Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Studio 405

It is official. Remodeling is finished, the lease is signed, and my new studio space is ready for occupancy. The space is in Mainframe Studios here in Des Moines, a re-purposed telephone building that has been empty for 6 or 7 years since the company left. It originally housed telephone switching equipment on the top three floors and featured offices and meeting spaces on the ground floor. In this new incarnation the building will feature studios on the top three floors, probably an exhibition space (gallery) on the ground floor, perhaps a cafe or coffee shop, and other amenities.

The development group brought expertise from a similar project completed in Lowell, Massachusetts that was converted from an old brick mill into affordable studios. Like the Lowell studios, Mainframe hopes to institute programming that will include open studio events, a gallery, probably teaching, and other activities to heighten arts awareness and involvement in the community. The location just north of downtown Des Moines, not far from major businesses and offices is likely to add to the eventual importance of Mainframe. More than 60 artists from various disciplines will be moving in during this initial phase of development, with perhaps 250 artists eventually being involved.

Common space
My own space is Studio 405, next to the floor's large common area. The windows face northeast and look over part of the Des Moines complex of exhibition and performance spaces that are anchored by Wells Fargo Arena.
The far wall beyond the column is the outside wall of Studio 405.

Farther along, a hallway opens to individual studios. Mine is the first door to the left. The poster taped to the wall was put up for a fund raising event that took place a couple of weeks before these photos. You can make out the wide open floor before partitions were built. The partitions extend quite high 
but aren't floor to ceiling. The floors themselves are smoothed concrete.

The final two photos are door and interior of the new studio space. The total floor space is about 500 square feet (about 45.5 sq m), which will be ample since my main purpose is to have space for larger painting projects and to teach small groups or individuals.

The coming weeks will mean the usual--moving, rearranging, removing and rearranging and so on.

Studio 405
At some point in the fall of this year, I have promised to open the studio to a sketch group from the local medical school, as well.

Heartland Studio will continue to be the official studio name and Studio 405 will be the name of the teaching studio as it evolves.
From windows toward the door

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