Space 1026 not closing but moving on after building sold
With sadness but with fingers crossed for the future, we share the announcement we received from Andrew Jeffrey Wright and the members of Space 1026. As you probably know, the building at 1026 Arch -- prime real estate in a busily gentrifying neighborhood -- has been sold, and now, after talking with the landlord, who has plans for the building that don't include the member space, Space 1026 is moving out and moving on, hopefully to a new place with new print facilities and gallery. We've loved and championed Space 1026 since even before Artblog began in 2003. We wish the members well in this big undertaking. And we hope to see them soon in new digs.

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From Andrew Jeffrey Wright, founding member, Space 1026 (also the artist who created the comic Bananaaz on Artblog)…

Hi. The news is bad and good, but overall good. We are excited to create something new and bring all the good old stuff that made Space 1026 what it is with us.

Below is the statement, photos and GoFundMe link we are releasing Monday at 10am on our website and in an email…We hope you mention it on The Art Blog. Thanks.

Peace
Andrew Jeffrey Wright

Space 1026 annual portrait by Adam Wallacavage
Space 1026 annual portrait by Adam Wallacavage

After 20 plus years of art exhibitions, music shows, dance parties, comedy shows and art performances in our gallery, and non-stop art making in our studios, the only building that Space 1026 has ever occupied has been sold. It’s a bit of a mystery how Space 1026 has lasted so long, but it has. This said, we are not part of the new owner’s plans for the building.

Space 1026 was started as a place to create and show art with people that were actual friends that shared a common vision of “do it yourself, with other people”. We’ve had 10 to 12 art shows a year every year since November 1997. We have shown art by Daniel Johnston, Rebecca Westcott, Cory Arcangel, Ed Templeton, Shepard Fairey, Cynthia Connolly, Jim Houser and hundreds more. We’ve been having performances and parties in our space since February 1998, when the Rhode Island collective Fort Thunder exhibited in our gallery and the duo Lightning Bolt played the opening reception. Kimya Dawson, Bahamadia, Kim Gordon and Ian Svenonius have all played music in our gallery. MF Doom’s album, “Vaudeville Villain” was recorded at Space 1026. Comedian Maria Bamford has performed in our gallery. Whether you’ve donated $5 to see a music show or spent hundreds of dollars at our yearly art auction or exhibited your work in our space or have simply walked into our gallery to view the show, it’s all support and we appreciate it.

Drawing by Brian Lynch, member, Space 1026
Drawing by Brian Lynch, member, Space 1026

We have been described as an “art school, without the school”. The Space 1026 alumni list is very long. Clare Rojas, Jayson Musson, Becky Suss, Adam Wallacavage, Isaac Lin, Tara Booth, and Alex Da Corte are just a few people that have made art in our studios. Space 1026 has been the home of some independently owned companies, like Reload Bags, Megawords, All Ages Productions, Free News Projects and The Philadelphia Independent. As an art making collective, Space 1026 has had group shows in London, Puerto Rico, Oakland, New York and many other places. Since 2007, Space 1026 has been home to a Mummers NYB called The Vaudevillains, who help bring rainbow glitter and diversity to the Philadelphia folk tradition. All of this has been made possible by past and present members, friends and supporters of Space 1026.

We have been recognized as an art space that is not quite like any other art space in the city or even the country. We have been written about in many publications, some of which no longer exist in print form, like SPIN, and some that do, like The Philadelphia Inquirer. Part of our uniqueness is the architectural structure of the two floors we occupy and the other part relies on the way in which we occupy those two floors. We are not sure what our new space is going to be yet, but we do have plans for the rebirth of Space 1026. We are planning to buy a building that we can count on to be our new home.

We will have affordable studios and a screen printing facility like we always have. We will have a gallery and continue with exhibitions and live events and add regular, highly affordable workshops which will be open to the public. Other new aspects that will be a part of the new Space 1026 will depend on the building we find. Artists in residence programs? Expanded printing facilities? Multiple galleries? An area designated for performances? We’ll see. The search has begun.

When we started Space 1026 we had to sign a two year lease and that made us nervous, because at that point, we didn’t know what we would want to be doing two years into the future. Twenty years later, with our building being sold, we know what we and the community want, and that is for Space 1026 to continue to exist. We want to stay and serve Philadelphia in a permanent way. Space 1026 is not a registered non-profit and because of this, we have always existed without the help of grant funding. We exist by members paying rent, people buying art, people coming to performances and donations to our art auction. We do not have a surplus of funds waiting around for the ‘rainy day’ that is now upon us. We will need the help of others like never before to secure our future. We are very excited for the new future. Please help if you can.

Love,
Space 1026


Help Space 1026 at their Space 1026 GoFundMe site.

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