Friends and Members,
On October 1st of this year, our one-year experiment of leasing 45 Main Street will come to an end. Our relocation from 19 Water Street had some very positive aspects including our partnership with The Art’s Desire, and increased visibility for the gallery.
Over the past year I’ve witnessed an increased level of foot traffic in downtown Torrington, the creation of the Five Points Gallery and the launching of Torrington’s “It’s Happening Here!” marketing campaign.
Yes it IS happening here – something that Artwellians knew in 1995 when Stewart Wilson started this arts organization at a time when visual arts organizations were all but absent in Torrington. Over the years we have kept the faith and at last the tiny shoots planted in 1995 are now trees beginning
to bear fruit.
The end of our presence at 45 Main Street was prompted by two things. First, the Main Street space was not sufficient for carrying out educational programming or administrative activities. Second, the cost of renting the space on 45 Main was prohibitive for Artwell at this point in its evolution. To address this situation, the Board of Directors voted not to renew our lease with the building’s owners.
As with all things, this ending gives rise to the beginning of something else. The Board has agreed to sign an agreement to move our operations to the former Morrison Hardware building on Water Street, 63 Water Street. This arrangement has been made available to us through the invaluable work of “Create Here Now,” a statewide project funded in part by ArtPlace America. Torrington is the second city in Connecticut to benefit from this grant. More information on Create Here Now is available through their website, createherenow.org/
In the Morrison building, Artwell will occupy most of the second floor, using the space for offices, educational programming, and artists’ studios. We will also have the first floor available to us for exhibitions, and public events coordinated in conjunction with other arts organizations such as the Desultory Theatre Club. We are going to make Morrison’s THE place for artists to create, market their work, and the public to enjoy arts events as well as get together and exchange ideas – all things that Artwell has been doing since day one.
I’m excited about our new space and the real potential for growth. We are all in this together and I’d love to hear any comments, concerns and ideas you may have. Please feel free to use our Artwell blog to share your thoughts with our community – artwellgallery.org/artwell-blog
Michael Yurgeles, Executive Director