Find street art, local artists and cocktails at this Colorado Springs gallery and lounge
Welcome to Ultra Flat Black Gallery & Lounge, one of the only places in Colorado Springs serving up street art and cocktails.
Owner Don Dancy opened Ultra Flat Black Gallery in August 2022. The space, painted in graffiti by local artist Paes 164 and other artists from the Knob Hill Urban Arts District, is named for the deepest shade of black spray paint. It serves as a creative venue for street artists and performers, as well as a lounge to sit back and enjoy the artwork.
“I wanted, basically, people could come through and see graffiti everywhere,” Dancy said. “Because I think graffiti is a dope aspect of the art world that kind of gets slept on, or undervalued.”
The vision: a place where artists could create and showcase their work outside fine art gallery spaces.
“That was the whole ambition — just to get a place, a center for the arts for the community — not just a fine arts, but for the local artists that may do graffiti art or may do street art,” he said.
The gallery also hosts a new artist each month, welcomed with a First Friday show.
“As far as the artists, we’ve been getting a lot of good outreach from the community; they just heard about this place, and they actually come bring it to me,” Dancy said. “As it started to grow, people started to see it on the street and say, ‘Oh, I have art that I can think could fit in here.’”
The gallery hosts events throughout the week to highlight other art forms as well, including slam poetry nights, stand-up comedy, live music, kizomba dance classes and even adult spelling bees (how well can you spell after a few?).
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“We just try to give a stage for all artistry, whether it’s performing art or visual arts. It’s a space for the artists to come in and do their thing,” Dancy said.
“It’s jam packed and the vibes are just amazing and immaculate because of the intimacy of the room.”
Just like everything else in the space, the cocktails are another form of creative expression. The lounge recently switched to a craft cocktail menu and hosts bartending workshops to teach others about how to make a fun drink. Some of their most popular drinks: the Ultra Flat Black and the Y2K, Dancy said.
“We just try to switch it up and give the people some art behind the bar as well,” he said. “They come behind here and they curate up these fine, beautiful drinks, and it just goes with the vibe of the night.”
The response from the community, Dancy said, has been more than positive for the space.
“The responses have been more of ‘Oh, we’ve never seen a place like this, it just brings so much culture to the area,’” Dancy said.
As for the future of the gallery, Dancy wants to continue to grow the lounge as a hub for artists while keeping the space intimate.
“I want to curate a space that’s intimate. For bigger artists and local artists to come in here, to be able to network with those bigger artists and bridge the gap to the industries of whatever the arts may be,” Dancy said.