West Tisbury’s old police station building next to the Mill Pond will have new tenants next year.

Artists Kenneth Vincent and David Wallis, both of West Tisbury, were awarded a lease by the town selectmen last week to use the small building as a studio space. The lease is expected to be finalized in January.

“We had always wanted to try to figure something out together,” Mr. Wallis said. “We threw our hat in the ring, and we thought we had about a one per cent chance.”

The police department moved into a new space behind the town public safety building in April, leaving its former quarters vacant. A committee was formed to investigate next steps, and in July selectmen began discussing . A request for proposals to rent the 1,000-square-foot building was issued in early November.

Ken Vincent and Traeger di Pietro working together this summer. — Jeanna Shepard

A limiting factor of the RFP was the small septic system on the property, which meant that groups of more than four people were disqualified.

The RFP also stated that a successful proposal is one that “offers a service to enhance and encourage the cultural, environmental, sociological, historical, and recreational assets and needs, among others, of both the town and the Island.” Applicants were required to demonstrate how much experience they had in their respective cultural fields.

Mr. Wallis has been showing watercolors at the Granary Gallery since 1989 and has been managing the gallery for about 15 years. Mr. Vincent, who works primarily in oils and acrylics, teaches art at the charter school, and has been showing his work at the Granary for more than 10 years.

Mr. Vincent read about the RFP in the newspaper and got in touch with Mr. Wallis. The two had shared studio space before, but that property was sold years ago. Mr. Vincent was familiar with the Mill Pond space, and knew that while it was “tiny for a police department,” it was perfect for painting.

“It’s a pretty big space for two artists,” Mr. Vincent said. “And it’s beautiful.”

The two decided to offer more than the minimum rent required by the RFP ($500 per month), and will lease the space for $600 per month.

Both Mr. Vincent and Mr. Wallis said that having a separate space for working outside the home is beneficial for artists. Mr. Wallis had previously been working out of a small space on Stonewall Pond, at the home of Margaret Freydberg, who is 106.

“The advantage of having a studio that you pay for is you have to work to pay for it,” Mr. Vincent said. “Wintertime working is really important for us.”

Mr. Wallis agreed. “That’s my major time to be in the studio — January till spring,” he said.

He said he was excited about moving to a location favored by other local artists.

“It’s just cool to be there — you’ve got Allen Whiting, Rez Williams, the Granary . . . it’s a nice creative corridor,” Mr. Wallis said. “We can’t wait.”