We had the good fortune of connecting with Bliss Coleman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bliss, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
The amount of layers and realities to the art market. There are many types of galleries and ways to immerse yourself in the arts.
Being an artist takes time and practice as well as not taking your mistakes too seriously. I think most people have little idea on how to get started when the reality is all they need to do is literally start making art.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is the intersection where art meets business. I have always been a creative type and there have not been a day in over 15 years where I have not made something. I was working as a Visual Retail Merchandiser for Ann Taylor out of college but found I love it really loved floral design. That’s how I found the arts district I work now, I ending up working in a floral shop right here in our now arts district, that was 12 years ago. At that time the Arts District was more at its conception and idea phase. I became a volunteer for the organization and was there when it became an official 501c3. Of course I believe timing is everything and it was just not the time for me. So I left and actually didn’t return until fall 2018. I came in as a working artist and volunteer. Art is my life and I genuinely in like people! I think the coolest part of stepping in as a volunteer was that there were no expectations. So I was able to grow with the organization and invest the time I wanted. I was quickly taken under the wings of galleries and art advisors and that mentorship helped us sell all the work on the walls for more than one exhibition. In 2020 I became the executive director. By Dec 2020 we became designated by the state of Colorado as an officially one of Colorado arts destinations. The best part about my work with the Aurora Cultural Arts District (ACAD) is loving what I do. I genuinely love my day to day. Creating along side other artists and amazing people from all over the world who also love art, well it’s better than I ever expected. None of this was easy and even today there are challenges. However if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth it either, small wins and the bigger picture is what’s it’s all about.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Starting at the airport- aside from the permanent art there’s always art on display throughout various terminals in DIA. It’s absolutely worth checking out. Public art is all over the city so I would be sure to take the scenic route before ending up in the Aurora Cultural Arts District. Lunch is almost hard with such amazing options like Baba and Pops and of course the Mango house home to Urban Burma and many other culturally authentic restaurants.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I never alone, beside me is an amazing community filled with strong leaders and organizations. I would never be able to do what I do without this community at my SIDE! Fellow artists/art mentors who continue to move touch and motivate me to keep going; Stephanie Yassi, Shima, Vero, Mike, Suzanne, Baker Thomas and so many more! Organizations that show up for one another and work with us; DAVA, AEOC, BACA, Vintage Theater, APS, and the list keeps going! There would be no way to even come close to getting this far without each and everyone of them.

Website: Www.Auroraculture.org


Twitter: Aurora_culture

Facebook: Aurora Cultural Arts District

Other: My IG is @foureverbliss

Image Credits
Amy Cheslin AIPP, & acad staff

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