Vibrant Northern Colorado Art Community Finds a Home in LaPorte

Front door of the Northern Colorado Artist Community event space at Kintzley Court in LaPorte, Colorado. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

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.

Katie Mecklenburg explains some finer points of composition to Staci Fujioto at the Grand Opening of the Northern Colorado Artist Community event space on October 6, 2023. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

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, Executive Director of the Northern Colorado Artist Community, welcoming guests to the Grand Opening show on October 6, 2023. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

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. 

Artists, patrons, and guests listen to the announcement of the award winners at the Grand Opening of the Northern Colorado Artist Community event space on October 6, 2013. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

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.

Judge Jill Atkisson, on the left, awarding the Best in Show award ribbon to Heather Bartmann for her ceramic piece at the Grand Opening of the Northern Colorado Artist Community event space in LaPorte on October 6, 2013. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

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  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.

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