DELRAY BEACH — Touted as a possible catalyst for the downtown Delray Beach arts scene, a taxpayer-subsidized warehouse-turned-arts incubator will soon open to the public.
Arts Warehouse, a 15,000-square-foot space in a less-frequented arts hub three blocks north of Atlantic Avenue, will hold a public grand opening Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
Seeking to propel the city deeper into the art world, the Community Redevelopment Agency bought the massive, abandoned warehouse in the Pineapple Grove Arts District in 2010.
Arts Warehouse rents studio space to emerging artists for as little as $2 per square foot — an unheard of price in downtown Delray Beach.
The goal is to launch the artists’ careers and encourage them to stick around Delray Beach, said Jill Brown, an art educator from North Carolina hired last year to run the so-called incubator.
“There’s an excitement here, a need here, a desire here for something like this,” Brown said, adding that Arts Warehouse would be a catalyst for Delray Beach’s brand as an arts destination.
The warehouse will be open to the public during set hours, so locals and visitors can interact with the artists and watch them create work from studios with windows into the work spaces.
The artists will participate in established art events downtown. The industrial warehouse also has gallery space and classrooms for workshops.
The colorful building on Northeast Third Street at the end of Artists Alley, a one-block colony of art studios, was designed by architectural firm Currie Sowards Aguila, the same designers behind Delray’s Arts Garage, Old School Square and Pineapple Grove.