The Arts Building in downtown Auburn is home to PlacerArts, serving the entire county with public programs such as the live Jazz at 808 series in May, July and September; Auburn Art Walks in April, June, August and October, and the Autumn Art Studios Tour in November. The Arts Building Gallery presents eight themed exhibits of original, regional artwork each year.
The two-story facility is abuzz with an active teaching space, clay lab, two nonprofit arts agencies, a graphic design firm and seven artists-in-residence. It transforms to an intimate performance venue for 100 and hosts dozens of community events each year.
A re-purposed vintage structure, The Arts Building is the hub of Auburn's cultural district, surrounded by fine restaurants, historic landmarks, and scenic trails and bike ways.
Circa 1958, the building replaced Johnson's Hardware Store and Douglas Drug, which burned to the ground. Foothill Furniture Store occupied the rebuild for forty years until its transformation to an arts center in 1997.
L. Luis Ortiz and Anthony Gill (then PlacerArts executive director and board member respectively) envisioned, developed and managed the transformation from furniture store to art center. Katy and Brian Fries, then Keith Sutter followed as building managers. Architectural treatments include a pane glass window front, arched roof line with exposed beam ceiling, and a copper awning by metal artist Jennifer Johnson. The synergistic facility is now managed by PlacerArts. It is an exemplary model of cooperation between creative individuals, organizations and property owners, which contributes much to the quality of life of the regional community.