A short note about space and artists.
This year I got access to an artist studio in Amsterdam. Before, I always converted a part of my house into a studio to create my art-works.
The artist studio is a space that separates private life from the art practice of the artist. A place to develop works, skills and methodologies. Art is a skill acquired over time, a very long time. The artist space is a space that has a function of an incubator. A place that is controlled and safe. Controlled by the artists, designed to their specific needs. Safe as in sustainable, leased for longer periods and subsidised.
So why would a city where housing is in crisis still reserve and subside spaces for artists’ workshops? I imagine they follow governing guiding principles. “Culture is Intrinsic”. This is The Council of Europe’s first guiding principle in addressing culture. The dictionary defines Intrinsic as Belonging Naturally… Essential such as access to the Artis is intrinsic to high quality of life.
The artist’s space brings communities together. Artists are closer to each other and to the neighbourhood, they have their studios. In the space, I have right now there is a mix of generations. knowledge and skills pass on from generation to generation. Not only artistic skills and knowledge but also professional and everyday life skills. The oldest generation here is plastic artists from the 60s. Today the old school turned artists studio houses around 25 artists studios. The municipality owns and manages these studios.
So like sports and religion having access to Arts should come Natural in planning out the city. It has a collective benefit. Having artists present elevates the quality of life of the community they are in. Artists studios should belong to this cosmology in the social infrastructure.