Antioch Council leases out Lynn House to reopen as art gallery and studio

People attend an event at the Lynn House on August 17, 2016. Photo by Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch.

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, the Antioch City Council approved a lease agreement with Jody Mattison, owner of Lafayette Studio in Walnut Creek, for use of the Lynn House, for an art gallery and studio. She will own and operate it as the Lynn House Gallery and Studio (LHGS).

Located at 809-815 W. First Street across from the Amtrak Station in downtown Rivertown, the two-story, 1,400 square foot building has been used by organizations and groups over the years. The most recent use was by the Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch, as an art gallery as recent as 2017.

It has been closed since Diane Gibson-Gray retired as executive director and curator of the Lynn House Gallery and Arts & Cultural Foundation in December 2018.

“Jody is extremely talented. I was very pleased when I heard she got it,” said Gibson-Gray. “Because Jody lives downtown and has shown at the gallery before, she is very aware of the property and neighborhood. I think she is going to do a fabulous job and the gallery will once again be a thriving attraction.”

“I will be very supportive of her endeavors,” Gibson-Gray added. “I’m looking forward to attending exhibits, once again.”

According to the city staff report, the lease will generate about $5,000 in rental income the first year and will offset the annual maintenance expenditures for the property. The rental price will then be adjusted annually by changes to the Consumer Price Index.

A Request for Proposals was issued in August 2019 for the utilization of the Lynn House. Responses to the RFP were due October 1, 2019, and Mattison’s was the only proposal submitted.

As part of the lease, she has agreed to the following:

Gallery

The Lynn House will host a rotation of regional and guest artists, highlighting the creativity and talent of East Bay and California residents. The rotating gallery will provide visibility for the instructors, inspiration for continuing and prospective students. Paired with an e-commerce channel, this gallery will serve as an income stream for the business.

Students and residents attend the Marsh Elementary School Art Exhibit at the Lynn House Gallery in March 2016. Herald file photo.

Studio Space

LHGS is offering open studio time for the personal use of artists.

Classroom

Both floors of the Lynn House will host fine art classes provided by talented, Bay Area instructors. Classes will bring students in locally, fostering community, and from around the Bay Area, drawing new visitors to the city.

Event Venue

The Lynn House will participate in Antioch Downtown events, providing a midpoint attraction between the main downtown area and the marina. Exhibits could be coordinated with events such as the wine walk, music festivals and car shows, along with art-specific functions such as a yearly plein-aire painting event.

The term of the lease is five years with an optional five-year extension.

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Lynn House 8-17-16 by ACFA


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