University to program downtown art gallery

By Staff

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will begin its artistic management of the art gallery space at 121 N. Tejon in the Plaza of the Rockies building. UCCS — along with representatives of Nor'wood Development Group and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center — made the announcement Nov. 20.

The space currently known as the FAC Modern will be reborn as the UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art 121, or GOCA 121, and will continue to build on the long tradition of contemporary art exhibits at UCCS. Since 1981, UCCS has operated the Gallery of Contemporary Art in the Science Building at UCCS.

"Our goal was to provide a space downtown for the arts," said Chris Jenkins, president of Nor'wood. "The presence of UCCS in downtown with an arts and culture focus builds on downtown's momentum."

UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak thanked Nor'wood for providing the university the opportunity to showcase the work of regional, national and international artists in an additional venue made available to the university without charge. GOCA 121 will be situated between two other downtown artistic centers, Nosh and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR).

"We believe the strength of the downtown is vital to our community's future," Shockley-Zalabak said. "By bringing art to the area, we are contributing to the overall health of downtown."

The gallery space is currently operated by the Fine Arts Center of Colorado Springs and called FAC Modern. Its final exhibition closed Nov. 13; UCCS will open its first exhibit Feb. 5. Details of the exhibit will be announced later.

The Gallery of Contemporary Art recently launched a new public art program, "AWOL: Art Without Limits," to create new venues for art through site-specific installations and nontraditional exhibit spaces such as downtown parking garages and beneath the Colorado Avenue bridge. Caitlin Green, interim director of the gallery, said the new venue will provide an opportunity to reach new audiences and develop a forum for critical discourse on contemporary art.

For more information on the Gallery of Contemporary Art, visit