Radius Studio has now become Radius Community Art Studio, and I just can’t wait to get in there and start throwing clay again!

The studio announced this past summer they were moving locations, and I had finally decided to bow out as a studio partner. Instead I planned to buy my own wheel and convert part of our unfinished basement into a home studio. Poor Mark and Kim have a new baby and were starting up their day jobs as teachers right when the studio move was planned. One night I decided to drop in and help them hang some sheet rock, and that’s when I fell in love with the new space.

One had to still use their imagination with the space when I was there yesterday. We had a partners meeting I hung around for a few hours helping move boxes into place, sweep up construction dust/nails/debris, and move furniture around. I am hosting my first open studio this Friday and I am so excited to pull the plastic off the wheels and get down to business. I had no idea I would miss it so much.
There are a few reasons to love this space even more than old ‘hood on SE 22nd and Division. Reason #1 – the space is much, much bigger and we will have so many new toys to play around with. It feels more like a studio and less like a decrepit crumbling garage, even though that was endearing in it’s own right. Reason #2 – we are right across the street from the Montage, and old standby for late night eats. I can’t wait to milk their happy hour frequently. Produce Row is also just a couple blocks away with great food as well. And finally, and sadly the most compelling reason that convinced me to stay with the studio, I present Reason #3 – this sad, neglected little outside area. With warehouses towering around it, broken glass everywhere, abandoned shopping carts, I am guessing a few hypodermic needles in there as well…
You might think I am crayz, or you might be thinking the same thing, but I can’t help but see a garden waiting to happen. I have no idea even where to begin, but this is certainly a project I can do no harm to – it can only get better. When the ground gets a little softer, I can’t wait to throw on a raincoat and pull up all these weeds. Once the garbage goes away, I can get to work. In my dreams this would be a lovely oasis available for studio partners to take refuge in for some outdoor painting or sculpture work. Maybe have a cob oven and enjoy some fun potluck-style studio meetings. It’s a big project and it probably won’t happen to quite that level, but we can start with that dream and see how far I get.
I had no idea I would miss working with clay so much. A little off-topic, but I have been an Argentine tango dancer for about 8 years. That rush of emotion I get when I slip into a close embrace with a tango partner after a few months of hiatus is the same feeling I get when I throw my body onto a pile of quickly spinning clay and force it into place. It’s a huge sigh of relief. I’m home.
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Written by Renee Wilkinson