Friday, July 11, 2014

Artist Studio Search: Atlanta

The rad daddy in the Phillies hat holding the ADORABLE baby girl is my husband, Jason Espey.  He is a Studio Incamminati alum in search of a studio space here in Atlanta.  Together we are on a journey to seek out the perfect working studio space for him to thrive as a fine art painter.  For information on portrait paintings, commissions, current works, classes, etc. check out Jason's Facebook page, Jason Espey Art or Twitter page @JasonEspey.

What got us started...

1.) Jason needs a place to work.  
2.) We need our home to return to a living quarters.
3.) I love real estate and a good bargain.

So there you have it...

Follow our journey on Instagram or Twitter #studioespey

But First... A Little BACKGROUND:

We are Atlanta transplants via Philadelphia via Alabama.  We are still getting our feet wet here in The Dirty South, The Big Peach, The ATL... the list goes on.  Although it has been almost a year now, and it is time to dive-in!  You may have read my first post about Atlanta.  Reverse culture shock is a real thing!  I was not happy.  I was also pregnant and hormonal.  So, Atlanta, I am sorry.  You may have more to offer than what I led on.  Here goes nothing.  A little commitment may be a good thing after all.  If you think we are joking, just look at that baby.  She means business.  Don't mess with her daddy! 



Ok, this place is just cool.  A hidden gem ITP (that means Inside the Perimeter... a little ATL slang.  I'm still learning).  This is inside the city, folks!  I am stepping on the grounds of every hipsters' dream.  True living off the grid in a sense with the accessibility of the city, coffee shops and whatever else up and coming Riverside has to offer.  I met a shepherd! In what modern day world does one meet a shepherd (a person who herds sheep)?  Need I remind you that we are in Atlanta?  This is far from Lancaster, PA (Amish Country).  Meeting a shepherd is peculiar, and I for one am intrigued.  Ok, enough about shepherds.  On with the studio space.  Here are the digs.

Soooo, it's a shed.  Maybe a mini-barn.  Whatever it is a shack, but it might just be perfect.  The space is good. Here we have a one room open studio with some windows allowing natural light, but zippo electricity.  Depending on the way you look at it, that could be a good (no utility bills) or a bad thing (hot summer heat).  There is a remedy!  The landlord is willing to provide an electrical cord for extra lighting or a small fan.  The heat should not be too unmanageable.  We have been fortunate to experience a mild summer thus far, and we are moving towards Fall soon.

Ok, so it is a bit wild, a bit gritty.  What do you think?  Could this work for a fine art painter's personal studio space?  While I let you wrap your brain around that, let us break for lunch.  Philly style!

Lunch Break: WOODY'S

Jason did the honors of ordering the grub.  Did you know that there is a proper way to order a cheese steak?  Seriously, check it out here.  No worries. We got this!  Wit!

My recommendation, forget all the rules and make friends with the employees and the locals.   You are in the South after all.  We talk to everyone like we have known them since kindergarten. 

Ok, back to business...

Studio DOS:  The B Complex

Next we headed over to West End to check out The B Complex.  This is located in the "Don't go there" part of town, but we like to remind ourselves that we lived next to a drug dealer in Philly, and he was the nicest person on the block (of course he was... he is a business man)!  Artists are brave (poor) souls who are not overly concerned with what is currently hip.  Places like Decatur, Avondale Estates, and Cabbagetown have priced-out new artists in town.  If you are in one of those areas and you were lucky enough to get locked-in before the prices sky-rocketed then that is great.  Stay put while we search out the digs on cheap.  

We were not able to speak with an actual landlord, but we were able to mosey around a bit.  This is the current studio that is available.

Pros: We hear it is fairly cheap, and local artists are all around.
Cons: This is a room where traffic flows, and it is poor lighting.

Meet the Artist:  Sylvia Gbaby Cohen

Sylvia was nice enough to invite us into her studio space at The B-Complex.  This will give you an idea on what an empty room can become.   Sylvia works with all types of mediums and has very vibrant collection of works varying from portraits to wearable art such as handbags.  Sylvia's work celebrates women of color and their individuality.  Her motto, "Be You. Be Proud.  Be Noticed in a Crowd."  Sylvia will be showing her work at the Heritage Arts & Soul Festival July 25 - 27.   

So what are your thoughts?  Should an artist invest his time in a space which is secluded but accessible or a place where he will be surrounded by other like-minded individuals?  The tour does not stop here! We will be venturing to one... possibly two more locations this week.  So stay tuned!

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