Sculpture Space artists have a home thanks to grant

For decades, Sculpture Space has been a destination for working artists from all over the world. For many of the artists, the opportunity to work in a large space, uninterrupted with other artists, has proved career changing.

But challenges existed.

Without living spaces for the artists, residents had to be hosted by Sculpture Space friends around the city  —sometimes several miles from the studio. Sculpture Space’s vision of connecting the neighborhood with the artists was being thwarted by the housing disconnect.

A $40,000 grant from The Community Foundation to purchase a house around the corner from the studio has changed that.

Artists now have a comfortable, nearby setting — renovated with the help of another Foundation grant of $13,860 — in the neighborhood where they work.

Community home

Because of the close proximity to the studio, artists can work longer hours and essentially whenever they are moved to create.

Camaraderie also has formed among the artists making for more creative and inspired work.

“Now, there is more community among the artists,” said Monika Burczyk, executive director of Sculpture Space.

Not to mention the community interaction that has formed.

“Artists feel a part of the community as now they live here too instead of just work here — this becomes their home,” Burczyk added.

The home and community feeling will continue to develop the culture around an arts movement much like what has happened in cities such as Portland, Ore. A more active and engaged arts community grows  population, attracting cultural diversity and young artists.

“We see ourselves as a laboratory for creativity and are extending that into the community,” Burczyk said. “I suspect that with Pratt and the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, plus Varick Street and now our artists, these cultural entities are foundational and are a beacon for other creative types to return to this neighborhood, to this city.”