On the evening of November 14th in Aurora, Colorado, just east of Denver, the East End Arts District held its first Winter Art Walk. Faithful art lovers braved the cold night to experience something new. Greymatters Arts Co-op participated in the Winter Art Walk along with a growing collection of artist studios and galleries that have twinkled into existence in this previously forgotten area. A registered non-profit business, Greymatters Arts Co-op is run by Theresa Anderson, Carol Browning and Karen Roehl, three painters, who generously supplied sight seers with hot cider, snacks and visual refreshment.
Artists of Greymatters
Theresa Anderson paints large, mural sized compositions that are based off of collages made from photographs. She also forms prop-like objects used in her personal art performances and installations. Carol Browning produces dreamy, abstract paintings that reference landscapes. Browning’s colors are cheerful and yet tranquil with special attention paid to the final texture. Karen Roehl also creates abstract paintings which extract the most out of a limited palette, usually three major colors, filling a rectangle with layers of emotion and movement.
This trio of artists has been located at their Iola Street studio for a little over half a year. They have watched the surrounding arts district expanding, the beginnings of a healthy crop of art spaces. The studio building consists of a main entry into a commons area which includes a counter, sink and a discreet bathroom in the back. Two large work spaces, one on either side of the commons area, permit the three artists plenty of room to generate their work. Their building has ample square footage and best of all, according to Anderson, rent is cheap. Perhaps this is what fuels the arrival of new artists and galleries to this area.
Artist co-ops or collectives are very popular in the East End Arts District, allowing artists to share not only expenses but ideas. “We all agree that this quality of exchange and conversation is very valuable, if not essential, to each of our creative processes,” says Roehl. Despite the enjoyment found while working in this space, the artists behind Greymatters Arts Co-op intend to vacate. Anderson will be working in the studios at Florence Street soon. Roehl and Browning have cast their gazes upon Rver North (RiNo) Arts. Their current studio is a few streets out of the way of the center of the action, but they hope to fill the small vortex of artistic energy with new artists, continuing the sprouting and germination of the arts. The E.E.A.D. has just announced the beginning of Second Friday Art Walk, an evening once a month when the public is invited to step inside artist studios and galleries. They have also scheduled a Summer Art Walk for June 12, 2009 and next year’s Winter Art Walk is set for November 13th.