Lawyer hopes to turn empty downtown Stockton lot into art gallery

The lawyer behind the project says he opened a different art center on Stockton’s Miracle Mile in 2017.

STOCKTON, Calif. — Surrounded by historic buildings but blocks away from some of Stockton’s newest ones, dried-out vegetation fills the 0.11 acre lot at 25 Grant Street.

The downtown property is mostly empty but the lot’s next-door neighbor, Stockton attorney Dru Hunt, hopes to change that.

“I want to have a gallery where the focus is displaying art and having an opportunity to come to see local artists and artists who may be coming through the community,” said Hunt. “And at the same time, having a space where we can do some of these activities, so both for the children and community in general.”

While being in the legal industry might seem black and white, Hunt is no stranger to color. He helped launch the Stockton Art Lab in 2017.

The Miracle Mile business was forced to close after its building was sold nearly five years after opening its doors.

“During the course of that, we offered (art) classes — first at no cost and then later at a minimal cost, targeting children, but ultimately being open to all ages — and over the course of those five years, we had over 10,000 (classes),” said Hunt. “I realized, based on that experience, that it was clearly something that the community needed, that there were a number of people who were wanting to have that in the community.”

Aside from seeing the impact of community art first-hand, Hunt draws inspiration from Hollywood, a place he briefly called home after graduating with a degree in film production.

“I moved down to Hollywood and worked on the television series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit for a number of seasons,” said Hunt, a former production

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