The Strauss Gallery is operated by the artist residents of Artspace Hamilton Lofts. We're a live/work artist collective. And The Strauss is our showroom, while Artspace is our house. It's a pretty cool concept! And it's happening all over the country.
There are over fifty Artspace projects (and counting) throughout the United States. The mission of Artspace is “to create, foster and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations”.
The Artspace Hamilton Lofts project—a partnership with the Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton and with support from local artists, City officials and neighborhood and philanthropic leaders—was about two decades in the making. It was conceived in the early 1990s by Rick H. Jones (Executive Director at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts from 1991-2015 and owner of the Renaissance Fine Art Supplies) after viewing the original Artspace in Minneapolis in 1987. The project was approved under former Mayor Don Ryan, designed by Mike Dingeldein of Community Design Alliance, and construction was completed in 2015.
The Artspace building is a work of art in and of itself, showcasing modernized rehabilitation of two internally connected historical buildings: a 1900 French Renaissance masterpiece originally known as the Mehrum Building and the 1913 Lindley Block.
This building has seen a flood, survived a fire, and still boasts many of its original features, including hardwood floors and ceiling tiles. It is mostly famously remembered as the Strauss Department Store. When the residential gallery was officially established in 2018 as The Strauss Gallery, it chose its name as a nod to the building’s past.
But Artspace Hamilton and The Strauss are about more than a beautiful space. It’s ultimately about the many talented and civic-minded artists who live and work here. It’s about the commitments they make towards embodying the mission of Artspace Projects, as well as contributing their part, art, and talents towards fulfillment of a collective vision for the City of Hamilton that honors its rich past and embraces its exceptional possibilities.
Artspace Hamilton Lofts provides forty-two units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families. To live at Artspace Hamilton, at least one member of every household must be a practicing artist and be approved by our Artist Selection Committee. Here are Artspace, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, handicap, ancestry, or age. We celebrate diversity!
Community Partners and Founders:
Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton; Hamilton Community Foundation; Ralph “Pat” Carruthers; Claire Fitton; Vaden Fitton; Sarah & Joe Marcum; Shirley & Jack Moser; Marilyn & Joel Schmidt; Harry T. Wilks; City of Hamilton; U.S. Bank; Ohio Housing Finance Agency; Ohio Historic Preservation Office; Ohio Development Services Agency and Vision 2020.
More recently, a partnership was made with 17 Strong, which generously allotted funds towards the refurbishing of the Strauss Gallery, including the 17 Strong Stage. The Strauss Gallery is also a founding partner of the Hamilton Games Festival and Hamilton PRIDE.
Because of such outstanding support and enabling, THE STRAUSS IS REBORN!