My New Studio Space
I finally have a new studio space! A fantastic space came up unexpectedly. I previously wrote about how I was supposed to move into a studio/gallery space in March when I had returned from my trip, but the space was lost before I even moved in. While moving onto other projects, I continued to look for a new location, though that was difficult to fit in my already busy schedule. Out of the blue, I get a call from my friend, advising me Ana Fernandez just got a new space and is looking for someone to share it with. Once I saw the space, I knew I had to have it and took it immediately.
It is a commercial space at the corner of a very busy intersection on the East Side at S. New Braunfels and E. Commerce. It is only 2 or 3 minutes from downtown and 281, and is very easy to get to. The building is across the street from the end of a few blocks of cemeteries, which I love. I have been photographing cemeteries in different countries for a few years now and was the model for a photoshoot in one of the cemeteries down the street about eight years ago. I will definitely be exploring these at some point. Looking at the map, it seems to be about seven cemeteries all next to each other.
The place is incredible! This is a picture of entirely my half of the space, measuring out to about 900 sf. The door in the back leads to the other half of the space. The ceilings are much higher than average, I’ll have to measure when I can get a ladder. It is in nice condition, all the walls are finished, except a small one, and there are great concrete floors.
The two huge front windows let in plenty of light during the day, which is great since I always prefer to work in natural light. Unfortunately, I forgot to measure them, but they seem to be about the same height as the door.
However, the space is not quite moving in condition yet. I am responsible for getting rid off all of the left behind debris, which is everything left of the pillar in the photo. Then the floor can be pressure washed. It is very dusty and dirty. My goal is to have it ready to move in sometime in the next two weeks. Some additional repairs will also immediately take place, although they don’t affect my move once the space is cleaned out.
I have a studio space in my house, but have outgrown it quite a while ago. My materials are stacked up everywhere, seeping into every other room in my house. My husband often threatens to get me a storage unit for all of my stuff. There is really no room to work unless I branch out into other rooms in the house, which I often do.
Opening a gallery space is important to my long term goals. I have been focusing on my CV, trying to improve it enough to get substantial scholarship money for grad school. I think I have been doing a good job, slowing increasing my experience and skills. I think I can get into grad school already, but not necessarily with enough scholarships thrown my way. My plan is to be running a small space, then go to the school to show them my experience and ask them to teach me to do this on a larger level. My goal is to go to Pratt in New York for their dual Master’s degree in Museum Studies and Library and Information Science. The first degree should allow me to work in a museum position, while the second degree teaches me the computer programs to work on the archives in the museums. Right now I am working toward a goal date of Fall 2014. We’ll see what happens.
Already an entrepreneur, Ana is already working on making this building licensed for business. She estimates a six month time period to get this done. That works out very well for me, since I am not prepared to open up a gallery space this instant. In fact, I need to get funding to back this project and will be starting a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money. Lights, paint, and wood add up very quickly. A few months ago, I did make a fundraising budget, but now that needs to be revised. This is a much larger space, so that means more paint and room to take advantage of a second, movable, temporary wall. With huge ceilings, I also need a tall ladder, although I would much prefer to have some scaffolding. I also would like a small desk and a couple of chairs. Finally, the landlord is requiring us to get business insurance before we can run a business here.
Since I cannot have a gallery for a minimum of six months, I unexpectedly have a fantastic opportunity to work on my art. I have been very focused on my other artists, and have not had as much time as I would like to work on my pieces or have enough space. I have been working on the birdcage project, expanding my sound project that I showed at JusticeWorks Gallery in 2009, and also have the new surfaces I want to paint on, three drawers and a side table. This is more than enough for me to work on immediately. Soon I will have a place to bring people to see my art, not just talk about it. Another amazing and unexpected turn in my life as an artist.