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Valkarie Gallery's "Community, Create, Converse" is an open house for art-making

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When veteran artists Frank Farrar, Valerie Savarie and Karrie York opened Valkarie Fine Art Gallery and Studio last fall, they wanted to create a place not just where they could show and make art, but make connections with other local creatives. This Thursday evening, April 17, the space will host "Community, Create, Converse," the first in what the trio hopes will become a weekly meet-up for artists to get together and work.

See also: Valkarie Gallery opens tomorrow -- just in time for Denver Arts Week

"Every Thursday is the goal -- we just want people to come in and create. Whether you're painting or sewing or drawing or composing music or you're writing poetry, we just want it to be a community thing," says artist and co-owner Savarie.

Savarie stresses that while Valkarie is issuing an open invitation for artists to bring their own materials and work on current projects in the shared space, it is also a night for discussion, collaboration and critique.

"Karrie and I share a studio at Valkarie and I think it is a lot more fun to work on art when you have someone to run ideas off of and get inspired by," says Savarie. "Of course, there is art up in the gallery right now and that can be inspirational as well. We are also open to share any knowledge that we have with people who are interested -- you can ask us anything. Our goal is to have people that are more professional in their art along with people who are just kind of wanting to learn more about art itself."

Savarie says she knows a lot of artists are in the situation that she and York find themselves in: working as artists but also holding down full-time jobs. Creating their own gallery was a way to support themselves, other artists and the larger community by providing a venue where their work would fit best.

"The gallery was set up with the artist in mind -- we don't take much on commissions and we have several different ways you can be involved, whether you are a guest or a member. We've even started doing mini-shows in the members gallery, where we invite artists that we're interested in to show -- like a testing ground," says Savarie. "We just want to be there to support the art and the artists as best we can. We also want to let people know where we're in the area and promoting art as much as we can."

The first edition of the regular Thursday night gathering, "Community, Create, Converse," kicks off from 5 to 8 p.m. tomorrow, April 17, at Valkarie Fine Art Gallery and Studio in Belmar. Artists of all levels are invited to bring their own supplies and utilize the gallery space and meet other artists. There will also be a large canvas set up for collaborative painting. For more information on the gallery, visit Valkarie's website.

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