High Vibe Society’s shared artist space expected open in July | TahoeDailyTribune.com

High Vibe Society’s shared artist space expected open in July

A quirky old building that once housed a thrift store is getting a new life as an artists' hub.

High Vibe Society Artisan Collective founder Erin Ulcickas closed on a 5,000-square-foot building located on Third Street right off of Lake Tahoe Boulevard at the end of April — a space she has plans to turn into a shared studio, storefront and community center for creatives.

"High Vibe Society is about creating a space for people looking for positive, motivating, inspiring and meaningful associations with others who feel the same," said Ulcickas at an informational session on Wednesday. "It's about providing our community with a safe space for people to express themselves, to discuss ideas no matter how off the wall they may be, and to meet with like-minded individuals to collaborate and connect."

Ulcickas plans to make improvements to the two-story building over the next two months and open up in mid-July. In addition to a shared studio space, which can be rented by square footage, there will be a conference room, storefront for art supplies, and a gallery that can be converted into an intimate music venue.

Six months down the road, Ulcickas plans on installing a commercial kitchen.

High Vibe Society's new home will operate with a membership program, which offers seven different tiers ranging from "exhibition" with 24/7 access and other privileges to "drop-in."

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Additionally, the organization has now secured its status as a Benefit Corporation, joining the ranks of South Shore's Eagle Protect. A certified B Corp is held to higher standards with its impact on employees, the community and the environment.

A large number of South Lake Tahoe-based artists and art enthusiasts attended High Vibe Society's open house on Wednesday, May 3, to hear more about the plans for the space.

"I'm really interested in the workshops that you can host or attend here," said Kevin Leffler, a bespoke shoe and leather goods maker with a shop in South Lake Tahoe. "It's always fun to learn new skills."

Maya Osell, who moved to South Lake Tahoe after attending art school in Oakland, said finding a studio space in the area has been difficult, but High Vibe Society's space seems like the perfect solution.

"It's definitely been a struggle trying to find an artist community, so I'm super stoked to see this up and coming, and I'd love to start spending more and more time here as it moves along," said Osell.

Sheilah Boothby, a recent San Francisco-transplant and creator of the new Tahoe art website MakeTahoe.com, hopes to contribute by shedding light on the community of artists who will use the space.

"I'd like to make some connections with other artists that would like to contribute and just keep plucking away and writing as much as I can to cover people that might not get it elsewhere," said Boothby.

Ulcickas said she will be announcing dates for several "work parties" in the coming weeks that will be open to public participation. To stay up-to-date on High Vibe Society's progress, visit http://www.facebook.com/highvibesociety.