After a long, successful run, Ypsilanti’s SPUR Studios to close in July

It just became official that SPUR Studios would be closing on July 31, after six years in operation. Launched during the summer of 2009 by James Marks, the founder of Ypsilanti screen printing shop VG Kids, the constantly buzzing hive of interconnected studio spaces has served as home for dozens, if not hundreds, of local artists, musicians and designers over the years. And I’m feeling, much as a did a few years back when we announced the end of the Shadow Art Fair, as though a little piece of what I loved best about Ypsilanti is dying.

It’s difficult to see good things go, but, for what it’s worth, I don’t suspect that this will be the end of Ypsilanti’s creative scene. I remember being upset with the folks at Gallery 555, where Linette and I had a studio space, when they decided to leave Ypsi for Detroit. Eventually, though, SPUR came along. And, now, with SPUR going, I suspect that something else will probably rise up. Just as DIYpsi stepped in to fill the gap left when the Shadow Art Fair began to fade away, a new home will undoubtedly emerge for our local artists… Who knows, I may even revisit my old plan for a shipping container-based artists’ colony near the river.

Instead of mourning the loss of our local creative space, I’d rather focus on just how awesome it’s been for our community to have had SPUR here these past half dozen years. James, Steve and Chris put a hell of a lot of time and effort into it, and I hope they know just how much their efforts have been appreciated. They didn’t just give artists and musicians a supportive place in which to practice their trade and grow as creative professionals, but they helped to recreate Ypsilanti as the artist-friendly place it is today. They took the seed of the Shadow Art Fair, transported it to fertile soil, and nurtured it into something truly beautiful. And it’s had an enormous positive impact on our community.

Here’s the official announcement from our friends at SPUR.


[note: For those of you interested in knowing the context of SPUR’s launch, check out my June 24, 2009 discussion with James Marks.]

This entry was posted in Art and Culture, Shadow Art Fair, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    No sooner had I hit “post” than I learned about the pending launch of Ypsi Alloy Studios… So I guess things are already happening.

  2. Steve Pickard
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Funny thing is Gallery 555 was better when they were in Ypsi, in my opinion. At least they weren’t auctioning off stolen Banksies…

  3. Elize Jekabson
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Ypsi alloy studios is the product of the ballroom collective being shutdown this month. We’re a collective 3d art studio that had to find a bigger better home. (Our Ypsi studio is being converted to a frat house, and we had one month to scoot out) The location is right outside of Ypsilanti for the time being until we build membership and move forward with our vision, which will be in Ypsi proper. We just need the time and support to do so. Good things are coming.

  4. Spain!
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    no doubt to be replaced by a Starbucks inside a Starbucks

    at what point does Ypsi become so boring and commodified that everyone leaves

  5. Conspiracy
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Consider the timing. It’s going to be another Jade Helm 15 entry point.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] « Ypsilanti’s SPUR Studios to close in July Might Obama have plans to “jade helm” Ypsilanti as well as well as Texas? » […]

  2. […] And that was just, as they say, the tip of the iceberg. Non-motorize transportation advocate Bob Krzewinski came by the studio to tell us about Bike Bus Walk Week. Totally Awesome Fest organizers Patrick Elkins, Amber Fellows, and Ben Miller came by to share some of their favorite moments from the recent multi-venue festival of beautiful weirdness. [See Amber and Ben below, talking about pancakes.] We played a new song by Dr. Peter Larson in Kenya. We had another segment of The People’s History of Ypsilanti with Matt Siegfried. And, at the end of the show, local artist Cre Fuller came in to discuss the closing of SPUR studios. […]

  3. […] The three women are active in Ypsilanti's growing artist scene. They wanted to create a space for more artists in their little corner of Washtenaw County, especially now that SPUR Studios is closing. […]

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