I am a mixed media artist with my 1st love being jewelry making. Recently, a building that I have admired for a long time has been listed for sale. In researching the history of the building, I learned that when it was built in 1915 by Horace Condy, it started its long life as a jewelry and optometry business. An article was written when Condy Jeweler was celebrating its 40th year of business in Sedro-Woolley, on Aug 15th, 1940. The full article and the known history of the building can be read at http://www.skagitriverjournal.com/S-W/Pioneer/Post1900/Condy01-HoraceBio.html.
Now this location has come up for sale in the historical part of Sedro-Woolley. It is the original jewelry store in this town. This is a building I have been waiting for, drawn to.
So to restore this building to its former glory as a jewelry store is very exciting. But that is not the only plans I have for this location. The store layout gives me space to create the front part of the store as a retail section. The back part of the store has a large space to offer art classes in various forms. The space has water connections which makes it possible to do “wet” art classes as well.
I have been planning, for many years, to have a place to nurture the arts. I have earned AA, BA, and MA degrees in art related fields of study. I have attended seminars, retreats, meetings, and gatherings to expand my knowledge and artistic “arsenal” to be ready to assist others in using art to enrich and better their personal experiences. Art is even used to cope with, recover from, and/or reduce the effects of physical, emotional, and psychological conditions leading to happier and healthier lives.
I live in a beautiful historical town called Sedro-Woolley. The town is a gem that sits at the base of the beautiful North Cascades mountain range. Even though I didn’t grow up here, it is truly my home. Like many other small towns, Sedro-Woolley is facing challenges due to Covid-19 and the evolution from its rich history of logging.
In the past, Sedro-Woolley was a thriving town and the logging industry was its main income. As logging laws have changed, many business left and the citizens had to go to surrounding areas to find jobs and housing.
Sedro-Woolley has so many wonderful artists, but no one place strictly dedicated to the arts.
Not only do I want a retail section to sell art supplies and art from local artists, but I want to create a space that can allow for more than just classes. I want the space to be able to have art shows, lectures, and a meeting place for different art groups. A place where people can explore art in its many forms without criticism or judgement.
One of the most important programs I have been working on is having a safe space for art classes designed specifically for cancer patients and survivors, and veterans. These two groups of people are closest to my heart because I am a cancer survivor and my husband is a veteran. We both deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from our individual life experiences. As the business progresses with the retail sales and art classes, the programs would expand out to other groups of people who suffer from various traumatic experiences.
What I want to see for Sedro-Woolley is that it becomes a destination place for the arts. Sports are strongly supported, but unfortunately, there is no funding dedicated to the arts.
Also, it has been researched and proven that art in “hurting” communities has helped to strengthen their residents as well as strengthen the community financially. And with so many businesses closing down in historic Sedro-Woolley, I feel this is probably the strongest step to take to help revive the heartbeat of this special town.
It is true that there are spaces available for rent, but that is another frustration affecting the ability to revive the historical part of town. There are people who live in larger cities, purchase the buildings, and list them for rent pricing comparable to those cities. So what has happened is they have pushed out locally owned businesses and leave the buildings empty. They use these buildings for tax right offs and seem to have no regard in wanting to help the local community thrive.
I live here, shop here, and eat here. I’m proud of this great town and have had the opportunity to meet many of the amazing artists that live here as well. We deserve to have a special place.
I have followed many avenues to create a space, but for one reason or another those avenues were blocked.
What I am asking for is $25,000 to provide additional funds for a down payment and the beginning of the renovations.
Mosaic Gypsy Bead Store and Mixed Media Art Studio – The Destination Place Where All Parts of Art Come Together!
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