For the past eleven years, mixed-media artist Susan Tabachnick has worked out of her historic home in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In the 1909 house, she can create and store artwork in her dining room, guest room, living room, front room, and third-floor studio. The 2 ½-story building, in an historic district, boasts large windows, high ceilings and great natural light. “My house has wonderful karma, and it embraces me daily,” says Tabachnick. “In reality, though, my work has taken over the house.”
Seven months ago, Sophia Ruppert moved her studio from the University of Nebraska, where she teaches, to a warehouse in an industrial part of Lincoln, with a high ceiling that opens up to industrial beams, ductwork, and pipes. Ruppert shares the space with a painter. “Splitting the place between a 2-D and 3-D artist is surprisingly easy as we both have different spatial needs,” says Ruppert. Her warehouse studio space is long and narrow, so her work has become smaller than work done at the university studio where she could utilize large portions of walls, floor, and physical space. “My previous studio was very pristine and, being at a university, I had limitations to how I could work within it. At my current studio, I can build walls or paint the room an entirely different color if I need to.”
For a few years, Joe Hedges was fortunate to have two studios: one at home and one at work. But, after his son Linus’ birth, his home studio had to be converted to a nursery. So, he started primarily working from Washington State University where he loved painting alongside his students and had access to a woodshop and digital fabrication lab. In several galleries, he placed his installation artwork to see how it functioned in a large, clean space. “The energy there is good,” he says. “The building has always been a good staging and testing ground before sending pieces out to other galleries.”
To create her fiber works, Tara Kennedy spreads out in several places. Depending on the task, Kennedy works in her small studio, other rooms in her home, and at her parents’ house. For stitching, she sits in a comfortable chair, while for technical and on-screen work, she goes to a different room where her work isn’t surrounding her and in her way. In her parents’ house, which was once her childhood home and housed her and husband’s knitting business, she uses a knitting machine. “The space I work in is very important,” says Kennedy. “It needs to feel right depending on what sort of work I’m doing.”
Eight years ago, painter Frances Ferdinands changed her life dramatically. She left her studio in an artists’ colony in downtown Toronto to set up shop in a cottage on three acres of land an hour’s drive away. There, Ferdinands could devote herself full-time to her art. No longer did she need to teach three days a week to support living in the city. She named the studio Studio Vimy Fine Art for its location on Vimy Ridge Road. “I wanted to move to something quite opposite of downtown living so most of our neighbors are farmers or hobby farmers,” she says.