Dear Art Lab Creators and Staff,

I wanted to share my deepest gratitude to the Fort Collins Art Lab founders and staff. I owe much of my business’s success and growth in the past couple years to the Art Lab.

I am the founder and head art teacher for Wild Roots Studio. We offer soulful, nature-based art workshops that support the wild exploration of a child’s creativity and the strengthening of their connection to nature. .

In the past two years, we have used the Art Lab to offer our Nature Art Workshops, Schools Out Day Camps, Summer Art Camps and Children’s Art Exhibits. The Art Lab is an ideal space for us to get crafty with a bunch of kids, not to mention, it is perfectly located just a few blocks from the Poudre river, which makes it easy for us to take quick walks down to the river to paint under a tree or collect natural materials for our projects. In addition, the Art Lab’s Old Town location is wonderful for showcasing the kid’s artwork to our community in one of our Children’s Nature Art Shows.

In January, we hosted a Children’s Winter Nature Art Camp and showcased their artworks in an art show on the First Friday Art Walk. We were excited to see how popular our event was and the kids were over the moon to share their art with their families and the Fort Collins community. I have attached some pictures below of the camp and their art show.

We are most grateful that the Art Lab allows us the opportunity to share our classes to low-income families that might otherwise not be able to attend our workshops and camps. Because we are able to use this location for free or for a nominal fee…we are able to pass along these savings to low-income families in the area. Approximately, 25-40% of the children who attend our programs are offered discounted or full scholarships to our classes.  It is because of this, that we are now starting to look at creating a non-profit to support even more in need children to attend our programs.

We sincerely thank you for creating such a soulful and amazing space for us to inspire young artists in our community. Your lovely idea to turn a vacant storefront into vibrant art space has not only helped my small art business grow but had helped me to bring art into the lives of hundreds of children.


Owner & Earth Art Guide
Wild Roots Studio

Hi Dawn and Art Lab Network,

I have enjoyed having Art Lab as a neighbor. Each weekend brought a different creative spark. The public strolling by, often asked me what was going on. As self appointed tour guide, it was fun to explain the concept. From the beginning of the” paint by number community painting “and having Dawn’s typewriter available for jotting off a poem, it is something that will bring people together wherever you pop up. The most often asked question became,”When are they going to open”? The activity was intriguing. Teachers, students, artists , musicians, and all seemed to get a sense of possibilities, potential and hope!! The best was when the Horn Band played outside on a hot day.That made people smile. It was amazing to see what your crew came in and accomplished, fixing up the place. It really was a blight and your group really gave it vibrance.There is a great unity to see such devoted volunteers and to realize the support the building owners have extended. Thank you to your collaborators.


Kate Wegrzyn
Mother Lode Gallery and Boutique BRAVO!
136 West Mountain Ave.
(next door neighbor to Art Lab #1)

Art Lab, a free public space for artists that occupies a vacant storefront in the Old Town district of Fort Collins, Colorado, is an example of how “reactivating” empty spaces can benefit both building owners and the community.

University of Alberta
Activating Space