Recently there have been signs of life in the old Temple Emmanuel building at 24th and Curtis streets, a Frank Edbrooke structure that's stood vacant and boarded-up for years after serving as home to three consecutive Jewish congregations. And while the Temple, as it's now called, is already being occupied by artists in newly created studio spaces, as well as such organizations as the Denver Zine Library and Dylan Scholinski's Sent(a)Mental Studios, it's also still a work-in-progress, bringing vitality to the Curtis Park neighborhood.
See also: Everyday Art: Day to Day
As it stands, it's also the perfect metaphor as a morphing project for Processus, a 2,000-square-foot workspace-in-the-making pitched by Denver artist couple Viviane Le Courtois and Chris Perez. The duo envisions Processus as a place where artistic process is constantly in motion, with specific work areas available to working artist/members who pay a monthly fee (plans start at $100 per month, per person). "It will be a shared studio for artists to come and work, use a darkroom and wood shop -- nothing too technical," Le Courtois explains. "We're focusing on handmade things, and we teach people how to use the equipment if they don't know how." They've already signed up enough people to allow them to sign a lease, but are looking for more, and hope to have the space ready to go by September 1.
The concept is a dream come true for Le Courtois and Perez, whose separate practices can't fit into a smaller space. "Chris and I are always struggling with trying to find a place to make our own work, because we both work in so many different mediums," Le Courtois says. "I work in just about every medium possible. We thought we could offer the same to other people. We will have three sections: a shop for dusty, messy stuff; the darkroom for photo and printmaking processes; and a clean room for work on paper, digital negatives and printmaking.
"We're trying to mix more traditional mediums together and want to inspire other people to do that, too," she continues. "We'd like to have a place where people do more of their own work, instead of going somewhere and having it made by someone else. I think artists are losing a lot of quality in their work by it doing that way."
And, as with some of Le Courtois's past performances, the couple hopes to add a social element of community, with an area where artists can break bread together over tea and espresso.
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Tonight, interested parties and the general public can take a look at what's going on at an opening reception for Day to Day, an eclectic exhibit curated by Le Courtois and showcasing works by Temple studio residents on the Processus-friendly theme of artists' daily practices and random sources of inspiration. See the show from 6 to 9 p.m. in the finished area of the building; there will also be hardhat tours of the Processus space at 7 and 8 p.m. at the Temple. After tonight, you can see Day to Day by appointment only. For more information about Processus and the terms of membership, call 303-526-8064; learn more about the Temple online.
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