After more than two years operating its gallery in East Austins Pump Project building — and facing imminent closure with the impending sale of the big yellow Pump building — is the ICOSA Collective is relocating to the Canopy complex also in East Austin.
The 16-member collective is assuming the Canopy space formerly occupied by Art Science Gallery. ICOSA plans to open its new gallery July 14 with a show spotlighting its 10 newest artist members.
With dozens of studios managed by Big Medium, Canopy is home to several galleries including Modern Rocks and Women Printmakers of Austin.
ICOSA’s move is just the latest in the ongoing venue shuffle as the city’s artists and arts groups wrestle with the ever-rising costs of renting — or even finding — space suitable for studios, galleries or performances.
ICOSA was one of the newer tenants at Pump Project, opening its project space gallery in late 2015 in 1500-square-feet of space that had previously been occupied by Juke’s Automotive, the current landlord.
In 2005 a group of artists leased the 20,000-square-foot wood-beamed 1950s warehouse on Shady Lane off East Seventh St. Eventually forming as the non-profit organization Pump Project, the group carved out individual studios along with a small exhibit space.
Then last year, in the midst of the East Austin Studio Tour, news broke that the owner of the vintage warehouse on Shady Lane had put the building up for sale.
Since then, the building’s artists have been scrambling. Pump Project has been working on a couple of different possibilities, director Joshua Green said.
“Like many art venues in Austin we are forced to move due to surging development and rising costs,” said the collective in a statement. “Although we are excited about our new home at the Canopy Complex, the move will require additional funds to maximize our smaller square footage and support our ambitious programming in the coming year.”
With rents at Canopy higher than at Pump Project, ICOSA plans a crowdfunding campaign launching May 19, also the closing date of its current exhibit “these, our precious scars: Erin Cunningham and Alyssa Taylor Wendt.”
The collective counts 21 exhibitions to its credit and more than 5,000 visitors. The gallery has also been the site for a number of programs, including the Fusebox Festival’s popular series of artists talks known as Waffle Chats.
After its summer exhibit, ICOSA plans to start the fall season with an exhibit featuring member artist Matt Rebholz and guest artist Rachel Wolfson Smith.