Piqua Community Arts Center seeks founding members

PIQUA — A local artist is seeking other artists or creators to help co-found a Piqua Community Arts Center.

Jay “Tiddy” Tidwell, a graphic designer who is heading up this project, explained the center would be located at 319 N. Wayne St. in Piqua in the former Z’s building, filling the second floor with 10-12 studio spaces that would be approximately 300 square feet of space. While the center would start off with studio spaces, Tidwell’s vision for the center would expand into public events, art discussions, and more.

Tidwell and others are currently working to try and find 10 founding members to go in on making the center a reality and commit to a one-year lease of studio space at the site, as well as potentially help build on the project.

“Without them, it won’t happen,” Tidwell said.

Tidwell said the space will offer access to free wireless internet and free utilities for the artists and creators of the studio space. The 10 founding members would also get 20 percent off the cost of the first year of renting the space, as well as a one-month credit if they are unable to pay rent one month.

“We’re trying to attract creatives of all sorts,” Tidwell said.

There are areas with sound-proofed walls that would work well for audio production, videographers, and more, Tidwell said. They are also able to accommodate creators like woodworkers, painters, photographers, and more. He said they have already had interest from a creator who does 3-D printing and another creator who creates soaps. Tidwell added they are currently unable to accommodate creators who would need extreme heat, like glassblowers, or an excessive amount of electricity in their studio space. Each studio would be separated by partitions and have their own natural light.

Tidwell, a graphic designer, was inspired to try to open this center after searching for a commercial space of his own to use as a studio. He was about to look outside of Piqua when he was referred to the owner of the building.

If they are able to get the first 10 founding members, Tidwell said it would be a few weeks for them to prepare the space and open the studios. They would then gear community events, like art discussions, around the first 10 founding members and their type of art or craft. He said they are also planning on holding meet and greets and “First Fridays” events where the community will also be invited to meet the creators and see live demonstrations in each of the different studios, which would also help market the creators’ work to the public.

“They can sell their art our of their space,” Tidwell said.

If his vision takes off, Tidwell said they also plan to expand the center into the first and third floors of the building.

Tidwell said he is still in the process of gathering support from other community organizations and officials, but he has received positive feedback so far.

To inquire about renting studio space or becoming a founding member, call 937-381-9290. Tidwell asks interested parties to leave a message with their name, contact information, and their type of creative service or art. The cost to rent space will be $1 per square foot of space, and founding members would receive 20 percent off that cost for a year. For more information, visit the Piqua Community Arts Center Facebook page.