Talent is alive and well in Texas’ first cultural arts district. Located in the heart of Lubbock, the cultural district houses the Charles Adams Studio Project (CASP), a non-profit organization that provides exhibition space to both local and international artists. Recently, Market Lubbock awarded CASP two downtown grants, equalling $56,500, to go toward planned renovations to its gallery and four additional work studios.
The live/work studios give university-level graduates and professional artists something they can’t find anywhere else. They have the opportunity to create, share and exhibit work through the First Friday Art Trail (FFAT), as well as offer open studio hours and other community engagement opportunities. Kristy Kristinek, an artist in the program, says the exposure CASP fosters to the public is a huge benefit to her professional career.
Chad Plunkett, Director of CASP, says the Work studios were developed as a direct response to artist needs. Artists across the region are working in small, isolated and sometimes unsafe working environments. The CASP: Work Studios provide space for artists to cluster in safe and spacious studios so they can collaborate with each other and the community.
“The amount of exposure we get is fantastic and FFAT is such a great experience for us,” Kristinek said. “I’ve had contacts from multiple gallerists that are visiting during FFAT, so the networking I’ve been able to accomplish has been wonderful! CASP definitely has the ‘community-artist vibe’ that I always wanted.”
Chosen artists are able to let out space from the live/work studio program for one year. These tenants use the profits they receive from selling their artwork to go toward rent and other living expenses. There are currently three live/work studios, eight work studios and plans to build an additional 20 work studios, with four currently in the works.
With the support from Market Lubbock and other community donors, CASP has plans to renovate the outward physical appearance of the gallery and build the additional work studios. Improvements will include curbing, additional groundwork and cutting through the building to provide easy public access to the studios.
Charles Adams, Founder of CASP, said recently in a press conference held by Lubbock Economic Development Alliance that the improvements made possible by the continued support of Market Lubbock and other community donors are for local artists to continue their talents in Lubbock. These improvements provide Lubbock artists with a creative experience that sets them up for success by supporting them financially and offering unique opportunities. This gives Lubbock the edge that isn’t found in many other art districts.
“Lubbock is known for exporting talent, whether that is musical talent, visual talent or performing talent, and our hope with CASP is that we would give them the facilities where they could stay here and pursue their craft,” said Adams. “The CASP mission statement is to provide studio spaces for working artists. The money that we got from MarketLlubbock has allowed us to now go back in and improve. It is so hard for a non-profit to raise money. And then to have someone like Market Lubbock help you is really a blessing.”
The community engagement that artists in Lubbock receive not only helps promote their work, but also gives them the opportunity to interact with their audience. Being able to learn more about our local talent allows Lubbockites with the opportunity to gain new perspective or appreciation from artists like Kristinek.
“CASP has helped Lubbock retain working artists in our community by providing them places to make and exhibit their work,” said Plunkett. “We also believe that a thriving cultural arts scene is an important component in the livability of a city which can help attract and retain businesses and a strong workforce.”
Market Lubbock is thrilled to be able to support CASP in its pursuit in expanding Lubbock’s arts district. Investing in the arts benefits the community while also progressing the downtown revitalization efforts. If you would like to learn more about CASP and the live/work studios and work studios, visit casp-arts.org.