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You’ve seen those empty store fronts as you’ve wandered the streets of Old Town Fort Collins. They look like buildings that need some energy to make them happy again. That’s what Art Lab Fort Collins is all about. We’re temporarily filling those wonderful buildings with art, innovation, music, smiling faces until a new tenant comes along. When a new tenant decides to move in, we just move on to the next empty space.

Watch the empty store fronts for something new in Old Town.

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Are you a painter, print maker, dancer, singer, band, sitar player, poet, actor, creative soul or group that needs a place to show off your stuff? The Art Lab Fort Collins is the venue for you. Tell us what you want to do and let’s make it happen.

Email us  your idea for the space — Check the calendar for open dates. First come, first serve.

The Fort Collins Improv group is for people who are interested in learning more about Improv – come join us! We get together to be spontaneous! Every level is welcome; we love to have fun and to laugh together. Everybody participates and everybody has fun – no one feels left out or embarrassed!

We go through a wide variety of games, scenarios, and skits to build up our expertise in spontaneous, improvisational thinking, acting, singing, talking, speaking, falling, laughing, and juggling geese.

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Opportunity for Artists: A Call for Concepts




Call for Concepts: Art Lab – Downtown Development Authority Old Town Square Activation Project Purpose During the construction phase of the Old Town Square (OTS) renovation the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will be focused on maintaining business traffic through the activation of the Square, making it a destination, not a construction site to avoid. We intend to achieve this through partnering with the Art Lab to execute several temporary artistic attractions within the Square.

Who Should Apply: Professional visual artists that demonstrate innovative, contemporary, and creative approaches in addressing temporary or permanent, site specific works are encouraged to apply. The strength of the artist’s concept, design capabilities and established track record of museum/gallery exhibitions are the program’s highest priorities. Artworks commissioned by the DDA should vitalize our Old Town Square’s visual signature, celebrate the diversity and heritage of Old Town Square, strengthen economic development and tourism, heighten civic identity, and enrich the spirit and pride of our citizens. DDA employees, as well as selection panelists and panelists’ immediate family members, are excluded from participation in this public art project.


• Attractions will be executed within Old Town Square, Fort Collins, Colorado.

• Program to run April through August 2015 with 5 feature exhibits lasting one month each.

• $500 to $2,000 budget per program, smaller budget ideas welcome for possible add-ons. For example: a $500 show might include a one-weekend activation or something like chalk signage in the perimeter that is simple, low cost, and requires a minimal number of hours to complete. A $2,000 project will bring traffic into the Square during the entire month featured and will be active for a majority of the ideal times namely mid-day Monday through Friday and dinner time Thursday through Saturday.

• Artist will supply all materials, labor, and supervision of persons participating in the project on their behalf within the budget.

• Projects will include but are not limited to site-specific and place-based installations, interventions or social interactions.

• Early ideas included light shows controlled by user’s cell phones, art work displayed on buildings, making art out of construction conditions, themed art that can be added to by visitors, and chalk art on pavers among many other concepts. Use your imagination!

• Do not count on any current elements in the Square to be available during exhibit, conditions will be changing and active construction will be going on in the immediate vicinity; all businesses will be open and accessible at all times.

• Artist may prepare proposals for more than one installation or create artworks which can be adapted to multiple sites. Selected artists will work with the curator to pursue preferred site or work through alternatives.

• Construction fencing is expected to be very similar to the barrier picture at the end of narrative.

• Artist and program will be featured on social media, OTS signage including artist biography and website, notation in project newsletter, blast on Downtown Business Association Old Town Fort Collins Facebook (approximately 32,000 likes), and a professional reference can be provided.

• Please note, this is a time sensitive project, and therefore, it is critical for artists applying to this Call to have the ability to adhere to this very tight schedule. Anyone applying to the Call will be expected to comply with given deadlines Concept Submission from Artist to DDA Submission.

Deadline: October 3, 2014

Must include:

• High-level concept.

•Narrative including how the concept works in an active construction site, day and/or night activation, preferred locations and size, materials, and a visual representation of the concept.

• Any necessary utilities: electricity, water, etc.

• Artist’s professional resume including contact information noting preferred method of contact including artist availability during the program timeline and a brief artist biography.

• A list of other projects completed including five images of previously completed work. Please accurately identify medium, dimensions, date, location, client/agency, size, budget, completion date, and a brief written description for each uploaded image.

NOTE: Artists who work in video, sound installations, and kinetic sculpture may submit a 3 minute video, audio or dynamic media file in lieu of still images to further describe their work. Artists must submit and complete the application and upload a video file representing the visual component of the work to Dropbox, maximum length is 3 minutes total.

• Submit by end of business on October 3, 2014 via Dropbox to or to the DDA office at 19 Old Town Square, Suite 230, Fort Collins, CO 80524.


1. Concept Due: October 3, 2014.

2.DDA Feedback by October 17, 2014; possible concepts selected for further consideration.

3. DDA will subsequently meet with artists and construction team to discuss feasibility, timing, and placement of concepts, will keep each artist up to date with monthly contact.

4. Finalists will be given notice to pitch idea.

5. Early December: artists pitch proposals at Art Lab Supper Club.

6. Final Notice of Selection: December 15, 2014.

Selection Process: It is anticipated that a selection panel of arts professionals drawn from the Art Lab Fort Collins along with DDA staff, consultants, and Board members will recommend a small number of finalists to pitch specific proposals at a public Art Lab Supper Club event. The primary criteria for finalist selection will be previous artistic accomplishment as demonstrated in images of previously completed artwork, initial approach to the project as demonstrated in the preliminary proposal, and feasibility within an active construction site. Selection Panel appointed by Art Lab Fort Collins is a local panel composed of professionals in the field of art, public art, architecture, art education, art history, or architectural history.

About the Downtown Development Authority: Created in 1981, the DDA uses tax increment financing to stimulate redevelopment in the central business district. The Authority focuses on projects that have benefit for the entire community. The DDA uses its financial resources to directly leverage private investment. Typically the DDA will partner with a developer, business owner, or property owner in a manner that “induces” a private investment in real estate improvements. The DDA’s participation in such public-private partnerships ranges from a few thousand dollars to investments in excess of $5 million.

For more information about the DDA, please go to

Questions? Please feel free to contact Jennifer Hensley, DDA Financial Coordinator, at or (970)419-4378 if you have questions about this call for concepts.

Stillness & Change by Charles Evan Brenton


Nature is the great source and the model architect in which I the draw the most inspiration from. With emphasis on letting the work evolve out of process, I discover crystalline structures, components of organisms, and eminent landscapes, as construction advances. Similar to the universal concepts of music, I aim to evoke an entire range of personal feelings and truths without directly telling a story. My passion for nature is the core driving force behind my forms, yet I realize I’m seduced by the benefits of technology at the same time and prefer to reflect this thought though contemporary color schemes. In an effort to obtain the ideal arrangement my sculptures end up balancing on the edge between change and stillness.


  • Upcoming Events

    • September 30, 2014 3:30 pmYoung People's Creative
    • October 3, 2014Julia Schmidt
    • October 5, 2014 8:00 pmIMPROV JAM : SUNDAY NIGHTS AT ART LAB
    • October 7, 2014 3:30 pmYoung People's Creative
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