Arts @ the Feed & Grain

Community Foundation of Northern Colorado

Funding Received: 2013
Loveland, CO
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
November 1, 2013

Guests waited in line to see the show after we hit our maximum occupancy; the Sun King by artist Bruce Campbell watched on

It’s been illuminating and inspiring to observe the artists for “Elements: glass.fiber.stone” working together to craft the next installation. For, if Arts @ the Feed & Grain is a community-based and targeted project, our artists are surely one of the communities we are working to target and support.

From Elements’ artist Abbie R. Powers’s facebook page:

"The mind cannot forget what the hands have learned." ~ Jon Zahourek

“Thinking about the long history of makers and how our brains translate information we receive and cultivate through the use of our hands.

I had a delightful conversation this morning with another artist about the train of thought an installation artist follows, a virtual catalog of textures, techniques, materials, reactions, spatial relations and the language of physical interaction with the materiality of a space.”

From artist David Young in response: it’s refreshing to be creating with my hands in an actual space instead of in my head. Some of my spatial, textural, material "vocabulary" had gotten a little rusty.

This month’s show, Elements; glass.fiber.stone, featuring Abbie R. Powers, David Young, Carrie Johansing-Heintzelman, Les Sunde, Jade Windell, Bruce Campbell, Jon Gacke, Dusty Brunson, Dina Kalahar, Jacqueline McKinney and Jodi Stevens, is the best show we’ve produced for Arts @ the Feed & Grain.

And we’re growing an audience for contemporary art in northern Colorado, not (yet) a hotbed for installation art:

“Great night out in Loveland. It was spectacular! The large installations that made use of the building were absolutely my favorite -- one of the best shows I've seen in CO in a long time. Congrats!” Fort Collins

Unlikely Coalitions Grow Long-Term Benefits
Our project ran into unexpected opposition last month from City Planning Commission members who had a difficult time understanding what was happening at “that old run down empty place.” With help from the Downtown Loveland Association, we pulled together a coalition of artists and downtown business people who stressed how important the project was to their businesses and were able to persuade the most of the Commission to change their vote.  We were grateful that the Planning Commission was willing to consider new input from the community but the process reminded us we need to be more vigilant demonstrating the benefits of the arts – not just for education or quality of life, but for economic vitality too.

Permanent Impacts From Temporary Events
We invited all members of the Planning Commission, as well as the City Council to a special VIP viewing of Elements.  We invited all our donors and potential donors to this VIP event too so they could view the show in relative comfort.  Being able to see the Feed & Grain with a truly exceptional exhibit utilizing its vast spaces helped many people who had being having trouble seeing the vision for the Feed & Grain understand and appreciate what we are working to accomplish.  This temporary show changed some very important minds.

The contemporary and conceptual artists who have shown at the Feed & Grain tell us regularly how grateful they are to have their art recognized and supported in a town that is known for the outstanding bronze sculptures it produces. That validation of their work is elevating the quality of work we are seeing created for the Feed & Grain and that in turn generates the kind of conversations we see emerging in Loveland.

And none of this would have been possible without the support of Artplace America and the NEA’s Our Town program.