Monday, March 23, 2009

Artists Adopting Vacant Storefronts

This was an article in Daily Candy Philadelphia submitted by artist Christine Simeone. It's something to think about:

Artful Execution
Arts on South Rent-Free Artist Co-Ops
get artsy!

You wanted to be a novelist; your parents said “ad copywriter.” You thought you’d be the next Basquiat; they said “graphic designer.”

Reclaim your dashed dreams on South Street (of all places). Hoping to inspire a renaissance, nonprofit group Arts on South is asking those of the creative persuasion to remake the hood.

Here’s the deal: Rather than let empty storefronts suck up space, they’re offering the buildings to artists to use as galleries. All you have to do is show a modicum of talent, pony up the cost of utilities (no rent), and set up shop.

Take the leap yourself or attend gallery openings to support the ballsy effort. So far, they’ve had seven takers — from ecoartists to new collective St. March Gallery.

None of whom are squatting; they’re in real estate.

Gallery applications at Eyes Gallery, 402 South Street (215-925-0193).


Rich Fegley said...

As one of the owners of the Brew Works, I hate to see all of the vacant, dirty, sloppy front windows of many of the store fronts that surround the Allentown Brew Works.

This article talks about the artists taking over the entire vacant space. I would like to suggest taking over just the front window.

Clean up the window, add a backdrop and let the artists do their "thing".

Imagine walking around Hamilton Street looking for the vacant stores that are now amazing art displays. Eliminate the gates and bring on the art!

Please let me know if the Fegley Family can be of assistance.

Joyce Marin said...

This is the type of thing that can happen through Miriam Huertas and the Greater Lehigh Valley's Downtown efforts. She's got five dynamic committees, and at least one of them could adopt this idea. Are the artists game?

Mrs. Dottie said...

When I taught in the ASD the art teachers displayed student work in the vacant storefront windows. I believe we have discussed the idea of local artists displaying work in storefronts. Maybe if we get together with The Chamber, and The Arts Commission we can get permission to do this. I believe the Downtown Improvement District used to handle the student work displays.

Diane Teti said...

I would love to see this happen. Sarah and I were just talking about this the other day as I've been walking Hamilton St and getting all the merchants contact information.

I had sent a similar article to the AEDC and they did mention that the person who is purchasing the building across from the Brew Works mentioned the same idea to them.

I'd be happy to assist when I've completed my contact list for the Hamilton Street merchants.