Then in 1981 artists began to discover its huge, raw and largely uninhabited walls. From four original founders the building grew to house over 120 artists at a time producing a range of creative work from fine art to experimental... from avant garde sculpture to Marvel comics.
Once a month the building would open its doors for Artwalk on every first thursday of the month. What ensued was nothing short of a New York SOHO-style art party spanning six floors of studios, almost every one of them harboring some unique experience for visitors.
People from all walks of life found inspiration in 619 - from local business leaders to quirky artists... even famous actors could be seen wandering its corridors.
After years of neglect though, a 2001 earthquake and finally Seattle's deep bore tunnel project... 619 Western was forced to close its doors and the artists were forced to find new places to live and create.
Originally the building was scheduled to be demolished by the State, but preservationists quickly stepped in and saved the building itself - only to lose the artists forever. Expensive renovations will make the space unaffordable to working artists since it will become prime real estate for the owners. The result will be the gentrification of a neighborhood, one of Seattle's last remaining cultural gems.
Our film intends to celebrate the space for what it was and highlight the importance of working artists in communities. It will serve as a mirror for capitalism and the creative spirit - how the two interact and often conflict.
Every one of us has a deep desire to be creative and 619 symbolized the epitome of creativity for so many who frequented its studios. It represented freedom of expression and an unbridled spirit of possibility.
Please help 619 live on.
Support your local artists! The rewards listed for this campaign don't just benefit the project, they go to pay the artists for their work. When you select a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level art reward, portrait reward or jewelry reward, the artists are paid for their work!
We have a lot of footage. Over 100 hours to be more precise. That much footage is going to require a lot of combing through and piecing together to produce a high quality film worthy of the world's attention.
This process is going to take some time but in the end we believe it will be well worth the wait.
For a benjamin we'll ship you a DVD copy of the completed film, write your name in the history books with an official special thanks in our IMDB credits and give you access to our sneak peak digital screeners!
Original locally made earrings and necklaces! Parallel Jewelry is offering hand crafted pure silver jewelry made to order! Check out their inventory for available styles: www.paralleljewelry.com [Plus all of the above rewards!]
For $500 you will get a DVD copy, IMDB special thanks, 2 tickets to our premiere and a high quality print of the director's original art work. Check out the online gallery for a selection of available prints!
Art lovers - welcome! At this level we begin offering original works of art by former 619 and other local artists. Visit our website and find your way to the online gallery, select any BRONZE level work you fancy and email us which one you've chosen so we can reserve it for you!
Photo portraits! Ingrid Pape-Sheldon, Seattle portrait photographer extraordinaire, is offering individual or family portraits to local donors! Check out her website for samples of her incredible work: www.pape-sheldon.com
Original painted portrait! Have your portrait painted by nationally renowned and former 619 artist Billy King. "Billy King is in collections all across North America including Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, Smthsonian Institute in Washington DC, and Curator PR Seattle. ". A $1,500 value! More info at www.billyking.com [Seattle donors only]
Platinum level. Select any PLATINUM work of art, receive Executive Producer credit in the film, 4 tickets to our premiere (location TBD), and join the production team for a fancy dinner! We can discuss the project, stories about the building and take your creative input on the film!