WHO I AM:
My name is Angela, and I am an artist. I have two dogs, chickens, and lots of tomato plants. I live in Dutchtown, in South Saint Louis city. I am fascinated with compact living. Murphy beds, cabins, tree houses, tiny portable homes, you name it. I loved reading Helen and Scott Nearing's book about retreating from the city to a self made farm in the country. The thing is, I love the city - people+places=fun. And I don't think a life of isolation in Vermont is quite right for everyone, but alone time to recharge and get creative...yes, please! I asked myself how I could give someone that time alone in an urban setting, and have a conversation about homesteading, sustainability, and, artistic practice. I already have some of the farming part down. One day I was checking the progress of the tomato plants and had to get something from the garage. Here was this underused building, holding some good bulk pick up finds and a few gardening supplies. Certainly a poor use of space! That's when it hit me.
WHAT AM I DOING, EXACTLY?
Looking around the garage, I could see it clearly. A lofted bed, a small kitchen area, and some tables made from the old doors I had saved from the trash last year. The walls would need insulation, and the windows, now boarded up, could be reopened to let some of that summer sunshine in. With some elbow grease and time, this space could become a Proper Residency - a live/work space for artists stay for short periods and enrich their practice. It doesn't have to be an isolated space in the wilds. With the right plans, a cozy and peaceful space could exist in the heart of my urban neighborhood.
Funds raised through Kickstarter will help pay solely for the conversion of the space into a livable area. With your help, my 187 square foot garage will have tiny bathroom, tiny kitchen, finished walls and a sleeping area. I plan to use salvaged materials whenever possible, and have enlisted volunteers as well as some skilled craftsmen help get things done. My inspiration for this project is the tiny house movement, that is, living simply and efficiently with just enough space. Once completed, the Proper Residency will serve as a platform for emerging artists to make work while exploring the unique urban environment of Saint Louis, responding to its history, culture, ecology, landscape and community. This residence will be the first of its kind in the city! I have received a local grant to get things started, but to make the living space fully independent - that's where you come in! A bathroom and kitchen are the most significant expenses, followed by an AC unit for those hot STL summers!
I find value in the old parts of the city, and I believe we should find creative ways to reuse existing spaces before we build new. The thing is, how much space to you need to feel safe, happy and sustained? Help me find out by pledging to support this project, and know that you were a big part of what started as a tiny dream!
WHAT IS AN ARTIST RESIDENCY?
Aritst residencies vary widely! Some last for a weekend, and others for months or even years. A residency gives an artist the opportunity to work on a specific project or continue investigation into an ongoing body of work. Residencies are good for meeting new people, and getting a fresh perspective. It is a sanctioned time for continuous making, the kind that doesn't always happen in everyday life. This residency is good for the artists and good for the city!
The plans for the residency, with some changes, will be similar to Tumbleweed TIny House's Weebee model. You can buy full construction plans on their site here for the Weebee, and peruse their other charming designs as well as catch up on all things tiny living. The footprint for the garage is about 11' by 17', which makes for a bit more space than this 102 square foot plan:
Tomato Jam! $10 or more gets you a sweet and spicy pint of delicious Heirloom Tomato Jam. Yum! Made with Cherokee Purple and Mortgage Lifter tomatoes from the residency's garden.
I have tried to keep the cat in the bag about our first resident, but social media is way ahead of me. By now you may have heard that Florence Gidez is the first ever Proper Residency artist in residence. She has generously offered a selection of her work as backer rewards, both on paper and on clothing! Here are the prints:
Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind Silkscreen 2012
Take Me Out Silkscreen 2012
And my favorite!
His Clothes Are Dirty But His Hands Are Clean Silkscreen 2012
And, on clothing...the mystery tee! A random design and color tee in size of your choice!
- (25 days)