In 2005 Westword introduced the MasterMind awards, honoring the artists and arts organizations that were changing the cultural landscape of Denver. Since then, we've awarded more than $150,000 to 55 MasterMinds — and now we're rolling out our twelfth creative class.
Meet Jeromie Lawrence Dorrance, our first 2016 MasterMind.
Dorrance, a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver, runs Dateline — an art gallery at 3004 Larimer Street, not a hotline or a TV show. The people who praise his work the loudest are other gallery owners, who recognize the tough task he’s carved out for himself. Says one: “His dedication to the arts has created a bastion for emerging talent. He is dedicated on many levels as a curator, artist and promoter of all things fine in the arts. Jeromie is a champion who connects to other communities, and in turn helps our little village spread far and stand tall.”
Dorrance himself is more modest. “I’m just trying to broaden the scope of contemporary art in Denver, and also be inclusive,” he says, “combining Denver’s best artists with up-and-coming and emerging artists around the world.”
Dorrance not only makes art himself, he's moved into deejaying, and recently opened for DeVotchKa at the Denver Art Museum with fellow artist Mario Zoots. “I like to be involved in the art community as much as possible,” Dorrance says.
Involved? He's one of the reasons that Denver's art community is as vibrant as it is today. Keep reading for more from Dorrance.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Jeromie Dorrance: Anyone doing creative things in New York, in the '80s.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Anyone that I’m currently following on Instagram. There is just so much great art being produced in the world right now, I want to bring it all to Denver. Right now my favorite artist would have to be Jamian Juliano-Villani. Her paintings are out of control, really great stuff.
Also, it would be fun to spend a day with Klaus Biesenbach, the director of MOMA PS1 in New York. I guess he doesn’t have any furniture in his apartment.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Buy the building that my art gallery, Dateline, is in. It's a beautiful, historic, potential landmark of a building that could really be put to use and become a real part of the RiNo neighborhood. But right now it’s pretty much falling apart, the whole second floor is more or less condemned, and the garage floods whenever it rains. I guess it could get bulldozed at any minute, which sucks. I feel like this is the same struggle that all the old buildings in my neighborhood are going though. I’m sure it’s cheaper just to build a whole new one. But that’s no fun…
Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I love Denver, it is my home; however, I feel like any other city at this moment is going through the exact same thing Denver is. With all the gentrification and everything. I’m really thankful to be in the live/work situation I am in now, but pretty soon RiNo will be nothing but breweries and cross-fit gyms. I’m not sure why Denver needs more bars, and/or over-expensive housing, but people must be really stressed at whatever jobs they are doing if they have to drink and work out all the time.
What brought you here?
I was born in Denver; however, my parents moved to the suburbs in the '80s. Denver was a different place then; all the neighborhoods have changed so much. I am thankful I was able to return. I have lived all over north Denver since going to college at Metro State, and I never really left. It was definitely the neighborhood and the people here that have influenced my creativity the most.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I would have to say Mark Sink: He is the godfather of the art scene in Denver.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
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Keep Dateline going…. I also have some solo shows of my personal work coming up as well.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
Isaac Linder, Dayana Ruiz, Julio Alejandro.
Find out more about Dateline here; see more of Dorrance's art on jeromiedorrance.com. Learn more about the MasterMinds program at Artopia, Westword's annual celebration of the arts on Saturday, February 20, at City Hall.