When I learned that the place I used to live for many years and where I had put art shows together with friends for those years was finally putting an end to the art show aspect of the building I wanted to write a memorial of sorts. Something to mark the occasion and what the place meant to me and so many of us that did shows there. I wanted to convey how much this place meant to ME. Only, in trying to write this story it comes off so pretentious, so false because the place wasn’t like that, wasn’t about one person, or one view, it was about everyone, and how special it was when artists worked together to create something.
625 came about when our landlord, seeing the success of the space when used as an arts venue, said – someone should do guerilla art shows there. That was how it started, with permission to create, and from there, from us, it became part of the established monthly Art Walk in Flint, a venue that changed and evolved as the shows did, and as the artists did. My friends and I did some huge shows there, that had not been seen downtown before, but after us there was a more refined presence of artists there, and the space changed, and the scene changed, and it was an ebb and flow of creativity there and it fed into this greater arts movement that Flint has seen over the past several years and it’s been so amazing to witness. And kind of amazing to go through because it was what made me really fall in love with doing shows and putting shows together. And it made me really want to help other people the way these shows helped me.
We had a lot of ups and downs at this place, from our huge initial shows to a show filled with needless drama and silliness when a local group decided that our use of the word ‘guerilla’ was offensive, but through it all we learned that there’s a place for indie art, and for small, interesting art shows. It was a plain, empty space that became whatever the people the show and the artists in the show needed it to become and man, to think of some of the things done with the space I can only smile because we were all a part of something very special.
For over six years artists were able to use this space and put on shows outside the norm, outside the comfort zone, and outside of what the establishment was doing. I am proud and honored to have been a part of that. My part in it is its own story, a story that means the world to me, and I am happy to have it. I am sad to see that this space will no longer be used for these shows but to have had the time there, the opportunities to positively impact Flint and its art scene, and to help young artists find confidence, find a voice, and find their passion, that’s a legacy that space will never lose.
625 was more than a home for me for the time I was there, it was the spark of inspiration that drove me, and changed me, and it will always be a part of who I am and what I do.