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The Downtown Artery: Art for Everyone

The Downtown Artery is a hidden gem of Fort Collins. This local business takes pride in being a melting pot of many different cultures and forms of art, but it comes from much simpler beginnings.

“The idea for it came from a family dinner,” said owner Amy Bradley. “My dad pitched the idea for a gallery, and we started making plans for the business from there.”

Jim Dalton (left) and Jeremy Lawton (right) perform at the Downtown Artery. Photo by Dalton McMillan

The idea was to foster a place for in-house artists to create and share their work. This would create a community among the artists, which Bradley knows to be very important.

“There aren’t many places here for artists to create in a space and be a part of a bigger picture,” said Bradley. “It’s important to have this group of peers that are like-minded.”

The art created by this community is found displayed along the gallery walls of the upper level. An exhibition room is also located amongst the galleries. The Downtown Artery hosts different mediums of art, which range from light shows to classical paintings, created by local artists. Two rotating exhibits can be viewed monthly, with opening receptions every first Friday and third Thursday.

The galleries are not the only aspect of the business today. The expansion began when the lower level of the building opened for rent. Bradley and her father knew there would not be another chance to expand, so they jumped on the opportunity.

The additions include a theatre for hosting bands, poetry readings, dance parties and various other events. When it comes to picking artists to perform at the venue, the main criterion is passion.

Roger Clyne does the peace sign to the crowd at the Downtown Artery, accompanied by Jim Dalton (center-stage) and Jeremy Lawton (far left)
Roger Clyne acknowledges the crowd, accompanied by Jim Dalton and Jeremy Lawton. The band, The Dos Amigos Roger Clyne and Jim Dalton, played the Artery January 29. Photo by Dalton McMillan.

“What we’re looking for is quality work,” said Bradley. “If they have quality work and a good work ethic then we want to support them.”

Alongside this exceptional event space, are two living spaces for the venues performers and travelers. The rooms are conveniently located on Airbnb and set at a fantastic price.

A welcoming café serving classic coffee beverages and yummy eats, as well as delicious alcoholic beverages, can be found in the main entrance of the building. Visitors can also find a quaint boutique full of local clothing, jewelry and accessories. It is nearly impossible to not find one aspect of the Downtown Artery that suits you.

With the business’s multiple aspects, trying to give an interpretation of everything being done at the Downtown Artery can be difficult. However, Bradley says she finds inspiration in knowing what the business does for her community.

“The most enjoyable part is feeling like we are doing something that is benefitting more than just one person,” said Bradley. “For me, the most important thing is allowing, inviting and inspiring people to cultivate their creative talents. That is really rewarding. That makes me happy.”

 

For more information about the Downtown Artery’s events and membership, visit their website.

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