CHICAGO — The 53rd installment of a series in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? Submit your studio — just check out the submission guidelines.

Victoria Cowan, Toronto, Canada (site)


This is the studio as it looks when set up for a printmaking class (maximum six people). The big work table near the press usually has whatever I’m working on, either prints or books, but I was just about to be away for a while and had cleaned up. The tables all fold and the studio can be used for my husband’s class of six, working from the model at easels. The prints on the walls are either works in progress (the long one beside the press), or previous work chosen to illustrate various techniques for students. Except for two big breaks (August & December), we work in a constant rhythm of set-up and clean-up for various classes and our own projects. Keeps us very organized. Thank goodness we like the same music and play well together!

Lydia Musco, Royalston, Massachussetts (site)

The studio is a timber framed barn that my husband and I built using trees we cut from our land, milled into beams on a saw mill, and put together into this space with the help of family, friends, and neighbors. One of my favorite features of the space is the concrete slab floor. I build most of my cast concrete sculptures directly on the floor, which usually causes some seeping puddles of water and accidental splattering concrete blobs. It’s great to not have to worry about damaging the floor. I keep pallets of cement, three large wooden boxes of sand, a garden hose, and a cement mixer set up on one side of the studio. I mix a batch of concrete in the mixer and use it immediately in a sculpture. Today there are several small sculptures in progress on the floor and some larger pieces behind them.

Chris Cater, New York City (site)

What you see here is my studio, bedroom, and hangout spot. Everything I need is stuffed on/under a 5 foot by 2.5 foot desk. Bed and keyboard are very near by. Sleeping next to my work desk is nice whenever I get a spontaneous idea for a drawing. Being able to simply swivel my chair and play piano is also very nice, especially when an idea isn’t translating to a drawing spectacularly. I used to think I needed more space than this to work, then I got used to it, and now I enjoy it.

Carol Bruns, Brooklyn, New York (site)

My studio has an 18′ ceiling of corrugated steel, which is poor insulation, but it sounds great when it rains. The volume of the space lends a dignity to the sculptures I do here, as well as a glimpse of how some of the larger ones might feel in the outdoors in a public space. I use the big worktable constantly, as well as a large pile of shapes of all sizes that gets built up on the wall where some of the masks are now installed. There is a rotation of finished pieces to a mezzanine storage, making room for new works. I have been making art for 40 years now, and for two years in this space.

Denise St. Marie & Timothy Walker, Toronto, Canada (site)

Here you are in a borough of Toronto that skirts Lake Ontario. We have converted a room into our studio, maintaining a live/work space. Here in front of you we have our trusty table which is tuck-away-able, based on project need. We work with vinyl, aluminum, wood, and acrylic to create outdoor and indoor pieces often based on a signage style. Damien, our cat, is plyoned off to the left of the desk. He is our resident acrobat. Directly behind me is an 8 ft. chalkboard wall where we flesh out our ideas before going into Illustrator or making small scale mockups. Our earthy green living space is just behind me and around the corner, and beyond that is a balcony that overlooks the rooftops to Humber Bay.

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Philip A Hartigan

Philip Hartigan is a UK-born artist and writer who now lives, works and teaches in Chicago. He also writes occasionally for Time Out-Chicago. Personal narratives (his own, other peoples', and invented)...