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Fulton Crossing Artisan Studios and Gallery Brings Artists Together

By Marina I. Jokic

Located in Santa Rosa, California, Fulton Crossing has become a hub for artistic activity for the surrounding area.

"The inspiration for Fulton Crossing was one person's junk is another person's treasure," gallery owner Rami Bartarseh said.

The complex is expansive and industrial with multiple showroom galleries and 23 artist studios. It's the perfect setting for accommodating many artists at an affordable price. A once dilapidated former chicken slaughterhouse cluttered with scrap metal, old automobiles, and all kinds of rubbish, Fulton was transformed in 2013 thanks to its owner's ambitious vision. Today, it is a mecca for creative minds, an inspiration for artists and crafters in the community, and a place to work together.

At its core, Fulton is an art collective where a very diverse group of artists create original work. There are all kinds of art works including abstract, pop-culture, and landscape paintings, furniture, and even jewelry.

"Whether you are an art collector or one-time buyer, Fulton Crossing's gallery has the right piece for you," Bartarseh said. "You never know what you will get hanging in the gallery as the artists create their work in the adjacent studios, so there are beautiful paintings going up all the time."

In addition to showcasing work that is produced on site, the gallery also features pieces by local artists who are not tenants. Fulton possesses an eclectic collection of art, which emphasizes diversity of medium and style rather than giving precedence to any one genre or style in particular. The owner has adopted a hands-on approach in ensuring that tenant artists are satisfied and inspired to create.

"Having the artists' work [appear] collectively provides a synergy that greatly benefits all," Bartarseh said. "The space is also affordable and features a historical ambiance that artists and visitors appreciate."

Open studios occur on the third Friday of every month when Fulton tenants show their work to the public, and explain their techniques. Open studios are a great way for budding artists to make serious headway into the commercial world of art as well.

"The open studio is intended to foster creativity and encourage experimentation in an atmosphere of cultural exchange, conversation, encouragement, and freedom of expression," Bartarseh said.

After all, art for art's sake is noble and pure, but one must also learn the practical skills of how to market his or her work in front of collectors and other art aficionados. Being a successful artist is not only about having talent, but also being savvy and shrewd enough when it comes to presenting, marketing, and pricing your art. Fulton Crossing artists not only have an affordable working space, they also learn essential professional skills through collaboration which can seal their success. Through its open yet cozy space, the gallery inspires collaboration, creativity, and community. It's inspirational for tenant artists to be able to feel like they are part of something meaningful, part of an artistic community that is enriching people's perceptions of art.

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