Smile Politely

OPENSOURCE Closes Their Washington Street Art Space

On the same weekend that OPENSOURCE celebrated its three-year anniversary with an exhibition, dubbed “Birthday Suit,” the art space also had to close the doors on their East Washington Street location in Champaign.

OPENSOURCE is an alternative art space focusing on non-traditional projects and events of interest to the Champaign-Urbana community. The group’s projects run the gamut from art workshops to lectures to concerts from local and national creators. Until recently, the group used their location in Downtown Champaign as a home.

The art group set up shop in the vacant storefront at 12 E. Washington Street for just $200 a month until the building was bought this year. In the summer, OPENSOURCE received a letter notifying them of the sale, Daryl McCurdy, an OPENSOURCE member says.

OPENSOURCE closed on Dec. 2.

OPENSOURCE obtained the notice to vacate approximately two months ago. Above its spot, condos are in the works, and eventually a new storefront.

Although the art organization is currently homeless, and feeling a little burnt out from the move, they are looking for a space to relocate, McCurdy says. OPENSOURCE is hunting for vacant buildings, or rough spaces to fill, much like their location on Washington Street.

This weekend, along with the fundraiser “Birthday Suit: An Exhibition and Sale of Artist-Made Clothing” the art space hosted a well-received presentation “An Atlas of Radical Cartography,” from Lize Mogel and Alexis Bhaghat. Radical cartography is “a practice of using maps and mapping to promote social change.”

In the past, OPENSOURCE has hosted a variety of community art ventures including a classical guitar concert from Chris Mann, a photographic scavenger hunt, and a release party for Eye Rocket Books’ The National Science Fair of Amazing New Discoveries.

Photo by Justine Bursoni

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