Warehouse Arts District Revitalizes Lawrence

The Warehouse Arts District celebrates the history of East Lawrence through the renovation and re-purposing of warehouse buildings. The most recent renovation is the Cider Gallery that opened April 26 during Final Fridays with an attendance exceeding 1500.

The Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., is a sister art gallery of the Weinberger Fine Art Gallery in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District. The building was renovated from a 1890s cider vinegar warehouse and still retains original hardwood flooring, wood beams and stone and brick walls. The renovated space houses a fine art gallery, indoor and outdoor event space and office space called the “Entrepreneur Office Hub” with added upstairs offices for rent, a bar, a kitchen and a stage for performances.

The cost of renovation for the Cider Gallery is approximately $2 million. The gallery received a $1.8 million infrastructure development from the city of Lawrence. The construction will include burying electrical lines and creating street lighting, curbs, brick roads and parking to be completed by July 24, 2013.

Clare Doveton, manager of the Cider Gallery, said she hopes the addition of the art gallery to the area will bring more attention to the art and culture in Lawrence.

“As this neighborhood is being built up, we’re thinking that it’s going to be a destination for the arts and that people will come here and collectors will come to Lawrence,” Doveton said. “There is so much talent in Lawrence and this is a wonderful outlet to showcase the work.”

The gallery aims to maintain a range of artists in its exhibitions and infuse the work of regional and local artists with that of nationally and internationally renowned artists. The work of artist Hunt Slonem who has work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art hangs in the gallery next to work by artist Steven T. Johnson who lives and works in the Lawrence Warehouse Arts District.

“It puts those artists on more of a national level where there is a national audience,” Doveton said. “It’s exposing Lawrence and the region to these artists.”

Doveton said there are plans to have artist talks, collector events and opening receptions during the course of future exhibitions and the gallery will become a regular participating venue for Final Fridays. Doveton said she wants to educate collectors about the artists and expose local university students to art and artists with behind the scenes tours and lectures.

“I believe Cider Gallery will be a huge success,” Doveton said. “As the Lawrence Warehouse District builds up with more art venues, more artists studios, more opportunities for artists and collectors coming together, how could it not?”



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