Lawrenceville’s Radiant Hall, the studio building which offers resident artists space along with a wealth of connections to the Pittsburgh art world, is seeking to expand its operation to multiple locations around the city.
“We’re looking everywhere from the East End to the North Side, McKees Rocks, Polish Hill, the Hill District and Uptown. We’re following a lot of leads,” says Radiant Hall Studio Director Ryan Lammie. “We’ll probably be signing a letter of intent in the next week to move into our second location.”
Lammie’s vision for Radiant Hall is simple, but big. Traditional markets like New York are so saturated that they’re squeezing artists out. With Pittsburgh now on the art world’s map, the demand for studio space is going to increase here and soon, he thinks.
“We’re essentially trying to make Pittsburgh look more attractive to artists who may want to come here,” he says.
Right now, Radiant Hall’s Lawrenceville location has space for 20 artists, all occupied, with a waiting list of 15 deep.
What Lammie hopes to do is secure enough real estate throughout Pittsburgh for Radiant Hall to house as many artists as possible while fostering a more cogent, city-wide community of artists–before the cost of studio space gets too high.
“We’re trying to make it accessible for artists to live wherever they want,” he says. “In creating a network of multiple buildings, it encourages each community to check out the other communities. It gets people up and moving around.”
Radiant Hall is in the midst of applying for tax-exempt non-profit status and working with foundations to secure the necessary financing to purchase the space they need.
“It’s amazing how many foundations are on board with using the art studio as a catalyst for community development,” Lammie says. “If we can get artists to buy into it, we can start reinvesting rental income and turn it into an investment tool, making sure that money can’t go anywhere else.”