June 19, 2016

Another one of my babies

I've been keeping this kinda under wraps.

Some may think I've been in hiding.When really I've been hard at work, focusing on building my dream, and that takes a lot of energy, time, patience, not to mention... money.

I am venturing into opening my own private Atelier. An Atelier is a workshop or studio of a professional artist. The word is french and denotes a place that functions as a studio/school for a very small number of select students to assist and learn under my supervision and guidance. I want to help others improve their skills and craft while sponging up all of the knowledge and experience I have through teaching including what I continue to learn.  Artists never stop. It is a big step, I am both excited and nervous.
Last year I heard about the cspace project (http://www.cspaceprojects.com/)  in the old King Edward school. The project sounded amazing. I thought about it hard and how I can be involved. I was inspired to immediately jumped on my application form. At first I made a request for a small private studio space for myself. I love teaching and think I offer a great product in that realm. I feel that my method of teaching can greatly benefit others if I were to take the chance and go bigger. I also really want a daytime gig. If no one is going to give it to me then I will make it for myself. I tossed and turned a while and decided I had to contact the Cspace office in order to expand my vision and to take on a larger space. Luckily we met and they believed in what I was doing and granted the change.
 This week, I went for my first site visit. I signed on without actually seeing the space, based on their stated goals and trust and I'm happy I did. The space will act as a hub for creativity in Calgary and the building will be Leed approved to the gold standard. So Calgary I'm staying to build an art studio/school for you! I donned my safety gear and hard hat and snapped a couple of crappy iphone shots to share here. The pics may not look like much yet, but to me it is oozing with potential. I will be in a room in the top corner of the fourth floor. I insisted on North facing windows, I'm a painter after all. I was happily please to have windows larger than I thought bathing the space in gorgeous northern light. The top opens but is boarded up and when they put in the new windows there will be even more light! A dream.
 The site goal is to keep the heritage of the building so these slate chalkboards are remaining active, so cool. I hate whiteboards anyway, chalk is much better. I had the ledge measured up to see if first I can have benches underneath them and second if I can build a cork board overtop of one for pinning drawing studies.  There are too many chalkboards for my needs. They must be protected and there are all sorts of restrictions on room improvements that I must follow. Hopefully I can mount above the board and sit panels on the ledge and have them be moveable so I have some options.
They are putting in new flooring, LED lighting and a host of air filtration and other certified updates.  I was surprised at how much bigger the space felt. I guess I expected it to feel as small as my previous studios.  I have been investing in furniture for the space on an ongoing basis. I just picked up three new easels yesterday and some canvases. I'd be happy to take suitable donations too but my aim is to keep the space largely open and the gear portable so that it can be set up appropriately for whatever task is at hand. ural features that I need to work around.
I got in with my little roomie helper to take some measurements for the furniture I am having custom built. Here she is taking all the measurements I need to fit stuff in and around the pre-existing architecture. All the walls will come white when I move in and the whole building will have card access security. I intend on installing gallery hanging equipment, and filling the upper walls with appropriately inspiring images. I am also collecting plaster casts for reference and building up my supply and book collection so that I can aid anyone who wants it.
I have some great support of those around me but I am a bit worried about students and how to market and not loose my shirt with all the new expenses I have.   That is not an area I know a lot about and personally I'm not a huge fan of dealing with money. I'm doing this instead of buying a house. I'll be spending most of my time there anyhow, too bad I cant live or sleep there. lol.Total artist priorities.
Thanks to my little helper Miranda and the C-space staff for their help on my site visit and for the super cool safety gear. I am so excited and cant wait until the day I get to move in, I will be doing much in the way of classical academic studies. For those of you interested in learning traditional drawing and oil painting skills or in doing long pose figure studies, my spot will be the place to be, and probably the only place in town offering this style of thing.  Stay tuned as this develops further, I hope to be opening in November of this year, fingers crossed.

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