The Untimely Demise of Boulder DIY Venue Goss House
Anna Winter (left) and Laura Conway are two of Goss House's residents.
Courtesy of Goss House
The Boulder home known as Goss House, which also functions as a music venue, studio and art gallery, is closing down. The house’s residents are being forced to leave, as the landlord elected not to renew their lease this summer. Come July, Goss House will join Astroland and Dead Leaf in Boulder DIY heaven.The final Goss show was held last week and included performances by post-punk bands Male Blonding and American Culture and electronic act Running Niwot, all of whom performed for an enthusiastic, sweaty mass of
Goss House has been a DIY staple in Boulder — a town generally too expensive and policed to allow for such a space to exist. For nearly a decade, Goss has hosted shows and exhibitions and has served as a stopping point for the artistically inclined. In typical DIY fashion, residents took advantage of a hands-off (for a time) landlord to pursue an artistic and social freedom unavailable to more tightly controlled places. “The first show I threw was a pig roast. We roasted a whole hog underground for nearly 24 hours, and this band Eats Feats played,” recalls tenant Laura Conway.
The ability to pursue that “ritualistic feast preparation” — which took two days of constant attention — is a prime example of what gives DIY spaces their special flavor. Conway concurs: “That firmly was in the spirit of utilizing the freedom of this house. You can’t roast swine underground in most rentals.”
At a place like Goss House, artists save money by combining their living and working spaces, which in turn enables them to stage productions, such as the hog roast, that are motivated less by profit and more by the opportunity to creatively transform their surroundings and throw crazy, weird parties.
Along with housemate Anna Winter, Conway also staged Staycation in December 2014, which consisted of a complete remodel of the house into an art gallery — bedrooms and bathrooms included. The pair solicited and received local, national and international submissions in
They may have pushed it too far. For Staycation, Conway and Winter remade the attic as well, turning it into a makeshift theater. This attracted the ire of their landlord, who witnessed them cleaning out the attic from a nearby property. He subsequently threatened to sue and evict Conway, the sole leaseholder on the property,
Despite these trials, Conway, Winter and the rest of the Goss House residents and spectators were in good humor at the final show, proving that people will find a way to party and create no matter what. “Living in the house has helped me learn that I want to be and go crazy — artistically, socially, and in every way,” says Winter. “We have to move out as part of an eviction agreement, but this is not the end of anything creatively; it’s just the end of one kind of shelter. It isn’t the finalization of anything.”
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