The ArtsXchange project was created because as the popularity of the Warehouse Arts District (WADA) increased, property values increased making it difficult for artists to obtain reasonably priced studio and gallery space. In the summer of 2014, we began a capital fund raising effort with the goal of purchasing 50,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space. Private and public fundraisers were held which raised $350,000 for the down payment including a $75,000 donation from the City of St. Petersburg. In December 2014, WADA was able to purchase a compound of 6 warehouse buildings (as seen above) that will be renovated into affordable working studios, galleries, classrooms, a coffee shop and educational microbrewery and restaurant.
More than 300 artists (10% from outside Florida) have signed up in advance for working space in the ArtsXchange facility. St. Petersburg is developing a national reputation as not only an arts destination, but also a welcoming community for new artists to locate and open up shop.
Initially, approximately 11,000 square feet is planned to be built out into air conditioned, affordable studio space for artists such as photographers, painters, graphic artists, etc. including a large gallery space. Then in later phases, larger spaces will be created for metal workers, sculptors and other mixed media artists including offices, class rooms, more gallery space, and possibly a foundry, a recording studio, rehearsal space or a restaurant/micro-brewery. The Pinellas Trail runs alongside the compound as well and ideas are swirling around about creating an “Arts Gateway to St. Pete” with colorful murals and artwork and opening up trail access from the compound to neighbor, the Duncan McClellan Gallery's location, and to the Morean Center for Clay.
Your donations will help us change the trend of artists being priced out of their cities. Any contribution from $5.00 on up is appreciated. Every gift gets us closer to creating a vibrant and affordable arts community that benefits everyone!
As an added incentive to donate more though, we invite you to review our donation options. You could realistically have a gallery named after you!
Learn more about the ArtsXchange in our video...
The Warehouse Arts District covers about 1.5 square miles and consists of over 20 member art galleries, studios and warehouses with the boundaries of 1st Avenue North to 10th Avenue South and 16th Street to 31st Street. To get an idea of the big picture. Here is a map of the district with venues pinpointed and the ArtsXchange highlighted. Feel free to visit the district on Second Saturdays during ArtWalk or any day of the week. Our "Where to Visit" page tells you the times and locations of our member venues.