When the City Paper profiled the Gadsden Funeral Home for a cover story in September, the arts collective was blooming. Founded by Rebekah Kiser, the new gallery and studio space drew massive crowds with big-name street art shows, edgy work from the Gris Gallerie, artisan markets, and more. Within a week of the article’s publication, all of its studios were occupied. The Gadsden was a welcome addition to Charleston’s cultural scene.

We’ve got good news, and we’ve got bad news. The bad news is that the Gadsden Funeral Home as Charleston knows it is going away. The good news is that the multimedia art space and studios will live on, if everything goes as planned. It’s just going to be in a completely different location, the old Junk and Jive store in Avondale.

For years, the empty storefront on Savannah Highway has pestered pedestrians who have ached for the vintage furniture inside. Now, it’ll be the home of 827, the new version of the Gadsden arts collective. As much as Kiser loved the grimly eccentric identity of her former space, she couldn’t take it with her to West Ashley. It couldn’t be the Gadsden, so instead she named it after its location, just like she did the funeral home.

The new venue is almost 7,000 square feet, and it will allow Kiser to house 10 artist studios (who will have 24-hour access), two classrooms (one for art and one for music), and a huge gallery space with 20-foot ceilings. There are also plans to build a stage and expand 827’s offerings into the performing arts, from theater to art to poetry. Live music will be a major component too.

827 will have a significant educational program, with plans for after-school art and music classes for kids that will foster the next generation of creatives. Kiser also hopes to install a science lab in 827, taking on a Da Vinci-esque approach to creativity and fostering techniques for sustainable living and alternative energy. In addition to music and art classes and camps for adults and children, you may see a hydroponics or biodiesel workshop on 827’s schedule. In the future, the building may also support a small coffee shop with free wireless internet.

With regular daytime gallery hours, Kiser hopes the new space will have a cozy feel that will attract people to stop and sit, which the Gadsden couldn’t necessarily offer. “I’m going to miss that funky-weird aspect,” Kiser says of the old space. “We’re going to have to add it in there somewhere.” On the other hand, she’ll no longer have to worry about noise complaints. 827 also has better restrooms and a steady power source, which the Gadsden couldn’t promise to all of its artists.

Kiser is creating 827 with Ian Morris, a recent Charleston transplant who founded an arts organization called Homemade Genius that he operated for seven years in the Upstate. The non-profit organization hosted concerts, art receptions and shows, and taught lessons to underprivileged kids in the area, pairing them with professional artists and musicians. After seven years as the executive director of Homemade Genius. Morris was ready to live at the beach. A friend introduced him to Kiser, and they realized that they had similar outlooks. “Rebekah had mentioned wanting to combine forces and she seemed pretty happy with our vision, with what we were trying to do with Homemade Genius,” he says. “I guess it just kind of clicked, and we decided to move everything down here and make a go of it.”

Morris is bringing plenty of experience to the table. He’s dealt with all facets of operating an organization like 827, from fundraising to program development to booking bands and artists. He’s a poet, musician, and artist himself, and from touring across the country he’s developed hundreds of contacts that he hopes to eventually bring to Charleston. Morris has also seen plenty of venues and organizations similar to 827.

As Morris points out, with the loss of a space like Eye Level Art in the last year and with events like Kulture Klash seemingly disappearing, there’s a facet of Charleston’s art scene that may be losing its representation. “I feel like there’s a really big demographic that’s kind of been — I guess misplaced would be the word,” he says. “I feel like there’s a lot of outsider artists and street artists and modern art that’s kind of readjusting, and I feel like our venue can step into those shoes.”

With help from Morris, and with her own newly acquired knowledge of running an arts venue, Kiser hopes 827 will take a more professional approach than the Gadsden. “We seemed like we were just throwing things together,” Kiser says. “We made stuff happen, but it was hard to keep track of things.” At 827, members of the community can still approach Kiser with art show ideas, but now there will be paperwork to keep everything in check.

It’s possible that the new location won’t get the kind of easy neighborhood foot traffic that the Gadsden’s advantageous Elliotborough location provided. But Avondale is not without its enthusiasts, and though 827 may attract maybe less of a college hipster crowd, it may make up for it with the new neighborhood’s young professionals and families. Plus it seems like 827 would be a good fit for the area, which, between the chART Outdoor Initiative and Gallery, Spacecraft Studios, and Greenway Studio, already has a strong cultural presence in Charleston. Plus the strip has an active nightlife scene at bars like Gene’s Haufbrau, Triangle Char & Bar, Mellow Mushroom, the Roost, and Voodoo.

Assuming Kiser and crew can take over the 827 space without a hitch, there are already a number of shows lined up, including one on Dec. 12 featuring Morris’ own work. Kiser is not currently sure how many of the Gadsden’s current studio artists will make the move to West Ashley. Unfortunately, some of them live downtown and don’t have cars, so they might not be able to make the move (it’s possible that some of the studio artists will remain in the property’s back building). And in a way, Kiser feels like she’s not done with the Gadsden quite yet. She’s hopeful that the new tenants, whoever they may be, will be interested in collaborating and continuing the art shows on a different scale.

“Sometimes you just have to go for it not knowing and you have to trust your instincts and give it a shot, and you learn from that and you can do it better the next time,” Kiser says. “Considering that we only had four months there, it went really well. I feel really happy about everything … hopefully all that can transition to the new place. People know it’s not going away.”