William Sarradet, Glasstire’s Assistant Editor, and I recently traveled to South Texas, visiting Laredo, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Rockport, Harlingen, and beyond. It was my first time to see these towns, and in each city it was exciting to meet artists and art administrators and see the spaces that make each art scene unique.
One such place is the K Space Art Studios, which has existed since 1995 in Corpus Christi. Located on the top floor of the same building as K Space Contemporary, the two organizations have a close history. Michelle Smythe, who took over management of the studios after the founders left in the late 1990s, envisioned the lower level of the building as a nonprofit gallery space. Together with other key members of K Space Art Studios, she helped establish the gallery in 2001 and is its current Executive Director.
Both the studios and the gallery maintain the “K Space” name in reference to the building’s historic roots as a Kress Five & Dime Store. The upstairs area where the studios are located was once the storage space for the shop. Though the studio space is wide-open and wood-floored, there is a downside: it doesn’t have air conditioning or heating, causing many artists to take breaks from using the space in the summer and winter.
Divided into various sized studios, a gallery space, and a communal area, K Space Art Studios is home to about a dozen artists. During our visit, we spoke with a handful of artists who were working in their studios. Here are some photographs of their spaces.