Art in storefronts, today and yesterday

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The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region wants to resurrect the idea of art in downtown storefronts. From 3 to 5 p.m. this Wednesday, it'll host a "Think Tank" get-together for artists and businesses to talk about getting the idea off the ground. The meeting will include a look at similar efforts in other cities, brainstorm project ideas, and "discuss the application process for artists and property owners."

The meeting will be held at COPPeR's office (121 S. Tejon St., #111). RSVP at rsvp@coppercolo.org or 634-2204.

In 2007, the Downtown Partnership launched a similar incarnation called Visually Aesthetic Space, in which artists applied to fill 10 locations.

One of the most memorable pieces came from former local artist Jocelyn Nevel. Her work, "Freedom," consisted of dozens of thong pantyliners fixed to the window of the old S.S. Subs on Kiowa Street. Even though Nevel submitted plans outlining the work, which she had also done in Chicago, it was removed after a week due to complaints.

As detailed in an old Springs Culture Cast video, Nevel graciously acknowledges that it's the owner's right to remove the work, and that she's glad she got people talking. ("Freedom" even caught the attention of Dan Savage, who blogged about it in the Stranger.)

The interview takes place in front of the store while employees remove her artwork. With a quick look back and a moment to collect herself, Nevel said, "I'm still processing what happened. I have to look at it as a positive experience in the end. People are talking, people are thinking, and that's the best." Later in the video, Laszlo Palos of the Downtown Partnership explains that the organization continued to back Nevel's work.

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