From the moment you enter the Process Museum, located at the former Anaconda Mining Company headquarters complex, it becomes clear this is not an ordinary art museum.
John Wells, the executive director and founder of the Process Museum, says he's looking to showcase work that provides insight into the creative process.
"It's not about the history, or about how to make art," Wells says. "It's more about the mind of the artists while they make art."
Wells owns a medical equipment manufacturing company, housed in a small corner of this sprawling building, but he says art is his real passion. He traces that passion to Children Playing with Fire, by Rufino Tamayo.
“It was very disorienting and strange, and in my mind all wrong,” Wells says. “It, really, captured me, and from that point on I really began to look at art very carefully… I’m sort of addicted because of it.”
Wells says he’s interested in exploring what happens in the mind of an artist during the process of creation, and he’s not necessarily looking for finished masterpieces.
“Some of my favorite pieces in this collection are the ones that challenged me,” he says. “In some cases it’s taken me years to essentially fall in love with them, or to really understand them.”
Wells says art should be an “everyday part of life.”
He does not charge admission to the Process Museum, which is open to the public by appointment.