Today we're taking you on a tour of one of Greenville's most unique artist co-op spaces, White Whale Studios and Gallery. Caroline George Lott is the owner of White Whale, a large house-turned-studios located about a mile from The Pendleton Street Art District. We asked her to share the story behind White Whale with our readers.
Indie Craft: When was White Whale founded, and was it always a dream of yours?
Caroline: Our Grand opening was October 2nd, 2009. Being an active part of the local artistic community was always a dream of mine. Owning and operating a studio was something that became a reality when we purchased a historical house in the Monaghan Mill community. We did not want to "ruin" the house by turning it into a multi-family house or just rent it out. We wanted to to have it live on as a place to serve the community.
One of the White Whale artists hard at work in his studio.
Indie Craft: We love that you turned a house into a group of artist studios. How many artists call White Whale home right now?Caroline: We currently have 7 fabulous artists. Most of the artists are full-time professional artists.
Common gallery spaces are located throughout the house.
Indie Craft: This big white house is such a beautiful and inspiring place. Do you know much of its history?Caroline: Yes, it was built circa 1890, even before the textile mill that is right down the street. It started out as a teacher's boarding house, and has been used in many different ways since. Anything from a boxing training facility to a bed and breakfast.
Indie Craft: What is the significance of the White Whale name?Caroline: The studio's name harkens back to Melville's infamous tale of a determined white whale (Moby Dick) outwitting the relentless Captain Ahab, just as the artists, within the walls of this old white house, battle the odds to pursue their work and life's calling.
You can visit White Whale Studios and Gallery during Greenville Open Studios.
The good news is that White Whale does have an available studio at the moment! If you're an artist in need of working space, you can email your portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the White Whale site to learn more about their mission in Greenville.
Available studio: 12 ft ceilings and plenty of natural light.
Also, be sure to follow White Whale on Facebook to keep up with their resident artists and find out about upcoming art shows.