Paradigm Gallery + Studio moving to Old City

One of South Philly’s premier galleries of contemporary artwork is moving to a new location.

Paradigm Gallery + Studio, currently located at 746 S. 4th St. in Queen Village, will pack up its fine-art collection and move to a five-story building at 12 N. 3rd St. in Old City. Paradigm co-founders Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston recently purchased the new, and much larger, 7,000-square-foot building and expect to open in the spring.

In addition to serving as Paradigm gallery’s 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.

Chen and McCorriston had attempted to raise money and purchase its current home on S. 4th Street, but were outbid, forcing a pivot to a new location.

“We have long dreamed of owning a permanent space for Paradigm Gallery to ensure its future in Philadelphia,” said McCorriston. “The community rallied behind us when we attempted to purchase the building at our current location. Unfortunately, we were outbid, 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.”

The first and second floors, which contain 2,500 square feet of exhibition space, will serve as the new, permanent home of Paradigm Gallery + Studio. Plans for the third and fourth floors include Chen and McCorriston’s expanded vision for a new community arts enterprise called “Paradigm Arts Club,” which will be used to host exhibitions, classes, workshops and other events. The top floor will be utilized by local business BYO Print Studio. The building has had a historic role within Philadelphia’s textile and manufacturing industries, operating as a street-level showroom featuring an array of fabric goods made in the upper floors’ factories.

Paradigm was established in 2010, showcasing meaningful, process-oriented contemporary art in an accessible and inclusive setting with an international roster of emerging exhibiting artists.

Chen and McCorriston have placed more than 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. 

With the opening of the new building, Paradigm will kick off 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.

Although the gallery will move about a mile north, 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.

Chen said 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 — just at a different location.

“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.”