New York State Artist Workspace Consortium


In January 2000 at a meeting convened by the Visual Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York State Artist Consortium was created. A small group of nonprofit arts organizations realized that they constituted a previously undefined field. Today the Consortium's regional collaboration includes ten organizations: Carriage House, Center for Photography at Woodstock, CEPA Gallery, Dieu Donné Papermill, Harvestworks, Lower East Side Printshop, Sculpture Space, Smack Mellon, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Women's Studio Workshop.

Together, the members are committed to making artist workspaces more visible, providing more workspace opportunities for artists, and creating a peer learning network to leverage individual strengths and collectively address challenges.

What is an artist workspace?

The Consortium self-defined its field. The artist workspace believes that there is intrinsic value in investing in the individual artist because of the artist's unique and critical role in our culture and society.

Artist workspaces share three key characteristics.

  1. They are nonprofit studio spaces centered on the artist and the artist's creative process.

  2. They provide the artist with freedom for artistic experimentation and exploration.

  3. They actively engage with the artist by providing space, time, staff assistance in the studio, equipment, stipends, and resources to artists in year-round residency programs--this active engagement in the creative process and in the studio is what distinguishes the workspace from other artist residency programs.

 

Often artist-led and artist-staffed, the artist workspace itself always maintains a primary focus on the artist's creative process rather than on the final product or on the public's engagement with the artwork.

The importance of the artist workspace for individual artists cannot be overstated. In the words of one artist: "With fewer grants to individual artists available, workspaces are the only places for artists to go and have the space to work. This support becomes part of an overall strategy to support artists' careers. Workspaces are today's alternative spaces."

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