Co-Lab Projects is an artist-run nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources, education, and exhibition space to artists that produce contemporary works of art, installation, and performance. Through collaboration and engagement, Co-Lab Projects encourages artistic exploration and dialogue within the community.
Sean Gaulager co-founded Co-Lab Projects in 2008 with Leslie Moody Castro and Amanda Winkles as an artist-run exhibition space focused on exhibiting works in new media, installation, performance, as well as collaborative projects. Gaulager then directed the space and its many volunteers as an artistic experiment from 2009-2011 until two new administrators, Austin Nelsen and Chris Burch, committed to forming a Board of Directors and filing for non-profit status. The formation of the board led to a greater organizational strategy, an expanded curatorial vision, improvement of facilities, and the rapid growth of event attendance, supporters, and volunteers.
Since its inception, Co-Lab Projects has produced over 220 exhibitions showcasing hundreds of local, national, and international artists. In addition to its primary programming, the organization established revered gathering spaces for community building, facilitated open critiques, provided free educational programs, participated in local, national, and international festivals, events, and collaborations.
Co-Lab Projects has continually sought new avenues in order to engage with larger and more diverse audiences. From 2012 to 2015, Co-Lab Projects curated a gallery space inside the downtown architecture firm Nelsen Partners. This space provided an opportunity for artists to exhibit and sell their works in a more formal setting. In 2013, Co-Lab Projects produced a massive exhibition in an empty building shell as part of the Texas Biennale. This site would eventually become DEMO Gallery, where Co-Lab would operate from the spring of 2016 through the fall of 2017 and present some of its most developed and highly produced programming to date.
Expected to open a new venue in 2018, Co-Lab Projects is nearing its 10 year anniversary and is just getting started. The new site will provide space for the organization to resume its regular roster of programs, offer studio spaces to artists, collaborate with arts organizations, further realize its administrative capabilities, and continue looking towards a more sustainable future.