CoCoa WOW’s art community

Oct 222008
Authors: kelly bleck

The Colorado Coalition of Artists (CoCOA) provides a forum for local artists to collaborate in creation, showcasing and selling art.

Established as a non-profit in 2003, the CoCOA hosts a gallery, as well as classes for members and non-members.

“Every week, there’s an uninstructed figure drawing class where the artists can draw, paint or whatever medium they do,” CoCOA Director Christine Webb said. “The figure drawing class does have a fee, member and non-member based. There’s a portrait class on Thursdays that’s free to the community, where the model is a volunteer.”

The member fees, class fees and money earned from fundraisers all go toward the upkeep of CoCOA.

“Everybody involved with CoCOA are volunteers; there aren’t any salaries. The money goes towards operating expenses,” Webb said. “It’s a way to encourage emerging artists and even established artists to keep going. CoCOA has several opportunities throughout the year for members to hang artwork in the gallery.”

In order to raise funds for the CoCOA, the ‘WOW’ art show and auction was generated. The show also serves as a medium for artists to produce their work and display it without giving it as a donation.

“Artists are constantly giving away $1,000 pieces,” WOW producer and director William Pilch said. “This is a way to give back to artists. Rather than giving their whole piece they get a third back. I thought ‘WOW’ would be a good theme, have the artists create something that would ‘wow’ Fort Collins and themselves.”

The gallery opened Oct. 5 and the featured art was put up for auction online. The live auction will be held Oct 25. at the CoCOA gallery in the Poudre River Arts Center.

“The online auction has been going alright. I thought it would be better, but we expect a lot of people for the live auction,” Pilch said. “We’re moving it to the gallery right next door so we can display all the art we have, and for room for the people attending.”

Awards and prizes will be given to artists who donate their art.

“We went around town to local businesses getting gift certificates,” Pilch said. “It gives them something back, and some recognition. Some businesses were very gracious and giving.”

Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at

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