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, and 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. More recently Co-Lab has added a new director to its board, Vladimir Mejia, and established an Advisory Board to aid in administrative goals and organizational development.
Since its inception, Co-Lab Projects has produced nearly 300 exhibitions and performances 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 exhibitions inside the downtown architecture firm Nelsen Partners. This space provided an opportunity for artists to exhibit and sell their works in a professional 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.
In October of 2018, Co-Lab Projects purchased a .62 acre plot of land on Glissman Road and is currently developing a studio complex, gallery space, and outdoor performance venue anticipated to open near the end of 2020. While this complex is being designed and built, Co-Lab Projects will operate a gallery at Springdale General and will be programming outdoor exhibitions and performances at the Glissman Road property in collaboration with the curatorial collective Partial Shade.