Wyoming Arts Council

The Casper Artists’ Guild boosts the city’s “creative placemaking” efforts

Here are excerpts from an article by Makayla Moore in the Casper Journal’s issue for the week of June 5-11. WAC board member Holly Turner is executive director of the Casper Artists’ Guild:

In a bold move, the Casper Artists’ Guild is hoping to purchase part of an empty warehouse at the corners of Ash and Midwest Avenues from the City of Casper.

The guild has spent three years developing a strategic plan for the project. The result is a three phase plan to turn the 8-9000 sq. ft. space into a forum for artist to create and display art, all hinging on approval from the Casper City Council.

Calling the project “Art 321 at the Warehouse,” they are hoping to open phase one by the end of the summer.

“I’m very proud of them [the Guild] they are looking into the future,” said Holly Turner who has been hired by the guild to oversee the project. “My passion for the arts has been my driving passion and love for the last 20 years,” Turner said.

The Casper Artists’ Guild was formed in 1924 and organized to provide opportunities for local artist to share ideas and learn from each other. The guild’s current membership is 90 members, 80 percent of which are from Casper. They currently meet and exhibit in the West Wind Gallery by the Westside Albertson’s.

“I think sometimes they feel cut off from Casper over there. It’s not easy to get to,” Turner said.

The Guild would welcome a move to a more central location. “It’s an intriguing and exciting time for the Old Yellowstone District. We’re at a tipping point and it’s very insightful of the guild to want to be a big part of that,” Turner said.

The location of the warehouse will be next door to the proposed City Center.

There is additional room in the warehouse, which the city would like to sell to other interested groups of businesses and groups.

“We’re not trying to compete with what is here, we would like to fill in the gaps and all work together,” she said. “There are a lot of great synergistic things happening in Casper.”

“Casper has such a vibrant, cultural community and we just want to add to that,” she said.

According to Turner, they could have the go-ahead on the project by July 1, if everything proceeds according to plan. Thanks to a $100,000 donation from an unnamed source, they have the funds to begin work on the warehouse.

“If we get it on July 1, I’d like to have plumbers and contractors in the building by July 2,” she said.

She believes that they may be able to open phase one by the end of this summer and host a downtown art walk by fall.

“We’re hoping people will hear about it and want to help. We want this be a center for all art in Casper,” Turner said.

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