RACINE — Two University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee instructors have bought a Downtown building for their future home, art studio/gallery and architectural office.
Jim Wasley, a professor at UW-M’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Pamela Schermer, who teaches “creative visualization for designers” in the UW-M Theater Department, bought 613 Sixth St. in late May.
The building was formerly Remington May Gallery; the new owners plan to rename it Round River Studio, after the title of an Aldo Leopold essay.
The couple are currently seeking city approvals to be able to live in the first floor of the approximately 2,500-square-foot, two-story structure at some later date.
“Quite honestly,” Wasley said, “we are moving to Racine because we fell in love with the building and thought that it might uniquely suit our needs, plus the fact that Racine itself presents a stimulating new environment to explore that we hope will provide fresh inspiration for both of us.”
“There’s opportunity for a storefront and a gorgeous studio space, and I was looking for a new challenge, doing the renovations,” said Wasley, a former carpenter. They plan to add a handicapped-accessible bathroom on the first floor and a mezzanine and kitchen in the rear.
Wasley said Schermer does paintings which, until now, she has kept very private and has not been trying to sell; he described her as a representational painter who works with figures, landscapes and still life. With the move to Racine, however, Schermer plans to have a studio/gallery on the first floor that will be open by appointment and for special events.
Round River Studio will also likely carry the works of other artists Schermer knows, said Wasley, who is also director of UW-M’s Institute for Ecological Design. He said he will also likely show some of his work there, and possibly some of the student work coming out of that school.
“I think of it like a big, arty space,” he remarked.
They plan to open the gallery next summer, Wasley said.