Over two dozen artists are moving into newly constructed studios at the ArtsXchange (515 22nd St. South), a project of the Warehouse Arts District Association. The building houses more than 2,500 square feet of gallery, education and event space.
The idea for the studios came after realizing that rising property values in the area might price working artists out of the neighborhood. Together with their supporters, the artists formed the nonprofit Warehouse Arts District Association in 2012, hoping to create sustainable, affordable studios in the area. In 2014, the WADA purchased the ArtsXchange property on the site of the old Soft Water Laundry. Construction of the new studios began earlier this year. They are the first phase of a long-term plan to create even more artistic, educational and community spaces on the site.
Grand opening ceremonies will take place from 7pm to 8:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 26. The event is free and open to the public and includes studio tours, a gallery exhibition and remarks by Mayor Rick Kriseman.
An incubator for all forms of art
Inaugural tenants represent a broad range of artistic disciplines. Additional ArtsXchange tenants include Dazzio Art Experience, MGA Sculpture Studio and Soft Water Studios.
More than 400 artists (10% from outside Florida) have signed up in advance for working space in the ArtsXchange facility. St. Petersburg is developing a national reputation as not only an arts destination, but also a welcoming community for new artists to locate and open up shop.
For updates on the ArtsXchange and go to the Warehouse Arts District’s website.