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Davis, California

Monday, June 24, 2024

Third Space Art Collective aims to make creation accessible

Board members discuss the evolution and purpose of the organization 


By SAVANNAH ANNO — arts@theaggie.org


Before its founding in 2012, Third Space was a fantasy. A group of Davis artists dreamed up a place where community members could collaborate, create and engage with one another. There was a need for a space that could belong to a variety of creatives —  musicians, photographers, painters, sculptors — and provide them with a community they could rely on.

“A big component of this being a collective is sort of showing up and pouring yourself into the space,” Board Member Sedona Patterson said. “There’s a lot of different ways to do that.” 

Through the work of board members, volunteers and local artists, Third Space has maintained a warm, connection-driven environment for its visitors. 

“I yearned for a way to be involved in spaces where I could be around other creative people,” Third Space President and Executive Director Jord Nelsen said. “When I stepped into Third Space it really reignited my creative self and turned my life around in a positive way.” 

The collective underwent reconstruction in 2017 following the move to its current location off Arboretum Drive. Third Space now resides in a two-level warehouse with the ability to support resident artists, gallery shows, open studio hours and a music room. The collective has also shifted into being recognized as its own non-profit organization and received a grant from the City of Davis’ Art & Cultural Affairs Program. 

Third Space hosts a wide array of gallery shows, sometimes put together by Board Member Jamie Angello and other times put together by outside community members. The gallery space can be rented out, or creatives are free to visit the space and bring their ideas for shows to the board. The most recent show debuted on Jan. 12, focusing on local artists’ works centered around the theme of Conflict and Adversity. 

The best part: anyone can submit their work to Third Space’s open calls for artists. Once a theme is announced, the collective welcomes artists of all mediums and styles to interpret it in whatever way feels best to them. 

“There are many, many creative people in our communities that want to have a chance to show their artwork, get feedback and be involved in a creative world, so part of our work is to provide an easier access to that process,” Nelsen said. “That’s kind of the main motivation: to be in a creative space that nurtures growth, involvement and a sense of place.” 

The collective also recently scheduled open hours every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in hopes of providing visitors with the chance to work in the presence of one another. The studio space is open to general members free of charge and non-members with a 5 dollar entrance fee. 

“Something a lot of artists talk about and want is to be in community with other artists,” Patterson said. “It’s really nice that you can come here and work on your art around other people who are doing the same thing, it’s a good way to motivate yourself to keep creating.” 

Open hours at the collective also mean that their free art supply pantry is available, providing camera film, paints, fabric, drawing tools, carving supplies, canvases and more to artists in need. Inspired by an art supply mutual aid training, Patterson pitched the pantry idea to Third Space just last year. 

“I studied Art History and Fine Art at UC Davis — I graduated in 2022 — but I worked a part-time job all four years and was financially independent from my parents, so I know first-hand how expensive it can be to pay for all of your own art supplies,” Patterson said. “It’s expensive, but that doesn’t change the fact that art is an integral part of living.” 

The pantry accepts both new and used donations, operating on the idea of artists helping other artists. Open every second and fourth Sunday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., as well as during each Davis ArtAbout, anyone is welcome to visit and take what they need at no cost. 

The collective is accepting volunteers, new general members and is open to anyone who wants to come and check out the space. By creating room for local artists to shine and providing materials and workspaces, the collective hopes more and more creatives will begin to visit. Third Space also looks forward to planning more interactive events for artists and community members in the future. 

“I love the way the energy changes in the space,” Nelson said. “I’m here a lot alone, but when other people are here working, it’s interesting how it changes. There’s talking but also a lot of intense focus, and I just love that. That camaraderie is what feeds the creative class, and we can provide that to the community.” 


Written by: Savannah Anno — arts@theaggie.org


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