Holding Space for Artists in Downtown
Vancouver’s Downtown Association has a long history of investing in unique public art to enrich our city center and create a place that is unlike no other in the world. In the past 10 years, VDA has invested over $350,000 in various art projects throughout our downtown.
When the pandemic struck in early 2020, Vancouver’s art community (like so many others) struggled to stay afloat. Multiple art studios and galleries in the downtown area closed their doors for good, buckling under the risk of an uncertain future. However, even in the best of times, artists and makers struggle to find sustainable solutions to leasing commercial space especially in the downtown area.
In its ongoing commitment to supporting the arts, Vancouver’s Downtown Association has created a unique and innovative solution to holding physical space for artists. Through a generous partnership with local business Menashe Properties, the VDA has worked to identify an underutilized space on the corner of 11th and Main.
The property previously functioned as a drive-through bank and has been affectionately named the Art Vault. Through yet another generous partnership, the VDA has collaborated with LSW Architects to convert the space into a community art studio for local art collective North Studios.
To partner with local leaders and businesses to create a sustainable, thriving, multi-use art space that connects artists to each other and the community located on the corner of 11th & Broadway.
Born in the midst of the pandemic, North Collective Studios was created to facilitate the creation of art by providing affordable, safe and equitable creative space (both virtual and physical) for visual artists in Clark County, WA during a time when many artists were displaced. Despite the lack of a physical space to call home, North has worked to host virtual exhibits as well as physical shows such as the sidewalk exhibit at the downtown library and several showings at local businesses for First Friday.
The VDA is excited to collaborate with North Studios and house them as the first tenant in the VDA Art Vault.