We are launching a new project I have dreamed about for seven years: helping artists achieve economic empowerment through studio ownership. One of the biggest challenges of a sustainable creative practice is access to a work place that is stable, safe, affordable and inspiring. It’s the piece of the artistic business puzzle that often times feels like the biggest wild card. Because it is. Suitable studio space can be difficult, (if not impossible) to find, expensive, unsafe, and often dependent on the whims of volatile rental markets.
During my Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, my then infant daughter Maple and I traveled to Olympia, Washington and attended a tiny House building workshop. While tiny house living is appealing to me on many levels, the process of designing a small living space led me to begin to re-envision creative spaces. Imagine…mobile studio docking stations parked on private land, school property or non-developable city lots; pop-up studios that can easily travel to places in need of creative exploration or intervention; climate resistant art pods, art condos?
As you know, we need artists right now more than ever to help us dream, see and feel other points of view, and help us solve complex social, political and environmental challenges. Olafur Eliasson has said: “I am convinced that by bringing us together to share and discuss, a work of art can make us more tolerant of difference and of one another. The encounter with art – and with others over art – can help us identify with one another, expand our notions of we, and show us that individual engagement in the world has actual consequences.” Economically empowered artists with sustainable practices benefits us all.
I’m thrilled to announce our new project For Good Studios. Working with members of the Kind Party, many of whom are artists, I want to start putting dreams into action by first building a small studio on wheels, designed with specific input from many many artists (who have already answered detailed surveys) incorporating elements of what they consider perfect studio space. We will be documenting the whole building process here and offering up DIY Studio kits including building plans, materials lists, tools list and step-by-step instructions, so artists can easily build their own unit or have one built for them at an affordable price. At the same time, we will also be brainstorming with private land owners, city planners, and local schools about parking possibilities and micro financing.
A model unit will cost $15,000 to build which will include expert assistance to help us make this first one right, so it can be easily replicated. We will be using as much recycled and repurposed materials as possible to keep costs down and the studios environmentally kind. The Efroymson Foundation has generously pledged $7500 in matching funds. We have fiscal sponsorship with Fractured Atlas and are now actively fundraising for the other half. Please click here to help us make this happen with your donation.