The public is invited to the Sandpaper Factory in Rockland on March 15 for a Spring Artist Fair sponsored by the 4th Floor Artists group.
The 120,000-square-foot building houses artist studios and several small commercial businesses, including a guitar maker, baker, cheese maker, ice sculptor, custom cabinetmaker, picture framer, sign makers, 3D printer, and a telephone history museum. About half of the 142 tenants are artists, according to building owner Alan Curtis.
Originally built in 1890 as a shoe factory, the four-story structure was later used to manufacture sandpaper for the American Sandpaper Co., before becoming home to commercial and artist spaces.
In the fall of 2006, when another factory building that had become a haven for artists was sold, many of the artists relocated to the Sandpaper Factory and to the nearby ET Wright factory building.
Curtis bought the Sandpiper Factory five years ago and did major renovations, including replacing more than 500 windows, updating the heating system, and converting interior spaces to create more artist studios.
The artists in the buildings have formed a nonprofit called the 4th Floor Artists, which holds open studios for the public every spring and fall.
The spring event is scheduled for March 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 83 East Water St., Rockland.Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.