Jessica Levman, Toronto, Ontario
Located by a ravine in Toronto, Canada, my studio windows look out onto a forest and I feel nature’s presence despite the fact I am in the centre of a large metropolis. The studio has a lot of wall space for working on large works on paper and mylar. It also includes a printing press as I often include prints in my artwork by collaging them into my mixed media drawings. The skeleton is an important component of my workspace as my artwork is figurative-based and makes references to the human body. I explore the changing nature of embodiment and the body’s connection to its environment and nature. There are two skylights that flood the space with natural light; the light allows for detailed work and illuminates the transparency of many of the supports that I use. I also call Newfoundland home, and have a studio on this remote island in the North Atlantic. The wildness of Newfoundland and the cultural centre of Toronto both inform my artwork.
Adam Normandin, Los Angeles, California
My studio and home are integrated in a loft, located in the Arts District of Los Angeles. Rail activity is central to my neighborhood and also my work. My building was originally constructed as a factory in 1926. A bank of large, industrial sized windows provides ample and consistent light quality, all day long. The central component of my studio is my easel. A Hughes model 4080. My computer is secondary, as I work directly from the screen. I keep a small work table to my left where I sketch and collect the daily mail and a work cart to my right for palette and paints. I have a secondary easel for the occasional heavy workload, but for the most part, I only work on one painting at a time. Being a book nerd, I have accumulated a small collection of books about work — and cooking. Finally, my dog Olive completes my studio. She is a retired racing greyhound and is almost always with me.
Cary Reeder, Houston, Texas
My studio is in a furniture factory that was converted to artist studios about 10 years ago. This is my third space in the building and by far my favorite, mainly because it has a window. Unfortunately, right now they are building a brewery outside that window, and the construction noise is driving me completely insane. I guess that is the price you pay for easy access to beer.
When I first started sharing a space here, the neighborhood was clinging to its last vestiges of grittiness, and our building was the big attraction, but since then it’s become quite the happening area. We have second Saturday open studios and other events. Sometimes, I’m not ready for anyone to see what I’m working on, so I don’t participate, but for the big events I do because friends and collectors stop by, which is fun. What I love about my space is it’s my sanctuary away from all the nonsense. I close my door and put on music or a podcast and get to work.
Margaret Rose Vendryes, PhD, Richmond Hill, Queens
I created a studio practice late in life. I am a degree-holding art historian nearing retirement from academia. My studio is about a 1/3 of my living room divided by an amazing, antique, handmade sideboard with a dozen deep drawers where I store all manner of necessities for my practice or just for my peace of mind. On top of that is a portion of my collection of African art. They are like sentries that remind me of how beautiful blackness has always been represented and how I am a part of that continuum. I once had a larger space that divorce took away, but this more intimate fraction of the whole is a part of my home life whether or not I am making something in it. The windows look out on a garden that is fluid, constantly changing. The natural light encourages me to stay bright in my attitude and my palette. I paint, but when it doesn’t call me, I “make” other things like the gold framed LPs stacking up on the right, as I search for ways to get my art out there and seen by people of color especially women.
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