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Artist gets support from community after devastating fire

KTVZ News Team

By Kennedi Harris

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    GREENVILLE, South Carolina (WHNS) — After local artist Joseph Bradley lost his studio, the West Greenville community wasted no time offering their help—and even their space. Despite the setback, Bradley is working again and looking forward to building up again from scratch.

For much of Joseph Bradley’s career, he’s worked in the West Village. So naturally, that’s the place he decided to build his studio.

“The space is meant to be a beautiful work area, but also it’s meant to inspire the work” said Bradley.

Owning his own space means stability, no more bouncing from studio to studio.

“COVID was happening, then we had supply issues, my builder had health issues” he said.

It took around three years to get going. Then in October– six weeks out from move in– his builder called.

“He told me there was a fire and my first thought was, wow I hope nothing got hurt at the studio,” he said.

No one was hurt and no art was damaged—but the building was a total loss.

“I just was completely in shock and I was devastated to hear that something I had been working on for so long and the prospect of having to start all that over again was overwhelming” said Bradley.

Fire officials believe the fire was an accident, but Bradley still had no space to paint–until he got another call.

“The Furman Company reached out and said ‘look we got a space available, we’re not using it right now, we’d love it if you could work there if it’s going to help you out” said Bradley.

So that’s where he is now, a temporary studio in Poe West. As he settles in there and begins to rebuild from the rubble—he says the calls, texts and support from his village has helped him through.

“I really did need it, that was very healing and I think that the loss was being absorbed by my community” said Bradley.

The new studio is expected to be complete sometime next Spring. Also, Bradley is participating in the annual Greenville Open Studios event from November 13th through 13th.

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