Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 18 Artists and Gentrification

Home School is the result of artist research presented for discussion. The topic this evening is part 3 of Project Space Industrial Complex series - on the impact of art spaces on gentrification - discussed by Chloe Alexandra, Carmen Denison, Eleanor Ford, Devin Ruiz and you.

Most artists have low incomes. They seek low cost spaces and they are creative in doing so. They tolerate crime, pollution, noise; music clubs and warehouse shows are the same.

"Artists are like the shock troops of gentrification" was exclaimed by Grayson Perry and that idea has been proposed by many others with different words.

What follows the artists are cafes, art galleries, developers, restaurants, gentrification. If it is a commercial or industrial area, many of the small businesses cannot survive the increased rents. But when the neighborhood is residential, the results fall heavily upon the residents being displaced.

Portland artist Tad Savinar wrote that developers use artists to clean up decaying neighborhoods and then price them out of their spaces in a play in 1989. He was an early artist in NW Portland before the neighborhood was named the Pearl District. It is even City of Portland policy, following the Richard Florida creative cities consulting practice and running parallel to a more nuanced discussion by Anne Gadwa Nicodemus. The topic has been explored by feminist historian Rosalyn Deutsche. In the Toronto neighborhood Queen Street West, artists moved into industrial buildings as manufacturing moved to the suburbs. When development came with rezoning, condo developers purchased art at market rates from displaced artists and new condo residents selected from the art, with the price built into the condo. Now the area is full circle, with high end galleries. The process is afoot in Cincinnati's Over the Rhine neighborhood.

Renters don't have equity but maybe they should participate in the capital gains of gentrification?

In Portland it has unfolded on NE Alberta, N Mississippi, St Johns, and now is moving on to Old Town / Chinatown / Japantown, SE Foster and the SE Industrial District.

It has been a process in London, New York, San Fransisco, Seattle, Berlin and elsewhere. Before the Berlin Wall was destroyed, artists occupied the about 15 meters of East Germany on the West Berlin side.

In Los Angeles, art galleries pushed West from mid-Wilshire and then East, including to Chinatown. Now residents of Boyle Heights are actively opposing art intrusions into their neighborhoods in these examples.

The talks are archived and some past ones are on

Project Space Industrial Complex occupies Compliance Division for discussion tonight in the Everett Lofts 625 NW Everett #101 - entrance on NW 6th 6PM Free