Welcoming 40 West Arts District!...

I want to share a fun bit of exciting news that's close to home! It is looking quite favorable that a revitalizing Arts District is coming to town, and it's literally moving in to our neck of the woods! You can imagine my excitement as an artist. We live in an eclectic area filled with history, and our neighborhood borders Colfax Avenue, the original corridor that stretches from Denver, west to the mountains. It was the main artery for travelers heading west to the hills, and so you can imagine the history that dots its path, even today. Of course, with age comes wear, and many of the old motels, businesses and warehouses that still stand along this stretch are in need of repair. But, I have a feeling... that is about to change! With RMCAD (the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design) as a centralized anchor, and the new Light Rail station soon to be built close by, a need for connectivity and pedestrian-friendly zones is surfacing. The neighboring art college brings a creative spirit to the atmosphere, and suddenly there is a desire for change, rebirth and renewal.........


JP and myself are now members of the "Champions of the Arts District" board, and have begun meeting with a group of locals, passionate about pulling this concept out of our heads and into our community! With the creative help from a team of art students at RMCAD, an official name and logo were created to represent this district. Last night, 40 West Arts District was unveiled, and for those of you unfamiliar, our famous Colfax Avenue is also known as US Highway 40. We agreed that the name 40 West creates both a sense of place and also has a catchy ring to it! Thanks goes out to those clever art students who envisioned this concept and brought it to life....


The next step is to raise enough money to file for a non-profit status so that we can continue to collect donations and of course be a legitimate district. Last night, RMCAD hosted an Open House & Garden Party to announce the new name and to raise both awareness and excitement for this new venture! We were blessed with a lovely warm evening and a generous crowd of supporters..... Yay!


* For those of you interested in supporting our vision, we are asking for a donation of $40 for 40 West. In return, you will receive recognition on the 40 West website and advance notice of future events!

* If you feel inclined to give more, you can Join the Founding 40 for $500 and receive a profile on our website and invitations to Founding 40 events!  Of course, any amount, big or small is welcome, and your checks can be made out to 40 West Arts.

Please mail your donations to:
40 West Arts
c/o Lakewood-West Colfax 
Business Improvement Association
7125 W. Colfax Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80214


We met all sorts of local supporters excited for this effort, but of course, the news is still young and the word needs to spread. So, please tell your friends and neighbors about 40 West!


The vision for 40 West extends beyond the artist studio and gallery scene to include music, performance and dance along with an appreciation for traditional crafts and the like. The hope is to unite and enrich the community through creativity and allow this cultural spirit to reshape our region.


The unique history of this area allows for an opportunity to re-purpose existing structures into student housing, galleries, shops, eateries and studio spaces, breathing new life into some of our delapidated 50s-era motels and other buildings in need of a lift. Several parks that border this community will help to connect this Arts District through an arts walk loop, welcoming visitors to walk the trail and experience the art in the park and all the other destinations along the way.  Can you SEE it!.....  Are you EXCITED?


RMCAD and the City of Lakewood, were kind enough to invite me to show one of my works in their Shore Gallery during Inspire Arts Week. So, my "Owlbert Finestein" base chamber vase has been on display all week and greeted guests during last night's Open House event.


I had a chance to peek at him behind his glass box, and it was a fun opportunity for my local peers and supporters to see the style of art that I create. I think many were quite surprised!

Thank you for taking the time to scroll through this post and read about the vision for 40 West Arts District! I am obviously very excited for this effort and hope to see it manifest in our community. Perhaps someday I will have a studio space or store front close to home... Who knows, but the thought of living so near a creative, art-loving community gives me goosebumps, and I hope we can see this through! I appreciate your support and interest via word of mouth and donations of time, talent and funds. Keep the vision alive :)

~ Johanna