This particular daydream is the culmination of a single years worth of standing on tables, jumping around waving my hands, dropping my proverbial pants, and generally making an idiot of myself in my local arts community. (There’s a back story here, but I can’t seem to find the link at the moment…) Long story short… very recently the local grey hairs who had been using the local community college’s art department as their own personal, long term, free rent, studio space, were asked to find the exit door (budget cuts…) In the explosion of grumbling rage that ensued, someone started a whisper campaign running around about creating an adult arts center to serve this community. It would be centered on providing individual studio spaces, classrooms for painting, ceramics, and drawing, (gonn’a plop ceramics right in the middle of traditional “Arts” disciplines), adequate space for an onsite gallery, and a specialized photo studio for art work, a basic computer lab, and a “general store” for needed supplies.
Are we dreaming yet? Well here’s the first choice... It’s the old office of the Sperry Flour Mill established in 1859. It’s a cozy 5050 square foot historic brick office building located downtown with a parking lot and located in a stalled out growth district along the waterfront.
What’s the price tag to buy our way in the door? Just $725,000!!! But wait there’s more… it’s old and there are oodles of things that need attention and fixing… lots of extra expenses… a hell of a way to try and scrounge up a bit of studio space.
Maybe this particular dream is too big, way too big... But WoW! If a community wanted to make a statement… here it is… Arts on the waterfront in Stockton.