The Fox River flats area is gaining a new neighbor.
The Draw, an “all-encompassing creative space” is slated to open mid-September.
The building, located at 800 S. Lawe St., is the former Riverside Paper Co. building. It will now house leased studios, offices, gallery spaces and more.
John Adams is the building’s manager and curator.
According to Adams, renovations included 87 windows and a new roof.
He curated at museums in Chicago and said many of the spaces there have the same feel, like a “creative hub.”
Adams says he’s always loved the flats area.
“The building is such an interesting little space, right down on the river. It seems like the next little neighborhood. There needs to be more activity,” he says.
And, activity there will be. The Draw will house around 17 artists of varying mediums, from audio and visual engineering to tattoos to woodblock letter printing.
Adams says he feels like he can make a difference and hopes to see “more of a conversation about arts and the creative process” as well as a “collaboration between artists of different mediums.”
Deanna Larson is a sculptor renting a space in the Draw. She met Adams through the pop-up gallery at the 2014 Mile of Music event. When she heard about The Draw, she got involved right away.
“It’s just a whole group of people that all worked in their field and they’re now to the point where they’re like, ‘I’m doing well enough that I want to do this on my own, or this is my first space.’ It’s a lot of different people that are ready to take the next step and join this. Everybody’s really independent, but yet I think bringing all these people together in this collective space, some cool things can happen,” says Larson.