When I was off on medical leave in December 2013 and realized I couldn’t go back to work I asked myself: “If I could do anything I wanted and couldn’t fail, what would I do?” My vision was to create an inclusive working art studio that allowed visitors to be inspired and to learn from the artists and artisans practicing in the studio. Studio artists would produce fine art & craft in the form of paintings, sculpture, fiber, jewellery making, photography, and mixed media. Not long after I had a business plan and took steps to make my dream a reality.
As I revealed in my blog posting on March 16, I took possession of 5,600 square feet on the second floor of a warehouse built in 1928. It’s been busy since with little to no time to blog. Things are settling into more of routine so I would like to welcome to my vision:
100 Braid St Studios
It started out like this:
After receiving city permits the work started and the empty shell started taking shape. My concept for the entire studio was based on the fact that people love to see artists at work and so we created walls between the working artist studios and the workshop areas. We started with separating the artists studios and then built walls of reused windows, allowing visitors to see into the spaces.
My goal was also to reuse, recycle and upcycle as many building materials as possible so we turned to Surrey New & Used for all of our windows, doors and other odds and ends. Of course, I found some really great deals on Craigslist Vancouver. Where else can you get 25 feet of lower cupboard for $500? Not that we needed all of them for the kitchen, so we sold and gave away free whatever we couldn’t use.
There was painting going on at the studio shortly thereafter-it wasn’t fine art…although watching Winston and Rebecca from Long Beach Painting, I would say painting a ceiling is an art.
Around this time I found out more history about the building and it was confirmed that it had been a winery. The copula on the roof is testament to that fact.
After much debate and considering polished concrete, hardwood and laminate flooring, we chose commercial vinyl plank and had it installed by Silver Leaf Refinishing. The guys were amazing and it was completely installed in only 3 days!
Next came the benches.We installed a fireplace to create a lounge area.
Then we moved on to creating a store front entrance for the large garage door. Once again I found these incredible 10 foot glass store doors and stained glass panels at our friends Surrey New & Used
Artists started moving in:
100 Braid St Studios opened it’s doors on June 8 and we were already full. This means we are the home of 14 working art studios with 16 professional and emerging artists. It’s been an amazing 7 months & we’ve accomplished a tremendous amount!
Read the newspaper article in the New Westminster Newsleader here or by clicking on the photo below:
The studio has two workshop spaces in the main gallery area which we separate using our rolling shelves, a Jackson Pollock Splatter room and a rentable Photography room which also doubles as a small meeting room.Our bathroom, still in progress is a cool “Ode to Sharpie” exhibit. Each artist in the studio will be picking a frame and creating their own brand of sharpie art.
We are running a variety of classes:
including day camps for children during the BC teachers strike, Pro-D days, and after-school Art Enrichment.
Craft & Artisan Workshops & Classes
Fine Art Classes
totally awesome private painting parties for adults & kids
and the workshop/gallery area is rentable for weddings and other events.
Everyone who comes into the space says that the photos cannot capture the ethereal quality of the light and the spirit of healing & peace.
I invite you to please check out our website & follow our blog at:
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Please come and visit or take a class. I’d love to provide a tour and for you to become part of the 100 Braid St community!