A win-win 'Loophole' giving artists space to create
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 16, 2024


A win-win 'Loophole' giving artists space to create
Luca Bosani poses next to his work at the Hypha Studios exhibition in London on Oct. 11, 2023. A London-based nonprofit takes empty commercial spaces and offers them as studios. Artists get a free place to work, and landlords save some money, too. (Jane Stockdale/The New York Times)

by Scott Reyburn



LONDON.- On a recent afternoon, in a ground-floor retail unit in one of London’s many vacant office buildings, a pair of flame-red platform heel boots with what looked like tentacles growing out of them and a multimedia sculpture of a coffin-like object circled by plastic shark fins were on show.

“I’m against empty space,” said Camilla Cole, the founder of Hypha Studios, a London-based nonprofit that persuades commercial landlords to let artists work and exhibit for free in unoccupied stores and offices. Cole had organized MELT, a group exhibition showcasing works by 32 recognition-hungry artists who work with Hypha and a fellow studio provider, Creative Land Trust. The show opened in Euston Tower, an empty 1970s high-rise in the city center, on the same day as the VIP preview of the nearby Frieze London fair.

Founded in 2021, Hypha Studios provides free working space for more than 300 artists at nine sites across Britain. “I’ve found a loophole,” said Cole, 38, a curator who dropped out of Goldsmiths College, in London, without completing her degree. She noted that British businesses can pay lower property taxes if they allow nonprofits to be tenants. “Landlords save money by me being in their space,” she said.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, online shopping and remote working have created a blight of shuttered storefronts and empty office buildings in towns and cities across the world. Allowing artists to infuse life into these vacant commercial spaces, even on a temporary basis, has become one way landlords can address the issue. (They can also burnish their corporate responsibility credentials.)

Artists were also often harbingers of gentrification and enhanced real estate returns, Cole said. “In the future,” she added, “you’ll pay artists to be in your space.”

Cole said that about 100 artists usually applied for each free Hypha studio, and were chosen based on criteria including the quality of their work, locality, need and community engagement. Studios are given to artists indefinitely, but are subject to reviews every three months, she added.

The long-established New York nonprofit ChaShaMa pioneered this model in the mid-1990s. A brainchild of arts patron Anita Durst, the organization now runs a sprawling network of some 45 locations that extends into New York’s outer suburbs, making free spaces available for more than 1,000 artists and creative businesses, even as rents and other costs in the city rise.

“I like the artist to have the space for as long as possible. Many of our artists have been in the spaces from one year to 20 years,” said Durst, who mentioned that painter and archivist Clay Hapaz has been working from a ChaShaMa studio in Brooklyn since the mid-1990s. When artists have long-term spaces, “they create a sense of community,” she added.

But creating that sense of cohesion in city centers can be tough, when the escalating cost of living and working is forcing all but the most successful artists ever outward.




Studio providers who become their own landlords can stem the exodus. Back in London, Acme Studios owns 10 buildings containing permanent spaces that it acquired from 1996 to 2013, helped, initially, by funding from Britain’s National Lottery. These, together with a further five rented properties, provide long-term, affordable spaces for about 800 artists in the city.

“We want artists to stay within London’s central banding,” said David Panton, who co-founded Acme in 1972. “We decided that by providing permanency, the buck stops.”

Hypha and Acme, or similar organizations like the Bomb Factory Art Foundation, Gasworks and Studio Voltaire, give London artists space, but they don’t have the marketing resources of commercial galleries to help artists sell what they make. As a result, artists without gallery representation can struggle to land sales, particularly at a time when demand in the art market is cooling. And selling art is how artists get noticed.

Cole, the Hypha Studios founder, said that nearly 500 people came to the opening night at the Euston Tower show. There were inquiries from would-be buyers, she said, but no confirmed sales. Those flame-red boots, called an “Unidentified Performing Object” by Luca Bosani, priced at around $4,000, didn’t find a buyer; nor did “Ant Talkin,” the enigmatic shark-fin sculpture by Elliot Fox, at around $3,200. Neither artist has been signed by a gallery.

“Gallery representation doesn’t solve everything,” said Bosani, 33, in an interview at one of Hypha’s three spacious free studio units in the Battersea district of South London.

A postgraduate of the prestigious Royal College of Art, Bosani said he keeps his career on track with a mix of grants, performance commissions, teaching gigs and online and in-studio sales. Doing that in London was “not easy,” said Bosani. “But I’m not going to stop dreaming. I’m in love with the energy of this city.”

Subsidized studios provide artists with the much-prized freedom to experiment. Yet without the validation of a gallery and its sales, these artists can often find themselves working in purgatory, unnoticed by the mainstream art market and its media coverage.

“There’s a huge gap,” said Pallas Citroen, a London-based artist who in 2015 founded the Bomb Factory. “It’s difficult to get collectors to visit our events, and galleries aren’t picking up artists anymore. We tell artists they should be on Instagram, but it doesn’t generate sales,” Citroen said.

Landlords can save and even make money out of artists working in empty stores and offices. The challenge for those artists is to make money out of their art.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










Today's News

November 9, 2023

Lark Mason Associates' Fine and Decorative Arts Auction will entice collectors of all persuasions

Human skull, on sale for $4,000, draws attention to Florida store

Asia Week New York zooms in on China's Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta

A win-win 'Loophole' giving artists space to create

Toronto Biennial of Art announces preliminary list of artists, partners, and sponsors for 2024 edition

Christie's 21st Century Evening sale totals $107,451,800

More than 20 report burning eyes after NFT festival in Hong Kong

Rare Edward Weston photographs highlight Moran's 20th Century Photography: The Emergence of Modernism sale

George Clooney's iconic Batman suit & rare comics take the spotlight in upcoming auction

Paul Thiebaud Gallery opens an exhibition of works by David Fertig

Galerie Templon, Paris unveils Gregory Crewdson's latest work

Important militaria stars in Bonhams Arms aand Armour sale in Knightsbridge

Strong results for The estate of American icon Barbara Walters

Thomas Erben Gallery exhibiting works from the '90s by Olaédlé Ajiboyé Bamgboyé

Chinoiserie lead second Bonhams Paris Classics sale

Tales that crackle with vitality, with or without a puppeteer

Jean-Baptiste Andrea wins Goncourt Prize with sprawling novel

Desire Marea's genre-melting music stirs South Africa, and the world

Masterpieces and milestones: Christie's Amsterdam celebrates CoBrA'S 75th anniversary

Noonans to offer magnificent Iraq note - sale also includes very rare Swedish note

Barry Manilow finally gets his wish: a Broadway show

Christie's announces highlights from Important Watches sale on December 5 in New York

Heide Museum of Modern Art unveils a major survey of photographer Lee Miller

Unlocking the Future of Presentations: DIY vs. Professional Augmented Reality Video Embedding

GBWhatsApp APK Download (Official) Latest Version November 2023 (Updated)

How To Deal With Period Pain And Cramps

Utilizing Captitles in Theater and Opera Surtitle Productions

Leading Car Accident Attorney in San Diego: Protecting Your Rights

Ductless Mini Split AC Repair & Maintenance in Rohnert Park: When to Call a Professional

How to get Seagrass in Minecraft

Celebrating movement and unity: School Field Day

Meet the dancer - Tal Zadok




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Attorneys
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful