The Collective Loft | Buzz Blog

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Collective Loft

Posted By on August 3, 2009, 3:05 AM

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When it comes to artistic hives, the SLC area tends to be the hotspot for groups to gather up and set up shop in random buildings. But beyond the valley there aren't many who have the time or supports to make it happen. Just a bit to the north however, there is a group that's making waves in their community, giving some hope that the dream exists in the rural.

--- The Collective Loft has been going strong out of Farmington since May of last year. Perched above a Mexican restaurant in the heart of the city, a local group of creative minds and friends have taken up residence in their small space to give their city a focal point for entertainment beyond the average trip to Lagoon. I got a chance to chat with a few of the founding members (who for this interview chose to answer as a group) about the place and their thoughts on local art and entertainment. All with some pictures I took of the place, and special thanks to Canadian photographer Steve Louie (who just happened to be passing through town) for some extra shots.

The Collective Loft

http://thecollectiveloft.com/

Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

TCL: We are a group of friends joined together with a common goal. To create a network for artists, musicians, poets, free thinkers, and dreamers to unite! To support one another, To inspire and be inspired! And share our gifts with the world! The Collective Loft founders are Casey Kawaguchi, Skyler Thomas, Kalin Rackham, Cody Smith, Mao Kelly and Leanne Andersen.

Gavin: How did all of you initially meet each other and become friends?

TCL: Casey and Skyler became friends in high school. After being out of touch for a few years their paths crossed and they joined forces to work on Amicus Clothing. Everyone else met basically through friends of friends. For the most part it was working together on different creative projects that brought us all together.

Gavin: Where did the idea to start The Collective Loft come from?

TCL: Initially Casey and Skyler had talked about having a place like the Collective Loft where people could come and express their creativity. But the idea for the loft was really inspired by everyone. We all bring our own flavor.

Gavin: How did you go about planning it and how did you find the space for it?

TCL: Finding the space was simple. It was originally an insurance office across the hall from Casey and Skyler's apartment. When the insurance office moved out we moved in. So the space kind of found us. And as far as planning it goes, the place needed to be fixed up quite a bit. So we decided as group what we wanted to do with it. Then decided on a date to have our opening that we thought was do-able and got to work.

Gavin: I know you probably get it a lot, but why Farmington as a home base?

TCL: We do get it a lot. It's really a great location to have here in Farmington. There aren't really any spots like it in the city and it's something that we feel is much needed. It's also half way between Salt Lake and Ogden, so it works out pretty well that way too.

Gavin: Was it easy setting things up or did it come with its own difficulties?

TCL: It definitely wasn't easy. We had out date set for the opening and gave ourselves a little under a month to accomplish it. There was a lot of work to be done, but we were all determined. We all sacrificed sleep, our free time, and Skyler really put a lot of money into it. There were a lot of days running on 3 or 4 hours of sleep. But it was cool, we all worked together and got it done.

Gavin: What was it like for everyone when it finally opened in full?

TCL: Exciting! The opening night was really rewarding for everyone. It was a big feeling of accomplishment. Especially after all that we put into it during the month of preparation, it felt good to relax and enjoy what we had created together.

Gavin: You tend to hold a lot of events ranging from concerts to fashion shows. What are some of the events you've done over the year and have yet to come?

TCL: We've done local art shows, and we leave all the artwork on display for the rest of the month. We've had a lot of concerts mainly with local musicians. But we have been able to provide a place to play, and a place to crash, for a few touring musicians as well. We have held poetry readings, open mics, and movies nights. In the future we plan to expand on the things that we've already done. We all work day jobs, but would love to see the space used during the week for yoga classes, art classes, recording space, whatever. It's perfect for it.

Gavin: What's the longterm goal of the Loft and what you hope to achieve both as residents and as a group?

TCL: Just keeping it going is the main goal. We don't really have a long-term goal for the loft. We're just having fun doing it. What we hope to achieve is to provide a special place where people in the area can come hang out and be inspired by all the local talent and creativity.

Gavin: Are there any plans to expand beyond what you're doing now?

TCL: No plans. A few ideas maybe, but we're really just going month to month and seeing what happens.

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local art scene, but good and bad?

TCL: Overall it's good. There are a lot of young talented artists here in Utah.

Gavin: Same question, but this time on the music scene currently happening.

TCL: The local music scene is really good. Just in this area alone there are so many talented musicians. One of the best things about having the loft is constantly getting to hear great music. It's inspiring.

Gavin: One more time, but on local fashion and the way its been growing lately.

TCL: Local fashion in Utah is unique for sure. There are a lot of creative people here and it feels like it's really breaking loose. You have to give props to places like Model Citizen that fully support local fashion.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make any of these more prominent?

TCL: We hope that places like ours help by simply inspiring the creativity in people.

Gavin: What's your take on other collectives such as yours, like Captain Captain or Poor Yorick?

TCL: We've just recently learned about Captain Captain and Poor Yorick. It's very inspiring to see what they have going. Places like theirs definitely help promote Utah art in a cool way.

Gavin: Do you wish there were more places like yours around the state, or would there be a drawback to having so many?

TCL: I think it would be a good thing to have more places like ours in this state or any. How can there be a drawback in more self expression?

Gavin: What can we expect from all of you and the Loft the rest of the year?

TCL: More art shows, concerts, poetry readings, open mics. We have a lot of things we hope to do here in the near future. Hopefully, with support from everyone in the community, we can keep doing what we're doing.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

TCL: Tuesday, August 4th- Josaleigh Pollett & Jane Bruce. Tuesday, August 11th- Ashley Raines & Small Town Sinners. Saturday, August 22nd- Drew Danburry & The Awful Truth And since we've been given the opportunity! ...

-Amicus Clothing-
www.AmicusClothing.com
-Narwhall Records- Farmington, UT. 801-628-8108
-Sleepictures- www.sleepictures.com
-Small Town Sinners- www.myspace.com/smalltownsinners
-KiraMesa- www.myspace.com/kiramesa
-WeDropLikeBombs- www.myspace.com/wedroplikebombs
-Rescue Cadence- www.myspace.com/rescuecadence
-A Different Element- www.myspace.com/adifferentelement
-Ashley Raines- www.myspace.com/ashleyraines
-The Art Of Whimsy- www.myspace.com/theartofwhimsy
-Jeremy Ashida- www.myspace.com/jeremyashida
-Tasia Mist- www.myspace.com/tasiamist
-Stuart McCowin- www.myspace.com/stuartmccowin
-Gloves For A Tiger- www.myspace.com/glovesforatiger
-Spring Leaves- www.myspace.com/springleavesplanet
-The Champion Theory- www.myspace.com/thechampiontheoryband
-Drew Danburry- www.myspace.com/drewdanburry
-The Awful Truth- www.myspace.com/theawfultruthmusic
-Amir Jackson- www.myspace.com/amirjackson
-Hotel Le Motel- www.myspace.com/hotellemotel
-Josaleigh Pollett- www.myspace.com/josaleighpollett
-Rapid Fire Tollbooth- www.myspace.com/rapidfiretollbooth69
-ByNow- www.myspace.com/bynow00
-Solvo Pomum- www.myspace.com/solvopomum
-Chris Cullen- www.myspace.com/chriscullenmusic
-Achilles Formula- www.myspace.com/achillesformula
-Canary In A Coal Mine- www.myspace.com/canaryinacoalminemusic
-www.youtube.com/AmicusClothing

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