Ironton Studios and Gallery pioneered what is now RiNo, back before the thriving arts district had a name or designation. Based on a model of building community among working artists, it served as a blueprint for many such ventures to come, and fifteen years later, Ironton still stands as an example of the right way to do things. Now Ironton is spreading its good karma a little further, with the grand opening of a new addition, Estudio Grande, which — fingers crossed — will be ready for move-in by September 1, bringing about a dozen new artists into the fold.
Appropriately, Ironton’s annual Summer Group Show, which opened in July, features work by the old guard as well as the new, providing both a fond look back at the compound’s history of community and a look forward to new bonds to be made.
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“The thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing the connections that might be made between the studios,” notes Ironton’s Jill Hadley Hooper, who’s encouraged by the way local artists are already sealing those connections. “What you see happening at RedLine [gallery and studios], with some of the most recent alumni moving out together to start a new space, Tank, seems like a surprising side effect — but it’s not. Ironton was started by friends who had graduated from the UCD sculpture department and wanted to continue to work together, too. Our work spaces can become so personal and private that it matters who you see in the hall. After fifteen years, there’s not anyone that I don’t look forward to seeing every day. I don’t take that for granted.”
In that spirit, Ironton, 3636 Chestnut Place, will host a reception tonight that’s more of a party: Join the artists in the garden, check out the show and get a look at studios old and new from 6 to 11 p.m. Go to irontonstudios.com for more information.
Mondays-Saturdays; Sat., Aug. 17, 6-11 p.m. Starts: July 8. Continues through Sept. 7, 2013