Visual Arts

The Mayday Experiment: As an Artist, I Am Both Gentrifier and Gentrified

I have lived and worked in over thirty spaces in Denver. Most of them have been in Five Points, City Park and Northside if you're old school, Highland if you're new. But notably, I was also involved in founding the third gallery on Santa Fe Drive back when it was a vaguely industrial strip filled with dilapidated storefronts, soon to be the home of the nascent "Olde Towne Santa Fe Arts District". I have very rarely moved of my own accord; rather, I was forced out when buildings were sold to make condos, lofts or parking lots, to make room for all the new people who wanted to be close to the arts without realizing that their proximity destroys the very communities they seek to be near. In my senior year of undergrad at what was then Metro State, I moved three times, and had the almost attained goal of cum laude snatched out of my grasp as I struggled to manage both moving and senioritis.

As an artist, I am both gentrifier and gentrified, and it has never been a comfortable place to be. See also: The Mayday Experiment -- for a Tiny House, (Almost) Everything Must Go