North End Studios shine a light on E. Grand Blvd.

The artist-run collective behind North End Studios has quietly created a hub for sculptors, painters, music producers and bands on W. Grand Blvd. near New Center. Housed in a 100-year-old building with three stories and a tremendous pedigree (it was designed by the architectural firm owned by Albert Kahn), North End Studios has rented out all but two of its offices and studios. On a recent Saturday, a film crew heaved equipment through the lobby, a producer successfully recorded a new band in his second-story studio, and artists wandered the halls looking for conversation.

Two second-story studios in the collective are still available for as little as $250/m. The third floor is a gallery that showcases the works of the 20-or-so rotating members. But it's not just rent they're after -- community members help paint the walls and preserve the building's architectural touches.

North End Studios currently rents the building. "We've had a lot of scares," says Craig. "People have wanted to buy the building -- it was all over the internet." Two prospective buyers even told her, "Sorry to crush your dreams." She says they're putting together a contingency business plan, with lots of optimism for the future. "We could turn it into a contemporary urban artists' vault," she says. "We could have a collection, we could do shows, do workshops, do exhibits, and there's so much space here that we could keep art here permanently. That's really where our business model is headed."

It's hard to miss the North End building -- it's home to the Illuminated Mural designed by CCS grad Katherine "Katie" Craig, who's all of 27 years of age. The vivid public piece is, says Craig, "blasted with colors that stream down from the sky like falling tears." Light boxes and a sensory garden that's under construction are helping transform the parking lot next to the building into a bonafide community space.

Interested in grabbing one of the final spaces in this DIY creative hub? Contact North End Studios here. It's located at 2937 W. Grand Blvd.

Source: Katherine Craig, co-founder, North End Studios
Writer: Ashley C. Woods
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