Trained in graphic design, Curtis Tucker is one of those staunch DIY guys. He's worked as a middleman in the underground zine industry through his online venture Far Out Zines, distributing micro-press and handmade publications, including his own. As a ground-floor gallery entrepreneur, he currently supports under-the-radar artists by curating pop-up exhibitions for Stuff on Walls. Dedicated to the perpetuation of the kind of anarchic creative spaces that are being pushed out of Denver warehouses and other fringe properties, Tucker is a fighter who does what he can to – in his own words – “keep it weird.” Here's the latest word, via Tucker, from the heart and soul of the local underground.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Curtis Tucker: It would probably be Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. They worked so well together, and it would be nice to mix in with that energy, making screen prints and tagging the streets.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Most of my friends are pretty interesting. They tend to work hard and are very creative. They're always surprising me with new projects and ideas.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
I don't think anything deserves to die. It would be nice if more viewers engaged in dialogue about the works. I also think equal responsibility falls on artists to talk about their work with the audience.
What's your day job?
I'm currently between gigs. But you know things will iron out. Maybe event production and curation can become my full-time gig.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Unlimited!? If I had unlimited funds I would start a school, preschool through college. It would all be tuition-free, and I would turn the system upside down. It would be fun to create an art-centered education platform and really empower students to be self-sufficient and creative.
Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I love Colorado! I was born and raised here. I love that things are changing and new opportunities are coming up. I'm just fighting to keep it weird and local.
What's the one thing Denver could do to help the arts?
One thing Denver could do to support the arts would be to keep it weird. Viewers need to be seeking new experiences, and creatives need to be providing them. We can't let the art scene get normalized.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
My favorite Colorado Creative is Thomas Scharfenberg! What Thomas does is so progressive and so Colorado! From street art to canvas -– and even painting the walls of Rhinoceropolis -– Thomas is very hardworking and driven.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
I'm just trying to keep Stuff on Walls going through the summer. Then in the fall I start school at Metro to finish my bachelor's degree.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
I think a lot of young talent is coming up, but here is my first-round draft pick: Ben Siekierski, who's recently evolved into spatial media as well as illustration. Ben makes beautiful creatures and characters with so much personality. Oh, and Ben hasn't even graduated from RMCAD yet!
The next Stuff on Walls takeover pops up from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 22, at new creative space AwareHouse Denver, 4800 Washington Street; it will feature young artists, makers' vendor tables and live music by Tr33s and Scum Artist. Admission is $5 at the door. Learn more about Stuff on Walls and keep up with future events online.