By way of Toronto, Capitol Hill is about to get a new space for artists and entrepreneurs to create.
Creative Blueprint, a gallery and artist work space concept with Canadian roots, is making plans to open its doors to the Capitol Hill creative class in a 5,000 square-foot subterranean space on Boylston Ave just around the corner from Pine.
“It’s an expansion of the vision and the project,” Creative Blueprint’s Ashley Proctor tells CHS.
The affordable and flexible studio spaces will be operated in conjunction with Capitol Hill coworking concern Office Nomads which in 2012 doubled its size by taking over both the ground and second level of the old Heath Printers building above Creative Blueprint’s new basement space.
CHS is a longtime Office Nomads member.
Proctor says she started Creative Blueprint in Toronto nearly a decade ago to solve a problem familiar to many Capitol Hill artists finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable work space. Proctor says that in Toronto she started the original Creative Blueprint in an affordable area of the city only to see that area develop and rents push higher. Creative Blueprint moved, then, gain, development came. It’s a cycle Proctor said happened quickly enough in Toronto that she was able to learn how to deal with it. Eventually, she said, she was able to purchase the building where Creative Blueprint now lives. Her Toronto operation in The Foundery building also includes a coworking business that she also operates.
In Seattle, Proctor is working with Office Nomads founders Jacob Sayles and Susan Dorsch.
“It seems so easy to run one company instead of two,” she said.
Proctor tells CHS that the success of Office Nomads helped convince the building’s owners that a shared art space was a viable tenant for their investment. Proctor said that having the support of the new Capitol Hill Arts District was also key as Cultural Space Liaison Matthew Richter wrote a letter to the building owners on Creative Blueprint’s behalf.
As she works this summer to open the new space, Proctor is also meeting with artists and coworkers to find out more about the needs of the Capitol Hill community.
Proctor said that it doesn’t necessarily require artists owning a building to preserve and protect art space in a neighborhood.
“Making sure that property owners and landlords understand the value can also work,” she said.
Still, Proctor said that, eventually, purchasing a building to secure homes for Creative Blueprint and Office Nomads could be part of the plans.
Creative Blueprint will be located at 1617 Boylston Ave’s lower level. Proctor said pricing and membership plan structures will be similar to how she has set up her Foundry coworking space. You can learn more at facebook.com/CreativeBlueprintSeattle/.