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Building’s Foreclosure Threatens The Stevens Square Center for the Arts!

Matt Wells and Eric Mattheis create a mural for The Stevens Square Center for the Arts at 1905 3rd Ave. So.

Matt Wells and Eric Mattheis create a mural for The Stevens Square Center for the Arts at 1905 3rd Ave. So.

By Trish M. Brock

Two artists worked on unusually cold October days to create a mural on the outside of the Stevens Square Center for the Arts without realizing that the building had been foreclosed by the bank.

2009 has been the most successful year to date for the Stevens Square Center for the Arts. The beautiful gallery space, transformed 6 years earlier from an essentially derelict building by a group of dedicated artists, presented the artworks of emerging artists from the city and the country in nine exhibits. Included was the “Neighborhood Show”, a non-juried exhibit that showcased the talents of artists from the Stevens Square Neighborhood and ran in conjunction with the annual neighborhood “Red Hot Art” event in the Stevens Square Park. 2010 promises to be another stellar year. Nine more shows have been chosen from twenty-three proposals including an open call show to high school students.

Located at 1901 3rd Avenue South on “Arts Avenue”, SSCA provides Gallery exhibition opportunities and affordable studio space for emerging artists. With sixteen artists-in-residence, the studios are rented at 100+ percent capacity. Many or our residents are MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) graduate students. Some run their art businesses from their studios. One of our residents recently returned from the International Alternative Press Convention in San Francisco where he was awarded the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-comics — the only award of its kind in the world. The house is packed every year with Zinefest attendees. Another of our alumni was awarded three prestigious awards for her book illustrations. SSCA has one of the only remaining darkroom facilities in the city.

SSCA is a 501 C 3 non-profit educational community arts center run by volunteer members/artists. People come from many parts of the city to be a part of our community here, a gathering place for artists and community members. Each year these artists have the opportunity to exhibit their artworks in the “Annual Member Show” along with the availability of the Members Gallery where they can show works throughout the entire year. The public is invited to attend the free art openings and everyone is welcome to attend the Gallery to view the artworks for free as well.

Following notice of the building’s foreclosure, we are exploring all options to preserve the Gallery and studios so they can remain accessible to emerging artists well into the future.

Trish Brock is Minneapolis Arts Commissioner for the 6th Ward, and Secretary on the executive board of the Stevens Square Center for the Arts. She is an exhibiting artist and has a studio at SSCA.

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Reader Feedback

2 Responses to “Building’s Foreclosure Threatens The Stevens Square Center for the Arts!”

  1. Phillips says:

    This article is missing some important information. The only reason given for foreclosure was that the bank did it. Why? The rest of the article gives the impression that the building is very successful. So why is there a foreclosure? Who was making the mortgage payments? SSCA? Were payments missed? If it’s successful and to capacity, why is there financial difficulties?

  2. Trish Brock says:

    The organization was in its 6th year of renting the building which had a 5-year contract with the bank. The bank did not renew the landlord’s contract. It is our understanding that the bank purchased the building at sheriff’s sale and intends to resell the building. The previous landlord may also reclaim his property.

    The organization itself is a successful non-profit community art center. SSCA will continue to rent studios and have gallery openings and exhibits. In several circumstances the organization may remain in its present space. Alternatives are also being looked into at this time. Thank you.

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