More from Pueblo

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As any writer can tell you, there's always more information gathered than what can fit in the story, and this week's cover story on the arts in Pueblo is no different. So here are some tidbits that didn't make it into the story, but further prove the point that Pueblo is a place you'll be hearing a lot more about.

First, some updates:

The Shoe Factory has officially partnered with Morton Elementary School.

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Yesterday, it also announced that Jason Landry of Boston’s Panopticon Gallery will jury the “industrial” themed show this summer. This internationally juried show is something Gregory Howell of the Shoe Factory and Kadoya Gallery says will be the first of its kind in Pueblo.

(By the way, Kadoya means, roughly, "house on the corner" in Japanese. Howell grew up in Japan and applied the name to the flatiron building. It's pronounced KA-doe-YA.)

Work on the Central Plaza Revitalization Project is coming along on schedule. A grand opening is scheduled for June 6. Here's the plan as it stands today:

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The murals that are to go along the CPR project and the ARTery walk are also moving right along. Mike Strescino and Mat Taylor are now working on the second since late March, having finished one of a bear, titled "Big Bear and Origami Cranes and Wooden Owls" and now this behind Sisters' Courtyard Tea Room and Treasures on Fifth Street:

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Now, some extra insight from the cutting room floor:

Strescino on the cost-effective qualities of murals:
Painting murals are actually fairly cheap if you can get people to donate lifts and stuff like that. It’s not too expensive. So it’s like a public art project that you can take on that has a really strong effect.

When you do public sculptural projects you have to have engineers involved, you have to pass city code and it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, whereas, like, we had a lot of stuff donated to that wall. If we would have had to pay for it, it would have been like a $20,000 job, but it ended up being maybe an $8,000 or $9,000 job, including paying us and buying materials ... we had the lift donated to us and that saved, like $10,000.
Howell on making arts endeavors work:

It has to be financially viable: "You still have to make it win for the owner of the building. And you also have to make it win for the artists."

It has to suit its neighborhood. Howell looked to creating something like RedLine in Denver when formulating the Shoe Factory: "We looked at a lot of different models, but it was really about finding the right fit for Pueblo too. Because every city is a little bit different.” 

Radeaux, owner of the over-30-year-old John Deaux Gallery, on the long view:

"We had an economic collapse in the ’80s when the steel mill when under, but the thing about a bad economy is that the arts will start to thrive. I actually read that somewhere, in an economy at war or in a depression, the arts thrive.”

His former business partner quit his work as an architect to pursue art. Radeaux gave up his gig painting houses to focus on his art full-time.

He explains how they were able to launch the gallery, and then keep it afloat in better financial times by stabilizing their rent via buying their building in 1989 (the 5,000-square-foot former Turf Exchange Building).

On the future of the scene:

I think it’ll still have ups and downs ... there are a lot of good things going on right now. There were times when ... the [Sangre de Cristo Arts Center] and us were the only things going on. But there’s a lot more going on now. And there will probably still be ups and downs but I think it’ll still keep growing.

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