Philadelphia art dealers, Sara McCorriston and Jason Chen, purchase historic building in Old City
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Philadelphia art dealers, Sara McCorriston and Jason Chen, purchase historic building in Old City
The powerhouse duo will relocate Paradigm Gallery and share an expanded vision for the Philadelphia arts community

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Paradigm Gallery + Studio co-founders Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston are pleased to announce the purchase of a 7,000 sq. ft., 5-story building in Old City and the relocation of Paradigm Gallery + Studio. In addition to serving as the gallery’s new, permanent home, the mixed-use commercial space will actualize Chen and McCorriston’s mission to further grow and contribute to the arts and culture landscape of Philadelphia. The public will be invited to visit Paradigm Gallery + Studio in its new location in Spring 2023.

Located at 12 N. 3rd St., the building’s ground and second floors will serve as the new, permanent home of Paradigm Gallery + Studio. The first two floors boast over 2,500 square feet of exhibition space, maximizing the gallery’s potential for mounting innovative and immersive installations. Concurrently, Chen and McCorriston are launching an expanded vision for a new community arts enterprise – Paradigm Arts Club – to be housed in the 3rd and 4th floors. The ample space will allow Chen and McCorriston to host exhibitions, classes, workshops, and events throughout. On the top floor, fellow local business BYO Print Studio will set up shop. Paradigm’s adaptive reuse of the space honors the building’s historic role within Philadelphia’s textile and manufacturing industries, formerly operating as a street-level showroom featuring an array of fabric goods made in the upper floors’ factories.

Since Paradigm was established in 2010, co-founders and curators Chen and McCorriston have been committed to showcasing meaningful, process-oriented contemporary art in an accessible and inclusive setting. Over the last 12 years, Paradigm has developed an impressive roster of emerging and established artists who have grown with the gallery in assuming international prominence. As champions of contemporary and public art, Chen and McCorriston have placed over 100 public and private murals in collaboration with Ginger Rudolph of HAHA Magazine, working with local communities to strengthen access to the arts nationwide while also nurturing Philadelphia’s local arts community. Paradigm’s gallery program has played an integral role. Their commitment to amplifying under-represented artists has fueled their critical work in the community alongside some of Philadelphia’s strongest institutions, establishing the city as a rich, creative center.

A fixture of South Philly’s Fabric Row, Paradigm Gallery + Studio’s generous community crowdfunding support enabled the purchase of this new building. As McCorriston states:

“We have long dreamed of owning a permanent space for Paradigm Gallery to ensure its future in Philadelphia. The community rallied behind us when we attempted to purchase the building at our current location. Unfortunately, we were out-bid, but the money raised during that time allowed us to hold on to the dream of ownership. The generosity of the Paradigm community, and the $35,000 raised last year helped towards making the purchase of 12 N. 3rd St. possible for us, and we can’t wait to share this space with everyone.”

Paradigm’s move comes amid exciting developments in Old City, with major events of national importance such as Philadelphia 250, the country’s semiquincentennial, on the horizon. The neighborhood recently celebrated 30 years of First Fridays, reinforcing its legacy as Philadelphia’s longest-standing, premier art and design district. Adjacent to key cultural institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation on the “Museum Mile,” and within walking distance of national historical landmarks from Independence Hall to the Liberty Bell, Old City is central to Philadelphia’s past, present, and future. Paradigm’s relocation to Old City will energize the district’s contemporary art scene with a host of events, exhibitions, and experiences.

“When we saw the listing for the building, we just had a gut feeling about it,” said Chen. “We had to take a chance and go see it for ourselves. That chance turned into Paradigm’s new home.” 

With the opening of the new building, Chen and McCorriston will kickoff a new membership program for Paradigm Arts Club. Members will receive special opportunities, early access to sign up, and discounts for events, workshops, and other happenings in the new building. The year-round, curated program of cultural experiences hosted by Paradigm Arts Club will enrich the local arts community and promote greater public engagement with the city’s vibrant art scene. Paradigm Gallery + Studio will remain free and open to all, while the membership to Paradigm Arts Club will support the ongoing development and nurturing of Paradigm’s diverse cultural offerings in Old City and beyond.

Over the last 12 years, Paradigm has grown with and alongside an unwavering community of artists, collectors, visitors, and supporters. Their dream is to share this incredible milestone with everyone who has made their work possible, and to welcome the community — old and new — into their new permanent home. With the purchase of the building in Old City, Paradigm reaffirms its role as a pillar and contributing member of the Philadelphia arts community for many years to come. 

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