The formation of the guild began in 2008 with a suggestion from Steve Rogers pastor of the First Methodist Church. The church had begun a project to assist single mothers and their children who were facing homelessness. They had acquired the use of the Murray Building on East High St. in London, Ohio and were beginning plans to remodel all the upstairs apartments. The downstairs store fronts at 5 & 7 East High St were available. Kim Lattimer, who was on the Community Outreach committee led by Pastor Roberts, suggested the storefronts would be perfect for a gallery and art classes.
This brought together a few of the artists in Madison County. They organized as the London Visual Arts Guild and worked closely with the First Methodist Church, renovating the space and developing a mission for the new organization. In 2010 The guild was incorporated as a private non profit , Charitable 501 C 3 organization that would be self sustaining through membership fees, classes, donations and money raising projects such as the annual November ‘Benefit Auction’
Renovation of The Gallery on High and Studio 7
Shortly after the space was made available, Guild volunteers with the support of the Church that began the renovation of exhibit space at 5 E High St. since it was in the best condition 7 E. High St was a different story. The storefront was in need of extensive renovation condition and would not open until early 2010. Mountainous remnants of past tenants filled the space. Neither of the bathrooms worked. There was no water or adequate electrical service The walls, floors and ceiling would need to be rebuilt.
The bathroom in #5 E. High was rebuilt and reconfigured it more accessible New floor tile was laid. Plaster was patched. Drywall was hung and layers of mud applied. The front part of the building got new paneling and drywall where needed…and lots of paint. The carpeting got cleaned…several times. In the summer of 2008, the London Visual Arts Guild held first exhibit at the new Gallery on High.
Studio 7 Renovation
Demolition in began in August of 2008 with the remove all the false walls and removal of the suspended ceiling tiles. We found wonderful 12-foot tin ceilings above the suspended panels.
A lot of people thought the cost and work involved in rebuilding the space was beyond the means of LVAG. Getting the necessary permits to continue remodeling #7 took almost a years but in August of 2009, work began again in earnest.
Pictures from the renovation