Saturday, October 17, 2009

Round Hill Arts Center Moving to New Location!

It's really starting to get exciting around here. Things seemed pretty glum when RHAC had to move from their old location. The director began to work very hard to come up with a new location. Wow! Did he ever hit pay dirt!

Locally, we have an old apple packing plant that's been housing an eclectic country store, deli and pie shop. Located right on a very major road, the place seems to do a brisk business. The location is fantastic. During the winter months, the store occasionally hosts a farmer's market that also brings a lot of folks in.

It turns out that the country store is using only a tiny portion of the warehouse space. The rest of the building has been sitting idle, just collecting stored junk. The landlord has decided to convert the remaining area into finished retail space along the lines of an upscale mini-mall. In addition to the Art Center, there's talk of space being rented by a vintner, a music shop and our artists' cooperative is working on getting a gallery in there too.

RHAC has signed a lease, and the construction has begun! I got to see the floor plan and then take a tour of the space under construction. The Art Center will be so much better off in the new location. It will have a modern pottery studio, class rooms and space to hold all sorts of events. They think they might even be open in November!!

Our co-op is working hard to get a gallery in there. The Round Hill Arts Center is really supporting our work and hopes that we'll get in there as part of the RHAC organization.

Here is a recent press release, check it out! I was even quoted in the release. Gosh. It almost makes me sound important:


If all goes according to plan, the Round Hill Arts Center will be established in a new home in the Hill High Orchards building before the holidays.

According to RHAC Executive Director Frank Naylor, the Center has signed a letter of intent for the new space, which will be behind the existing Hill High Country Store. The space will include a brand new state-of-the-art pottery studio, art studios for classes and room for a new gallery.

The Center has grown exponentially since its inception in 2000. Interim Board President Lisa Zimmer-Chu explained that over the summer, the Board of Directors made the decision to move from the Center’s original location in the Old Furniture Factory in Round Hill “in order to pursue a location that would better support the Center’s mission and continued growth.”

“The new location keeps us in Round Hill but with quality space designed to be an art center from the ground up with room to grow,” Naylor said. “It will meet code, be ADA accessible, and be more economical to operate.”

In addition, the Hill High Orchards location is in a high-traffic area, has ample paved parking, outside space with tables and a small lake to facilitate outside events and classes in season, Naylor added. “It is an exciting start,” he said.
The Board envisions and is working toward an artist supported co-operative gallery space that would be staffed by the artists themselves. “This will be the only artists’ co-op in western Loudoun County,” Zimmer-Chu said.

“In talking with other artists who’ve sold and worked with the Center, we’re all really excited about actively supporting and working with the Art Center board in their new location,” said Waterford fiber artist Mary Kenesson.

Local artist and member of the co-operative committee Meredith Hilt agreed, saying she is “really excited to see the Round Hill Arts Center expand its horizons and be able to offer so many more wonderful opportunities for artists and the community.”

While the Center’s primary focus will be on visual arts classes and the artists’ co-op, Zimmer-Chu said a variety of musical events, in keeping with the Center’s popular Bluegrass Jam Sessions at the Old Furniture Factory building, are being planned for the future.

The Center has already moved out of the Old Furniture Factory and expects to be operational in the Hill High Orchards location within 30-60 days. In the interim, arrangements have been made to hold classes in temporary off-site locations.

“As with all non-profits,” Zimmer-Chu said, “ongoing community support is critical, especially during transition periods.” The Center is encouraging continued community input, attendance at classes, volunteerism and tax-deductible financial donations.

The Round Hill Arts Center is a community-based and community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit organization devoted to providing opportunities to explore the creative arts through classes, exhibits, musical events, artist meetings and more.

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