Arts Consolidated Works: the Teardown
posted by November 10 at 13:50 PMon
ConWorks—the “multi-disciplinary contemporary arts center” founded in 1997 by Matt Richter, home of much good art [Greg Lundgren, SuttonBeresCuller, theaterrun, 14/48, much more], some strong controversy after the board dismissed Richter, hired a slick-talking huckster to replace him, and soon ran the place into the ground—is finally being torn down.
Photos courtesy of Matthew Richter.
Richter has been hanging out at the demolition site and writes: “This morning I found, literally in a pile of rubble, this big Plexiglas sign that used to hang in the lobby welcoming people to ConWorks. If ConWorks gets a eulogy, this should be it.”
Welcome to Consolidated Works. If you haven’t been here before, here’s the idea in a nutshell:
ConWorks is arranged architecturally like a wheel, with a hub and spokes. The lobby is the hub of this wheel, and the rooms laid out around it are the spokes. These rooms include:
* a 150-seat mainstage theater
* a 50-seat movie theater
* a 4,500 square foot gallery
* a music stage
* an arts resource center
* a full bar and lounge
* three artist studios
* offices for six fellow nonprofits
If you haven’t seen the whole facility yet, please feel free to ask at the box office about taking a tour of the space. We love showing it off.
Our programming follows the same hub-and-spoke structure as our architecture, The hub, in this case, is theme, and each eight-week “Consolidation Series” examines a different theme—Artificial Life (Fall 1999), or Imagined Landscapes (Winter 2000), or Suspension (Winter 2004), for example. The spokes, in this analogy, are the various arts disciplines themselves.
Each Consolidation Series includes a film series, a music series, a visual arts exhibit, a mainstage production in our theater, and a series of lectures, all examining a common theme. The theme is the glue that ties the total ConWorks experience together. It provides our curators in each arts discipline with a common starting point and a common goal, and it offers you, the audience, a preliminary answer to the most common question heard around contemporary art — “What was that about?”
This resource center is a good place to start exploring the current theme. Here you’ll find statements by the curators and the executive director, displays tying into the theme and programming, and see and hear some of the upcoming programming in the series.
Consolidated Works is a nonprofit organization, supported by many individuals like yourself, in addition to private foundations, corporations, and municipal granting agencies. Please join us as a supporter by becoming a member or a donor today.
Help build Seattle the contemporary arts center it deserves.
Richter says he’s been hanging out at the site, taking photos, and made friends with the demolition guys. They let him wander around and take photos (and took a few photos of dramatic parts falling when he wasn’t there). “The demolition guys were incredibly curious about what had happened there,” Richter says. “Far more curious than the board of directors ever was.”
He also notes that the demo company takes the old lumber, mills it clean in Tacoma, and resells it as salvage lumber. “So if anyone wants furniture made from the old Consolidated Works,” Richter says, “point them to xomonline.com.”
Goodbye all over again, ConWorks.
Steven Vroom sent along some links to other digital panoramas at ConWorks from back when: