The Downtown Royal Oak art gallery 323East is closing its doors, but they're far from done: Gallery owners Jesse Cory and Dan Armand are ditching Royal Oak for Detroit, where they're setting up a new gallery for 323East offshoot 1xRUN. The new location? The Knitting Mill Loft building on Gratiot, which Jesse and Dan recently purchased. They plan on transforming the spot into something of an artist haven, right in Eastern Market.
If the name 1xRUN sounds familiar, that's because they were the guys behind much of the Detroit Beautification project, last spring's effort to bring in street artists from around the world, giving drab Detroit streets some quality artwork.
"After years of living and breathing the city, we're excited to finally be bringing our business downtown," said Jesse. He calls the move to Eastern Market a "natural progression." Some of DBP's best-known work is right nearby.
The new HQ was restored and converted to lofts several years ago by a previous owner, but Jesse and Dan are planning on a complete transformation of the current design. With the help of architect Tadd Heidgerken (designer of Slow's To Go and Astro Coffee), this little storefront will soon be bustling with all sorts of artsy endeavors.
The plan calls for mix of gallery space, offices and screen/digital printing facilities on floors one and two. Up on the third floor, one of the lofts will be used as an artist residence, giving visiting artists a place to crash.
The move will happen slowly over the next few months, with a projected opening date in late March/early April. 1xRun has promised to let Curbed Detroit take some photos once interior work is complete, so count on some future updates.