I’ve been hinting for some time that despite the fact I was on medical leave there were some wonderful things going on in my life. My daughter’s upcoming wedding is one but it’s time to make public what else I’m have been and will be doing.
The Last Ferry Home by Susan L Greig
March 21 will be my last day of work at BC Children’s Hospital. I am taking the leap of living my dream and opening an inclusive art studio and gallery located five minutes from my home in New Westminster. Bucket List Item #239 Quit my job and paint/write full-time can be crossed off my list.
This idea has been a long time percolating and my vision finally came together in December of 2013 when I found several studios in the USA that each had elements of what I wanted to do. It’s funny how something can circulate in your brain, sometimes for years, and then just at the right moment everything comes together and you wonder how you didn’t see it before because it was so obvious.
Here is the official lowdown about the studios:
100 Braid St Studios is an inclusive working art studio for New Westminster and Lower Mainland artists that allows visitors to be inspired artistically and to learn from the artists practicing in the studio. Studio artists produce fine art & craft in the form of paintings, sculpture, fiber, jewellery making, photography, and mixed media.
We provide three programs that foster creativity and the expansion of the dialog around the ever-blurring boundaries and continuum of art to craft :
1. Painting or Craft workshops focus on the fun and social aspects of getting together in a group to produce art.
2. Fine art classes cover the basics of a number of painting techniques, colour theory and artistic exploration.
3. Cultural Workshops feature contemporary and traditional Métis crafts such as beading, stone carving, and weaving. (Métis arts are in danger of dying so I am keen on seeing these preserved)
We are not only inclusive of all types of art but we are inclusive in cultural diversity, language and ability. We provide workshops and classes in:
ASL (American Sign Language)
ESL (for new immigrant) certified instructor.
Adaptive format for adults and children with disabilities
The Studio also provides an alternative venue for corporate team building, private meetings and celebratory events.
On March 1 I took possession of 5,600 square feet on the second floor of a warehouse built in 1928 and renovations are currently underway. Time that I would have spent blogging over the past few months has been used in creating a new website, getting social media set up and meeting with artists and artisans who are interested in coming into the space.
Someone at city hall told me that the building used to be an old winery but they couldn’t confirm that so I’ve asked our local historians if they could do some research. We do know that the Studios sit across the street from where an old Distillery used to be so it is very possible it was part of that or it may in fact be a winery; city hall staff said that is why there is a cupola on the top of the building. Regardless, I’m excited to find out what I can so that I can play homage to the history of the warehouse in the decor that we choose. My focus at this time is on “Funky Junk” design with an industrial feel and using used and sustainable building materials.
My dream has long been to find a way to quit my job at the hospital and work in the arts. 100 Braid St Studios is going to allow me to do that. It’s also going to allow me to explore, in a very practical way, the whole concept of the Arts and Crafts Philosophy as related to the modern DIY movement. To see a previous posting on this topic please click here.
I would be honoured if you would visit the new 100 Braid St Studios website, follow me there on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Facebook is coming soon!