As many of you know I have had studios all over the city of Boston. This also means that I have moved around a lot over the course of my career here.
I had a studio I loved in Hyde Park for many years, a condo I bought into. The developer was, well let's just say he was motivated by something other than trying to create artist housing. People had varying or non-existent commitments to contemporary art practice, so there was no dialogue about art, a hallmark of a thriving artist community. The 10+ year lawsuit took its toll on friendships, my art work and my health and once I was able to get the building's roof fixed (it used to rain in my studio) I decided to sell the place and move.
I have a great realtor (thanks Larry) who was patient, smart, and knew what I needed was a place for a studio. He helpded me find a house in Dedham that belonged to a retired stonemason. It wasn't in the best shape (neither am I) but the structure was good and more importantly, it had an above grade basement with a carport that I could turn into a studio.
The goal here is to turn the existing basement and carport into a working artist's studio with appropriate lighting, access, storage, and ventillation. To do this:
- Upgrade electrical system to code and replace electrical panel to allow for the use of a variety of power tools.
- Remove and replace inefficient (and gigantic) oil-heat furnace and water heater with wall mounted gas models that with smaller footprints and better venting to increase working space.
- Remove walls, reinforce joists, remove existing chimney, and regonfigure space to create work areas and storage.
- Close off, insulate, and build out existing carport to increase working space.
The wonderful Patti Seitz of Seitz Architects has drawn up plans for how this could work. I'm deeply grateful to her for her excellent work and patience. (Click to enlarge)
The orange outline is what I am currently using for my studio. The blue is the space that will be available after the project is complete. (Click to enlarge)
I am funding this studio rebuild through my work. The current politcal and financial moments in this country make accessing credit markets and capital extremely difficult for artists-even those of us with tenured professorships. The lenders I have approached have advised that waiting for credit markets to relax may result in more favorable lending terms. Unfortunately, I need a place to work now.
Feel free to share this link with anyone you think would be interested. Thanks so much.