Saturday,
April 19

 
CULTURE

Will Blue Star twinkle alone?


Illustration by Jeremiah TeutschIllustration by Jeremiah TeutschA few hundred square feet and a few hundred dollars a month may make all the difference between the Blue Star of today and tomorrow. In mid January, word leaked that property owner James Lifshutz was planning to upgrade the scruffy facility – home to a brewery, a bike shop, a salon, and lots of art, from the eponymous contemporary art center to the handful of artist-run spaces that put the essential bitters in the complex’s magic cocktail. Rumors displaced the art for more food, drink, and shopping. And some of that is true. Stone Metal Press, a postage stamp of its former steamroller-print self, is on its way out, along with a photographer and a few other businesses. Overtime Theater’s short tenancy is over. Joan Grona Gallery is closing this week, voluntarily she says, after a 20-year residency. So you might reasonably worry that Blue Star, surrounded by old King William, on-the-make Lavaca and fleets of new urban-core lofts, is set on the familiar SoHo path, described succinctly by artist Chris Sauter: “The trend is always artists move into an area, then the gays, then everybody else.” Pushed out by rising rents and newly persnickety neighbors, the artists move along to re-colonize the next under-valued neighborhood.


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