Are you tired of hearing about "place-making" yet? In the past several years, we've been inundated with this phrase that refers to the way people interact in public spaces. I didn't really get into all the hoo-ha until recently.
After earning an MFA in Graphic Design, and determined to re-generate my creative practice, I began a search for a studio. I imagined it would be easy. However, my specific requirements for a location within a 10-minute drive from home, and my desire to connect with other creative individuals made the search a challenge.
Last summer, I pedaled around my neighborhood and surfed Craig's list looking for the "right" space. I finally settled on the Ivy Arts Building as the best option. Luckily, I had a insider's recommendation, and after a bit of persistence/insistence, I signed a lease on October 1.
Again, I imagined it would be easy to get set up and start working. I gave myself a month to get moved in. I had forgotten how much stuff I had squirreled away in numerous spots! And then, thanks to the wheels-on-everything rule, moving things around until it feels right.
So, place-making is about engaging the public in spaces, right? And its my private studio I've been describing. This past weekend was the Seward Winter Frolic Art Crawl event. Since I have been out of production mode, and am now focusing on a body of work for exhibition, I decided to demonstrate my passion for screen-printing on fabric and get visitors to try it as well.
People loved it! Folks of all ages rolled up their sleeves and pulled prints on paper and cloth napkins. A colleague, stellar teacher, and friend, Alex Newby, came and helped. We initiated the new 16' print table, saw old friends and met new ones, among lots of smiles and laughter.
As I talked with visitors, who expected to see things to buy, it felt great to offer an interactive activity, and an opportunity to talk about classes and workshops as well as my new work. There was a lot of positive response to the DON'T SHOOT shirts, giving me the affirmation I needed to push that project forward into the public domain. Thanks to this event, I feel that my studio is now a creative place—for me as well as others!
The Next Adventure Begins.