Set between an abandoned used-car lot and the Travelers Uptown Motel, the cinderblock storefront at 210 E. Cimarron St. is an unlikely place for a high-end art gallery. For its directors, that's part of the appeal.
"We love the fact that we're in an old go-go club," says Dianna Cates Dunn, assistant director and an exhibiting artist at Gallery Two-Ten, which opens Saturday.
When Dunn and Marianne Gunter, the gallery's owner and director (formerly of Gunter-Wolff Gallery), began renovating a year ago, the site was "a wreck."
"It was mostly black inside, [full of] dead pigeons and pigeon poop," Gunter says. "It was so horrible."
It has since become an elegant, airy space, featuring the large abstract paintings nearest to Gunter's heart. At 6,100 square feet, Gallery Two-Ten outsizes all other retail galleries in town, and it purports to be "the most contemporary."
Many insist that Colorado Springs is experiencing an arts revival, and south downtown is pushing for an economic one (see p. 12). Carrying only Colorado artists, Gunter and Dunn will add to both.
"People believe that they have to go to Taos or Santa Fe to buy art," Dunn says. "And they often go down there and find Colorado artists. They end up buying us down there and bringing us home. It makes no sense whatsoever. We're hoping to turn that around."
Gunter is frank about her intended clientele. She wants to be "the end destination" for art buyers with deep pockets.
"Their portfolios are larger, and so they can afford the good art."
Some gallery-goers may differ with her about what constitutes good art the prevailing aesthetic of the work on display lies somewhere between High Corporate Boardroom and Nouveau McMansionism but it's doubtful anyone will argue with her prices.
"People will be attracted to success. I always found that if you're a salesman, and you come up in a wreck, people perceive ewww," Gunter says, wrinkling her nose. But if you come up in "a Cadillac, [it] smells of success."
210 E. Cimarron St.
Grand opening, Saturday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; retail hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sundays. Or by appointment.
Free; call 632-2132 for more information or visit gallerytwo-ten.com.