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Serivce-learning through printmaking in the Roaring Fork Valley, CO since 2015.

Carbondale Creative District

Reina katzenberger

January 2024

Featured Creative Interview

Local artist Reina Katzenberger is a busy woman, with several irons in the fire. She lives and breathes creativity. We were delighted to get a glimpse of what generates her artistic momentum.

Can you give us a brief overview of your career or life path as an artist?

“I was raised in an active community of artists, thinkers, educators, and creators. From a young age, being an artist felt more of a way of life than something you did. I am an artist who teaches, an artist who makes dinner, and an artist who votes. Professionally, I have not pursued commercializing my artwork, but have been more excited by finding ways to engage different demographics—feeling the inspiration of different perspectives and life experiences working together. I am grateful to be able to say that success for me looks like sharing knowledge, techniques, and opportunities—supporting people being creative.”

How would you describe the multitude of (amazing) creative endeavors you have going on and what you are working on right now?

“I am working on leveraging strengths and collaborating. There are amazing organizations in the valley doing specific things really well, so I am focusing on collaborating and collectively pooling resources to work together to serve our community. We have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and energy already working towards creating amazing artistic opportunities. I want to celebrate that, learn from it, and give back.

Right now, through Feb 2, I am hosting ‘art in process’ at The Art Base in Basalt, where the gallery becomes a public space for conversation and creativity. This year’s installation focuses on What does it take for a community art center to thrive? and is a celebration of what we can achieve together when people show up. I will be present each day (Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 pm) to support both individual and collaborative art-making in a safe and welcoming environment. I am also diving into facilitating this year’s Creative Apprenticeship Program by Carbondale Arts in collaboration with The Project Shop’s ReWear Upcycling Initiative. We are digging into the creative process, design, and production of a fashion line for this year’s Green is the New Black Fashion Show. This is a collaboration between teenage apprentices, teaching artists, and community members of all ages showing up to help share knowledge and produce a killer line, exploring the concept of Future Fashion.

Receiving the 2023 Arts in Society grant for our Community Service Print Projects was instrumental in feeling like these types of projects were feasible full-time. Launching as a non-profit formalized our mission. We are a creative incubator and hands-on learning production facility, providing arts education through service-learning print projects, empowering student-artists to share their voices on critical issues, fostering conversation and community engagement. I love the projects—students and community coming together and collaborating at the Project Shop.”

Your space is at SAW, which is a cornerstone of the creative community in Carbondale. Can you paint a picture of your space and tell us why your space and SAW are important for Carbondale?

”The idea of the Project Shop really started with wanting to creatively problem solve the question, “What is your project?” and have the resources, equipment, and community engagement to manifest those ideas.

In 2016, a perfect location opened up at SAW (Studios for Arts + Works) which is a collaborative space for creative professionals and professional creatives. There is no formal structure to SAW, other than a building, which means it really depends on the people there to make it what they want. This type of collective community making—without any external or top down mandate—is a unique opportunity. We each make it what it is, some seasons are quiet, some crazy, but it affords us the chance to support each other and see all of the different ways to be and create as artists and makers.”

You seamlessly blend your creativity with social/community issues in such an approachable and accessible way. Can you tell about this approach to your work and what inspires that approach?

”I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I basically regard the creative process as a collective force for a better future.

Feeling safe enough, and trusting oneself enough to express something, sounds simple, but I think it is revolutionary, in that it’s integral to a strong and healthy society. Students who find their voices tend to actively listen, participate, share, and see their lives as part of a larger system. When we engage this way, we become better citizens. We consider our well-being dependent on each other's well-being. Small steps in this direction are sometimes all we have, but each gesture begins to make real the truth that we belong to each other. In my experience, when students are invited to engage through making art, they no longer feel outside of issues they care about, but respected actors, activists, and artists.”

Find more about Reina and her work at and/or follow her on social media and

‘art in process’ interactive installation, 2024, The Art Base, Basalt, CO