It wasn't a complete surprise to TACtile Textile Arts Center director Dianne Denholm (and the rest of the nonprofit's board) when she learned a few weeks ago that TACtile would have to vacate its current home in the ailing mall Tamarac Square on August 31 rather than early next year. In many ways, the Tamarac Square location couldn't have served the organization better, in spite of the fact that it's not the hippest spot in town. A lot of people don't realize that TACtile is much more than a gallery; it's also a meeting place for numerous fiber-arts guilds and clubs around the region, providing space for their classes and workshops, as well as a space where their members can show their work.
So armed with the knowledge of which criteria made Tamarac a good match -- plenty of parking and safety for women taking classes in the evenings -- Denholm and crew set out to find a new space almost immediately. And that space materialized: TACtile will begin moving into the upper floor of the JHB International, Inc. wholesale button warehouse, at 1955 South Quince Street, at the end of the month. Denholm imagines a great symbiosis that might develop between TACtile and JHB, one of the largest button wholesalers in the world. "I can see us working together to make the spot more of a tour destination," she says. "Or we could perhaps collaborate on something like an art-to-wear challenge." She's hoping to have at least a skeleton of the new TACtile ready by the end of September.
That's not to say the new location doesn't come with some challenges. Because it's not in a retail center, it will turn TACtile strictly into a destination. But Denholm is ready to battle that, too, with some creative thinking. "We've talked about moving the gallery around and having shows at different locations around the city," she explains. "It would force us to make the shows even better and more professional." It would also give TACtile a more urban face that might draw a younger, hipper crowd.
Watch this space for more information, and in the meantime, drop by for a look-see while the last show at Tamarac, Controlled Explosions, which showcases a beautiful wall-ready collection of tiny quilts and 3-D fiber art objects, none of them more than 24 inches square, still hangs. That show ends Saturday, then it's hasta la vista, Tamarac Square.