This Thursday, February 19, the annual Associates Members exhibition opens at the gallery. There are currently 26 Associate Members. Spark gallery is grateful for their support. Because we want to know more about these artists they were asked to consider two questions:
How does being an Associate member of Spark gallery meet your ambitions to exhibit your work?
Do you have any thoughts about how Spark gallery might collaborate with the Associate members on exhibition opportunities beyond the confines of the gallery?
Below are responses from several Associate members, along with samples of their art. We appreciate the time they have taken to form these responses.
First of all I enjoy and support Spark – the people and being part of a co-op gallery in Denver. As a visual artist it affords me a place to show my work once a year. Being an Associate member is important to me because I still feel connected to like minded people in the art world – part of the greater good so to speak.
I see Associate members as enthusiastic supporters of the gallery. I am proud of my association with Spark. Once a year all Associate Members should attend a Spark meeting. I also think being invited to show work at the Stout Street Clinic was a good idea for Associate Members. I like getting the Spark minutes. Outside the gallery we may explore the idea of doing an artist retreat – yoga and art.
Being an associate member of Spark gives me two important tools; deadlines, and an opportunity to exhibit my work where it will be viewed and critiqued by other artists. I function best when there is an occasion to which I need to rise. The biannual associate shows present me with the opportunity to create and show the best of my new work. They also motivate me to get my works framed in a timely manner.
Being an associate member is a great way to get my work seen, and with two babies at home the only plausible option at this time in my life. I only complete three to four paintings a year. However, I do find it sad that the associate members are not extended an invitation to partake in critiques. Being a part of an artist community should involve both having one's own work critiqued as well as looking at and hearing about other artists and their creative processes. It helps all of us grow and become better at our craft. I'd really appreciate a chance to have even an associate critique once or twice a year.
I'd also like to hear from those members within the gallery who sell their works. It would be beneficial to see what sells and why.
Being an Associate member of Spark allows me to be a very small part of the Denver art scene on Santa Fe Street. I value the connections with other artists as well, although I haven’t had the chance to meet many of the Spark artists yet. I also appreciate the opportunity to be able to rent the North Gallery. It has turned out to be a great venue for the Rocky Mountain Collage Society to exhibit small format shows.
Exhibition opportunities beyond the confines of the gallery would seem to be whatever we would want them to be. Many art spaces often call for group shows. I don’t know, maybe a “Best of Spark”, “Spark Lights Fires”, a tribute to founding members. A project like that would need a good curator which is sometimes a sticky wicket. Some kind of benefit show would be great too. I enjoyed seeing photos of the artwork hung in the shelter space.
Best from Gayle Gerson
I have great regard for Spark, as does the Denver art community. I saw the current show about Spark at Pirate and attended the panel discussion about how you are the oldest co-op gallery in Denver and how much you have contributed to the Denver art scene. Impressive! Showing my work there and having my name associated with Spark is a valuable opportunity to gain recognition.
Thank you! Katherine
I am excited to exhibit my work at the annual Associates Show and have attached my show image per your suggestion. Being an Associate member allows me to generate additional new work and the gallery to view end results. The gallery also provides a forum for new ideas - both physically (mark making), materially (materials and process) and intellectually (new ideas, thoughts). An added benefit is that Associates are also listed on the Spark website which allows those who are interested in my work to access information through my website link. I look for venues to display my work - I like to see other's work - artists are wonderfully creative and able to generate a synergy of visual and intellectual wonder. There is a presence at Spark that is quite different from a home or commercial setting. Correct lighting, an uncluttered field of vision, a history of exhibition and different space contributes to the overall experience.
Continue to include Associates in the dialogue and workings of the gallery.
There are a few reasons why being an Associate member of Spark supports my artistic goals. I like being associated with a gallery whose artists maintain a consistently high quality of art. Spark is a respected gallery of long standing (35 years) and is frequently reviewed. Having a Santa Fe presence is also appealing.
There are venues in Metro Denver and other cities in Colorado where proposals are sought for shows. The venues that have large gallery spaces would be suitable for shows that would include both full and associate members, i.e. Lone Tree. There could be a theme. This would reflect the diversity of the members' work around a common idea.
There are many reasons for me to be an associate member at Spark. Having colleagues with strong opinions and ideas about art is one. Getting feedback on your work helps open up new directions. It also gives me a place to try out new media and new ideas. You don't have that opportunity in a regular commercial gallery. If you're not going to grow as an artist then you're going to face stagnation. Any cocoon can become a coffin if you stay in it too long. Thank You Spark
Margo Linn Espenlaub
The Associate Members annual group show at Spark Gallery is an ideal opportunity for me to exhibit my newest work alongside that of other artistically diverse artists. The diversity among individuals is what I appreciate most about the artists’ collective of Denver’s oldest cooperative gallery.
Planning several new works for the annual group show anchors my own ongoing art process, nudging me forward into many new and challenging areas of problem-solving while working in abstraction in drawing and painting. I like this challenge and the often surprising results that emerge in my work.
Generating ideas about collaborating with associate members who might want to show their work in other venues is a great idea. Perhaps this could be a topic for one of the member meetings during the coming months. Ideas generated from the meeting could then be posted to the Spark Gallery blog, or emailed to associate members for their feedback. Sharing ideas might serve to widen the interconnections for future exhibition opportunities for all members.