By Tia Lynn Ivey
One of Madison’s historic jewels, the Vason Building located at 121 Main Street, officially reopened this past Friday, freshly renovated after suffering damage in a December 2015 fire and featuring a new tenant, the Madison Artists Guild (MAG). Antique Sweets has also returned to the Vason Building. The owner, Wayne Vason, celebrated the event with a ribbon cutting to honor the local fireman from the Madison Fire Department who saved the building during last year’s fire and to welcome Antique Sweets and MAG. Vason is thrilled to have his building open to the public again with two beloved organizations residing inside.
“Antique Sweets has reopened for business and I am delighted to welcome the Madison Artists Guild to its new home in our building,” said Vason in an interview with Patch Media. “My wife, Lee Harper, is an artist as well as a dancer, and has used part of the building’s second floor as an art gallery. The night the building caught fire, members of our volunteer fire department took great pains to rescue her art from the smoke and flames. In gratitude, Lee hosted a very successful art show and sale in Atlanta, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the fire department.”
Harper displayed her art again on the second floor of Vason building as part of the reopening celebration last Friday. A portion of proceeds will again be donated to the fire department.
The Vason Building was built in 1870 by Joseph Vason, Wayne’s great-grandfather. The building was passed down through the Vason family for the last 146 years. Now the building is in the hands of Wayne Vason, who first restored the building about 10 years ago and won a Preservation Excellence Award and a Georgia Preservation Award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. Vason has once again restored this local gem that shines on Madison’s Main Street.
The MAG is excited to setup shop in the Vason building, which provides an extra 1000 square-feet of space than their previous residence on West Jefferson Street. The new location also gives the MAG a prime spot on Main Street.
The MAG is looking for more art to display now that they have procured more room. To find out more information, contact the MAG at (706) 342-9360.