How to go about finding an artist space?
May 27, 2008 3:44 PM   Subscribe

How do I find artist space?

Am I missing something here in demanding a space to work? All I want to do is look for an artist space that is separate from my living situation (crowded, no place to spread out). Looking around on the internet (NYC/NJ area) has turned up so few resources actually devoted to this topic that I'm confused for a minute. I can't be the only one with this dilemma. It's probably been a problem for as long as there's been creative people, but is there really no formal solution that doesn't require me to submit a portfolio to a nonprofit organization and wait?

I'm seriously confused. If you've had to deal with this situation (limited space at home, limited funds), what did you do? Am I supposed to tough it out and work at home, even though my concentration's all shot to hell by people wandering in and out of wherever I am? Did you team up with other people to split the rent, find a warehouse, renovate a room in your apartment, or just illegally use rented storage?

Please understand I'm not balking at the amount of work I'll have to do find a space or trying to be choosy about it. This just seems to be so obvious a problem that I'm surprised that I haven't found anyone's solution in how to deal with this yet. Am I going crazy or is there some tried-and-true method to looking for an artist space that I've just completely missed? I guess this is one of those every artist for herself, apply your own creative thinking in marking out a space for yourself type deals?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Go to your local art schools. Art students are always looking for work space so they should have a listing or be able to point you in the right direction. Second thought would be looking at craigslist and maybe posting an ad for what you're looking for. You never know.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:54 PM on May 27, 2008

Very quick thought: You seem to be using the phrase "artist space," but this sort of thing is usually referred to as a studio.

Most people, I think, either rent a studio - often something like a renovated garage or separate-entrance room in a house - or, yes, renovate or otherwise repurpose a room or part of one.

As a random example from the NYC craigslist, which I found by googling "Rent artist's studio nyc:" (edited heavily for space):

$380 a month. Have you own studio. Renovated floor, toilet, slop sink, AC in every room.
24/7 access, freight elevator working Mon. to Fri. Shares OK!

posted by Tomorrowful at 3:56 PM on May 27, 2008

When the artist I work for needed a new studio, we looked on Craigslist and Some artist studio neighborhoods (DUMBO, Greenpoint, Long Island City) will have flyers up on the poles and walls and delis near the subways. The mailinglist (you must sign up) lists studio shares at the end of its weekly events email. You may also see signs in the windows of big warehousey buildings in Red Hook and the Bronx.
posted by xo at 4:14 PM on May 27, 2008

You say your location in NY/NJ so perhaps I can be of some help since I live in Jersey City. I just tried (fruitlessly) to find on online map for last year's Jersey City and Hoboken open artists' studios weekend, since that would give you some sense of the buildings in the area that still house artists' work spaces.

Most of the industrial buildings that used to be filled with art studios in JC have been demolished or converted into luxury condos, sadly enough, but there are still a few options. I'd try contacting ProArts if you live in Hudson county. As others have already suggested, check craigslist- but look under the activities/ artists categories first before moving on to the real estate section, where most of the art studios are prohibitively expensive for the average (or above average!) working artist.

I have a studio in my house, but I am going back to school in the fall for an MFA in interdisciplinary art, and the graduate school (which is located in Montclair), recently put me on a bulk email list that often posts studio share opportunities in the Montclair/Newark/JC areas.
Email me if these locations would work for you, I'd be happy to pass the information along.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:46 PM on May 27, 2008

while my husband was gutting our top floor and I didn't have a workspace, I signed up for some inexpensive classes at The Art Students League and that worked out very well. There's some beautiful work space in that building, and if you choose a class with an instructor who's relatively "hands off" and you spring for a locker to keep your supplies in, it's a cost effective alternative to a private studio.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:54 PM on May 27, 2008

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