By Richard Gonet | New SCENE
On October 6, 2023, the Northern Colorado Artist Community (NOCOAC) officially opened the doors to its new Creative Arts headquarters in LaPorte, Colorado. To celebrate the grand opening, the organization held a members’ only art show and reception, a free event open to the public. Refreshments were provided, and guitarist Robin Lewis entertained visitors in the lobby.
This arts center is the brainchild of Nancy Sander, the founder and operator of the Sanderosa Art Gallery in LaPorte. The Gallery, which began in 2019, exhibits and sells the work of over 100 local northern Colorado artists. To expand the circle of art in the community, Ms. Sander envisioned a creative hub to inspire and promote creativity among people who are not professional artists but who want to express themselves in some artistic form. From this vision, the NOCOAC was born as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to establish a creative arts destination in LaPorte.
Candace Hutchison, the Executive Director of the NOCOAC, explained that, “Our philosophy is that everyone has an artist inside, and we’re trying to broaden the definition of what an artist is.” She went on to say that the goal is to help expand imagination and creativity and to evoke the artist in everyone. The activities planned for the Community center are eclectic and diverse. Instruction in various art forms will be held in the group’s large open space, and there is ample room for meetings, classes, demonstrations, and workshops.
Tuesday Talks on various topics are being held once a month. On October 17, a yoga fundraiser will be held to raise money for scholarships and supplies for children’s art classes. Plans are underway for a reading area and reading program to begin in cooperation with Cache La Poudre Elementary School. One plan is to have children come to listen to a story read by a narrator and then participate in a craft afterward. In essence, NOCOAC is conceived of as a community center based on art, creativity, and self-expression.
At the grand opening on October 6, various works of art by 27 of the NOCOAC’s more than 40 members were on display and were judged by Jill Atkisson, the Executive Director of the Lincoln Gallery in Loveland. Ceramicist Heather Bartmann won the ribbon for Best in Show for a vase that she had sculpted. Show entries are still on display and may be viewed during regular operating hours, and admission to the Community Center and the Sanderosa Gallery is free.
To learn more about the NOCOAC and the Sanderosa Gallery, visit their site on the internet at sanderosaartgallery.com. The Gallery and creative arts center are located at 3101 Kintzley Court in LaPorte. Look for the white Statue of Liberty on U.S. 287B / 54G. Hours of operation are 11 AM-5 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. There is no charge, but donations are welcome and are tax-deductible.