Friday, April 01, 2016
After a false start, SPACES gallery has unveiled its new location.
In late 2013, the nearly 40-year-old contemporary art space announced that it would be leaving its longtime home on the Superior Viaduct after selling the building. In mid 2014 it revealed plans to move into a former industrial building at W 29th and Detroit in Ohio City's Hingetown sub-neighborhood. By fall those plans had fallen through.
Now it's finally revealed where it will be going - and the move is a stone's throw from the one originally planned. SPACES will be going into a 9,300 square-foot space on the ground floor of the Van Rooy Coffee Building at 2900 Detroit Avenue, which was purchased by art collector/philanthropists Laura Ruth and Fred Bidwell last summer. At the time the Bidwells, who are also the driving force behind the Transformer Station a block away, said they would move into the third floor and lease the bottom two spaces to cultural nonprofits.
"The accessibility of this iconic building enables SPACES to continue bringing Cleveland the level of experimental artistic activity that a city of this size and sophistication deserves," said SPACES executive director Christina Vassallo. "It's a dream space to showcase contemporary art. The building's design - as a community resource and home for artists from around the world - is consistent with our aim to present stellar programming in an inviting environment."
The new facility will include classroom space for community engagement initiatives, artist workshop and studio areas, three galleries with 13-foot ceilings, and rooftop access with views of Lake Erie that will offer an ideal location for special events. John Williams of Process Creative Studios design and architect firm will do the interior and exterior design., was chosen for interior and exterior design.
The Bidwells have donated $150,000 toward the cost of the facility and are also financing the organization's mortgage at a below-market rate. SPACES has launched a capital campaign to raise $2,475,000 for acquisition, construction, furnishings and equipment, and program-related expenses, as well as $1,025,000 for the SPACES Future Fund - a cash reserve and endowment fund. So far, they've raised more than $1.4 million, including a $500,000 lead gift from the George Gund Foundation, of which $200,000 is a challenge grant, aimed at bringing new donors on board.
SPACES will cease operations at the Superior Viaduct location in November 2016 and hold the grand opening of the new space in January 2017.