Friday, August 28, 2009

Exciting NEW Studio Space ~ "Studio 8"

It all started with a friendly call from one of the local ladies who'd attended my "Women's Mexico Retreat" for Journaling and Watercolor Sketching. We'd kept in touch after we both got home from Mexico and had had coffee and I'd attended her gallery's "Grand Opening". Bonnie was calling to tell me she is gathering, hopefully, four women artists to share a 255 square foot working studio space.

This space is on the second floor of the newly acquired Provost Building, by the Ashland Art Center (http://store.ashlandartisangallery.com/prostores/servlet/StoreFront) for a fantastic art hub for Southern Oregon. I've been first onboard Denise Baxter's (now the Executive Director) trail when she invited me to show in her gallery around two years ago. Shortly after Denise began representing me, she launched off into her dream of starting up non-profit that benefited artists, community and patrons alike. Over many months of hard work, finding an appropriate building, raising funds (in this economy!!), this dream moved into this old furniture building, Spring of 2009, and began refurbishing. October is the Grand Opening but, it's up and functioning n-o-o-o-o-w!!! Part of the income guaranteed to the Art Center will come from the entire second floor where somewhere around 13 different fantastic artists have rented the working, open-to-the-public studios. That, my friends, is where Bonnie comes back in!

I'm initially tentative with Bonnie's invite to hop aboard creating this foursome but . . . Cody (our sweet golden retreiver) & I take a drive (about 25 minutes worth) into Ashland to take a look at the space. The energy is quiet, warm and positive. I'm pleased to see how Cody responds to the place (see photo) by spreading out like a "puppy rug", completely relaxed and at peace. Next, the full foursome planned to meet, to talk over space division. I felt comfy with two of the three ladies, those two I'd met and had warm, mutual relationships with before. One I'd not met before.

The signing of our lease was hurried up, when Denise told us others were looking at the very same space. So, all of us, Bonnie, Thalia (http://www.thaliakeple.com/), Lindsey and I, gathered last Sunday, August 23rd, and we signed in agreement. Here we are gloating new owners of "Studio 8". I have to admit, this is the first time, in any photo, where I've been the tallest in the group. Well, just another new experience coming my way. I'm really excited and the more "neighboring" artists I meet, the happier I am with my decision. These are all devoted, talented and warm people aiming at making this space physically, creatively and financially a success.

At this stage, we are furnishing and deciding necessary working, storage, display and teaching space, lighting and furniture. Lindsey and Thalia are amazing jewelry artists and will work hand in hand, sharing tools, storage and display space. Bonnie has a plethora of extra furniture for our half (the painter side of "Studio 8") and I was struggling with finding a work table. But the Universe has a delicious way of answering needs when you take that "leap" (haven't I talked about that "leap" somewhere here before?). So, just last Thursday, when I was at my monthly Critique Group, one of our members, who has lately experienced some big health challanges, announces he's going to be getting rid of furniture and books in his studio. Everyone, first-come, first-serve, is welcome to come check it out. Long story short, I got my beautiful work table: a 36 x 55 inch drafting table!

So, I can't wait to see what else the Universe has in stock for me. I'm envisioning swarms of sales, full and delighted classes and a new dedication to committed, longer, more focused hours of creativity. Join me in turning around the verbage and outlook for artists in this economy. I'm ready - - how about you? Think about what "leap" you can take, knowing you are deserving and guided. It's an amazing ride . . .

4 comments:

Vicki Greene said...

Congratulations! What an exciting time for you and your friends.

Oma3 said...

How very exciting Elaine, it looks like a great spot. Exactly where in Main is it? Was that dear Olin that had the sale. Please give him my love and him know that I miss him a lot!

The Universe is so good.... keep me posted.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

You are right ... this is very exciting. This should be a huge hit - especially since Cody gave approval *smile. You go girl!!!

Bonnie said...

Great description of our new adventure Elaine. I'm so glad you decided to add your wonderful art and energy to this endeavor. First Friday Art Walk brought many visitors to our lovely new Studio in the Ashland Art Center, and we haven't even had our grand opening yet...