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Deb Groesser opened the Blue Moose Art Gallery and Gifts in Fort Collins as one part of a two-person team. In 2018, that ownership team grew to four people.
Now that ownership team is 21 people strong.
After nearly three years of ownership and at 67 years old, Grosser is ready to take a step back from her gallery, but not to step completely away. The solution? Open the opportunity for part ownership to anyone who may be interested.
“I sent an email out to all of our customers — we have a really large customer base — and to the artists, and I said, ‘Who wants to buy a gallery?’ Groesser said.
Customers and artists featured in the gallery reached out in support of ensuring the Midtown business stays in Fort Collins and on its feet. Although all the original owners wanted to preserve the gallery, closing was considered.
“We just needed to change it up,” Groesser said. “It is such a magical place and such a fun place to be. I love being here, but I can’t be here full time, like seven days a week like I’ve been doing for the past three years.”
Fort Collins Blue Moose Art Gallery owners and artists pose in the gallery. (Photo: Meredith Spelbring)
Customers step up to the plate
The gallery, which opened in October 2016 at 4032 S. College Ave., houses the artwork of nearly 100 local and regional artists and offers 20 to 25 art classes a month.
Groesser and her co-owners opened gallery ownership to the community in June, with hopes of lightening their own schedule.
The response, Groesser said, exceeded expectations.
“When we opened up our arms and said help, all these magical people fell out of the sky, and we joined forces and we are so much better together,” Groesser said.
All new owners made a “small” financial investment for an undisclosed amount, Groesser said. Owners who are artists in the gallery are expected to work three days a month, while owners who are not artists can choose to work but…