NORFOLK, Va. - For the past two years, the massive windows of the building at the corner of Boush Street and West Olney Road in Norfolk's Neon Arts District revealed only a glimpse of the transformation happening inside.
"We actually started planning this over two years ago, just when COVID started to hit," recalls Tricia Hudson, Executive Director of Norfolk's d'Art Center
The 1950's era space, originally a bank, has been converted into a blank canvas. Now, reborn as the center's new home.
"It's been transformed for us to an art gallery, with an excellent main gallery that has wonderful bright windows," Hudson boasts.
The 2,000 square foot gallery is, by far, the 36-year-old center's largest home to date. The space is spectacular, but it's not stuffy.
"We welcome everyone."
-Tricia Hudson, Norfolk's d'Art Center
"You can come and get an art piece for $50 or you can come get a piece for $5,000 or $10,000," she says. "There's something for everyone."
A unique feature of the new gallery finds its roots in the building's history. One artist from each show will display their work inside the building's original bank vault. Just don't get locked inside.
"We have a safety precautions, obviously. And we have an air vent. Just in case," Hudson reassured News 3 anchor Blaine Stewart.
With this transformation, the team at D'Art center has unlocked the past splendor of this nearly 70-year-old building. In the process, giving new sparkle to itself, a jewel of the Mermaid City.
"It means that the Neon District will continue to be a vibrant area," Hudson beams. "We're so glad to be a part of it."