The search is over.
The Lodi Art Center has finally found a new home at 110 S. Church St., the former location of the House of Clocks.
"I'm excited about this. It's really terrible to be homeless," said Patti Wallace, president of the Lodi Art Center.
The nonprofit organization has been looking for a place to hang its art for the past seven months and it hasn't been easy.
Lodi Art Center members Earline Lund, Tony Segale and Lisa Goldman have been hunting for spaces in the downtown area for months to no avail. When they heard that the House of Clocks was moving to School Street in early July, they leapt at the opportunity.
"There were not that many places out there. Lots of them were too small and too expensive," Wallace said.
The Lodi Art Center was evicted from Vino Piazza in Lockeford last December after the gallery was found to be in violation of county zoning codes.
Prior to that, the Lodi Art Center was located at Lakewood Mall, but rising rents forced it out.
The new space measures 1,000 square feet and includes a front room they will use as a gallery, a back room, where they can host art classes, a tiny basement and a small patio front. Rent is $1,000 a month - more than they were paying at both Vino Piazza and Lakewood Mall - but utilities will be cheaper here, said Wallace.
They will also have a stronger presence in downtown Lodi. The group is planning to join the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership, participate in events like the First Friday Art Hop and the Wine Stroll, and to get involved in the Thursday Farmer's Market.
Their official move-in date is Aug. 1 and Wallace expects that the gallery will open sometime later that month.
Wallace already has plans for renovations: She wants to remove the iron bars on the windows, peel back the wood paneling on the walls, and tear down one of the walls in the backroom to create a larger area.
But for now, she has taken the first step in claiming this property for the art group: She has put up a sign in the window that reads: "Future home of the Lodi Art Center in August."