Snohomish artists seek new gallery as work begins to restore Carnegie building

  • Sun Oct 17th, 2010 10:09pm
  • News

By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer

SNOHOMISH — The historic Carnegie Building is scheduled to be restored to its old glory.

One result, though, is that artists from the Arts of Snohomish Gallery in the building’s annex will lose a place to show their work.

Design work for the main building, which went up in 1910, has begun. And the 42-year-old annex will be torn down next summer. With the demolition, 37 Snohomish artists will have no place to gather and share their art.

Arts of Snohomish Gallery is in talks with the city to find a place to relocate, but at this time there is no place to go, manager Deb Cuyle said.

“We need a place to relocate all the art,” she said.

The gallery does not have enough money to pay rent for an equivalent amount of space downtown. Cuyle figures that would cost between $1,000 and $2,000 per month.

Right now, the gallery gets a discount rate on the 3,000-square-foot annex because it is a nonprofit. The group pays the city $500 per month, plus 33 percent of the total monthly commissions, not to exceed $500.

The gallery receives donations, including from the Rotary Club of Snohomish. Other money comes through weekly art classes and commissions of art sales. All earnings go to maintenance and class tools, Cuyle said.

The annex was not intended to be a permanent home for the gallery, said Susan Dawson, the group’s board president. “We are now down to the wire,” she said.

The Snohomish Carnegie Foundation is raising money and applying for grants to pay for the $3.5 million restoration project on the building, at 105 Cedar Ave. Work is expected to start as soon as all the funding is secured.

The City Council decided to remove the annex in February 2008, said Ann Stanton, the city’s project manager.

The annex would have needed to meet earthquake and health codes — make rehabilitating the building expensive, said Councilman Greg Guedel, who also is a member of the Carnegie Foundation.

The main reason to remove the annex, however, was to create more open green space for the residents of Snohomish.

“Local art and artists have a home in the Carnegie,” he said. The artists will be welcome to return to teach classes. The remodeled building is intended to become a community educational center.

Both the Carnegie Building and the annex belong to the city. The annex was built in 1968 to accommodate a growing library. The Snohomish library vacated the annex eight years ago to occupy a new building on Maple Street, and the gallery has been in the site ever since.

In April 2010, Seattle-based Bola Architecture &Planning was hired to design the site without the annex. The first part of the construction uses FEMA grant money to retrofit the Carnegie for earthquakes.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com