A mainstay art studio in the Vista could soon be repurposed for another business and its artists forced to look for studio space elsewhere.
As they prepare for Thursday’s Vista Lights holiday event, the artists at Vista Studios say the writing is on the wall for their “inevitable” departure.
Vista Studios has been around for 25 years and was a part of the Vista before it became the vibrant restaurant and shopping district it is today.
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But the success of the area ushered in rising property costs. Studio rent has increased slightly, leases have been cut from a year to month-by-month and the gallery space has been taken for use by the business next door to the studio at 808 Lady Street.
“It’s nothing definite, but there’s a sense we may have to move,” said David Yaghjian, an artist who has had studio space here for the past 11 years.
It’s possible that Thursday will be the final time the studio participates in Vista Lights, the annual open house and holiday kickoff for the Vista.
The 12 artists will present new work beginning at an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. The work will be on view until Nov. 29.
But “there won’t be a big to-do about our leaving or staying,” Yaghjian said.
Molten-Lamar Architects owns the building Vista Studios occupies. Richard Lamar said there is no exact plan or timetable for the building. “We’re exploring our options,” he said, adding, “we don’t want to leave anyone in a lurch.”
If they do get pushed out, the artists say there will be no hard feelings.
“They’ve never been about the bottom line, and they’ve been supportive of us and the arts,” Vista Studios president Kirkland Smith said of the studio’s landlords.
“We’ve had a good run. It’s time to find another spot.”
“We’re trying to be business as usual,” added artist Eileen Blyth. “Whatever happens, it won’t stop us from making art.”
If you go
WHEN: 5-10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17
WHERE: Throughout the Vista
WORTH NOTING: Vista Studios will have an opening reception, 5-8 p.m., for new work at the studios, 808 Lady St.