TOASTING TEN (MORE) YEARS
Ten years ago, Gallery 113 opened its doors and debuted in a downtown Colorado Springs community very different from what we see now. In January 2012, four artists (three painters and a stained glass artist), took over the space and lease at 113 N. Tejon. Gallery 113 filed with the Colorado secretary of state as an LLC, and we were in business, as a commission-free, artist-run co-op.
At that time, few of the galleries you see listed on the Downtown Partnership downtown map existed. In fact, the Downtown Partnership did not exist. A little known fact is that Gallery 113 started the First Friday Art Walks downtown. We advertised and took balloons and posters around to the handful of galleries that were downtown at that time: Boulder Street, the part-time galleries under the bridge, PPCC gallery, Modbo, GOCO 121, and the Tejon St. gallery space leased by Cottonwood. Those galleries hoisted their balloons and came together (they had previously NOT had a consistent art walk night) to begin what is now the famous First Friday Art Walk.
Gallery 113 is beginning another year, 2022, in an ideal position financially and physically (with our move to 125 ½ N. Tejon in 2016). Every year, in spite of the pandemic, political unrest, and the unsteady economy, our sales have increased. Many artists have come and gone, but our gallery’s success has never been in doubt. Downtown has never been busier nor more profitable, and in 2022 the renowned Denver-based TATTERED COVER bookstore will open across the street. Almost every week, it seems, another high rise apartment building soars up on yet another downtown street corner. Downtown Colorado Springs is a destination not only for tourists (as it pretty much was in 2012) but for locals as well.
The recent emphasis on buying local has been a boon for our business. Of course, we all still shop online, but people have gotten the message that “local” is synonymous with “value for the money” and for support of the economy where they actually live. The trend to buy and own fewer but more meaningful “things” also boosts our sales and our business model.
We the local artists at Gallery 113 welcome the new year along with its challenges and possibilities. Let’s toast to another ten years!
2012 Store Front
2022 Store Front
Early Days of First Friday