South Shore artist collective one step closer to opening shared studio |

South Shore artist collective one step closer to opening shared studio

Claire Cudahy
Erin Ulcickas founded High Vibe Society in 2016 and has been working ever since to open a shared studio space and artists' hub in South Lake Tahoe.
Courtesy / Erin Ulcickas |

Lake Tahoe’s South Shore is one step closer to having an artists’ hub.

Erin Ulcickas, founder of the local artist collective High Vibe Society, is in the process of securing funding for a space that she plans to transform into a shared studio, gallery and shop with the potential for concerts, workshops and other community events.

“Our space is going to be a combination of different things. We are going to have mainly the shared artist studio space,” said Ulcickas.

“We are also going to have a gallery space, which is going to be like a traditional gallery, but it’s also going to be able to be flexible so that we can convert it over to a music venue. It’s a way that we can get more of a diverse music scene here.”

A small retail area will feature work for sale by some of High Vibe’s members as well as art supplies.

“In the art corner you can get things like acrylic paints, brushes and canvases and not have to go down to Carson and lose the inspiration that you had on the way there,” said Ulcickas.

Ulcickas officially founded High Vibe Society in 2016, and since then she’s been working to drum-up support for her vision.

“It’s not just about creating community, it’s about making sure that these [artists] have a way to make this a real job. This is not only a way for people to have fun, but it also diversifies South Lake’s economy tremendously,” said Ulcickas.

She currently has 25 artists on board. There are seven membership levels that range from “Exhibition” — the full-time artist with privileges like 24-hour access, workshop opportunities, gallery showings and more — to the “Drop-In.”

“Say you’re a local artist and you need access to an Adobe Suite application. We’re going to be able to provide you that,” said Ulcickas.

Individuals, businesses and organizations will also have opportunities to act as patrons in exchange for access to the space, swag and discounted entry to events.

After a year in business, Ulcickas has plans to apply for a commercial kitchen license to accommodate makers who express their creativity through food.

“I have people who have expressed interest in doing workshops, but they are for things like making sushi,” she explained.

Passes to host workshops in the space will be available as well.

Though Ulcickas is being hush-hush about the location of the space until the business loan comes through and the sale is finalized, she does have a general timeline for the process.

“My goal is to have the space secured by the first or second week in April, then we will do some renovations through the month of April, and have a soft opening for members in May,” explained Ulcickas.

She hopes to open it up to the community in June or July, but in the meantime people can visit High Vibe’s website to show their support through a non-monetary “endorsement.”

“I moved out to Tahoe and I was only going to be here for a bit because I had bigger dreams, and I fell in love with this spot, and I really saw the opportunity in this community,” said Ulcickas.

Ultimately, Ulcickas — who dabbles in all types of art — hopes to inspire others to live by High Vibe Society’s motto: Keep Tahoe Conscious.

“It’s being very aware of how you act, how you speak to people, your thoughts that you have about yourself and your own abilities,” said Ulcickas.

“I’m using my insights from previously working in sustainable agriculture and converting it through the arts as a way to improve our community connectivity, and get people more involved and feeling responsible for how South Lake is perceived.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.