South Shore cooperative connects artists

Courtesy High Vibe Society Artisan Collective

Artist Erin Ulcickas has always been involved in creative projects, but felt like she needed to do something more. So, a few years ago she decided to leave her business painting skateboards in North Carolina and come out West to South Lake Tahoe. She soon started planning for her new venture.

Sept. 6 | Poster Making Party
Sept. 9 | Express Yourself! March for a Compassionate World
Sept. 12, 19 & 26 | Information meetings

“I knew that I wanted to be around people who were conscious of how they live their life,” she says.

Courtesy High Vibe Society Artisan Collective

However, she found that there was no meeting place for creative people and that maybe she could help fill a niche. She soon put the idea out to the community to create a co-working space for artists to provide supplies and materials. She received a positive response.

“I like seeing how High Vibe is connecting people and seeing how people meet each other through events and creating a space for people to come and do whatever it is they do. – Erin Ulcickas

She opened the High Vibe Society Artisan Collective in July, which is an art gallery, music venue and store that sells locally made goods. There are also plans to install a commercial kitchen in the future.

“I came up with this idea two years ago and it’s been my baby ever since,” says Ulcickas, who is the managing director. “It’s cool to see the concept of an idea I had in my head become a physical space. This place exists to facilitate creativity and movement. I feel like that’s been put on the back burner in South Shore for a while. When I moved here I noticed lots of pockets of people and felt like we needed more interaction between the silos — people who share a sense of co-responsibility and think about how acting with intention creates a better world.”

High Vibe is funded through membership fees and artist rental spaces. There have been 25 artists with the collective since the beginning, although a few have rotated in and out.

“Artists are kind of nomadic in nature, but new people are finding out about us,” she says.

Courtesy High Vibe Society Artisan Collective

The organization charges for space by the square foot and as part of its membership structure, High Vibe Society provides marketing outreach to help promote businesses. The space can also be used for gallery exhibitions and workshops.

“High Vibe makes sure artists have everything they need. We have a sewing machine, a vinyl cutter, a DSL camera for product shots, 3-D modeling capabilities and a high-quality e-commerce store with SEO integration. If an individual were to go out and get this on their own it would cost so much more,” says Ulcickas. “We’re offering a lot to the artists, so that if you’re a member and you don’t succeed at this, then you’re doing something wrong. There are a lot of avenues to pursue your passion.”

Her favorite part of launching High Vibe Society is seeing the social interaction of like-minded artists in South Lake Tahoe.

“I like seeing how High Vibe is connecting people and seeing how people meet each other through events and creating a space for people to come and do whatever it is they do. There’s a shared belief system, not religious or political or anything, but people just kind of get it. I love seeing people interacting with each other and going off and creating something beautiful.”

On Sept. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be a pre-party poster-making event. Participants can make posters for the Express Yourself! March for a Compassionate World. Tahoe Artists Activists will march from the High Vibe Society to the Tahoe Mountain Lab on Sept. 9 starting at 3 p.m. See Arts in this issue for details.

High Vibe Society will also start hosting Monday movie nights with cult classics. September will feature Bill Murray flicks.

For more information about High Vibe Society, visit facebook.com/highvibesociety.


 

SHARE
Kayla Anderson
Kayla Anderson is a freelance writer, marketer and action sports enthusiast who has spent the last 10 years in North Lake Tahoe snowboarding, hiking and wake surfing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chico State University and loves being out on the lake as often as she can.