A spot for local artists and entertainment in downtown Syracuse will soon be closing its doors.
Small in stature but held together by a dedicated community, the “Spark Contemporary Art Space” has been kindling a grassroots art scene for two decades.
Jacob Roberts has been “Spark’s” owner for the past two years, but he’s been using the space as a local artist since the late 90s.
“We didn’t really put in any capital into the space to build it out, we wanted to open walls, build a formal performance area,” said Roberts, “it’s really only been a cardboard vignette of what we put together as a business plan.”
Roberts tells NewsChannel 9 lack of investment interest and development near Syracuse University have increased demand for the building but left local spots like “Spark” behind.
A casualty of the closing, Rachel Bass and her band “Difficult” were supposed to play in the space on April 20, when they received notice of a venue change she knew something was off.
“My immediate reaction was a little bit of disappointment,” said Bass, “I can’t say I was surprised just given the outward reach of the university the expansion buying up buildings and developing them mostly for student housing.”
While the fate of the building is uncertain both Roberts and Bass agree, the trend of losing local art space is disappointing.
“The short answer is we’re looking for a location. We’re looking for a space. This week I’ve actually got a couple of viewings lined,” said Roberts.
NewsChannel 9 has been unable to reach the owner of the building to find out what the future of the space will be, but one thing is for sure, Roberts and Bass know, the spark for local arts is still alive in Syracuse.