2015 saw the completion of the first phase stabilization of the original 1892 section of the Loveland Feed & Grain, home to Arts @ the Feed & Grain. The project replaced the deteriorated metal mansard roof, totally rebuilt a wood box cornice and gutter, and stabilized structural elements of the building. The project, funded in part by a grant from the State Historical Fund, also repaired failing masonry areas which allowed us to paint the original sections of the building a deep, rich, barn red that research indicated had been on the building in 1917.
While all this work was being done, we had to look for creative ways to keep the Feed & Grain in the public’s eye without being able to use the building itself. Hosting Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper for the announcement of the new state initiative, Space to Create, helped keep a state-wide focus on the building that inspired that program.
To mark the fifth Love + Light celebration, the event which began in 2012, Arts @ the Feed & Grain hosted Love + Light 5.0. Volunteers built lanterns, decorated umbrellas and other light objects, and invited the community to join a Love + Light parade through Downtown Loveland on Valentine’s Weekend. The parade began at Artworks Loveland, the Feed & Grain’s neighbor, marched through Downtown Loveland, and ended up at the Feed & Grain at the Artspace Loveland Arts Campus.
It was a blustery night, making the lanterns and umbrellas dance as the parade goers made a splash of color and song as they marched. We can hardly wait for Love + Light 6.0!
The challenge of keeping focus on a building that is under construction will continue through 2017 as the Feed & Grain undergoes interior and exterior rehabilitation for its eventual use as a creative sector business incubator and community space. We will continue to look for ways to host events on the plaza between the Feed & Grain and the Lofts; we hope to find other ways to think “outside the box” of the Feed & Grain until artists and creative businesses and organizations can move in.