Downtown Kingman's ArtHub ready for residents, public

Community will have access to gallery, classes

Don Brink, left, and Charlie Wels work on an upstairs unit at the Art Hub, where selected artists will have rent-free residencies in return for classes offered to the community.

Don Brink, left, and Charlie Wels work on an upstairs unit at the Art Hub, where selected artists will have rent-free residencies in return for classes offered to the community.

KINGMAN - The first three artists have been selected for residency at the ArtHub and a grand opening is scheduled noon to 9 p.m. Saturday at the studio on the corner of Fourth and Beale streets.

The event will feature artwork from late Russian impressionist Sergei Bongart and his widow, Patricia Legrande, who lives in Kingman. Bongart's paintings have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Local artists will also be exhibiting their works and giving demonstrations in the studio, with musical entertainment in the evening by Jonnie Blake.

Those attending ArtHub's grand opening will be able to tour the upstairs lofts before the artists arrive on Sunday. Artists in residence are Janie Stapleton, a painter from Northern California; Sally Strom, a multidiscipline artist from Oregon; and Amy Reed, a writer and children's books illustrator from Georgia.

"These artists hanging their paintings are pretty well known," said Doug Angle, president of Angle Homes and developer of ArtHub. "I think local artists are pretty excited to be having something downtown where they can have classes and a place to mingle with other artists."

Angle's son, Seth, an artist himself, came up with the idea of bringing guest artists to Kingman and providing them with free rent for three or four months in exchange for art classes and demonstrations open to the public.

ArtHub will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Classes and workshops will begin in February, Angle said. Check the web site at kingmanarthub.com for event dates.

Angle, who has built more than 700 homes in the Kingman area, said ArtHub is his way of giving back to the community. He estimated the cost of refurbishing the space in the historic Central Commercial Building at $120,000. Carol Ott, owner of the building, is giving him a discount on rent.

ArtHub will have a 1,300-square-foot, two-room studio and gallery downstairs, and five residential lofts covering 2,600 square feet upstairs with two common bathrooms.

Angle said the upstairs is close to being finished, and the downstairs still needs flooring.

"It's a challenge dealing with floors that are not level. They're up and down and all over the place," Angle said. "It's not 100 percent. There's still a slope, but it's a lot better."

Workers are finishing plumbing and electrical work, and shimming and cutting cabinets to get them to fit. Final inspection for certificate of occupancy is expected by Wednesday, Angle said.

"It's been an adventure, but it's a good experience," the home builder said.

Built in 1917, the building required new heating and cooling systems, upgraded electrical and plumbing, insulation and drywall replacement, and a lot of work in tight spaces between floor joists.

Seth Angle reviewed the qualifications of about 10 artists who applied for ArtHub residency, including one from Kenya. Artists submitted resumes, reference letters, written excerpts and CDs with images of their work. They also gave a statement of intent on what they would be teaching in their classes.

Angela Patterson, owner of Beale Street Brews coffee shop and organizer of First Friday, said an art community is part of the vision she had for downtown Kingman when she opened her business in 2007.

She's also an artist and included a small gallery as part of her coffee shop.