History and Mission
Mission: CPAC is dedicated to fostering the understanding and appreciation of photography in all aspects and genres through promotion, exhibition, and education.
We aspire to be the premier destination for the photographic arts and to benefit the Western Region’s photographic community by nurturing new talent, expanding concepts, generating skills, piquing interest, and contributing to a sustainable market for collectors and artists.
History: Today’s CPAC is the result of a merger between the “old” CPAC, founded in 1963, and Working With Artists, founded in 2001. This union of Denver’s two most established non-profit photographic organizations was completed August 26, 2011, and leverages the strengths and vision of the two groups to create a vibrant space for photographic exhibitions and educational programs.
History of the two original organizations: The Colorado Photographic Arts Center was founded in Denver in 1963 by Eugene Lang (Founder/Chair/First President), Jim Milmoe (Vice President), Glen Thrush (Secretary) and 12 others including Hal Gould, who would go on to become one of the region’s most influential figures in photography. CPAC’s initial gallery space at 1503 E. Colfax Ave was the first venue in the region dedicated to fostering the art of photography. From 1968-1972 it operated as a center-without-walls, something that was to recur several times on the organization’s history. Early Presidents include Dick Nosbisch (1978-1982), Glenn Cuerdon (Nov. 82-Oct. 86), and R. Skip Kohloff (Nov. 86 to April 2006). In 1998, Skip’s partner, Lisbeth Neergaard Kohloff, became Gallery Coordinator. Under their joint direction CPAC opened a gallery in Denver’s NW district, sharing space with the Carol Keller Gallery at Boulder & 15th St. from 1998 until the end of 2005. There, the Center organized numerous exhibits and lectures, seminars, and artists’ talks by notable photographers including Richard Misrach, Emmett Gowin, Patrick Nagatani, and Betty Hahn. Following Skip and Lisbeth’s retirement from CPAC in 2005, the organization continued as a center-without-walls until August 2011, when it merged with Working With Artists. In November 2011, Rupert Jenkins (President 2009-2011) stepped down as Chair to assume the position of Executive Director.
Working With Artists was founded in June 2001 by Marsea Wynne and Ursula Holloway. Originally located in Denver, it was created as a place for artists and workshop participants to gather, share ideas, and foster a photographer’s development as an artist through workshops, classes, and photographing retreats. Then and now, courses included technical and career development classes in traditional and digital media. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit in 2002. It moved to Lakewood’s Belmar district in 2004, and operated there until it merged with CPAC in August 2011. Like CPAC, WWA exhibited the work of hundreds of artists during its history; it is distinguished, however, by its extensive program of classes, workshops, and outreach programs. As a committed founder and volunteer director, Marsea Wynne was the driving force of WWA and eventually drew her first Director’s salary in 2005-06. In 2006 she resigned for personal reasons and to pursue other projects. At her request, Greg Cradick was named Director and Valerie Photogoddess Assistant Director (As of August 2013, Valerie continues to serve on the CPAC board of directors; Greg is an occasional teacher on the CPAC faculty). In addition to her WWA activities, Marsea also served on the board of CPAC for three years.
CPAC’s funding is provided by income from classes and workshops, annual membership dues, donations, and grants. CPAC receives major funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), Tier III. Sponsors include the Mathew Brown Family Fund, Denver Foundation, Ralph Nagel, Sue Cannon, and the David and Laura Merage Foundation. Limited edition prints are available to members joining at the $250 Collector level and above. As of August 2013, CPAC’s activities were led by Rupert Jenkins (Executive Director) aided by Sherea Spalding (Operations Director) and a dedicated crew of interns and volunteers.
For a complete profile visit the Giving First web site here
- CPAC Board, August 2012. Back Row, L-R: Micah Messenheimer, Kevin O’Connell, Evan Anderman (former Chair), Brad Knepper; Middle Row, L-R: Sherea Spalding (Operations Manager), Andy Lillie, Lydia Vanderberg, Carmen Wiedenhoeft, Rupert Jenkins (Executive Director); Front Row, L-R: Valerie Santerli, Carol Keller, Edie Winograde (current Chair), Erin McCarley (consultant). Photo: Evan Anderman. Not shown: Monique Crine.
CPAC Board of Directors, April 2011. L-R: Micah Messenheimer, Lincoln Phillips, Natalie Beck, Rupert Jenkins (Chair), Kate Donaldson, Christopher Perez, Monique Crine, Brad Knepper, John Davenport, Katy Taft (consultant), Edie Winograde.