Downtown art gallery, studio spaces nearing completion

Jonathan Roberts • Feb 9, 2020 at 9:00 AM

After more than eight months of construction and renovation, Atelier 133 — a downtown art gallery, studio space and cafe — is nearing completion, with owner Nancy Fischman eyeing a grand opening on May 1.

“Hopefully the construction will be done by the end of March,” Fischman said. “I’ve got two small events scheduled in April and a grand opening, hopefully, on May 1.”

Fischman bought the building at 133 N. Commerce St. about four years ago for $58,000, but didn’t begin construction inside the space until July 2019. At the time, she estimated the cost of construction would be around $700,000, which she said was still accurate, though she won’t be certain until the renovation is complete. The 6,800-square-foot building will house an art gallery and bakery/cafe in addition to 13 studio spaces, a darkroom and a classroom space.

“One of the things I want to do is show people that we do have great art in this area and that people can buy great art and not have to go to Asheville, Atlanta or Knoxville,” Fischman said. “My goal is to promote local and regional artists, in addition to bringing in some nationally judged shows.”

Fischman said seven people have committed to renting studio spaces, leaving six available. The spaces, which vary from 110 to 160 square feet, cost $125 a month.

Meghan Bishop, who will use one of the spaces and work as Fischman’s gallery assistant, said she’s “excited” to and that she’s “happy Johnson City is finally getting a really good area for artists to be creative.”

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Bishop, who will also teach classes in the building.

Anyone interested in renting a space should contact Fischman at [email protected] or through the Atelier 133 Facebook page.

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