The D’Art Center is moving to the NEON District, it will be announced today.
They will be taking up two floors of the Duke Grace Building at 740 Duke Street. Across the street is the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio. Catty-corner is the Chrysler Museum of Art. What an inspiring concentration of art, artists, and the people who love them.
“We’re excited to move to the arts district because, as Norfolk’s art center, that’s a good location for us,” said Carolyn Phillips, the executive direct of D’Art. “We feel like we can contribute a lot to the burgeoning art scene.”
Phillip Decker, whose family owns the building, agreed.
“I think it’s a win-win-win,” he said. “You’ve got D’Art Center where it should be. To use an over-used term, that corner is going to be so activated now. It’s almost like a one-stop shop.”
This news has been a long time coming for the 40 artists who have been without studio space since the explosion at Selden Arcade.
“The D’Artists have a home,” said Decker. “We’re stoked. Everything is going to happen fast.”
If all goes according to plan the lease starts February 1st, but the artists should be able to move in after a City Council vote on Tuesday to approve special funding for two years that will match the City’s current support for D’Art.
Personally I see this as a great day for art in Norfolk, for reasons I listed in this column. What could be more inspiring for working artists than to be a paint splatter away from one of the finest art museums in the country? And what better addition to the NEON than what it has needed the most, more working artists?
The NEON District community is ready to embrace D’Art with open arms.
“It’s awesome that we get to welcome D’Art to the NEON District, exactly where they need to be,” said Careyann Weinberg, venue director of Work | Release. “They are the OGs of communal art studios in Norfolk and I’m excited to have them as neighbors. I’m certain a change of scenery will bring new life and inspiration to the already amazing artist community.”
It’s getting to the point where lines between institutions in NEON are starting to blur just a little. The creative possibilities are infinite when everyone works together.
“The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio is very excited to have more artists creating in the neighborhood,” said Charlotte Potter, director of the Glass Studio. “We are hoping for lots of collaboration and cross-pollination.”