A Message from North Bank's Board of Directors
North Bank Artists to Close Main Street Gallery on May 31st, 2017
April 10, 2017: Vancouver, WA -- North Bank Artists will not be renewing their lease for 1005 Main Street, which ends May 31st, 2017. North Bank Artists has resided at its Main Street location for 14 years, where it helped to create a dynamic, creative community. North Bank Artists offered hundreds of well-attended art events to the public for free, including monthly art exhibits, First Friday Art Walks, and Art Talks.
North Bank Artists is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) with two primary purposes: providing opportunities to member artists and art events for the community. Services include providing well-lit and secure studio space at a discounted rate, a professional art gallery, and professional development for emergent artists. Community services are primarily monthly art exhibits, art talks, and educational outreach.
Due to increased rent and a tough winter for utility costs, North Bank Artists can see no viable way forward at the current location financially. North Bank is still open to the possibility of pursuing a new opportunity at a different site, should one present itself. At this time, there is no plan for relocation.
The North Bank Artists community is planning a retrospective show for May 2017; more details to come. At this time, our community is reflecting on its accomplishments, including:
Over 14 years, North Bank had a total income of $758,000. Of this, $150,000 was in art sales, $102,000 of which was paid back directly to artists who sold their work. All other income went back into the local economy through rent, payroll, utilities, and services.
As the organizer of the Vancouver Arts District designation in 2014, North Bank has been a leader in the creative economy. Indirect economic stimulus is hard to measure, but the block of 10th and Main underwent a stunning revitalization from the opening of North Bank Artists Gallery in November 2003 to recent years. High pedestrian traffic in the Vancouver Arts District has been reported to have helped small businesses, especially bars and restaurants during First Fridays Art Walks.
North Bank has prided itself on showing unconventional, previously un-shown, and student artists, in addition to regionally and nationally acclaimed professional artists. Un-juried, student, and political shows provided a venue for artists to exhibit uncompromising work.
North Bank hosted political shows, including an exhibit in 2015 that featured member artist Kanaan Kanaan and guests from the Middle East. The show, called "Nostalgia", had the theme of international peace. North Bank acknowledged the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2012 with an "Occupy North Bank" theme.
North Bank also partnered with organizations like the YWCA of Clark County, Hough Foundation, Washington State University Vancouver, Print Arts Northwest, Arts of Clark County, Clark County Recycled Arts Festival, Inner Light Photographic Society, Portland Community College, Vancouver School District, Humane Society of Southwest Washington, and Battle Ground Arts Alliance on exhibits and events.
A conservative number of guests who attended events at North Bank were 5,000 per year; approximately 70,000 guests visited over 14 years. Hundreds of studio renters benefited from affordable, secure studio space, and thousands of member and guest artists exhibited their original work at our gallery.
Art Talks and Art of Legacy brought high quality arts education to our community for years. Over a hundred students from Vancouver Schools participated in Art of Legacy from 2014-16. Over a thousand guests benefited from Art Talks over 14 years, with topics that explored art's media, history, economy, neurology, and interpretation.
North Bank hosted dozens of interns over the years from Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and Portland Community College.
The creative collaborations that happened at 1005 Main Street were innumerable. It is impossible to measure how many works of art, moments of inspiration, and lifelong friendships happened because of North Bank's tenure on Main Street. Those who were a part of it witnessed these acts of community creation time and time again.
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