An artists collective is bringing new life to an iconic storefront in downtown Roanoke.

Left of Center Art Space, spearheaded by a group of seven local artisans, is taking over the former home of Woolworth at 24 Campbell Ave.

The space offers a working studio for each artist as well as a gallery and a classroom where tutorials, paint nights and other events can be held.

“We’re really excited. It’s a great opportunity,” said Meridith Entingh, a weaver and member of the group.

Left of Center began leasing the space this month and is in the process of settling in. The group plans to add regular public hours and is aiming for a grand opening celebration in October.

It’s been hosting preview nights in the interim, and Entingh said the artists are happy to talk with people whenever they’re on site creating.

“The nice thing about it is it’s a working studio space,” she said. “We want people to be able to come in and to actually interact with the artists and chat with us about what we’re doing.”

The group previously occupied another studio under a different name downtown. But it was excited for the chance to shift to the well-known Woolworth’s building.

The artists work in a variety of mediums. Each creates independently but they collaborate to share space and highlight art in the community.

In addition to classes and events, Entingh said, they plan to use their gallery to showcase a series of guest artists in the coming months.

Left of Center’s next preview night is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 6. More information about the group can be found under the “Left of Center Art Space” pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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Alicia Petska covers what's happening in Roanoke County and the City of Salem.

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