White Center For The Arts Building and Open Studio Tour (plus a tiny bit of Seattle real estate!)

February 26th, 2009 Categories: Art, Artists, Georgetown, White Center
White Center For The Arts Studio Tours Feb. 21, 2009

White Center For The Arts Studio Tours Feb. 21, 2009

Last week, I was invited by Kim McCarthy to the launching of White Center For The Arts Building with their first Open Studio Art Tour in White Center (fondly nicknamed Rat City ) on Saturday, Feb. 21.  I came with a friend (after showing houses for sale until it was too dark to see) to tour the studios.  

The White Center For The Arts Building is on the main street of White Center and it actually has a skate rink in the building where the Rat City Roller Girls first started skating.  The building is now in the process of becoming a focal point for the White Center Art community as artists’ have been priced out of other Seattle neighborhoods. 
Kim McCarthy in her studio for the White Center Open Studio Tour

Kim McCarthy in her studio for the White Center Open Studio Tour

The progression for urban neighborhood renewal is for artists to begin to move into an affordable, usually a bit rundown, neighborhood close in to the city.  The artists’ support the local restaurants, cafes and bars, and a buzz begins to build.  This brings hip/edgy younger people who start hanging out, then buying the affordable housing and fixing them up.  The builders now come building condos helping to further transform the neighborhood, causing prices to move up and pricing out the younger artists who then seek out another affordable neighborhood and the cycle begins again.

Ken Torres in his studio at the White Center For The Arts Open Studio Tour

Ken Torres in his studio at the White Center For The Arts Open Studio Tour

Close by Georgetown has recently undergone this transformation and the housing in Georgetown  has priced out many first time home buyers.  Currently White Center has 11 homes for sale on the market median price $299,950, and Georgetown has 13 homes for sale at a median price of $350,000.

My friend and I were there to say “Hi” to Kim McCarthy and Ken Torres (both work at DANIEL SMITH Artists’ Materials – fyi, I write the blog for DANIEL SMITH) and it was fun to see their artwork.  Kim is a very active artist, and I am always running into her at various art venues!
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