The Winslow Arts Trust (WAT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the history and culture of the Historic Route 66 corridor and the Winslow area to the general public.
WAT was created in 2010 by La Posada Hotel owners Allan Affeldt and Tina Mion, who decided to transform the historic railroad depot adjacent to the hotel into the Route 66 Art Museum. The project is using a TEA-21 grant to facilitate the adaptive reuse of the depot. Infrastructure construction and museum design and are currently underway, and the projected completion date for Phase I is Spring 2015.
The 7,000-square-foot museum will feature both historic spaces and contemporary art galleries. The central passenger waiting room will be restored to its original grandeur and will act as a visitor’s center for artist James Turrell’s Roden Crater.
The contemporary art galleries will feature nationally recognized artists whose work has been influenced by the geography and culture of the Winslow area and/or Route 66. Featured artists will include Turrell, Ed Ruscha, and Tina Mion, Winslow resident and co-owner of La Posada.
Two other downtown Winslow properties, Snowdrift Art Space and El Gran Art Garage, have become WAT’s affiliates. One of WAT’s goals is to keep these properties open to the public and in use by the community well into the future, so the owners of both Snowdrift and El Gran have made arrangements to ultimately donate their properties to WAT via revocable trusts.
Snowdrift Art Space, opened in 1914 as a Babbitt Brothers department store, is located two blocks west of the Route 66 Art Museum. The building was purchased by artist Dan Lutzick in 2002 and renovated as a live/work studio and gallery space. This 22,000-square-foot building contains a large collection of Dan’s sculpture. Dan and his wife Ann-Mary host several community events at Snowdrift each year including the Material Girls Annual Quilt Show and Winslow’s Día de los Muertos Celebration.
El Gran Art Garage, opened in 1930 as the garage for La Posada’s Harvey Car Indian Detours, is located directly across from the Route 66 Art Museum. This 10,000-square-foot property is owned by artist Paul Ruscha, who lives in a 2,000 square foot house in the middle of the building. Ruscha maintains a large collection of West Coast art in the space.
WAT and its affiliates, all located in downtown Winslow and on Historic Route 66, offer over 50,000 square feet of exhibition and performance space to the community. This complex of cultural spaces allows residents and tourists alike to stroll through Winslow’s historic downtown and to experience the region’s history, art, and culture along the way.