By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – The Arts Warehouse is an arts incubator space in Delray Beach for studio artists that also holds gallery exhibitions, visual art workshops, professional development opportunities, talks, and special events. After opening in late 2017, the space has been thriving, and has stayed active even during the Coronavirus closures.
Manager, Grace Gdaniec, hosted their first virtual version of their popular Art Walk on May 1st. It was a brief tour around a few of the works in VISUAL VOICES, the front gallery exhibition featuring the work of Ruben Ubiera, and Golden. As well as visiting three Resident Studio artists to see what they’ve been up to.
Gdaniec shared, “We are planning to do another video or online presentation for the June 5th Art Walk, as we continue to move as much as we can onto a virtual platform. We are fortunate to have such visually engaging content within our walls, with the resident artists and gallery artwork to be able to share online.”
In addition, she added, “We are looking at making the virtual experience a permanent feature of the Arts Warehouse based on the positive feedback and the potential to reach new audiences.”
As far as reopening Arts Warehouse to the public to visit in person, Gdaniec said, “While the Arts Warehouse hasn’t announced a reopening date just yet, we are actively discussing different safety precautions we will be taking when we do reopen.”
“There will be restrictions with the number of daily visitors allowed to explore Arts Warehouse at one time,” She said. “Luckily, we are a large space which allows for ease of distancing, but keeping the number of people low initially will help with the transition.”
As far as programming at the Arts Warehouse, Gdaniec said there has been a lot of thought and discussion with instructors and staff to see what is feasible in order to begin scheduling workshops. With the flexibility of having such a large open space, they feel they would be able to hold classes with proper separation between participants.
“For example, they have the ability to allow each person their own table,” Gdaniec said. “There would be a limit to the number of attendees for workshops to a smaller group than may have had in the past. We will keep the public informed as we finalize the safety precautions for workshop attendees and visitors, and a reopening date.”
The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) refurbished warehouse is located on Artist Alley in the Pineapple Grove district. The 15,000 sq. ft. space is intended as a catalyst for economic development and growth within the Pineapple Grove Arts District and the community as a whole.
At the time Delray Newspaper reported the CRA project had been in the works since the agency purchased the space to convert into an arts incubator in 2010. The warehouse was purchased for approximately $1 million, and the agency dedicated an additional $2.6 million to build the space out.
Gdaniec shares today, “It’s been an exciting journey since opening in December 2017. There has been great momentum building over the last two years establishing Arts Warehouse as a hub for contemporary art and education, especially as we welcomed in 2020.”
“The positive momentum can be seen in the full and bustling resident studio artist hallways. The energy of the dozen or so creative minds working in their studios and teaching classes and workshops, along with the affiliate artists, makes the building come alive.”