(Photo above: Stuart Breidenstein | Photo by David Clewett)
Stuart Breidenstein and a group of multi-talented artists have joined together to create a new artist collective at 909 SE Armour Road in Bend called the 9th Street Village.
9th Street Village is the brainchild of Breidenstein who is an artist, entrepreneur and owner of Stuart’s of Bend. He has a keen eye for detail and craftsmanship making unique wearable art through eclectic jewelry and accessories. He makes kinetic sculpture art and is currently working on a swimwear clothing line.
9th Street Village is a similar concept to The Old Ironworks Art District where Breidenstein was a partner in The Workhouse artists’ collective. The new artist collective aims to create a village atmosphere where artists of all mediums can gather to create and share their work.
For several years Breidenstein has imagined the art community potential of a location with indoor-outdoor space including a large retail area. This location has exceeded his hopes and now his creative abilities are tasked with developing the blank slate building into an artist workspace and a hip, fashionable outdoor area.
Breidenstein is especially enthusiastic about having a large retail space.
“In the old store people would open the door and the retail area was so small they would quickly walk away and not realize it was a shop. With this space we will have a large and inviting retail space and a walkway with wall displays of for sale items. It will hopefully draw people in where they can see the workspaces and even more art for sale,” Breidenstein said.
With the assistance of fellow 9th Street Village artist Curtis Hudson, Breidenstein is designing and building nearly every aspect of the facility.
The building is approximately 2,600 square feet. The workspaces and retail displays have been constructed using mostly reclaimed wood. Each of the seven lower level artist work spaces are 12 feet by 8 feet with each artist getting their own window. Three additional work spaces will be constructed in the upstairs loft.
Hudson is a carpenter who has provided a tremendous amount of support helping make Breidenstein’s creative vision a reality.
“We removed all the laminate flooring to reveal the concrete floor and primed and painted the space. Stuart designed the walls that define each artist space as half walls ensuring community. Everything is on castors giving Stuart complete flexibility when considering artist needs as well as his own retail space,” Hudson said.
Hudson occupies space at 9th Street Village where he will continue making and selling his custom leather journals as part of the Heirloom Leather Works brand.
“When Stuart first told me he was hunting for a new space he shared his vision of an artist community collective. I was impressed, inspired and wanted to do as much as I could to help him see that vision through,” Hudson said.
Breidenstein intends to have an outdoor area complete with artist studios, food trucks, an entertainment stage and a repurposed school bus for dining. The hilly forested area will include walking trails, a dog park, picnic benches and art displays.
SO FAR 9TH STREET VILLAGE HAS NINE ARTISTS.
The adjacent building and future outbuildings will bring opportunity to even more artists who wish to share their work and talent.
“Creative people find creative solutions. As rent’s increase, mobile art studios will become more popular. The outdoor space allows artists to set up for even just a few days if they want to. If an artist is traveling from San Francisco for example they can stop here, set up their retail space and get a bite to eat at the food trucks before moving on,” Breidenstein said.
One of the creators involved with 9th Street Village is Bradley Anson. He is an author, life coach and motivational speaker who is devoted to helping people invest in themselves and embrace their full potential.
Anson works with artists, entrepreneurs and ordinary people who no longer find their work fulfilling to help them take control of their lives through self-promotion. He will be offering branding services for creators and is looking forward to providing artists with encouragement and self-promotion.
Kate Kerrigan creates beautiful mosaics from her original photography. She is currently in the process of getting her mosaics moved to the new workspace for retail display.
“I have for the most part worked alone and somewhat isolated from other artists and the general public. The energy which already exists among this group of artists and in the space is truly inspiring. It will be awesome to have that daily interaction and exchange of ideas with others,” Kerrigan said.
Kerrigan and Breidenstein first met due to their close proximity when she had a studio in the Sunlight Solar building.
“When rent increases occurred last fall the wheels started churning as to a plan for relocation. It has been incredible to see Stuart’s original ideas and sketches come to fruition. I feel very grateful and honored to be part of it,” Kerrigan said.
Bekah Badilla will be working on and featuring her paintings, illustrations and sculptures. After spending time traveling she ultimately found her way to Bend where she met Breidenstein at The Workhouse.
Her contemporary artwork is highly conceptual and draws inspiration from the geological environment. Most recently Badilla’s “Ablation” exhibition featured work inspired by observing the processes of glacial ice during her time glacier guiding in Alaska.
“I am extremely thrilled to be involved with this collective. There are so many talented artists who are masters at their craft. I’m excited to learn from everyone and have a community that I can bounce ideas off and receive constructive critique. I feel like I’ve struck a gold mine,” Badilla said.
Breidenstein hope to have 9th Street Village open in May. As his vision for this artist collective continues progressing through the development stages, new features will be added to include more entertainment and opportunities for artists and the community.