K Space Contemporary was established by key members of K Space Art Studios, a cooperative art studio formed in 1995. The “K” in our name refers to the building’s historic roots as the Kress Five & Dime store built in 1917. From it’s inception in 2001 to early 2007, the non-profit organization operated out of a 700 square foot gallery located within K Space Art Studios on the third floor of the building.
In 2006, K Space Contemporary reorganized its board of directors and began plans to open a more accessible and visible community-based facility. With the assistance of the Clower Company, K Space board members renovated the street-level space – adding offices, storage space and a gift shop. The new venue, K Space Contemporary, opened October 13, 2007 with the first annual Third Coast National exhibition.
BEGINNINGS – K SPACE ART STUDIOS
Founders Erick and Raychelle Schaudies dreamed of creating an artist studio cooperative for contemporary artists,
something that did not previously exist in Corpus Christi. It would be a place where artists working in non-traditional media, methods and subject matter could meet, share ideas and work along-side each other; a community for artists who wanted to express themselves in new and innovative ways.
This dream came to fruition when the Schaudies discovered the old Kress building in downtown Corpus Christi as a potential studio space. One important ingredient was finding a property owner who was agreeable to renting to a bunch of crazy artists, and they found that in landlords, Tim and Dottie Clower. K Space Art Studios, named for the Kress building in which it is located, was born in November of 1995.
The third floor warehouse was crowded with store shelves, mannequins, and other department store fixtures. The Schaudies began recruiting artists and with the help of five charter members, they cleared and divided the 7000 square foot space into 12 studios, a darkroom and common area. What they created is a thriving workspace housing artists of all disciplines, backgrounds, education levels and ages.
K Space has since become a major part of the Corpus Christi art scene, literally changing and improving the cultural climate of the city. K Space provides artists with a place in which to feel connected to like-minded people and exhibits works of art that might otherwise have no forum. The Schaudies managed K Space Art Studios until 1999 when they moved to Elgin, Texas. They passed the reigns on to Michelle Smythe, and K Space has since evolved to become a 501c3 non-profit organization presenting up to 24 exhibitions per year, educational programming and organizing events such as a Dia de los Muertos Street Festival and ArtWalk.