September artwalk to include “Collection” reception, possible launch of lighting project


AURORA | The next monthly art walk along East Colfax Avenue will have a distinct focus, according to officials from the Aurora Arts District.

The evening event Sept. 14 will include an opening reception for a new exhibit at the Aurora Arts District Consignment Gallery at 9801 E. Colfax Ave., a space owned and operated by Troy Gladwell of Medici Communities. For several years, Gladwell has allowed community members in Aurora’s art district to use the building for studio and gallery space. The September opening will mark the first new exhibition in several months.

“He’s actually providing a donation and allowing us to use it as an office and gallery,” said Aurora Arts District President Crystal Gardner. “We really believe one of our next steps is having a presence down here. We’re trying to find spaces for artists until the arts district can do it on their own.

“This is a step in that direction,” she added.

Gardner and other art district officials hope the opening reception for the gallery, also known as “The Collection,” will come as the city unveils a new lighting system for the 16-block stretch along East Colfax.

About $200,000 in Community Development Block Grants is set to fund an LED lighting project for the district, a lighting installation designed by sculpture installation artist Susan Cooper that will decorate the district’s businesses, galleries and restaurants. Gardner and city officials said the monthly art walk in September could be the platform for the launch of the project.

“We’re hoping along with that, the lights will finally be in and we’ll have a ribbon cutting,” Gardner said. “The City of Aurora will be planning it, but we’ll work in conjunction with the light project.”

In addition to the Collection space, exhibitions will be open to the public at spaces like the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts gallery, the Red Delicious Press, Sunrise Artworks, the House of Flowers and the exhibition space at 1400 Dallas St., the former home of The Other Side Arts gallery.

“The Other Side Arts went away this year. They weren’t able to repay the loans,” said Moira Dungan, a senior development project manager with the city. “The city took back the building April 2. We have been managing it. All the artists that were there continue to be there.”

The opening reception for the Collection gallery space will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 4 at 9801 E Colfax Ave, Suite 120.