Katherine Brimberry, the owner and director of the Austin gallery and print publishing workshop Flatbed Press, has told Glasstire that the Flatbed will be moving from its East Austin home this spring. After Flatbed announced in February of 2018 that its lease at 2830 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd wouldn’t be renewed so that the property could be redeveloped, the organization set off on a months-long search as Flatbed tried to find a building that could house its multiple presses and studios.
Flatbed’s new home is located adjacent to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 3701 Drossett Drive, about seven miles from Flatbed’s current location. Ms. Brimberry says that the building reminds her “of the industrial spaces that were in the Design District in Dallas about twenty years ago.” Part of an industrial flex-space complex, Flatbed’s new home comprises 6020 square feet, 1200 of which the press will lease out to a “like-minded tenant” — like a gallery, or artists’ studios.
With the press’ move comes a few changes: first, Flatbed’s gallery space will be more formalized, allowing the organization to create more contained exhibitions. Second, Flatbed is opening the Flatbed Community Press, an open studio for artist-printmakers. And third, the space will contain “a professional studio for artist residencies and Flatbed publication projects.” Flatbed will also have a private, fenced outdoor area and a side entrance to the building.
One of the drawbacks of Flatbed’s move, even though the press will be sharing the space with another tenant, is that it will have fewer galleries and artists as neighbors. Flatbed’s East Austin location, which is approximately 18,000 square feet and features eleven other tenants, is a small, ready-made arts compound that includes spaces like Gallery Shoal Creek,CAMIBAart, and the Austin Book Arts Center, among others.
One of Flatbed’s tenants, CAMIBAart, itself recently announced its relocation plans. Flatbed will host a retrospective salon-style moving exhibition featuring more than 250 of the press’ works from January 19-February 28, 2019.
For more information about the increasing volatility of affordable spaces in East Austin, go here.