulder Creative Collective. Madelife agreed to an evening in their Black Box Theater.

But one-night shows weren’t feasible for long. They were short, even being disassembled the night of the show so businesses could get back to normal the next day. All the while, The Boulder Creative Collective was experiencing a growth spirt. So, they opened a warehouse on April 1, 2016 freeing them from previous restraints. 

“Raspberry Pi” which began on May 14 has been described as “both arbitrary and loaded with meaning”. It was their first month long exhibition and  a culmination of everything The Boulder Creative Collective has been working towards. A 20-foot-tall mural of an abstract tree rose over the watercolor paintings of Sarah Ellen Nicholson and the obscure, contemporary photography of Katie Harwood. Across the room Abhishek Narula’s installation was a melding intersection of art and technology. And Brian Fouhy’s interactive experience stemming from his Instagram series captured a liveliness that congealed the whole curation.

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Photo by Barret Rogers

The Boulder Creative Collective organizes many different community-oriented events. They host intimate Community Critique Circles where 15 people provide feedback to three featured artists in a beneficial exchange of ideas. They’ve set up an art-on-loan program and have started talks about a workshop series that helps artists build their careers. Weddings, after-parties, publication releases, all kinds of unique, art-oriented events are viable options at the new warehouse. Also, artists looking for a studio can approach The Boulder Creative Collective with interest in rental space.

Their tenacity exemplifies the viability of The Boulder Creative Collective’s mission. And the best part, there seems to be no limitation to the type of art they are willing to entertain.

“It’s important for people to know that we are available as a venue,” Amato says. “This is not just about us, what The Boulder Creative Collective does and what the resident artists do here. The space is open to other artists and other organizations. We want this to be a hub.”

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Photo by Barret Rogers

The Boulder Creative Collective has grown from the unpredictable nature of the imagination where the heart unlocks creativity and their community craves the novelty of intimate expression.

If you really look deeply, Amato and Russack run an organization that embodies the understanding that every true artist has more than one medium. They are providing an opportunity for anyone to interact with and appreciate a vast range of art. They know a growing culture hub stems from nurturing local creatives and that Boulder undoubtedly holds such potential.

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