In addition to Benefits of Cooperative Living, artists mention an instant sense of relief that they don't have explain themselves here — your neighbors already know that you're an artist. There is also the comfort of being able to get help, advice, or to borrow a cup or sugar — or a little alizarin crimson — by knocking on some doors or sending a quick email.
Like most great opportunities, what you get out of living here depends largely on what you put in. We are one of the few artist owned and run housing cooperatives. While committee and other work participation is required from every owner/member, it can be really fun and is by far the best way to get to know your community.
What residents say about living at Lowertown Lofts Artist Cooperative:
"I feel inspired by my neighbors. I definitely put in more studio time now."
"Choosing to become a cooperative owner/member here is one of the best decisions I've ever made. The work of living here is challenging, and extremely rewarding."
"Who knew I'd have the opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills here? It all looks good on my resume."
"We live in and own one of the most beautiful gallery spaces in the Twin Cities. It's an amazing gift from our original members thirty years ago. Current owner/members bear a great honor and responsibility to keep this magical artist community thriving."
St. Paul Art Crawl
A twice a year event, the Saint Paul Art Crawl brings 18,000 to 25,000 guests to Lowertown. Our building consistently has one of the largest visitor counts and sales tallies at each event. Many artists choose to open their studios to the public in addition to showing work in our gallery space. Our cooperative works hard to create a welcoming, fun, family-friendly atmosphere that entices buyers to come back again and again. It's a great way to get your work seen, and a delightful way to celebrate art in all forms.
Drawing Circles: Members have been known to host occasional life-drawing circles in their studios — and there are other similar opportunities at nearby cafes and other locations.
Movie Night: Once a month we have a members-only movie night, usually (but not always) a documentary about an artist or art subject. Bring your own chairs and snacks to share!
Halloween Pumpkin Carving: This is an annual event. Many current and past residents take up the knife and direct their creativity toward the artistic mutilation of vegetables.
Founders Day: Every August 16 we celebrate the day our founding members paid their first monthly payment on our first mortgage — now thirty years ago. Potluck grilling opportunity in the parking lot, rain or shine!
New Member Welcome Celebrations: Once a new member is settled in, the cooperative hosts a party to welcome them into our community.
Got an idea? Member/owners drive what it's like to live here. If you want something to happen, start talking it up! Get support, build a vibe. If your idea has support, take action. Sometimes we take action and then find support. One way or the other that's the way things get done in a cooperative.