Redux Contemporary Art Center has been hard at work on an expansion since announcing their plans last year. A week out from completing construction (knock on wood), Executive Director Karen Ann Myers gave us a hardhat tour of the new facilities.
The project marks a big step for Redux, which started back in 2002 as a small collection of artist studios in an old piano warehouse. By expanding to the building next door, which formerly housed Sucker Jeans and a recording studio, they now have space for more studios (35, to be exact), galleries, and workshops.
Upon entering the original building, visitors will now be greeted with a lobby, which was formerly used as a small gallery. Myers says this will help to make the space more welcoming and less intimidating. A doorway leads to the large, brightly lit main gallery space, which used to house several artist studios. The rectangular layout is more intuitive than the former gallery space, which Myers described as similar to the shape of Oklahoma.
In a large room to the left, a big press still stands waiting to be moved next door. The space will soon be used just for classes and workshops. When we visited, a handful of kids were learning how to create stop-motion animations.
To the right of the main gallery, artists like Karin Olah and Marshall Thomas work in their private studios behind canvas curtains. The hallway leading to their spaces will be used as a year-round, rotating gallery just for studio artists. In the very back of the building sits the darkroom, which is the only public darkroom in town.
The biggest changes have taken place in the building next door. Upstairs, small, medium, and large studios will provide quieter, more private workspace for local artists who pay to rent their space by the month (costs range from $200-$450/month). Downstairs, the printshop — which offers everything from letterpress to blockprinting to screenprinting, will be able to spread out in the middle of the large space. In addition, more studios line the perimeter of the room.
Redux is just over a week out from the opening of their next exhibition, Social Velocity, featuring works by Joseph Labate and Ryan Mandell. By that time they hope to have the dust cleared, the tools put away, and artists settling into their new spaces. Be sure to stop by on Aug. 5 to see what they’ve been working so hard on.