Throughout 2019, architectural designer Keenan Mehrens and ceramic artist Steven James Jackson Meyers ran Doublespace, a studio and 100-square-foot micro-gallery in the Golden Triangle, where they mounted monthly curated art pop-ups, each showcasing a pair of artists. Then they ditched the brick-and-mortar, but Doublespace lives on in nomadic form, with plans for new site-specific traveling pop-ups in non-traditional surroundings, to tailor art exhibitions for the time of the coronavirus.
Want a piece of that pie? Learn more about Doublespace’s 2020 projects as Mehrens and Meyers collaborate to answer the Colorado Creatives questionnaire.
Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?
Keenan Mehrens and Steven Meyers: Our greatest inspiration is the community. Denver is a creative hub and is constantly growing and filling with great artists, designers, enthusiasts and casual viewers curious to discover something new.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
Andy Warhol: Yeah, we know it’s cliché but we don’t care! Warhol knew how to throw a party and is a revolutionary figure who would surely entertain.
Prince: A party needs music, and our party needs Prince.
Salvador Dalí: A good party is full of interesting characters. This should be fun.
What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?
The great part about Denver is that it's always changing. There is a constant influx of new artists and viewers. Unfortunately, during this period of rapid growth, Denver struggles to maintain an identity and is losing grasp of its original creative community of artists and artist-run spaces. There is hope that Denver can reach an artistic equilibrium that allows for new ideas but holds on to its roots.
How about globally?
The global creative community is full of exciting and compelling artist-run galleries and studios. That said, many other communities are experiencing change similar to our community’s. In the midst of a global pandemic, growing income disparity and increased cost of living, it is more important than ever to reassess the standard gallery model. Art should cater not only to the viewer and collector, but equally to the artist and community. Collectives like Eastside Projects in the U.K. inspire us to explore exhibitions in a different way.
What’s your dream project?
During our first run of exhibits, we only began to scratch the surface of small-space collaboration. With increased exposure, a consistent space and a larger pool of artists, the curated pairs could lead to some amazing collaborative exhibitions. We would love to take this project on the road and bring the exhibits to unique locations throughout the country. We will be able to best expand our audience through both travel and a well-documented digital collection.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
Denver is a great city to live in, which is both a benefit and part of its problem. Once upon a time, Denver had a thriving DIY art scene, but rapid growth and development have pushed those artists and their spaces aside. Ultimately, for this aspect of Denver’s art scene to survive, downsizing and alternative spaces are key. This
philosophy is at the core of Doublespace’s vision and is something that can be at home here in Denver and on the road.
What’s on your agenda in the coming year?
Although the times and coming year are uncertain, Doublespace would like to invite you to our 2020 Pop-Up Series! Our goal for this exciting exhibition series is to take to the road less traveled, that of mobility. Interested in exhibiting or attending? Be sure to follow us on Instagram for pop-up events, locations and featured artists!
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Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
We would like to see exciting new works this year from Andrea Dolter, Angela Craven, Chelsea Gilmore, Drew Austin, Duncan Parks, Dylan Griffith, Emma Benschop, George Perez, Mae Phillips, Matt Kuck, Keenan Mehrens and Vera Benschop. Check out their exhibits from last year at dblspc.com.
Doublespace is currently accepting artist applications for 2020 pop-up exhibitions through May 31. Follow Doublespace at the website, and on Facebook and Instagram.