EXCLUSIVE: Chris Sorensen Studio closing, artists must leave by Monday

Vince Ybarra Image
Monday, June 17, 2024
EXCLUSIVE: Chris Sorenson Studio closing, artists must leave by Monday
The artist community at the Chris Sorenson Studio has been told they must vacate the property by Monday.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Artists working and selling at the Chris Sorensen Art Studio have been told to gather their belongings and vacate the space by Monday.

Katherine De Soto has been showing her art at the studio for about the last four years.

"It was only a matter of time before things did happen because of how things have been managed. So, it sucks that it's happening now," Soto said.

Now- she's focused on moving her belongings.

"I have a lot of a community in Fresno. A lot of potters in Fresno who I know will be happy to take some stuff that I have that I don't necessarily need, so it's just a matter of finding space for everything," Soto said.

She believes the artists there will be able to bounce back because of the strong community Chris Sorensen built.

RELATED: Chris Sorensen, beloved Fresno sculptor and artist advocate, dies at 98

Sorensen was known as the man of steel who created art in the Central Valley for decades.

He owned an art studio near the famous Fresno sign on Van Ness. The space is almost 40,000 square feet and houses nearly 60 local artists.

"Chris Sorensen would be devastated over what has happened in the last three days," Karen Clark said.

Clark has been visiting the studio for the last 25 years. On Sunday, she was helping a friend, who's an artist, move their stuff out of the studio space.

She says she's heartbroken that the community of artists won't have a space to call home.

"Just from my perspective, it was a perfect storm, unfortunately. There were many factors involved in this," Clark said.

She adds, the studio is unique and says artists she's spoken with are unsure of where to go next. But she's still hopeful.

"What I hope to see happen is that we are able to maintain this space somehow. That the artists can come back when the issues are resolved," Clark said.

We did reach out to the current owner of the art gallery but our messages went unanswered.

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