Create Award

What is the Create Award?

The Create Award is a 6-month residency for recent graduates from creative disciplines (fine arts, digital art, performing arts, etc.). Selected candidates receive a 6-month membership at Art Gym Denver (a shared workspace for artists), and a final exhibition and/or performance in Art Gym’s professional gallery space.

Who It's For

The Create Award is for recent graduates (within the past 2 years) from Art or Performing Arts programs. If you graduated in Winter of 2019 or later, you’re eligible to apply in 2022.

The goal of this residency is to support recently graduated artists in continued creation through access to equipment, mentoring and exhibitions. The first years out of art school is critical to the development of professional artistic practices. Artists who launch immediately into their chosen field are more likely to achieve success. The Create Award can endeavor to facilitate this launch.

What You Need To Do

Prepare a 500-1000 word proposal that outlines general goals and your intended direction for the culminating exhibition/performance. Be sure to include some visual examples or video, and a rough timeline of milestones for the project. Next, get a letter of recommendation from a faculty member and a couple of references, and you’re set.

(Pro Tip: Before you apply, it’s a good idea to stop by Art Gym or contact us to set up a tour so you’re familiar with the space you’ll be working and exhibiting/performing in.)


During the residency, the successful applicant will receive:

  • 6 month membership at Art Gym Denver
  • Use of on-demand equipment and workspaces*
  • Help with strategy and scheduling to realize exhibition goals
  • Ongoing planning and critique sessions with prominent artists and curators
  • Materials stipend (TBD)
  • Exhibition or Performance with opening reception

*some restrictions apply

Important Dates:

  • Submission Opens: Open year round
  • Submission Deadline: TBD
  • Interviews: TBD
  • Announcement of Winners: TBD
  • Residency: TBD
  • Exhibition Dates: TBD
  • Opening Reception: TBD

Questions? Email our Curator and Artist Mentor.

How Do I Apply?

Please fill out the form to apply.

    * Required Field

    General Info

    Do you have your own studio space?

    Proposal Details

    Letter of Recommendation from a university faculty member *

    Max file size: 1mb
    Accepted File Types: Word & PDF

    Please upload images of your work (3 images - zip file):

    Max file size: 1mb
    Please attach a .zip file

    Past Create Award Recipients



    Lindsey Ernst

    In Earth.Air.Water.Fire.Love, Lindsey Ernst created metalsmith works of intricate beauty. Her work is a unique interpretation of wearable heirlooms that give homage to both our past and future. From her geometric lines to the intuitive designs, her work tells an ancient story that is conveyed through playful and sculptural objects. In her artist statement for the show, she writes “I think of my work as time-pieces; ones that links us with the past and future. While I enjoy creating a futuristic quality, there is always an archaic and heirloom value in my work. I find it liberating to rummage the Earth, looking for my next inspiration.”



    Rowan Salem

    Rowan Salem, a recent transplant to Denver, used her dance background to create a dance-film installation titled Lapse, projecting her choreography onto transparent fabric and everyday objects in the space. Her work deals with themes of subjective reality, inviting viewers to consider the way information in their environment is revealed and seen, and the ways it is hidden and unseen. In her statement for the work, Salem explains that she “is interested in both illuminating the fluid qualities of perspective through formal design elements, and also in engaging with ideas about perceptual agency for both the performer and audience member.”


    K. Vuletich

    In Unseen, K. Vuletich exhibited a series inspired by her work at Urban Peak, a local homeless shelter for teens. For this body of work Vuletich spent time interviewing some of her clients, crafting mixed media portraits and using found objects to represent their stories and experiences. Talking about her process, she explained “Mimicking the work of early Pop artists, such as James Rosenquist, I juxtapose text and images to re-contextualize. I examine the seemingly mundane by isolating and reframing un-noticed details of everyday life. Incorporating trash and found objects, I aim to re-purpose and create somethings beautiful and compelling from something that would otherwise be unwanted waste.”



    Allie Sutterer

    In her project proposal – Everything I Know – for the Create Award, recipient Allie Sutterer explains: “Sewing is a skill passed down to me through generations of family members. In this exhibition, I use an inherited skill to not only mark and change images of childhood, but also cherish and reflect on the ideas my family lovingly passed down to me as fact.” Her childhood photography, thread, embroidery and framing come together to assist Sutterer in her exploration of how we restructure what we were taught as children into what we have come to know as adults. By veiling portions of her original childhood photographs with carefully composed embroidery and matting, she forces the viewer reflect on how their own childhoods and the evolution of their beliefs.


    Autumn Thomas

    Autumn Thomas’ series Prevails Unpoetic is a self-fulfilling prophecy; a collection of sculptures, developed through mindful dedication and a willingness to modify her original plan of action. In her artist statement she writes “These sculptures offer a dynamic view of the seemingly impossible: the bending and balancing of an assumed rigid structure. This unexpected placement and balance are the essence of survival – the impetus on which survival thrives.” In her six-month residency, Thomas’ sculptures changed from a means to house prints, into singular objects which stand as the works themselves. She uses kerf-cuts to manipulate the wood, giving her the control over a normally inflexible material. The results are beautiful evidences of transformation and change.



    Samantha Manion

    UCD alumnus Samantha Manion combines painting and quilting to create set-like installations. Her work is focused on inherited family tradition, utilizing lessons taught to her by her mother to draw meaning in her practice. In her artist statement for the exhibition, Manion explains “My great Grandma Concha made abstract artwork decades before the Modernists. She sewed blankets and quilts exclusively from found materials (scraps). Her patterns varied from tight and controlled to organic shapes that she had pieced together. These quilts were the first abstracts I ever studied. My hands would smooth out over the quilt feeling the wrinkles in the lace, velvet, and sequined fabric. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized these were no longer just functional objects, but instead an entity with sensuous form and no fear of color…I was taught by my mother to quilt and she was taught by her mother.”


    Brigitte Thompson

    Brigitte Thompson, an alumnus of MSU, developed her series Primary. With a plan to explore race and identity, Thompson continued to experiment with her artistic practice throughout the 6-month residency. Through this experimentation, she discovered the need to build on previously learned skills. She explains in her artist statement, “Having focused on identity to fuel many creative endeavors in the past, in Primary, the artist chose to make a body of work that diverted from her usual subject matter to tackle something that would assist her in better expressing herself in future artistic projects.  What results is a series that is more about practice, and less about theory.” The work she is exhibiting in Diverging Paths is the evidence of this diversion; a series of paintings exploring the possibilities of magenta, cyan and yellow.