As development exploded over the past decade, artists have bemoaned the disappearance of the warehouses in the RiNo Art District where visionaries once occupied live-work spaces and set up studios. As property prices have skyrocketed, many of the artists and galleries that once called the neighborhood home have packed up and moved on, leaving this question in their wake: What's an art district without its artists?
The district's latest answer to this quandary is a partnership with Menalto Development: No Vacancy, a new artist-residency program that will offer temporary studio spaces at 3722 Chestnut Place to artists.
“Many people know this area for the visual art that’s represented in our mural programs, but this area is home to so many talented artists across a variety of media, and ‘No Vacancy’ will showcase the incredible diversity of talent here,” notes Tracy Weil, executive director of RiNo Art District, in a statement announcing the program. “At RiNo Art District, our goal is to find opportunities to bring people together through creativity and culture. Through our partnership with companies like Menalto Development, we’re not only making connections between artists, we’re connecting members of our business community who have space with artists who need it. Collaborations like this are helping to build a stronger, more vibrant arts district.”
The goal of the project is to "create a highly collaborative group art installation experience that will build over time, based on the contributions of the artists involved," according to the district, which is now accepting applications.
The month-long residencies will be in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse that once housed a mechanical-parts distribution center. No Vacancy will host two artists at a time, and they will each take over a large bay. The building itself will be open for exhibitions, installations and collaborative works between the various residents. The district plans to restart its First Friday celebrations in July.
In the meantime, the district is helping to put more art in the area through No Vacancy. "RiNo Art District is seeking a wide range of artists for the program — from muralists to projectionists, performance art to sculpture, digital art and beyond," the notice states. "New artists will be rotated in every month through September, resulting in a total of sixteen one-month residencies for local artists."
Every artist will be given a $2,500 stipend and have the chance to sell and exhibit works; No Vacancy will receive no commissions from sales.
The residency launches June 1 and runs through September; the deadline for applications is May 21 on the RiNo Art District website.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.