After 8 glorious years of studio residency at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, it's time for me to move my workspace back to where it began. My new work "commute" will be about 30 steps, as I'm returning to my roots in a brand new home studio!
It's been a bittersweet decision, one I've evolved to since the pandemic shut down our operations at the LCCC, and like everyone else I was forced to work from home in 2020. In those early days, it was a bit puzzling to figure out what I could do there, with all my supplies and most materials at the Center. Not to mention the cancellation of classes and or use of the space in which I welcomed large groups of students. After gathering some basic tools and materials, I did my best to pivot to online teaching with mailed art kits and Zoom studio hours.
That experience got me thinking, what if I were to work from home again? How would that change my teaching opportunities, and the ability to take on larger projects that sprawl across my workspace? I took the first exploratory step in the summer of 2020, when a much smaller but light-filled space became available on the main floor of the center. Knowing I wouldn't be teaching groups for a long while, I scaled down my studio furniture and moved upstairs.
As people returned to the building, I adjusted to the smaller space by mostly using it for projects and a small retail area. Occasionally I made room for small groups of students (up to 5) and enjoyed more interaction with casual visitors to the studio in the higher visibility of the Center's main floor. And this move made me shift my teaching tactics to become more "portable" so I could teach offsite, in places like Oregon Coast Community College and Sitka Center. Soon it was clear that I had moved to a new phase in my art career.
So last summer, my husband Ren and I embarked on the new project, having already demolished the building that rot had started. I researched a plan for the new building and we slowly acquired the materials and advice needed to build it. It was a challenge for 2 amateurs even with such a small space! But it's finally ready for me to move in, and over the summer I'll finish the exterior and work to integrate the new building into my beloved garden. Profound thanks go to Ren, who spent many weekends and evenings laboring away to craft the new space. **If you're curious, here's a pictorial journey of my studio evolution**
I want to take a moment to say how grateful I am to have spent all these years at LCCC, building my art business. It is truly an "incubator" for artists to expand on their dreams and make them a reality that can sustain them, with a supportive staff that is second to none. From my first spot at the bottom of the hidden stairs (where the great flood of 2015 happened) to my roomy teaching studio in Studio #1, to my current space on the main floor surrounded by so much fun activity... it has been a genuine delight to be part of it all. As I told LCCC director Niki Price, "this place is magic."
I'll be leaving the center by the end of April, so if you want to stop by before then, please feel free to reach out (contact below) to arrange a time. Stay tuned for announcements later in summer when I hope to open the doors at my new garden studio for a visit. And as always, I hope to see you in one of my classes or art receptions in Lincoln City!