Oh thank the art-gods, the studio is out of my house! And good riddance! What am I always talking about being bad at? Work-life balance. You know what happens when you put your studio in your 750 sq ft house that you share with two cats and your boyfriend? NOT THAT.
Just look at those windows. Wasted behind my soldering table with the blinds down so I could see my metal temps. Those heart-of-pine wood floors having mandrels dropped on them. Shame!
But all is well. I’ve been accepted as a resident and co-director of San Antonio’s Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery. Our building hosts a gallery in which we put on shows- a few of our own, a few invited, and we put out an annual call for proposals. Behind the gallery we have 6 cubicle spaces where we residents do what we do. There’s a photographer, a mixed-media and installation artist, two ceramicists, and two of us metalworkers. I’ve been here two months and I am SO HAPPY. Plus it’s literally 3 blocks from my house. The back entrance is all minty-gold goodness.
Mr. Romeo continues to earn his keep by installing my ventilation, building a loft, and being cute like a squirrel.Extremely cool original tin ceiling.
Added bonus: community, new friends, good art, people to drink PBR with.
Our next show opens on Saturday, March 21st and features works by six artists individually picked by us residents. We have a blog, and I’m going to take on building a real website as my first order of business as co-director…. so stay tuned.
My residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft ended at the end of August, about two months ago. I have not allowed myself a lot of time for reflection, but I think that’s more out of busy-ness than a conscious desire to avoid the process. During the summer a hundred thousand little incomplete pieces of my life all stuck together at once like a magnet. It was both very satisfying and disconcerting. I’m now living in San Antonio, one of those moves I tend to make when I know where I DON’T want to live so I weigh my options and poke a finger at the map. I don’t want to go back to North Carolina (for pretty obvious reasons,) and I couldn’t see myself living the kind of life I wanted in Houston. It was hard leaving the wonderful, fun, loyal friends I’d made through the Craft Center, but San Antonio is already proving to be a good choice. Mr. Romeo, the long suffering boyfriend, is finally in the same state and he is happy with the work he’s found here. And I love this town already. Equinox, a jewelry gallery in La Villita that has represented me for years, has been very supportive. I moved here to be closer to Alejandro and his inclusive approach to business, curating, and life in general. I’m looking forward to getting more involved as soon as my personal workload allows me some breathing room. Fall is always frantic.
I’m going to try to bring this thing up to date with what’s going on in my life right now. Let’s start with the studio!
I am a very messy worker. This is my studio at HCCC right before I packed it up. More horizontal surfaces! I want all the horizontal surfaces!
I am well documented in my hatred for working at home. Getting out of the house and into a shared studio in Asheville was the best thing I ever did for my business. Now I’m back to working out of the second bedroom and I’m feeling pretty “meh” about it. The house I’m renting is perfect, though. The room has tons of windows and light, and Mr. Romeo is similarly tool-obsessed, so the mess doesn’t seem to bother him too much (yet.)
The first challenge was setting up some ventilation. When I work with steel I use some very toxic flux and I don’t need those fumes in the place I work, eat, share with my loved ones, and sleep. Mr. Romeo set this up for me out of a bathroom exhaust vent! Best birthday present ever!
Now if I could just get these damn cats out of EVERYTHING. GET. OUT. I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE SOFT AND ADORABLE BUT GET OUT.
Also. My new kitchen is delightful.
Before we moved in… They didn’t let us keep the ping pong table.
I made it to Houston, y’all! And I am soooooooo happy to be here. I lived in Asheville for four years, and at the beginning of it I thought settling down long term would lend my life some stability that I hadn’t felt over the previous years of moving between Virginia, Guatemala, and Montana. Of course I was wrong. While I’m a better, stronger person for it, I won’t make the mistake of taking a good situation for granted ever again. During all the moving, the job searching, all the yard sales, the boxes, and trips to Goodwill, I became more and more attached to my studio. To be honest, it was a mess of a room. We had almost constant standing water, mold, millipedes, mice, and spiders. Our neighbors’ noise varied from hammer drills to blues guitar lessons. But it felt like home and I loved it. My studio-mate, Matt Smith, found my ad looking for 50 sq ft of space back in the fall of 2010. As he said, our friendship has been the best thing I’ve ever found on Craigslist.
I don’t think anyone could possibly love this space more than I did.