Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Story of Studio 2846: Part Two

This blog post is part of an ongoing series, Part One of which can be found by clicking here.

At that time, Wallace was living in Rockford, Illinois where he had converted a 950 square foot bungalow into a larger studio and living space. For some time now, the artist had been contemplating the idea of moving closer to the gallery in NYC, but feared that buying even a very small studio in Manhattan would cripple his finances.

Upon losing the Ruth Siegal Gallery, Wallace knew he needed to find a way around relying exclusively on galleries to show his work. He began toying with the idea of a studio and living space in Chicago, where he hoped he could afford to buy something with a little more room.

Wallace spent much of 1989 looking all over Chicago for a space. He explored over twenty buildings before he finally found what would become Studio 2846. Wallace would drive into Chicago from Rockford to visit a few building in one area during the day, and would return later, after dark to experience the area by night – how did it feel? Could he live there? Most, he recalls, were too intense or deserted by night. He kept looking.

At the time, Chicago’s Humboldt Park area was extremely troubled. Crime was rampant. “The area was dangerous, there’s no doubt about that. But it was inexpensive and the buildings, though deeply neglected, could be turned into anything if you had the guts and the vision. The potential just called out to me.”

One day, Wallace recalls, he made a right onto North Avenue as the sun broke through the clouds, illuminating a boarded up, grimy, yellow brick building. There was no for sale sign, but he turned to his friend – “I have to take a look at that place.” His friend shrugged. They went in.

Return soon to read the next installment of The Story of Studio 2846, or subscribe on the right to receive updates as they’re posted.

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