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Artspace in Richmond, Virginia facts for kids

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artspace
2016-07-25 1731 artspace logo.png
Formation 1988; 36 years ago (1988)
Location
  • Richmond, Virginia

Artspace in Richmond, Virginia began in 1988 and is a non-profit, artist-run 501-C3 gallery and performance space currently located south of the James River in the Manchester area of the city at Zero East 4th Street in the art complex Plant Zero. The gallery began as Artspace 1306 in a donated, rent-free space at 1306 Cary Street in Richmond's historic Shockoe Slip. Upon the loss of its free space, the gallery moved to North 18th Street in Shockoe Bottom, retaining its original name of Artspace 1306. The gallery's next move as Artspace 1306 was to a much larger building at 6 East Broad Street in Jackson Ward, and the name of the gallery was changed at the request of the Richmond post office to Artspace, removing its former street number to prevent confusion at the new location. Artspace was the first of the Shockoe Bottom art galleries incorporated as non-profit organizations to locate on Broad Street, and it became an anchor gallery for Richmond's First Friday Art Walk and a popular and long-lasting venue for the Arts and Cultural District formed for Broad Street and Downtown Richmond.

Early history

Drawing membership from the Richmond Artists Association, the Richmond Printmaking Workshop, the local branch of the Women's Caucus for Art, and artists allied either as exhibiting artists, faculty, or students with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, the first organizational meeting of Artspace was held at the home of artist Henrietta Near and her husband, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts curator Pinkney L. Near, in Richmond's Fan District. The gallery opened soon after in 1988 as Artspace 1306 in Richmond's Shockoe Slip. The gallery name reflected its location at 1306 East Cary Street in "The Slip." The name Artspace 1306 was retained when the gallery relocated in Shockoe Bottom on North 18th Street and incorporated as a 501C-3 organization. Limited by the small size of their rental space, flooding of galleries in the "Bottom" before construction of the Richmond flood wall, and absence of parking space for overflow crowds, Artspace 1306 moved to 6 East Broad Street in Jackson Ward. At the request of the U.S. Postal Service Artspace dropped the former street number from its name.

Artspace 1306 T shirt
vintage T shirt

Around 2000 there began a membership split at Artspace over the location and uncertain future of the gallery, and the majority of Artspace members at Artspace on Broad voted to move to Plant Zero in the Manchester, VA area of Richmond south of the James River. Six dissenting founding members and supporters of Artspace remained at the Broad Street location of the gallery and incorporated a new non-profit gallery which they named art6. The original six members held an organizational meeting at Café Gutenberg in Shockoe Bottom, inviting new members for the Broad Street location. The lower-case "a" eventually evolved into the name as Art6 or Art 6.

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