ShiftSpace gallery relocating to more flexible space


Eduardo Castillo

The new ShiftSpace art gallery will be located in the Groover Labs building.

The Wichita State ShiftSpace Art Gallery will have a new, larger home this fall.

The gallery will be housed in Groover Labs behind WAVE on Second and St. Francis Streets. The site is currently under construction and will likely open in October.

The former Commerce Street location was a narrow, small space on Commerce Street. Director Kristin Beal said the space limited what creatives could do in the gallery.

The benefit of the old location was that it was in the prime of Wichita’s vibrant gallery district. The gallery saw peak visitors during monthly Final Friday events.

Since its opening in 2005, ShiftSpace has occupied multiple locations in downtown Wichita.

“I talked with the students about it, and we just started to put feelers out there to see what an ideal space would be,” Beal said. “We wanted flexibility, more wall space, and just more room to showcase students’ work.”

Beal and her student staff are planning a grand opening event.

Beal has a lot of hope for the new location in regard to attracting a larger crowd. Being right next to Norton’s Brewing Company and WAVE gives the new location more potential, she said.

The old gallery had its final exhibition in May. This summer, Beal and her staff worked on developing programming, generating digital content, and rebranding ShiftSpace.

“I want to make ShiftSpace a place for people who don’t identify themselves as artists feel welcomed to be creative and explore creative practices,” Beal said.