One art space is gearing up for a grand reopening, just one week after another art studio is being vacated. The island's creative community discusses what this means for the borough's growing arts scene. NY1's Tanya Klich has more.
An 80-year-old Stapleton warehouse is now an art studio, offering both work and exhibit space for rent.
This weekend marks the venue's grand reopening after a temporary shutdown. Owner John Salis says the plan is to foster the growing art scene that's right here on Staten Island.
"What we have here is more industrial — we want to see more action, more activity," Salis said. "As time has changed we have renovated the gallery, to accommodate for the new people coming to the neighborhood there is a need for gallery space and workshops and more classes."
The studio shut its doors in October for renovations. Salis says he wanted to transform the gallery into more of an interactive workspace.
One artist who hosts workshops says this helps the borough thrive.
"It expands the possibility of exposure and allowing people in the neighborhood and the various boroughs to know that Staten Island exists as an art community," said Patti Kelly, an artist who works at SIABC.
Salis says the studio is preparing to unveil "Obscure/Omitted," a unique exhibit featuring five local artists March 26.
"Depending on the artist, they may cover up aspects, hide things, or completely leave things out," said Raul Barquet, the exhibit's curator.
Creators of this exhibit also tell me they hope the redesigned art space and gallery events will bring a touch of SoHo to Staten Island.
"It does have more of that Chelsea, SoHo gallery feel, and we want to invite people to come out to the island to experience that," said Calvin Motte, Director of Operations at SIABC.
The reopening of the studio comes shortly after the abrupt closure of another art studio in St. George.
Deep Tanks shut down March 11 due to building violations. A director from Staten Island Arts says it's a major loss for the cultural community.
"At the moment we are trying to find homes for the producers and projects that were slated to happen at Deep Tanks," said Monica Valenzuela, deputy director at the local nonprofit.
Meanwhile, SIABC is still a work in progress, according to Salis. He plans to add an art supply and gift shop later this year.