All things change, especially the places where you make your art. I have been in Pittsburgh for twelve years. During that time, I have had studio space in four buildings, including a stint in my home.
My first studio was about 80 sq ft. It had bathroom access and a storage closet.I was there for about six months.
It had been my intention to move the studio into our newly purchased home. I was pretty happy with the studio in the house, but I wanted to experiment with some new mediums and couldn’t do that around my parrots. So, it was back to a search for space outside the home.
I landed at the Brew House, on Pittsburgh’s Southside. The studio was about 380 sq ft. It was cheap ($135) when I moved in. I was there for 5 or 6 years. Quite a while! The Brew House is/was a collective. The space that I had was a work only space, no windows or heat and access to a bathroom. Since it was a collective, you were required to do 12 hours of volunteer time each month. Between the volunteer time and my commute, the space seemed to be less and less viable. So after looking for two years, I found a warehouse space, a fifteen minute walk from my home.
I moved into the second floor with two photographers. It was huge. I had 800 sq ft. We had to put in electric, it didn’t have running water or heat, but man! The space! I was there for over three years. The original roommates moved out, but I continued to share the space with two other artists.
Then, disaster descended. We had been dealing with a landlady. Suddenly, we had a landlord. How did that happen? Well, it seems that he had been in prison for ten years and was released sometime this past February. The first we knew about the change was in March, when my key wouldn’t work. After frantically calling everybody that I could think of, I finally tracked down the landlord. He told me that he was going to be developing the building, and we could have until the end of May to find another place.
Well, we were all sad, but we understood. Then, two weeks later the landlord called again and told us that instead of the end of May, we had until the end of April. Things went from doable to mad scramble. I’m not going to go into the details. It was pretty awful.
Now, I am at the Arsenal Terminal, a leisurely five minute walk from my home.
The studio is very small, about two hundred sq ft. It is broken up into two rooms. Above is the larger room, still so small that I can’t back up to take a picture of it. From the front door, looking into the smaller room –
There is bathroom access, I didn’t have to put in electric and the space is heated. It is also blessedly close to home. Right now, it is very packed –
My intention is to move finished work, as well as the less toxic materials, back to my home. But I have been in the space for a month and have not made any headway. First, I have to make space at home. It will happen, soon. I am feeling way to cramped in the space right now.
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