Monday, May 05, 2008

From Office to Art

There are so many crappy office buildings in midtown, it would be a nice to see more of this.....turning boring dead office buildings into vibrant much needed space for local artists.

Perfectly located one block over from the 20th Street madhouse on 2nd Saturdays.
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From midtown office complex to artists' showcase
By Bob Shallit - bshallit@sacbee.com
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, May 5, 2008

A down-on-its-luck midtown office complex is about to become an arts incubator where local artists can work, mingle with their fans and – ideally – make lots of sales.

Downtown art gallery owner Barry Smith has leased the two-story building at 2110 K St. from property owner Thomas A. Roth – and is busily subleasing studio space to painters, photographers and sculptors.

"I thought at first I'd have to build it – and then they would come," Smith says of his Sacramento Art Complex. The remodeling work's not finished but he's already leased nearly all of his 20 or so available offices.

Among the tenants: Noted landscape and dragonfly painter Steve Memering – whose image of Sacramento's skyline will be part of the building's signage.

Memering is taking a prominent space at the building's entrance and will paint "right in the front window six mornings a week," says Smith.

Another prominent tenant is Vicki Asp, known for her lush, impressionistic California landscapes.

Smith will occupy the largest office suite, where he'll display and sell artworks by renowned landscape painter Gregory Kondos, the late cityscape artist William Tuthill and others. It's the same mix of art – along with framing services – that Smith carries at his downtown location at 1020 11th St., which will remain open.

The new gallery is set to debut Saturday during this month's Second Saturday festivities.

"People will stroll in … and immediately be in a maze of fantastic art," Smith says. "It'll blow their minds."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The operative word in your piece was "madhouse". Last month's Second Saturday was gridlock, requiring crowd control and traffic control by the police. It was mayhem, and the galleries were so packed that I couldn't appreciate any art for fear of getting trampled or having my wallet stolen out of my pocket. Do we *really* need one more gallery smack dab in the midst of it? It sure would have been nice to have it a few blocks away to thin out the crowds.

wburg said...

Once again, it's time to turn "Second Saturday" into every Saturday...distribute some more of that crowd into every other weekend.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

I mean "madhouse" in a good way. I love packed streets. It's only one day a month and living in a city center, you have to come to expect large crowds from time to time.

I think the crowds a couple weeks ago were a due to a bit the weather being the first absolutely perfect weekend evening coming out of Winter, so that drew even more people out. I imagine this weekend will be packed as well.

With regard to location, I'm big on synergy with business feeding off each other, so I think it's a great place.

As an artist, I would want to be right in the middle of the action where I would get the most foot traffic to show my work.

There are galleries around that don't even open on 2nd Sat because they are the only ones for a few blocks, so people don't make their way over. For me, if I can go to 5 galleries within a couple blocks, instead of just one, I'm going to the place with 5.

Considering he has sub-leased out all the spaces, I hope property owners or someone else like Smith takes this idea and rolls with it somewhere around where there are crappy offices buildings sitting empty. It seems the demand is there, at the right price.

As for every Saturday, all "Second Saturday" is marketing.

In order to bring more people out other weekends, galleries need to do more letting people know that "Second Saturday" isn't the only day to come on out.

At this point, I don't see it changing soon though. The "special event" feel of it draws a lot of the people out.

wburg said...

After taking a little time to digest the story, the unspoken subtext appears to be that there is such a surplus of small office space in midtown that the price point is low enough to make art galleries reasonable, as long as the art isn't anything too risky.