Art of any form requires playfulness, space and creativity. These are all things the Collabratory Complex hopes to bring to Denver when it opens its doors on May 1 at 1974 S. Acoma St.
Created by mother-daughter duo Katrina and Jasmine Lairsmith, the Collabratory Complex welcomes artists of all kind, dancers, photographers and musicians to come and collaborate with other creatives in their community. It seeks to inspire and create a sense of connection — something that many artists lost during the past two years of the pandemic.
“We wanted to find a new way to unite artists and inspire the lost to create again. We wanted a space that housed all of the arts, a performance/event space, a space that offers an alternative to the norm,” the Lairsmiths said in a statement.
The Collabratory Complex consists of a 3,000 square feet space dedicated to the overall development of Denver’s creative community. Its objective is to foster collaboration between creatives, dancers and videographers, photographers and influences, actors and directors, any creative dynamic. Additionally, the founders wish to provide access to an affordable art rental space, top-of-the-line equipment and masterclasses of a variety of art forms.
The idea for a creative space came to Katrina and Jasmine as they experienced and witnessed a sense of loss and isolation in the creative community.
“I think artists are dying [to be with each other] right now, for community and creativity,” said Katrina.
As artists and creators themselves – Katrina as a professional choreographer and Jasmine as a creative director and Instagram influencer – they understood how a permanent art space could serve as a beacon to welcome new artists and inspire them. The Collabratory Complex, a laboratory of artistic collaborations so to speak, seeks to breathe inspiration back into any creator finding their next project and a new community.
“I’m very interested in the arts as a whole,” said Jasmine, “and how artists can come together. I like to see how maybe a musician can benefit from having dancers around and vice versa. Just the need for collaboration within the arts.”
The complex will officially open its doors on May 1 with a grand opening event. There will be a yoga class, a staff masterclass, food trucks, vendors and music. Katrina herself will lead a class called “Candlelit Contemporary.”
After that, the collaborative space will offer dance, digital photography, videography, music and art installations. It will also serve as a performance venue and a rental space for artists to work and create. The summer schedule for classes and events will soon be released on the official website.
Both Katrina and Jasmine are eager to see how local artists might flock to a new place they can call home.
“I’m excited for community,” said Katrina, “to share ideas and create together. We spent the last two years creating alone. I think right now we are all hungry for each other’s ideas.”
All photography provided by The Collabratory Complex.