Carolyn Pooler has been visiting The Gathering Place since 2011 when she first became homeless after a serious injury. She found herself immediately drawn to the Card Project because of her extensive art background and her cards quickly became a customer favorite. Carolyn was also one of the founding members of Art Restart; the Social Enterprise team appreciated her willingness to participate in a new program and her eagerness to work on commissioned projects. “It’s incredibly important to me that part of my earnings from what I create comes back to The Gathering Place. Every city should have a place like The Gathering Place.” Carolyn remarked. Carolyn is a truly experienced artist and has worked with multiple non-profits and public studios however she observes “TGP is the best studio, it gives artists the most freedom to explore and express what they need to.” It’s easy to see the impact Carolyn has made on the Arts Programs staff at The Gathering Place, and the inspiration and support that she provides to fellow artists.
Carolyn is a veteran artist in the Denver community and began to make her mark in 1975 in the street art world. Some of the stenciled pieces that she created can still be found throughout the Highlands area long past the time the sticky paint dried on those hot brick walls. She began to explore commercial art at the Art Institute, however, upon finishing her art was put on the back burner as raising a family took precedent. Eventually she found herself an empty nester, unemployed, and homeless and decided that now was the time to become a full time artist again. In 2014, three years after she began visiting The Gathering Place, Carolyn was awarded a scholarship to Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, where she is on the Presidents Honor Roll and is excited for what the next two years of photography and video work will bring. “I’ve been documenting this journey of poverty through videography, photography, poetry, and fine arts. As I leave this community, I hope to continue to support it in a different way through my art.” Carolyn says.