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.
In 2017, painter Richard Whadcock leased a workspace at Chartwell Road Studios in England’s south coast. After many years at Phoenix Studios—a complex with one hundred studios—he was looking for an affordable, independent work area that came with more hanging and storage space. Through a commercial leasing agency, he found a self-contained unit in a commercial building in an industrial park in Lancing.
Five years ago, painter Sandy Sokoloff left Boston to live in the more serene and isolated environment of Grand Isle, Vermont. On a whim, he’d earlier visited Lake Champlain, and when the opportunity arose to work on the waterfront, he grabbed it. He was drawn to the area’s natural beauty, as well as its majestic skies and the distant Adirondack Mountains. “I’ve never looked back,” says Sokoloff. “Winter is especially inspiring—isolation and silence.”