Carrie Rengers

The Mines art studio to open downtown

Dancer Patrick “Garcon” Dawson II plans to transform this building on South Ida into the Mines art studio.
Dancer Patrick “Garcon” Dawson II plans to transform this building on South Ida into the Mines art studio. The Wichita Eagle

Dancer Patrick “Garcon” Dawson II is a believer in dreams – the kind he has while he’s sleeping. One night he watched the movie “Inception” and was inspired to build his own dream.

He says he concentrated before he went to bed and then, while sleeping, pictured a cave with lights. As the dream went on, Dawson says it reminded him of a diamond mine. He woke and says he spent the rest of the night searching for buildings online.

The dream is now a reality with a name: the Mines.

It’s an art studio that Dawson and business partner Ebonee Silmon, a vocalist, plan to open this fall in almost 3,000 square feet at 350 S. Ida.

“It’s basically going to be a studio for any artist in the area that wants an outlet,” Dawson says. “It’s basically kind of like a community studio.”

The front 1,600 square feet will be an open area for dancing, photography or any other art someone wants to create. It will regularly feature local art on the exposed brick walls.

The space also can also be used as a venue for parties.

The back part of the business will have a recording studio and offices.

Dawson and Silmon are remodeling the space now.

“I want it to look mysterious on the outside,” Dawson says.

Dancing is “a huge passion” for Dawson, who is going to Wichita State University for dance while also opening the Mines.

“I’ll be walking down the street, and I’ll just start dancing,” he says.

He says he wants to help others with their dreams, too, which is why his artist’s name is Garcon – the server.

“I feel like I’m a server,” he says.

As much as the studio will be open for people to do their own art, Dawson says he wants to help others – including children – create in the space, too.

He says he’ll teach classes at night. Silmon will be a daily presence at the business.

They expect to open sometime in September and may have a grand opening to coincide with Final Friday.

Daniel Moeder with Moeder and Associates handled the deal for the space.

Company owner Leon Moeder says he and his wife, Susan, worked for more than a year to find the right fit for their building.

“We think this will be spectacular.”

Prior to the opening, Dawson and Silmon are hosting a charity masquerade ball at the Crown Uptown Theatre on July 31.

Dawson says the fundraiser, where he and Silmon are performing along with others, will be a benefit for cancer survivors.

“We’re definitely wanting to give back every chance we can.”

Dawson says he’s planning for the future as well.

“My ultimate goal was to create a performing arts academy in Wichita.”

Though that won’t be in this space, Dawson says he pictures having an arts campus one day.

“This is just the beginning.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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