[image-1]Steph Emge, the owner of 1813 Reynolds Ave., plans to open Park Circle Gallery, a new creative space, this September. Most recently the location of Tua Lingua, Emge says that he couldn’t afford to have the building operate as the experimental arts space/studio any longer. “I was losing money every month,” says Emge of renting the location to Tua Lingua.
Earlier this month I’d written a story entitled “What’s it gonna take?” about Tua Lingua leaving Reynold Ave. If that doesn’t ring a bell, well, it shouldn’t: we pulled the story right before going to press after we found out that Emge planned on re-opening the building as another arts space. The disaster narrative — arts spaces can’t survive in this city — didn’t ring as true when one arts space simply replaces another.
Tua Lingua lived at 1813 Reynolds Ave. from February 2018-July 2018. When I spoke to Tua Lingua owner Nathan Petro about the future of the arts space, as disagreements mounted over the use of the property, he told me that he didn’t want Tua Lingua to exist solely online. He hopes to find a new space for the concept, one that he thinks of as “absolutely critical to Charleston and North Charleston.”
Likely, Park Circle Gallery will not be the experimental space that Tua Lingua has always been. “I’m taking a different approach,” says Emge of the new concept. “I’m going to have lots of art on display, so people can see stuff all the time.” Tua Lingua occasionally featured shows, but its main purpose was as a working studio, rather than a gallery.
“I also want to give people more of a reason to be there than to look at art on a wall,” says Emge, who’s thinking about offering coffee service as “another reason to be in there.” Emge wants to continue to offer classes, from figure drawing to pottery, as well as talks and musical performances.
[image-2]”I need to spend $30,000 to get the building up to speed,” says Emge. He estimates that $20K of that budget will be spent on putting a/c throughout the 4,300 square foot building. Emge says that he’ll see how things look in six months with the progress of Park Circle Gallery, and then reassess if need be, but that doesn’t mean selling the building.
“I’m going to hold onto it,” says Emge of 1813 Reynolds Ave. “The Spruill corridor is important real estate. There’s value creeping up Spruill. It’s hard to say that I’ll rent you space at $1 a square foot when I can get $12 a square foot. Things change.”
If you’re an artist interested in moving into Park Circle Gallery, contact Emge at email@example.com or by calling (843) 303-1513.