High fiber: The TACtile Textile Arts Center gets a fresh start in the Golden Triangle
Founded in 2006 by former fabric retailer Dianne Denholm, the TACtile Textile Arts Center was envisioned as a nonprofit center where regional practitioners in all disciplines of the fiber arts could meet, teach classes and display their work. Conceived as a local version of the Textile Center in Minneapolis, which doubles as a museum and networking hub while preserving traditional arts from tatting to weaving (and everything in between), TACtile opened in the now-defunct Tamarac Square mall, where it flourished as an exhibit space, shop and meet-up spot for various textile-arts guilds.
It was a juggling act, but Denholm's merchandising skills made the exhibition area beautiful enough to fit into the mall setting, while behind-the-scenes areas remained open and flexible for use by different artisan groups.
TACtile was on its way to becoming a well-oiled machine when Tamarac's demise was announced, and the center was forced to find a new home in 2010. That search ended on the second floor of the JHB International Inc. wholesale button warehouse in southeast Denver, a space that offered room to grow, though the industrial location proved difficult to find. Easier accessibility and exposure remained always in the back of Denholm's mind while TACtile stitched together a continuing agenda, but her ideas for pop-up exhibitions and better visibility were stymied by fundraising deficits, and she eventually left the nonprofit, which continued on at JHB.
Be Brave! a Night of Songs Honoring Brenda Worley Billings
TicketsTue., May. 10, 7:00pm
Until now. In the wake of JHB owner Jean Barr's passing, her family sold the business and now the building, providing just the momentum TACtile needed to make a move of the kind that Denholm once envisioned -- to a new Golden Triangle location that's right in the thick of Denver's cultural life. "We wanted to give TACtile a chance to grow and reach out to new audiences," explains operations director Pat Tucker. "The building was referred to us by Denver Arts and Venues, and it seemed like a good fit. The museum district is a good place for us to find the audience we've been trying to reach. The fiber arts are growing, but they've been underrepresented."
The new TACTile opens to the public June 6 with a First Friday reception from 6 to 9 p.m. for the wearable-art exhibition Wearing My Art on My Sleeve. Housed in a converted townhome complex on Bannock Street, the venue will include a retail shop, gallery and work space.
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