Advocacy for photography in the metro area just took a powerhouse leap forward: Late last week, the region's two major nonprofit photography organizations -- the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and Working With Artists -- officially announced their merger, something that's been a long time in the making. Together, they hope to not only establish a more visible public face for the work of local photographers shown in WWA's Belmar galleries, but to also better serve those photographers with an enhanced roster of classes and career development programs.
WWA director Linda Sheridan, who took over Working With Artists last year and still calls herself "the new kid on the block," is ecstatic about the merger, which will be finalized in September. "This is an opportunity for us to become a really major photographic center," she says. "Here, we had two organizations that each had a little piece of the pie. Now, both will bring to the table two ends of the whole, which is pretty exciting. I've learned how very isolated local photographers feel. They want to be able to have community with each other, to talk to each other. And as far as visioning where the new Colorado Photographic Arts Center will go from here (Sheridan notes that eventually the organization will shed the "Working With Artists" moniker), I say shoot for the moon!"
First stop on the way to the moon? The center will host a dual group membership show appropriately titled Merge and curated by Hamidah Glasgow of the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, which opens August 5 at the CPAC-to-be, 445 South Saulsbury Street in Belmar, Lakewood. After that, hang on to your landing gear, camera-bots.