You may have heard the good news, we're moving! At least, our studio is moving. A rental space recently became available at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center and we decided it was worth exploring.
The new space will more than double our square footage, but it will also add a monthly rental cost. We believe this investment in improved space with climate control, public restroom, improved electrical, etc. is worth the increased cost as we can provide better services to our students, artists, and creatives in our community.
In the past we've talked about the increased cost of real estate and living in Portland, and the impact it's made on our choices. That's what prompted us to crowdfund the purchase of a food truck in 2016 and turn it into a mobile studio. We also remodeled our garage into a home based studio in 2017. In other words, we adapted.
Before we tell you more about the new space and our goals for the coming year, we should probably take a look back. Last year was one of extremes. Here's a look at what we did.
All wonderful and positive things! But unfortunately life sometimes takes a turn for the worse, which was our experience in August 2017. Less than a week after Jenn had an exhibition of her Fruits of the Sun project at Portland Art Museum, and just a few days into working with our August residency artist, Jenene Nagy, an arson event took place at our home. We lost both our personal vehicle and the mobile studio to extensive fire damage, and we did not have comprehensive insurance coverage on either vehicle, meaning they were total losses.
In most ways we have been able to recover from this scary, mentally and financially destabilizing event. But we won't sugar coat that the end of 2017 was not easy. It felt like our confidence and momentum hit a brick wall. There was so much wonderful support from our friends, family, colleagues, and sometimes strangers, and that made a world of difference! Ultimately we needed time to process and heal. And for awhile there we were definitely in shock. While we would like to close this chapter and focus on our our move, there are still some lingering details to deal with. The suspected arsonist has been identified and is pending trial for which we will likely testify. And we're also still trying to find a junk yard that will tow away the mobile studio from our driveway. Because of it's size we're not having any luck finding a place that will take it. Let us know if you have a connection that would be able to help!
If you've been following our progress over the last 5+ years, you might wonder how we're able to afford to rent a studio space. First off, our personal finances are a bit more stabilized thanks to our day jobs. Gary is now the Administrative Assistant at Arts People, an amazing Portland based ticketing and fundraising software business, and Jenn is a Project Manager at c3:initiative our partner for the residency program, and an inspiring arts non-profit organization. Secondly, at the end of 2017 we secured fiscal sponsorship status from Fractured Atlas so that we can receive charitable donations to support our studio as it evolves. We are putting our most recent donation funds towards the purchase of a folding table and a refrigerator. If you would like to support these types of studio expenses (rent, equipment, supplies) you can make a secure online donation HERE.
Moving the studio is a leap of faith. We have weighed the pros-and-cons and believe it is the way to put our best foot forward after the loss of the mobile studio. Here's how we hope to grow in 2018.
As we see how the year goes we also hope to add in some low cost and FREE drop-in events to grow our community and get more people engaged with the art and craft of hand papermaking. We are so excited, and of course a bit nervous, for this next chapter! As always, BIG THANKS to all who have been there with us through thick and thin. We couldn't do this without each and every one of you!!!
Pulp & Deckle is a handmade papermaking studio located in Oregon.