Gale Jamieson found her way to York City through a small village in southern France.
She recently spent a month in Auvillar soaking in the village's beauty and using it to inspire works of art. Jamieson, a professional sculptor whose studio for three decades has been a Fawn Grove barn, said she left France with a new perspective.
"That just made it really clear that I needed to experiment," she said. "I feel like I'm being pushed out in the world in a way that I haven't before."
Her quest to find a studio in a more urban environment led her to 36-38 N. Beaver St., where Jamieson has signed a lease with the building's new owner to occupy a first-floor storefront.
Jamieson said she's had her eye on the downtown spot since she saw a "for rent" sign in the window a year ago.
"I don't really know what I'm going to do here yet," she said. "But it'll be kind of inspired by York."
While she'll continue working in her isolated barn studio, Jamieson said she's looking forward to making and displaying art several days a week in downtown York City.
She's also among the artists working on Two Schools and a Creek, a collaborative project of Foundry Plaza, Logos Academy and the York Academy Regional Charter School to build art-infused playgrounds within the Codorus Creek corridor.
The new site: Workers have spent the past few weeks upgrading the façade at 36-38 N. Beaver St. since Tom Sibol -- who owns the White Rose Bar and Grill next door -- bought the property in July.
"We're going to refurbish the outside of it, really cosmetically make it appealing to the downtown district," Sibol said. "It was a pretty dilapidated building."
Sibol, who owns several buildings in the neighborhood, said his latest acquisition is also good for his business. Customers of the restaurant will now be able to park in the lot behind 36-38 N. Beaver St. -- bringing the restaurant's total parking spaces to 70.
Sibol said he believes the building dates to the late 1800s. He'll maintain three apartments on the building's upper floors, and he's looking for a second artist to occupy a second commercial space in the building.
Structurally, the building is in good shape, Sibol said. But its appearance could use some work.
"We're definitely going to do something to really make it stick out," he said.
-- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.