ICE: sink or float?

Well, we’re at the halfway point in our fundraising project. Thanks to 21 very kind individuals, we’re currently 13% funded with 2 weeks remaining. We were going gangbusters at the beginning, raising 12% in the first 8 days! With the exception of one of our very good friends upping their pledge yesterday, for the last 7 days we’ve seen no action. We’re not complaining, though. The fact that we were able to raise the amount that we have is astounding to us, and we are immensely grateful and humbled by the generosity we’ve been shown thus far. Going forward, should we see another spike in pledges and get to 25% then we will become eligible for 1 to 1 match funding for up to $1000. Which means if we raise $1000 past our 25% mark, then we’ll automatically get another $1000. Seems possible and utterly impossible at the same time.

So, what if we don’t make it?

We’ll still have the space of course. And hey, maybe we’ll come upon a different/better solution to fixing the space. But whatever the solution is has to be arrived at fairly soon, because the question remains: how long should one continue to pay for a space that is unusable for half the year?

In the meantime, we’ll keep fighting for our space. It may be a dump, but in a city of nearly nonexistent attainable spaces, we almost can’t afford NOT to keep it.


If you’ve read our About page then you know that long before ICE was an exhibition space it was and still is a low cost art studio space.  For as long as we’ve been renting the space, and for other tenants before us, the roof has leaked.  In addition to the roof being in bad shape, the rest of the building in general has been no prize to look at or reside in.  Despite these flaws the leaky roof has been somewhat manageable…until this year.  When the first rains came this year we saw just how bad the roof had become.  It no longer leaks, it pours – and It’s become way too much for us to maintain.

In a last ditch effort to save our space, before we reluctantly abandon what has become a source of great enjoyment and pride for us, we decided to set up a fund raising project on the site  It’s similar to Kickstarter, but the difference is that in addition to being somewhat exclusive in that you have to be screened or invited by a fellow, is specifically for artists.  We were lucky enough to be invited to join the site by none other than Doug Wheeler, one of our favorite west coast artists.

Should we attain our fund raising goal, our project will entail professionally fixing the roof as well as totally gutting the inside of the building.  We wish to turn ICE into one big open exhibition space by knocking down all interior walls and getting rid of what is currently three art studios in the rear of the building.  This will double the amount of space we have to use for exhibitions to roughly 1200 sq. ft.!

We realize our fund raising goal is highly ambitious, but this is our last chance to keep ICE alive.  If we’re unable to fix our roof, we’ll have no further option but to vacate what has been a low cost haven for local San Diego artists for years.  If you would like to contribute to our survival please visit OUR PROJECT PAGE.  Your efforts will not go unrewarded.  We have different incentives for the various donation levels – everything from wood block prints by Lee to actual pages from Michael’s sketch book.

Thank you to all who have supported us,
Michael James Armstrong, Thomas DeMello, Lee Lavy, Joseph Huppert