It’s been thirty years since a group of Denver artists desperate for affordable studio space found shelter in the vacant Sherman Elementary School and renamed it the Grant Street Art Center. In a move spearheaded by Pat Cronin, who was looking for a place to relocate her printmaking studio, they finagled the red-stone 1893 Romanesque landmark and turned it into what was then an anomaly that, at any given time, provided workspace to 25 artists over a period of five years. Cronin managed the whole enclave until its final year, when “famous artist” Phil Bender took over. “The whole building was full — upstairs, downstairs, in the basement,” Cronin recalls. “It was just amazing. Before, a few people had studios together on Platte Street, but they had a landlord to deal with; it was not an artist-run project. I had never seen such a thing before.”
In 1988, the concept — which also provided classes and gallery shows in addition to studio space — morphed into the more educational model of the Art Students League of Denver under the leadership of Henry Meininger, and the Grant Street artist-tenants scattered. But Cronin has gathered a good number of them together in the present for a Grant Street Art Center Thirty-Year Reunion Show, opening tonight with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. at Zip 37 Gallery, 3644 Navajo Street.
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A lot of notable local veterans will be represented in the exhibit, which continues Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through September 15; for information, visit the Facebook event page or call 720-470-6339.
Fri., Aug. 30; Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 30. Continues through Sept. 15, 2013