Every small business faces its challenges. While the move from our beloved storefront is not an easy one, I see it as an opportunity to reimagine what The Studio Door can be. The support from the community, local artists and other arts organizations has been phenomenal. Its difficult to focus on any disappointment when there is so much love and encouragement to keep all of us at The Studio Door focused on what’s next. One (studio) door closes and another (studio) door opens. Hopeful for a bright future. More news to come.
– With gratitude, Patric Stillman • May 19, 2018
The Studio Door seeks out community assistance
San Diego’s cultural metamorphosis continues to struggle as North Park art gallery faces uncertain future
SAN DIEGO, California – May 18, 2018 – Local art center, The Studio Door has announced it is seeking assistance from the community to find a new location for its studio artists and visual arts gallery.
A large property sale earlier this month of a half a block along the 30th Street corridor between North Park Way and Gunn Street signals the latest dramatic change for the increasingly unrecognizable face of North Park . Due the death of a long time property owner, a change in ownership will more than quadruple rents leaving several established businesses, including The Studio Door, scrambling for new facilities.
The Studio Door and its owner Patric Stillman have been active participants in San Diego’s visual arts scene for nearly four years. Seventeen hundred artists have exhibited and participated in programming at the center, which currently includes two art galleries and eight artist studios. It is known for national exhibitions, regional invitationals, the annual Open Studios San Diego, and the biennial 50 To Watch. Its core educational programming was designed to assist artists enter into the creative marketplace, which garnered Stillman Professional Artist Magazine’s Mentor of the Year national recognition and the local Artie Award from Mission Federal ArtWalk.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of San Diego’s arts landscape. I have so many fond memories of partnering with emerging and professional artists through our programs and collaborations in the community,” said Stillman. “While I hope to reinvent The Studio Door in a new location, the experiences in North Park will be forever remembered with gratitude. None of it would have been possible without the support, especially of the patrons and studio artists, who have enriched the experience.”
As the price per square foot increases, San Diego has seen big galleries shrink and small galleries struggling to establish themselves. In a recent email notifying its supporters, the business requested assistance to help identify sympathetic landlords, potential storefronts and possible collaborators who could create a vibrant community space. It also requested immediate consideration to support its studio artists and the newly launched Good Friday Gallery, also impacted by the property sale, through purchases of artwork.
Stillman, along with many other artists and arts groups, continue to wrestle with the ever rising costs of renting and identifying spaces suitable for studios, galleries and workshops. Unfortunately, this migration story of the arts in San Diego is not new. Beginning with the development of downtown’s Gaslamp District, artists have been scattered throughout the region as neighborhood gentrify continues.
“The Arts in San Diego gets too easily lumped into the entertainment category. I hope that a savvy developer will see the intelligence in making a commitment to creating a sustainable arts district,” said long-time studio artist at The Studio Door Chris Smith. “It’s time to more the needle forward and actively engage in nurturing creativity and small business, including artists.”
Undaunted by the challenges, Stillman is confident that the right location will be found for The Studio Door. With a looming deadline at the end of August, he steadfastly continues to dream of a life filled with art, creativity and community.