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“Ghosts of Flesh Avenue” on view downstairs

Guest artist and honorary Biscaynito Amanda James Parker has installed her video homage to peep shows of yore in the storefront beneath ’57 Biscayne studios. More here, at the Good Arts Building website.

Seattle Sketcher features ’57 Biscayne Artists

It’s been a week of viaduct stories in the Seattle media, including a resurgence of interest in the old 619 Western building, as in, “Say, whatever happened to those artists?”  Bertha the tunneling machine, for whose vibrations we were evacuated from the 619 five years ago, will be burrowing under the old homestead later this month, just a few years behind schedule.

Gabriel Campanario, the famous Seattle Times Sketcher, interviewed and, of course, sketched, Jane and Libby last week and featured our story in his column on Saturday. Perhaps taking Libby’s point that it might be a good idea to go easy on the nostalgia for a particular building and support artists wherever they are, he prominently featured our present digs, the Good Arts Building.

Studio for Rent

UPDATE 4/13/16: This space has been rented. To be in the loop about upcoming opportunities, please join our mailing list.

We are looking to add a fabulously creative Biscaynito to our ranks this spring. Studio 211 is  available May 1; at 220 square feet, with 14-foot ceilings and one lovely exposed brick wall (which you can and may hang stuff on), it’s a bargain: $360 a month includes all your utilities and shared amenities like wifi, a kitchenette, a hallway gallery, a comfy and professional waiting area for your big-time visitors, and nice clean restrooms. There are lots of visibility-inducing events planned for the building this summer, and great neighbors who share information, expertise and marketing duties (and who are also super nice). Contact Jane for more information.

This space has a cute dutch door for an entrance!

This space has a cute dutch door for an entrance!

'57 Biscayne, artist studios, community

The lovely entrance hall, with a view of the yellow kitchen.

'57 Biscayne, Lily Solliday-Cheung, solliday-mason installation

Dog-friendly because dogs love art.

The Good Arts Building

On December 15,  2015, the building housing ’57 Biscayne (historically known as the Scheuerman Building) officially passed into the hands of Good Arts LLC,  a collaboration between four entities: artist Jane Richlovsky of ’57 Biscayne and the second-floor master lease holder of the building; Greg Smith of Urban Visions Real Estate; Steve Coulter, ACT Theatre Technical Director; and Cherry Good Arts LLC, headed by Cherry Street Coffee House founder Ali Ghambari. The group’s name pays homage the “Good Eats” cafeteria that occupied the building a century ago.

It seems every week brings a new story of artists or beloved small businesses being outpriced and displaced out of the popular, thriving neighborhoods they helped create. This unlikely alliance of an artist and developer is writing a different story, staking a claim in a corner of Pioneer Square to preserve and maintain commercial space for artists and arts-related businesses and to promote the cultural and economic vitality of the neighborhood.

Apparently we’re not the only ones hungry for a new story – here is some of the press coverage so far:

Puget Sound Business Journal

City Arts Magazine

The Stranger

Plans for the immediate future of the building include a commercial gallery and adjacent workspaces in one of the currently vacant storefronts, and a pocket craft retail space to be added to the second-floor lobby early next year. In late 2016, construction will begin on Cherry Street Public House in the corner and two adjacent storefronts.

In the longer term, the new owners plan to restore the basement to its historic role as a performance space. The Skid Road Show operated there from 1972 -1982, a jazz club during the 1940s, as well as less reputable enterprises (which the owners do not intend to revive). They will retain the second floor as affordable workspaces for artists and create additional ones as space becomes available elsewhere in the building.

The Good Arts Mission Statement
Given that artists, craftspeople, and creative businesses form the core of the historical identity of Seattle and, more specifically, Pioneer Square, Good Arts LLC endeavors to maintain that identity and promote economic and creative vitality through responsible real estate development.
Our mission is to preserve and expand the presence of the creative class in Pioneer Square by responsibly renovating and operating the historic Scheuermann Building specifically to supply affordable space for creation, promotion, and exhibition of a broad range of artistic endeavors.
We believe that economic development should include the creative class as its beneficiary as well as its catalyst. To that end, we also foster connections between, and promote the interdependent prosperity of, artists and other neighborhood businesses and institutions.

For more information see the Good Arts website.

above: New owners Steve Coulter, Jane Richlovsky, & Greg Smith celebrating the closing of the deal; not pictured is Ali Ghambari, who was visiting family in Tehran and thus unable to order a martini. (photo: Kara Kesler)

When Artists Get Together They Talk About Real Estate

As cities across the nation struggle with the displacement of culture by rising real estate prices, the conversation seems to be stuck on the idea of artists as hapless victims in this struggle. Biscayne founder Jane Richlovsky’s recent experience with a studio eviction and her subsequent attempts to be part of the broader solution led her to rethink the role of the artist as and economic as well as cultural actor.

Photo: Some 619 Western artists on their last night in the building. Courtesy of Peter DeLory