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Art studios are taking shape on the Boise Bench

Vivid Artist Spaces will allow artists to take their work to the next level.

BOISE - A Boise Bench office building tucked off Vista Avenue could become an artist colony as owner Jane Tharpe reinvents it as the Gem Center for the Arts.

Jane and Justin Tharpe bought the 24,000-square-foot, four-story Gem State Securities building on Aug. 1 for $740,000.

They have cleared out most of the interior walls on the third floor, where they will try to build at least 30 artist studios that Jane Tharpe and partners Candy Canning and Jessica Tookey are calling Vivid Artist Spaces.

“We have 5,000 square feet up there,” Jane Tharpe said.

Studios will range from 50 to 600 square feet. The 50-square-foot spaces are open and communal. The 100-square-foot spaces and assorted larger studios have a door-and-lock for tenant artists, Tharpe said.

As of Aug. 18, 14 artists had signed up at Vivid, she said.

Boise home artist Betsie Richardson had not heard about Vivid Artist Spaces, but her interest was immediately piqued.

“I don’t intend to work out of a home studio forever,” Richardson said. “I would love to find a studio within an easy commute from home so I can separate my work life and home life.”

Jane Tharpe, Canning and Tookey, all artists themselves, hope to have the studios ready in early October.

Read the full story on Idaho Business Review's website.

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