Art For Art’s Sake (AFAS) Announces Building Plan

Art for Art's Sake announces building plan

By Wesley Young Winston-Salem Journal | Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 3:47 pm buildinglot



The space at Liberty Street and Seventh Street will be the headquarters of Art for Art’s Sake. The site is near the new art park in downtown Winston-Salem.

Art for Art’s Sake is giving itself a permanent footprint downtown with news that it will build a 14,000-square-foot building at the corner of Liberty and Seventh Streets.

Made possible by a gift from the Thomas J. Regan Jr. Foundation, the building will have three stories and consolidate functions of the organization at one place, with office space in addition to artist studios.

Harry Knabb, the chairman and chief executive of Art for Art’s Sake, said the foundation made the gift as a way to make sure the group “will be sustained forever.”

“It is awesome,” Knabb said. “It is going to consolidate all these things under one roof. It will be paid for, so that we can look 20, 30, 40 years in advance and not have to worry about anything.”

Knabb said the foundation gift amounts to about $5 million. Sticht Design Shop has been engaged to design the building, and Frank L. Blum Construction Co. will build it.

The new building is on a lot that Art for Art’s Sake purchased beside the arts park that the group opened earlier this year, called ARTivity on the Green.

Knabb said the new headquarters building should be “a modern icon for Winston-Salem.”

“We have been studying arts-based buildings around the world,” Knabb said. “The park is going to be the front yard of the building. It will all tie together. It will have a lot of glass, balconies, maybe a cantilevered extension. It will not be a square box.”

Art for Art’s Sake says its mission is to “build, educate and celebrate community through art.” The nonprofit group hosts a variety of special events and programs designed to foster the creation and enjoyment of art.

The new building will be the new home for the Red Dog Gallery, now on Trade Street, a gallery that showcases members’ work, and Studio 2, a studio for jewelry and other wearable art, now off Sixth Street.

The second floor of the new building will have the Unleashed Arts Center, which has programs for young people and other emerging artists, now on Sixth Street.

And on the one half of the second floor there will be 10 studios to give artists an affordable place to work.

The third floor will have the group’s boardroom, which can be rented out for other uses, and about 2,000 square feet that will be available for lease to an arts company. The idea is to have some ways to generate income to pay the heating and electrical bills, Knabb said.

The rooftop will come in handy too, Knabb said, for outdoor receptions and “the best view of Winston-Salem.”

Artists’ renderings of the building could come in January, Knabb said. The plan is to have the building’s grand opening in March 2017.

Gayle Anderson, president of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, praised the group’s efforts for doing more to boost Liberty Street.

“What they did with the ARTivity Park changed the whole character of Liberty Street,” Anderson said. “This is really going to add to it. As Trade Street has filled up real estate demand goes up and prices go up. We want to make sure there is a place in the arts district for artists.”

Knabb said that’s his thought too: “We don’t want a plaque on Sixth and Trade that says ‘This used to be the arts district.’ ”