For the past, um idunno... like, three years, I have said no less than one bazillion times that I want to find a studio outside my home. A place that gets me out of the
This past weekend, I visited a cool place where Anderson Alley Artists gather. Photos today are from that visit, and they don't do this space nearly enough justice (I had the wrong lens on my camera, oops). This building is an old warehouse/factor place that has been converted to lofts that are used as art studios. The size of the studios vary by what floor you are on, the second and third floors have rooms on either side of the hall, where the forth floor studios are much larger and are just on one side. And in most of the studios, there are a few artists sharing the spaces, making the already low rent, very very affordable. Many of the artists participate in something called 2nd Saturdays as well, which opens the building up to the public for studio tours and shopping! I found out via a jewelry acquaintance that there is a potter/painter looking for a studio mate which is what had me hopping in my car for the short 15min drive over to there to check things out.
When I left the building Saturday afternoon, I was completely torn. This space has a lot of positives, and a couple of pretty hefty negatives. I don't think I need to list the positives, just look at the space!! A few of you glass workers looking at these photos might see pretty quickly one of the challenges of the room... that LIGHT. The sun in this building is absolutely amazing. It just floods every nook and cranny, but for torch work, that much light can make it very difficult to see the flame. In my home studio, a part from a strand of twinkle lights, and a spot light in one corner, I torch in the dark. Okay... curtains would solve that problem right? Right.
So, I had a really great chat with the artist already using the space and was all set to go visit the studio again and take a few measurements when a part of our conversation got stuck in my head. Again, with that light coming in those HUGE south facing windows (there are actually two huge banks of windows in the studio), the room is completely unusable in the summer. The heat is just too intense to work. I thought at first, I could work at night, or I could put in air conditioners, or or or... but come on, I work on a 2000+ degree torch. It is already hard enough to torch in the summer let alone when in a room that can reach more than 100 degrees.
I decided as beautiful and awesome as the place is, this one, I need to let go. (Hey, if you are local and don't mind the light and heat, and want contact info on this studio, zing me an email!) This experience, though, did really reaffirm for me just how much I want this. So, the hunt is on. There are a few other options around Rochester that I am looking into... Hungerford Urban Artisans (no website available) is one, and Rochester Contemporary Art Center is another.
There are a few other arguments against a remote studio that I need to contend with still. Will I want to travel there when there is 3ft of snow? and What will I do in the summer when the kids are off from school? are two big ones I need to think about, but I will cross those bridges when I get to them. For now, I am still rearranging studio furniture in my head, envisioning the possibilities of an amazingly inspiring space, and wondering what I can do in the meantime to get more human contact in my life...