After recent closures of photo galleries in Denver — including Denver Photo Art Gallery’s closure in 2018 and Robert Anderson Gallery’s transition to an online-only setting last year — Scott Wilson and other Denver-based artists began to notice a shift in the city.
“We have felt the gap,” Wilson said. “Photography’s quite a sociable art, and of course the pandemic will have taken energy out of the photo scene, but I think that energy was already being lost prior to that. I’m not saying photography was declining, but online, it’s not the same. That appreciation you get when you actually meet the artist and see the photographer in real life — it’s important.”
With Wilson’s newest project he hopes to “re-inject some of that energy.”
That venture is Gallery 6, a working gallery and studio that officially opened for walk-in visits on February 14. The gallery features work by Wilson and three other local photographers — Tony Eitzel, Kevin Schwalbe and Evan Semón — and is centrally located at 2434 E. 6th Avenue in Denver.
“We feel like we’re joining a really bustling, welcoming, thriving neighborhood. People have opened their arms and welcomed us,” Wilson said. “And being in the heart of Denver gives us a real opportunity to shine a spotlight on our work.”
Wilson said the four artists came together after crossing paths over and over again during their years in Denver. Eitzel and Semón, for example, have both had studio space in the Tennyson art district; Wilson and Schwalbe have both exhibited in several of the same locales; and Eitzel and Wilson were both resident artists at the Denver Photo Art Gallery.
Now, the four aim to establish a new gathering place for the art community. Gallery 6 features the artists’ latest visuals and best-selling shots from years past. Each photographer brings something unique to the table — together, the photographers’ work spans genres from landscape photos to pictures of Colorado’s wildlife to contemporary noir photography. Wilson said that variety will ensure the gallery has something for everyone — and he added that the displays will continually shift and evolve so that visitors can return again and again.
Additionally, alongside the four artists, Gallery 6 plans to display art by a fifth guest artist on a rotating basis.
“It’s something we were very proud to do, to create this platform for artists to present their work in a way that we have benefitted from in the past,” Wilson said. “A lot of these people won’t ever have done physical gallery presentations before, so I think it’s a way of reintroducing online artists to the gallery experience.”
With the gallery officially up and running — and with Denver’s Month of Photography set to kick off as usual in March — Wilson encouraged residents to swing by soon and see the latest from the four photographers. The gallery is currently open for walk-in visits during its regular business hours.
Wilson said the gallery is following current COVID-19 restrictions, requiring masks and capping attendance. He added that, if necessary, the gallery will eventually schedule appointment times to come see the work via its Facebook page — where visitors can also keep up with the gallery’s latest happenings.
“We really want to create a space where photographic art lovers can meet the artists,” Wilson said. “It’s that kind of buzz that we want to generate, that place we can meet and just share that energy.”
Gallery 6 is located at 2434 E. 6th Avenue. It is open for walk-in visits during its regular business hours, Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. To learn more, visit Gallery 6 on Facebook.