The Magoski Arts Colony was founded in 2010, but the history of its existence dates back much further. The mid-Nineties is the furthest documentation of art in the beloved “Sanitary Laundry” building that was built in 1928. After Peter F. Magoski purchased the 16,800 sq. ft. warehouse on Santa Fe Avenue in the late-Eighties, he lent much of the space to the theater company, Fullerton Civic Light Opera, for storage of props and large stages and backdrops. In the mid-Nineties, with the connection of FCLO, three artists occupied portions of the space as their art studios. One of them, René Cardona, was a prominent figure as a profound poet, prolific painter and sculptor in the underground art scene of sleepy downtown Fullerton which centered around The Hub, a coffee bar where Slidebar now resides. After a few years the artists went their separate ways. The warehouse continued to be a storage facility for the theater company as well as Peter Magoski and Bob Sweeney’s private belongings. Sweeney is a local welder and metal worker, who still works in the building next door. It also housed the workshops of Murray Magoski, who has since moved to Arizona, and Dan Craig, a wood worker who is still in the colony today.
It wasn’t long thereafter that Michael and Candace Magoski moved their photography studio, Violethour, into half of the warehouse. For ten years they built out their magical space. It was foreign to conservative, turn-of-the-millennium Fullerton residents, who drove by the seedy end of Santa Fe Avenue. No one knew what to think when they saw the gothic, grey facade and barred windows with a funky little yellow trailer parked outside. It was only open occasionally to a select few — people who were in-the-know. They are hosts to an art experience, both coming from the hospitality industry, all senses were livened when you were their guest. Violethour is, and has always been, a conversation piece for the curious mind.
Fast forward ten years to 2009. There was finally enough interest to start planning the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk. Jesse La Tour of Hibbleton, Brian Prince of PÄS, and Michael Magoski of Violethour were among the original twelve or so venues who kicked off the Walk in March 2010. During the planning process, Jesse and Brian became close with Michael and would often find themselves at Violethour dreaming big into the “violet hour.” They fell in love with the high ceilings and clerestory windows which allowed for awesome northern light. What came from their “meetings” was an idea that no one could refuse. Hibbleton and PÄS were going to move into the other side of the warehouse. After months of organizing and moving Pete and Bob’s storage to the back of the warehouse, Michael Magoski, Vince Morgan, the Hibbleton crew—Jesse, Landon, Chuck, Steve, Nick and Tony along with PÄS’s Brian and Kristy Prince and John Sollom, built out two galleries next door to Violethour. With the combination of the three “art houses” and Valerie Lewis’ studio, they became the Magoski Arts Colony and opened their doors in October of 2010. Since then the momentum hasn’t stopped. By the end of 2013, the entire warehouse was filled with artist studios and workshops, capping off the backend with Altered States and Monkwood Studio, serving as a sanctuary for more than 20 local artists.
Meet the artists who are here today: Colonists