You never forget your first Art Walk.
At least that’s what the look on my roommates’ faces said as made our way down Santa Fe Drive, pushing through throngs of street vendors and fellow art appreciators. Each blue-hued lamppost signaled some new discovery or curio shop and led us forward. One guided us to a gallery featuring photographs from a local artist; another led us to a humid oasis for exotic orchids. We felt our eyes darting from one gallery window to the next, just trying to absorb a small fraction of the scene.
We were so caught up in sensory overload that we almost missed a small doorway framed by Day of the Dead prints strung up like banners on a string. Unable to press forward because of the crowd, we decided to enter.
We had stumbled on Hope Tank Gallery. Led by founder and owner Erika Righter, the coalition of local artists behind Hope Tank believe the gallery has the power to incite change. According to the gallery website, Righter, a former social worker, “wanted to combine her love and passion for the arts and her commitment to philanthropy, and … Hope Tank was born.” With the sale of each piece in the gallery, from art to jewelry to baby clothes, a portion goes to support a non-profit of the artist’s choosing. This not only gives the artists the chance to raise awareness for their particular cause, but underscores and strengthens the connection between art and society.
As non-profits ourselves, Metrosphere, MSU Denver’s award-winning literary and arts magazine, and other Student Media entities are searching for the same thing: partners who believe in our mission and want to support what we do. We could not be more thankful for the partners we have gained – be they sponsors, advertisers or other campus offices. Just one example is Metrosphere’s partnership with MSU Denver’s Center for Visual Art. The Center has not only provided us with a physical space to exhibit the creative work featured in our magazine, but its team has expanded our reach into the vibrant Art District on Santa Fe. Without them, and sponsors like them, students like me who hope to work in the communications industry would have a harder time gaining rich, real world experience. Through the Office of Student Media, I have a pretty impressive title to place on my resume, assistant editor of a professional magazine. More importantly, I have gained insight into not only how a publication is put together, but also how it develops its identity over time through a diverse network of channels.
So, if you haven’t checked out the amazing student work that’s produced here, I urge you to take a moment to browse our new website. It is a portal to all of our communication channels – magazine, newspaper, radio, television. We hope you see something that inspires you. Then, we hope you take action, just like the artists of Hope Tank. Pick up a hard copy of the student newspaper, change the channel to cheer on aspiring broadcasters, comment on poem, submit your own work. In short, be a part of our community. We need you.