Story

PLANK founder and director John Belli

 The PLANK Mission
PLANK nurtures and sustains the arts by providing affordable spaces where artists can create, collaborate and engage with the community.

The PLANK Story
In 2011, furniture maker John Belli rented a former seafood distribution center with the idea of creating a working space for artists. He envisioned a place where artists of various disciplines could come together to practice their craft and build community. In 2013, after personally carrying out extensive renovations to the building (which was originally a large dank space with open drains) John launched PLANK studios & gallery.

In the ensuing years, PLANK has been home to the studios of over 20 artists and has evolved into a true community where artists not only work but interact with one another and the community.  In addition, the building’s common spaces host regular events and exhibitions by guest artists.

Maintaining a stable, affordable arts workspace is a personal mission for John, as he previously experienced the forced dislocation so common to artists working in Seattle. In 2010 John took over the main lease for a floor of 13 artists located in an arts building in Pioneer Square.  One year later, all 200+ artists in the building were asked to leave to make way for the new tunnel project. Within 6 months, all had to vacate their studios. The relocation funds offered to the artists provided the seed money for John’s buildout of PLANK.

Studios and Gallery
Today PLANK houses eight studio spaces occupied by artists working in a variety of media. In addition, the building’s common spaces host events and exhibitions by guest artists several times a year. PLANK artists offer occasional classes and workshops.

PLANK studios under construction & today

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