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A New Art Center for Downtown

May 7,2013

From www.clatl.com

Another art space is gearing up to celebrate a new start. Atlanta arts entrepreneurship nonprofit c4 opened FUSE Art Center in the historic M. Rich Building in January. FUSE is a co-working space that provides artists with a place to create and exhibit through a tiered membership program.

"Often artists are working from home or alone in their studios, [so we thought] let's get everyone in one space to communicate and collaborate," says c4 co-founder/executive director Jessyca Holland.

C4 came by the location last year after striking an agreement with the Creations Group, the Australian property investment firm that owns the building, for an initial in-kind donation of space and subsequent flexible lease plan. C4 has its headquarters in the building and will soon be joined by tenacious underground arts organization Eyedrum, which last week announced plans to make FUSE its permanent home after leading a relatively nomadic existence the last few years.

Although c4 doesn't typically program events, this Sat., May 11, it will host the fundraiser Arts Fuel, and open the exhibit Tension. Tension addresses the idea of artists as both creators and businesspeople, and features work by graduates of c4's Ignite training program. The 25 exhibiting artists include Beth Lilly, Nathan Sharratt, Lisa Tuttle, and Katy Malone, among others.

Holland still refers to her young arts organization as "an experiment," but that hasn't stopped her and co-founder/chief technology officer Joe Winter from having a three-year plan.

"[We want to be a] facilitator, catalyst, investor in a downtown arts district," says Holland. "How do we get artists living, teaching, being downtown? Flux and Elevate are good [first steps]. The next logical step is [having artists and art] downtown 365 days a year."