Just three years after Art Space on Main opened its doors, the Stanislaus State gallery is saying goodbye to its home at 135 W. Main St.
The trendy space began showcasing artwork created by Stanislaus State students and faculty, as well as professional artists, in September 2014. Now that the university’s lease for the gallery has expired, it’s time to move on, said Director Dean DeCocker.
“The owners of the building have some new people coming in, and really it was just the end of our time there,” he said.
Located in downtown Turlock’s Berg Building, which also houses Memo’s Cocina and Tequila Bar, the gallery’s now-former space has undergone significant renovation and restoration in recent years. The original hardwood flooring and brick walls have been reconditioned, and much of the new woodwork in the building was custom-built from the original floor joists, which were removed during seismic retrofitting.
DeCocker said that while the university is still hunting for the Art Space’s new location, he hopes the university is able to sign a longer-term lease while still remaining in the downtown area. Whether it will still be called Art Space on Main will be decided once a landing spot is chosen, he said.
“It could be called Art Space on First, or Third Street,” said DeCocker. “We like the name ‘Art Space,” since it fits everything we do there, but the second part of the name could change.”
DeCocker would like to see the gallery stay downtown so that more Turlockers are exposed to the talents of Stanislaus State students, which they otherwise would have never seen. Often, families walking to dinner at one of the restaurants on West Main peek into the gallery while waiting for a table, or those shopping at one of downtown’s many boutiques may stop in for some artistic inspiration, he said.
“In Turlock, the downtown occupancy rate is phenomenal, which is good for the city but hard for us when trying to find a new spot,” said DeCocker. “We could just go out and get a big, industrial building, but we want to be somewhere that’s easy for the public to come see.”
Since the gallery opened, over 11,000 guests have visited the space – a substantial number for such a small space, said DeCocker. At the new space, student artwork will become more of a mainstay and featured more often than at the current space, he added.
“For a lot of people, this might be the first place they ever see real art,” said DeCocker.
DeCocker hopes to see the university gallery find a new home by December, but there is no set timeline, he said, adding that it could take until summer.