Artspace Franklin Arts Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary
People roamed the halls of the Franklin Arts Center Thursday evening exploring the many artist studios that the building holds in celebration of its 10th anniversary.
“The building used to be a middle school that Artspace Projects Inc. converted into artists-to-live workspace and artist studio space,” said Erika Dani, Asset Manager at Artspace Projects Inc.
When the Brainerd School District decided to move their junior high school to a different location, they formed a citizens committee to figure out what to do with the Franklin Building. Instead of demolishing it, they decided to turn it into the Franklin Arts Center.
“After years of fundraising, mostly from our community partners and through our own organization, we were able to accomplish 25 artist live/work units and thousands of square feet of commercial and studio space for artists,” Dani explained.
Many different types of artists have their studios and workspaces at the Franklin Arts Center, ranging from painters, photographers, and woodworkers to architecture firms, yoga studios, and musician spaces.
“I have a little studio. I call it TR Scott, and TR Scott stands for “trust and respect”. That’s really what it means and I am here just to play music, to share music,” said Scott Schardin, a studio owner at the Franklin Arts Center.
“I’ve actually always wanted to be here. It’s just that this year there was a spot open and there isn’t enough awareness for the arts, and so this is a good way for people in the arts community to all be together and to share our art and our talent,” explained Andrea Voigt, who has her massage therapy studio at the Franklin Arts Center.
The artists who live and work at the Franklin Arts Center say there is something special about the building that has been a Brainerd landmark since 1932.
“There’s something magic going on in this building. I really believe that something spiritual, at least that’s what it’s about for me. I sit here and play, practice, write, sing, and people come and join me now and again,” added Schardin. “Different people come and we sing and play together and share music.”
Artspace’s mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and art organizations, and with the completion of the Franklin Arts Center ten years go, they have done just that.
The artists at the Franklin Arts Center are having another show in November that will be free and open to the public.