Best New Arts Project Denver 2012 - The Laundry on Lawrence
Brian Smith and the Space Creators are on a roll. They took a chance in 2010, when they opened the doors at Wazee Union, the first of their growing empire of warehouses transformed into artist communities with affordable studio space. When that gamble turned out to be even more successful than they could have imagined, they moved forward with Walnut Workshop, another project right across the tracks from Wazee Union. And this past year the third cog in their growing empire, the Laundry on Lawrence, didn't just open its doors; it also introduced an expanded concept. In addition to continuing the cheap, dorm-like studio/office model featured in the first two locations, the Laundry also includes a dedicated gallery space; a performance venue called Work | Space that's already home to the LIDA Project and Control Group Productions; and even an inexpensive photography studio, Bleach, which can be rented by the day. Smith and his Space Creators can also be commended for upping their commitment to the RiNo neighborhood by sponsoring a monthly Makers & Doers networking meet-up and participating in the RiNo Yacht Club neighborhood beautification organization. It all adds up to an impressive example of how the business and art worlds can collaborate to make our city a better place. And, hey, guys, there are plenty of other empty warehouses in this town just waiting for a new coat of paint!