D’Art Center finds new home in Norfolk’s arts district

D'Art Center













Steve Earley






The d’Art Center artists displaced last April by an explosion at the Selden Arcade have finally found a home – for now.

The nonprofit organization announced Thursday that roughly 20 artists will move to the arts district. They will occupy the first two floors of the Duke Grace building, at 740 Duke St.

“I can’t speak for everyone, but I think the general feeling is we’re just happy to move forward and get back to business,” said Carolyn Phillips, executive director of the d’Art Center, an arts organization that provides work space for artists.

It’s a move that brings some stability to the artisans who had been waiting for months to hear whether they could return to the Selden, which was closed after an electrical-related fire.

But the journey for the d’Artists is not over. During the two years they’ll be in the Duke Grace building, the d’Art Center will be searching for a permanent home for the artists, one that’s better suited for their craft.

The announcement comes one day after The Virginian-Pilot reported that the city is seeking proposals on the purchase, lease and redevelopment of the Selden.

While that news seemed to remove any possibility that the d’Art Center would return to the Selden, a city spokeswoman on Wednesday would not confirm it.

“No, I never said that,” city spokeswoman Lori Crouch said, when The Pilot sought to verify that the d’Artists would not reinhabit the Selden. “We have a lease with them through March.”

However, Phillips said Thursday that her organization and the city mutually decided “over the past couple of months” that the d’Art Center would not return to the Selden.

On Thursday, Crouch emailed news outlets a prepared statement from Mayor Paul Fraim and City Manager Marcus Jones.

“The city would like to congratulate d’Art on its new home in the Arts District,” Jones said in the statement. “The City and the d’Art organization worked closely together the last several months to identify space in the Arts District and we look forward to seeing d’Arts 22 artists create amazing works in their new space.”

Around the end of the year, a number of the artists moved out of the rent-free space in the PNC Bank building where they had been working temporarily, just a few blocks from the Selden. The building’s owner, Harbor Group International, had found a tenant for the space, they said.

Two of the artists seemed less than enthusiastic about the new location.

“It’ll do for now,” said painter Janice Gay Maker, who took a tour of the new work space a month or so ago.

She added that she liked that she would have a window, but she said she and the other artists would have less space than they had at the Selden.

Mark McFarlane, a goldsmith, said he doesn’t like the Duke Street spot.

“No, I don’t,” he said. “I call it the art ghetto. … It’s got no (foot) traffic.”

In a decade, McFarlane said, the arts district will likely be a safe, comfortable place where more people live.

“For right now, it’s not that,” he said. “It’s a lot of what I call graffiti on the walls.”

The lease begins in February, but Phillip Decker, whose family owns the five-story building, said “as soon as they get the OK, they can move in as soon as they want.”

“I’m glad to be a part of the solution,” Decker said. “It is something we’ve been working on diligently for a while.”

Phillips said the City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to provide a grant to help pay rent on the two-year lease. Crouch said the grant would be $126,522.

If the council approves the grant, Phillips said her organization would end up paying the same rent as it did at the Selden – just over $39,000 a year.

As for a more permanent space, McFarlane said the d’Art Center has already created a committee to find one.

Phillips said the group has looked at several locations, but she would not share details about their search.

To find Virginia Beach local artists contact FrameWorx


Leave a Reply

Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 647-6060

Find us on Google

Custom Picture Framing: The Best Way to Show Your Love of Art

Show your love for art by framing it. Framed artwork allows you to showcase and preserve it for years to come. Custom picture framing is the best way to go: Nothing beats the look, protection, and personal touch of having your beloved art framed by a professional custom picture framer.

Every piece of art, as well as treasured photos and memorabilia, deserves to have a unique, well-designed frame with high quality materials, craftsmanship and appropriate techniques. This can only be performed by an experienced picture framing expert.

Why go through the trouble of hiring a professional picture framer when you can buy a photo frame or ready-made frame from a craft or department store?  Professional custom picture framing services don't just produce any frame; they create a design based on your individual taste. This means that you are able to enjoy a personalized picture frame package that can't be found or assembled in big box stores. You get to choose the materials and colors as well as the layout of the frame. You can rely on your framer's design and framing experience in helping guide your selections to come up with a satisfying result you can enjoy for years.

Framing is an extension of your art -and your taste. Picture framing, along with the use of acid-free conservation materials, will preserve your picture and ensure that it stays in good condition over an extended period. In addition to protecting your picture collection, custom picture frames also enrich the appearance of your artwork.

Frames are vital when it comes to creating a first impression. You might have fantastic art but if it's in a frame that doesn't suit the art style or clashes with your decor it can end up spoiling the whole effect. Custom picture frames come in many different materials and styles. A professional framer with experience can guide you to the end product that will make all the difference.

Unless a frame shop has been recommended or advertised, you may search the internet for a respected gallery or professional framing business. Use caution when doing this, especially if the item you'd like to frame is of any value to you.

Tips to consider before you hire a custom picture framing service in Virginia Beach - or anywhere:
1.  Your Style.  Do you prefer traditional, modern or eclectic décor? Are you drawn to ornate or simple designs? Which colors are your favorite? Artwork can be properly framed in such a variety of ways. By thinking about YOUR personal preferences, you won't be overwhelmed with today's unlimited framing options.

2. Glazing.  Works on paper need protection from damaging UV light and its environment. If your framing application requires glazing, consider the glass quality and the types of glass available to protect your art and enhance your design. Conservation glass or acrylic glazing is highly recommended.

3. Matting.  Did you know that matboard borders came about to prevent framed treasures from touching the glass? A mat provides the necessary space between the art paper surface and glazing to protect art on paper and photos. Now mats are used for decorative purposes as well. There are many types of matboard for all different applications. Matting can also be used to enhance the colors in the artwork that you want to emphasize, or give your art image a bit of visual "breathing room" when a frame alone would look too small or "closed in".

4. Mounting board.  If your art requires mounting, It's recommended that you use a mount board that is protective, or at least neutral to your art. Some mounting boards can actively harm your pictures with acid and out-gassing.

5. Budget.  It would be wise to disclose your intended budget limits before starting to choose a design because that can rule out choices which could extend beyond what you're willing to spend. This allows your frame designer to present framing options which protect your artwork, fit your budget and make it look fabulous! {Ok, maybe your idea of "fabulous" is too pricey for the moment. A professional, skilled framer will offer options that protect and make your artwork shine.}

5 Star picture framing Virginia Beach  In addition to the finest custom picture framing services you'll find, FrameWorx offers a wide variety of fine art selections which feature original artwork by up-and-coming to renown artists from around the world.

Contact us 757-647-6060 for a personal consultation.

What’s Up

Museums and Visual Arts

MOCA    Click here to visit Chrysler Museum    Click here to visit Richmond Art Museum    Click here to visit Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Click here to visit MOMA

Support the Arts

Support the Arts

MidAtlantic Arts Foundation

Frameworx sitemap

Frameworx image sitemap

Call or Text