Space For Creative Exploration

Toledo Local Features  |  05/01/2012

Toledo is an ideal launching place for nearly any community project you can wrap your head around. Just ask Timothy Gaewsky, a staple in the local arts scene for three years and running. Gaewsky is also the founder of Toledo's newest shared space for artists and creative writers, Launch Pad Cooperative.

"Toledo is one of those great, opportunistic cities where a person has the ability to actually realize a grassroots venture like this one," Gaewsky said.  "Launch Pad is all about facilitating a network of talented, highly motivated visual artists and creative writers who have a strong desire to be actively involved in the local arts community."

Working closely with a network of dedicated individuals including Crystal Gale Phelps, Kimberly Adams, Ian Welch and Allison Parsons (all Core Members of the co-op), Gaewsky's idea is already shaping up on both paper and in the physical world. Toledo.com reached out to Gaewksy shortly after he signed the lease for the co-op's soon-to-be gallery space. Located at 911 Jefferson Avenue in the Davis Building, Launch Pad will initially occupy 1,000 square feet of space (with potential to grow) for artists and writers to exhibit experimental and collaborative works. An inaugural exhibit is anticipated for June 15th.

But Launch Pad is much more than just a gallery for co-op members and outside guests to utilize. In addition to showcasing provocative exhibits, the space will accommodate numerous events including poetry readings, avant-garde film screenings, and creative workshops. Big ideas in the works include a mentoring program for aspiring youth artists, critique sessions for local artists and writers to gain constructive feedback, and the opportunity for writers to be published in book form by Launch Pad Press. The shape of Launch Pad Cooperative will truly be formed by its most active members.

"What will excite me most is seeing members of the community actively engaging with art and visual culture in ways they may not have experienced it before.," Gaewsky said.

Learn more about the benefits of becoming a Core or Associate Member of Launch Pad Cooperative. Registration is currently open to any interested visual artists, creative writers and poets. For more information, www.launchpadcooperative.com/membership.html. Keep up with Launch Pad's latest developments on Facebook.


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