On my desk is a printer, an empty PBR can, labeled manila folders and hanging files, photos, pens, duct tape, application forms, a measuring tape. Beside me- papers, drawings, a sewing machine, a bulletin board of ideas. Behind me, extending to the back wall, wood, windows, frames, canvases, papers, paint, tools, boxes, my easel.
There is music (The Beatles) playing down the hall. Moments ago, my friend Amelia walked by my door and said she had to run an errand but that she'd be right back. She also asked if I had any candy.
"No," I laughed. "Is there any cake left in the fridge?" There isn't.
Carri just walked up the stairs, and we chatted for a bit about our weekend and how we meant to get here sooner today. Now, I can hear her working with her staple gun in the other room.
Where am I? No, it's not heaven.
I co-manage an artist work space with a couple of friends. It's called 17th Street Studios and this is where we make work. We began this project last May by ripping up carpet and painting walls. We are located on the second floor of the west wing of Redeemer Church, a space that wasn't being utilized prior to our moving in. Now, we provide (extremely) affordable work space to 13 artists working in sculpture, paintings, installation work, film, graffiti, printmaking, graphic design, ceramics, etc. Without advertising, we have a waiting list.
I adjusted my schedule a few months ago so that I can be here during the day. Sometimes, I can be here all day, which is my favorite. It's then I feel the freedom to relax, to walk down the street for a meal with fellow studio mates, to take my time with working.
There are common spaces to spread out if needed. There are people to help straighten out thoughts and who will listen to ideas. They share their own as well as their tools.
It's a glimmer of a dream fulfilled.