Like most co-ops in Denver, Next Gallery came to be for just these reasons, with an emphasis on helping emerging artists climb up in the art scene. But as current Next Gallery director Josh Davy notes, over the years the co-op gained an unwanted reputation for a lack of polish, compounded by its newbie-friendly policies.
Just as Next was hitting bottom and considering disbanding, though, things began to look up.
When Next led the three-gallery exodus from Navajo Street to the 40 West Creative Arts District in Lakewood in 2017, members saw it as an opportunity to up their game with a stronger membership. They began by filing for nonprofit status and creating a board. They also renewed their commitment to their early mission. “At Next, we want to help emerging artists and teach them how to put on shows,” Davy says.
In the current atmosphere of uncertainty for Denver artists, who feel disenfranchised by a rapidly gentrifying city, Next, now 28 members strong, envisions itself as a kind of safehouse for artists.
To that end, the gallery is now taking submissions for what the co-op is calling a Next Gallery Scholarship, working in collaboration with 40 West. There are no age or experience requirements; any unknown is invited to apply by submitting five to ten examples of their work and a written statement about why and how they would benefit from the opportunity.
Along with a one-year free membership at Next, which includes involvement in the gallery’s group shows and mentorship toward mounting a solo exhibition, the winning recipient will also gain 40 West membership for the year, with added perks.
To apply, e-mail materials to [email protected] using the word “Scholarship” in the subject line. Physical copies of images and info can also be left at NEXT Gallery, 6851 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays or Sundays. Entries will be accepted through September, when selected applicants will be interviewed. In addition to the winner, two runners-up will be selected to receive one year of mentored membership at Next for a $40 monthly fee. Learn more about the gallery and scholarship program on the Next Gallery Facebook page.