Movement is afoot at Art Works Downtown!
As we plan ahead to wrap up our longstanding building projects mandated by the City, a flurry of changes prompted us to make a number of opportune moves this and last weekend to jumpstart what we hope is the end of the construction. Some moves are temporary, some are permanent.
Behind Marin Jewelers Guild, four artists were asked to temporarily vacate while we fireproofed the ceiling in 1331. The work is wrapping up this week and the artists will enjoy a new ceiling and updated lighting when it is finished.
In the meantime . . . after years of planning, designing, and fundraising, a major project at the east end of the building finally received approval and we expedited a few moves in the building in order to accommodate some of the valued services in our building.
Some of the moves included: CB Follett, our own Poet Laureate, downscaling to one studio, which opened up an opportunity for a downstairs studio artist, Susan McCormick, to expand upstairs into the newly numbered studio 7. As well, at the same time her studio-mate vacated, Susan Searway decided to go solo and move into Susan McCormick's former studio 18.
In the east end of the building, fire and safety codes mandated that we reposition the stairway to allow people in the basement to exit to street-level Fourth St. This project, however, would affect the two anchor businesses on that side of the building: Framing Interiors and Sweet Spirit Ceramics Center. In order to keep the impact to their businesses to a minimum, we helped Steve Mack move his frame shop into the downstairs classroom for the interim so he could continue to operate. We also moved all our classes into Susan and Shari's former studio 24 in order for regular art classes to continue. And Barbara Stevenson's ceramic classes will share time between studio 24 and the Founders Lounge for next few months.
Two artists had also left at the beginning of the year which prompted some other moves. Phyllis Thelen was able to expand studio 12 into an adjoining space, to share with Wendy Lilienthal. And our board secretary, Marilyn Greenblat, moved into studio 8 upstairs.
This final stairway and entry project is expected to take a few months as we also wrap up all the other construction throughout the building. The AWD staff, artists, residents, business owners and the board of directors look forward to when the construction will finally be finished, and when the 2 levels of the art center in our 135-year old building become current with all the City's fire, safety, and ADA requirements.
For a current list of AWD studio artists, CLICK HERE >
For an interactive MAP of all the studios, CLICK HERE >