Mystic Arts Center plans gallery for Emporium building

Mystic - The Mystic Arts Center has announced that it plans to open its 15 Water Street Gallery later this year in its newly purchased building that once housed the Emporium for four decades.

The nonprofit organization said it purchased the 155-year-old building, which is adjacent to its headquarters, in 2013 in an effort to establish a street-level presence and preserve an important historic treasure.

After purchasing the building with what it called "generous help and contributions from the sellers and Chelsea Groton Bank" it is now trying to raise $500,000 for renovations and creating the new gallery space. So far, the arts center has obtained $200,000 in donations.

The arts center said its goal is to complete the renovation this year.

"The renaissance of the building will beautify our town and further stimulate the Downtown Mystic economy, as well as further MAC's mission to cultivate creativity, culture and community," it said in a release.

The new first floor gallery will contain exhibits of local art and a store to sell arts center-related items.

The lower level of the building will contain a wine bar operated by Stephen Clemente, owner of Frizzante Wine Bar in North Stonington and Extra Virgin and Semolina Pasta Shops in Olde Mistick Village. The second and third floors will have three apartments. The arts center may use a part of the building in the future for an artist-in-residency program.

Contributions to the project can be made as or by contacting Andrea Frickman at

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