The Downtown Fort Collins First Friday is a years-long tradition that aims to cultivate a meaningful art experience, showcase local artists and create a network of people who appreciate the impact that art has on a community. Weird Haus, an experiential art gallery party hosted for the first time this past First Friday at The Lyric Cinema, takes this experience to the next level.
Weird Haus was meticulously curated to be a multi-dimensional experience, which included live music, a pop-up gallery and shop, food and drinks, interactive art installations and a large projection screen with psychedelic visuals.
The mission of Weird Haus is to create a fun, communal way to consume art and support the work of local artists. With over two years of curation experience, Weird Haus creator Terrah Schultz came up with the concept in hopes of giving the art community a more wholesome platform and art lovers a more accessible experience.
“The entire initiative was to throw local shows that were really artist forward, and our first priority was to make sure that bands got paid, and they got to be a part of an event that really took care of them rather than the bands catering to the venue,” Schultz said.
One of Schultz’s main concerns when it comes to putting together shows is to make it a stress free experience for the artists so they have a space to feel motivated to continue creating and sharing their work. Part of doing this, according to Schultz, is encouraging the community to step outside of their comfort zone and experience something new, even if they aren’t familiar with the artists or musicians at an event.
“I don’t think any amount of creation is in vain,” Schultz said. “So my platform (for people) to come and enjoy themselves, share their art, have it be celebrated and appreciated and enjoyed, is the entire reason that we create in the first place.”
I don’t think artists should struggle alone. I think we should succeed together and build each other up. … We couldn’t do it without the help of our friends.” -Indigo, co-curator and artist for Weird Haus.
Faith Johnson and Indigo, who preferred not to include her last name, curated and created the artwork at the event, which was all made from recycled materials. Part of their vision of the gallery was to create a weird, interactive experience where people could come and feel welcome to be as obscure as they want.
“As weird as we can get is really key,” Johnson said. “We love vibrancy and upcycling, just to show people you can make something beautiful out of free stuff. … Making the world much more vibrant and gooey and mind-melting is what we’re going for.”
The two have done art installations together in the past, and after collaborating earlier this year for a different gallery, they decided their collective visions melded well together.
The curators of Weird Haus can be found on Instagram:
Weird Haus– weird_haus
Terrah Schultz– @sunpools
Faith Johnson– @goodweird
“We’re always looking to new projects, to work together,” Indigo said. “I am a firm believer in artistic collaboration. I have said it many times before and I’ll say it again: I don’t think artists should struggle alone. I think we should succeed together and build each other up. … We couldn’t do it without the help of our friends.”
The way Weird Haus came together with such a positive response makes Johnson and Indigo enthusiastic about future endeavors. It also speaks a lot on the Fort Collins art scene as a whole and how supportive the community is of each other.
“Artists are nothing without their supporters and their friends,” Johnson said. “And I think it’s a matter of connecting on a genuine level with people, no matter what you love to do. I think there’s a camaraderie with Fort Collins because it’s a smaller town. … I think the hunger is there and the competition is really healthy too because we bring each other up.”
Elena Waldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @WaldmanElena.