Last month, Art District on Santa Fe unveiled a new look featuring the work of Look Listen’s Denver designers. Now, we want to offer you a little peek behind the curtain to learn more about where the redesign comes from, what the logo says about this art district and what more to expect from the arts organization. We spoke with Amy Dvorak, president of Art District on Santa Fe, for all the details.
Please share a little about yourself and your history with the arts and with Art District on Santa Fe.
My background is diverse but carries a common thread: communication, community, and nonprofits.
My appreciation of the arts began early. My first job at 15 was for a lawyer, whose wife was a gallerist, and after exposure to both, I quickly learned that law was not for me. I went on to earn a degree in journalism at an art school in Chicago, studied leadership, and became Editor-in-Chief of a trade magazine at an association, where a large focus was on membership and events. After moving to Denver in 2008, that experience intersected with my passion for modern design, and I became Editorial + Events Director at Modern in Denver magazine.
I co-founded Denver Design Week, then went on to become Executive Director of a non-profit foundation, where we raised more than $2M in less than a year to fund a drug trial that has helped save a young girl with a terminal disease in Boulder. Thereafter, I launched a couple startups and now manage communications at an architecture firm and write for Dwell.
I wear a lot of hats—all while running the Art District on the side in a volunteer capacity, which I’ve done for three years. I sleep at night knowing that our team’s efforts keep art accessible in Denver and enable creatives to continue living and working in this corner of the city that I love to call home.
What prompted Art District on Santa Fe to pursue a new logo? And what significance does the new logo hold for the organization?
The Art District on Santa Fe is one of the first two Certified Creative Districts in the state and packs a lot of history. However, in March 2016, the District went through a significant change, when the entire original Board of Directors turned over for the first time in a decade.
Since then, we built a new team, created a suite of events to improve community engagement and access, and developed promotional programs to help keep working artists in business. We’ve entered a new chapter and have a new story to share.
In addition, our design needed to align with those we represent. The Art District on Santa Fe neighborhood is steeped in Latino heritage alongside emerging artists, creative businesses, contemporary galleries, museums, and more. The past three years, we have been dedicated to authentically uniting the entire community, from showing Spanish-speaking movies during our Art on Film nights to organizing a Día de los Muertos celebration during a First Friday Art walk. This is more than a new logo—our rebranding unites our community’s rich culture and art, telling our story in a new light.
What was your vision coming into this collaboration with Look Listen?
Our vision was to walk away with an authentic representation of our story that would unite art and culture, while honoring our past and looking ahead. We represent so many interest groups from high-end contemporary galleries to street art, museums, ballet, international restaurants, emerging artists, cultural institutions, and many more. Our diversity sets us apart, and we envisioned an inclusive representation through a design that could endure the test of time.
Look Listen had their work cut out for them, and their clever, artistic adaptation of the Quetzacoatl—the god of arts, crafts, and knowledge—captures that essence, our community, perfectly.
How would you like to see artists and your audience to interact with the new logo?
We hope this new look will spark appreciation and curiosity for Art District on Santa Fe—the nonprofit—not just the street. We’re an all-volunteer team working hard behind the scenes, funded primarily through community support. I’d like for this fresh look to reinvigorate interest in the organization itself, for people to support our efforts in keeping art alive in Denver, and to get involved.
We’d love for it to inspire new artwork in the neighborhood, and to see folks wearing our new Art District merch, coming soon.
What element of the logo speaks to you the most, or is your favorite?
I most appreciate the subtlety of the artistic and cultural references. From the spray paint can as the feathers to the font, which was inspired by the Lotería game, the details tell an authentic story of the Art District on Santa Fe.
Are there any more changes of the horizon for Art District on Santa Fe?
Always! We’re thrilled to announce our first-ever office space within Wayfinder Co-op on Santa Fe Drive and to welcome our first full-time staff member coming on board. You’ll also see the face of a new president, who will be stepping in on March 1 when my term ends. And at the galleries, you can expect changes every four to six weeks when exhibits rotate. There’s never a dull moment in the Art District on Santa Fe.
The Art District on Santa Fe is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership organization—and anyone can join. We’d appreciate your support of the District by becoming a member at an individual, artist, or business level. We can’t do this without community support! And know that there’s always something happening in the Art District, every day of the week. Visit our events calendar to stay inspired and support local artists.