In 1981, several friends and I including Doug Fast, decided to collaborate on a lease for a floor in a mostly vacant post and beam warehouse near the waterfront, across from the ferry docks and within reach of the Old Curiosity Shop and its calliope.
Artists Nori Sato and Tom Colman were there on the south side also, the north side was totally open and available while several handful of artists were on the block in the adjacent Polson Building and across the street at Triangle Studios, in the Journal of Commerce Building, next to the gigantic Seattle Steam Plant across Western Avenue to the east.
Within days we had demolished,, swept-up, whitewashed with sprayer, bent nails and crafted a built-out of a plan for six studios and a hallway gallery with a re-built toilet down the hall, in the opposite direction. A giant freight lift that let you down on the west end of the floor, looking out on the bay and the traffic speeding by, heading north and south on the tiers of the Viaduct's Highway 99.
My studio eventually grew into a T shaped, 1500 square foot studio where I lived, worked, created, exhibited, educated, celebrated, loved, learned and entertained. Thirty years, with four by eight foot windows and the sky rolling by, the breeze off the bay, tall ceilings, old growth post and beams. It was completely white, bright with daylight and empty. When I moved in. When I moved out in September of 2011, it was hard to fathom the weight of earth matter that filled the space.
We had one last ArtWalk in half of the Diamond Parking lot. The band Manigua played and next week we began a great migration as 120 artists, leaving the warehouse at 619, full of empty studios. I moved myself, hired friends and transport, off-loaded a lot and moved tons of my world. In every heave and lift I could feel the center of the planet Earth, pulling it back. And I moved that gravity to a new studio.
Much of it in a Safeway shopping cart!