In an industrialized neighborhood in the RiNo district in Denver is The Source, an open-air concept market that occupies an old 1880’s brick foundry building. This new and successful concept houses 15 tenants that offer passerbys everything from fresh roasted coffee to craft cocktails, custom flower arrangements to personal banking. But nestled on the left side of the sprawling foyer, just one unit from the back, is SVPER ORDINARY Gallery.
The aesthetic of the space catches your eye immediately. At first glance, the space appears to be divided in two. As you enter the space, the walls of front half of the long rectangular room are covered in linearly arranged pieces of wood, all charred jet black. Amongst the black walls are shelves that carry everything from clothing, to aromatic sprays to artisan created coasters. The back half of the space is the “gallery”, where artwork hangs on traditional white walls. Connecting the two spaces are two glass display cases that run the length of the center of the space, housing locally made jewelry and goods. The contrast seemingly divides the room into two separate experiences, white for art and black for retail, with a bridge of hand crafted goods uniting the two. But upon further inspection and conversation with Pedro, the two are actually intertwined.
“We [Barrios and Tran] curate the space as a cohesive experience” says Pedro. “We rotate out the retail space almost as frequently as we rotate out the artwork and try to produce a cohesive experience throughout the space. We also don’t have any back-stock for any of the goods we sell here. Everything is one of a kind.”
Pedro explained that he wanted to create a space based on the values of accessibility, artistic development, collaboration and community involvement. Congruent with the open-air model of The Source, a concept who’s dynamic approach focuses on collaboration and collective experience, SVPER ORDINARY hopes to foster all levels of artistic talent. Pedro’s unique curative techniques pairs new and emerging artists, alongside local and nationally established names. With two sold out shows in just five months and artists booked through early 2015, his style seems to be working.
“We have a unique opportunity to appeal to a much larger and different clientele than most galleries”, says Pedro. “Our unique location allows us to see 365 days of foot traffic per year. It also exposes us to a demographic that normally wouldn’t wander into an art gallery”. Where most galleries can expect to see about five to ten patrons walking into their space per day, SVPER ORDINARY attracts upwards of 100.
Visit SVPER ORDINARY gallery at 3350 Brighton, grab a bite to eat, enjoy a cocktail and check out some awesome art. And say hi to Pedro.
Photos and words by Joe Friend Photography