Restoring The Historical Grand View Hotel

As a Center for the Arts


 

I first saw the Grand View Hotel in 2003. At that time it was the home of a hermit hoarder.  It was boarded up and as I was discover two years later filled with 20 years of dumpster diving. I bought the hotel in 2005 and began a journey that was far beyond anything I imagined. Today I continue the fight to bring this incredible building back to life in my quest to restore it as a Center for the Arts, focused on Animation and film production.

In the spring of 2017 I will be opening The Lucky Cat Curiosity Shop in the west side ground floor building. The shop will have new, vintage, and antique, curiosities as well as my own art and wood craft, including handmade furniture. Also I will have a selection of homemade candies and hand mixed spice packs based of the dishes served in my restaurant 302 On the Square, which closed two years ago, so that I could have surgery and be able to walk again. All profits from the store will go towards restoring the Grand View Hotel. If you would like to help and have artwork, vintage, or antique, curiosities, or other vintage items such as vinyl records, 8 Track tapes, and associated players they will be most welcome. Any items that are donated, but don’t quite fit with the store will be donated to The Good Shepherd Humane Society.

 

Alexander Virden

Writer, Filmmaker, Artis


My first attempt at writing was when I was in the single digits. It was called Death on an Axe. It was a thriller/mystery and you knew the killer on page 2. There wasn’t a lot of mystery. I never stopped writing, but was never able to find the path to publication, or production of my films. I have been close many times, and was actually paid a few times, but never made that leap.

I’ve never been a mover and schmoozer. I don’t have that gene that a lot of successful writers/artists have that makes connections with people that can actually do something with your creative output. At some point my focus became less about my personal success and more about making a place where you don’t have to be anything but an artist to be able to fulfill your art. A place where artist could come together and help each other realize their visions. A place where it’s not about the money, it’s not about your social skills. It’s about your willingness to work and your dedication to your art.

“Art is Life. Life is Art. To me neither is worth anything without the other.”

The Vision of Animation

Finding a Focus


 

I wanted, want, the Center to support all the arts, but trying to do everything at once proved to be overwhelming for me, so I am turning the focus to Animation and film making. Animation is complete freedom for a writer. The realization of my first love. Taking my writing and letting it go where ever it needs to go, because with animation you can do anything you can imagine.

Animation also involves every form of art from writing, film making, painting a picture, acting, to creating music and sound. If I make a place where animation can happen I have a place that any type of artist can find a place to be and create.

I feel that art is about creating feelings, expressing emotion, telling a story and it can be a stick figure, or a digital extravaganza. I have been moved by both ends of the spectrum it is the quality of the story and it’s execution that makes the difference. By having a place that is not based in profit, but prosperity, that realization will have a home and place where art does not have to compromise.