ArtEAST moves into new space on Front Street

Shai Steiner

Shai Steiner

Local artists have a new home in downtown Issaquah.

Renovation is complete on the old Lewis Hardware building, and artEAST couldn’t be happier to fill the new space.

“I love it,” said Shai Steiner, a new artist to the studio. “It allows for a lot more art.”

Jumping from 1,200 to about 3,200 square feet, the location has two dedicated studio spaces and a larger storefront.

The only classroom space in the former location only was in art gallery.

Now the studio has its own space.

The gallery is called Up Front, named for the street its on and its location in the store.

The new space allows for larger artwork, such as sculptures and garden art.

The limited size of the old location forced the staff to focus on what art sold the best, said Director Karen Abel.

Now a space has been set aside for art produced in classes that may not necessarily sell well, she said. “It gives us the freedom to show what people will want to come see.”

Currently, charcoal figure drawings of nudes cover two white walls. Bright lights shine down from high ceilings. The vintage dark wood floors contrast heavily against the bright artwork.

“It’s more inviting,” said Steiner, who has been painting animals for about eight years. “It’s very warm.”

The studio space is large enough that some classes have been able to double in size, allowing for figure drawing with live models.

The space also allows for the “messier” mediums, such as pastels, ceramics and collage.

The renovation was smooth, Abel said. “It was as if everyone wanted this to happen.”


ArtEAST’s newest art center and gallery is open for business, 48 Front Street North, Issaquah, 425-996-8553

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