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get out of making his artwork accessible to a variety of customers. The flat surfaces are straightforward to frame and more readily translate into prints than canvas artwork. Bolstered by this renewed enthusiasm for creative expression and a natural business savvy, Salazar strode into adulthood, not as a horticulturalist but as an artist. “It was kind of scary to me and definitely to my parents,” he said while laughing.

benefits offered by the new locale. As one of the Downtown Artery’s in-house artists, he networks with local businesses and interacts with visitors to the gallery. As he establishes himself as an artist in a town with a flourishing art scene, Salazar is learning to channel his creativity toward more intentional productivity. With upcoming shows on his calendar, his once impulsive style of working has become more structured.

“It pushes me to try different things — things I wouldn’t do.” Soon after, Salazar and Kat, his girlfriend of seven years, moved to Fort Collins. After several visits to Colorado, Fort Collins’ abundance of outdoor adventures, craft brews and its laid-back lifestyle drew the young couple in. Salazar’s fledgling career began to thrive, and after six months of working from home, he moved into a shared workspace at the Downtown Artery. Here, in a bright room just off the main gallery, he revels in working beside other artists and enjoys the more tangible

“I’m always thinking ahead,” he says. “They (the Downtown Artery) like us to have at least one new piece for First Friday. And now, I’m thinking about the show in September. It pushes me to try different things — things I wouldn’t do.” Fortunately, he says, “I think change is a great thing.” Stacey McKenna is a freelance writer and yoga instructor in Fort Collins. You can follow her on twitter at @mckenna_stacey or email her at

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Mind+Body September 2015  
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