Art News

Colorado Photographic Arts Center Will Move in 2023

A 3D rendering of the new gallery space at 1200 Lincoln Street.
Semple Brown Design
A 3D rendering of the new gallery space at 1200 Lincoln Street.
There's a big development at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center: It's moving to a new, larger space at 1200 Lincoln Street in 2023.

According to Samantha Johnston, executive director and curator of CPAC, about eight months ago she started talking with the Nichols Partnership, which owns the building that housed the now-defunct Art Institute of Colorado. Nichols is turning the ten-story building into 194 studio apartments, but wanted a nonprofit to inhabit the ground-floor retail space. CPAC turned out to be an ideal fit.

Since January 2017, CPAC has been located at 1070 Bannock Street, in a 2,500-square-foot space that includes a gallery and darkroom. The new location will increase the center to 3,900 square feet, with a bigger gallery that can be divided into two parts, as well as a larger darkroom that will accommodate up to three photographers, and a new classroom that will let CPAC move its educational programming out of the gallery.
click to enlarge The current Colorado Photographic Arts Center. - MERIL SHANE
The current Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
Meril Shane
With the added gallery space, CPAC will be able to venture into pop-up shows and more non-traditional programming while still hosting its regular exhibitions, Johnston says; the expanded center will also provide better options for housing its 800-piece permanent collection. Although the new building won't have a dedicated parking area just for CPAC visitors, street parking and an hourly parking garage next door will be available.

The new space is being designed by Nathan Gulash, architect at Semple Brown Design and a member of the CPAC board.  Although CPAC has been granted an extension on its current lease, Johnston hopes that the nonprofit will be able to move by February 2023 — in time for CPAC to host one of its biggest event years ever.

"It's a big year for us," Johnston says of 2023. "It’s our sixtieth anniversary. It will also be the second year we’re running Month of Photography, which happens in March 2023." The new space will help accommodate not only more events, but CPAC's expanding membership, as well, which has grown by over 500 individuals in the past five years.

And CPAC gets to stay in the Golden Triangle Creative District. "We were so excited when we moved into our current location in 2017," says Johnston. "Even when we moved into this space, it was a huge move for us, and it's been a really fantastic space. We’re excited to have some more square footage, and hope that the shift in location just slightly closer to History Colorado and the Denver Art Museum will drive more traffic into the space."

Let's see what develops!