Would we, as artists in Cottonwood/Clarkdale benefit from a central space in which to form our own art center?
What does an artist need? I have asked myself this over and over. Creativity streaks through me! I go for a few days without squeezing clay between my fingers, and I can feel my anxiety begin to rise. My temper feels shorter. I think the first need for an artist is the materials needed to create!
But what good are those materials if there is no space in which to create? When I first began to make assemblages, before I found any studio space, I tried working in my garage. The light was wrong. It was cold. There was not adequate space to lay out the materials I needed. And then winter gave way to spring. The Arizona sun beat down on my deck by 9 a.m. Clearly, almost as important as the materials, is the space in which to work. And the dirt I created along with the art? Impossible to work out of my house! Certainly another need for an artist is a studio space.
I found a studio. And I became relatively productive. Now I have a glut of beautiful art, and not enough venues where it might sell.Maybe there will never be enough venues. My dear friend, Susan Zalkind warned me of “artist constipation.” I think of that frequently! My cats have helped by becoming quantity controllers, but I would enjoy it more if my pieces might get re-homed. And for that, an artist needs an area in which to display completed creations.
Finally, interaction with other artists is important. We need a space in which to offer classes, times to look at each others’ art, and discuss this, and times to talk about technique. And about when one’s own technique is not enough.
Another problem facing artists, including those in the Cottonwood/Clarkdale area, is affordability. I have found that as an artist I need significant funds to maintain my passion. I cannot rely on sales to get this. In the Verde Valley more artists are strapped for funds than in places like Sedona. Some of us must work with little more than a Social Security check. Any center we set up must be sensitive to this issue.
There is a space in the building where my gallery is located. I would love to see that become a community space. It is large enough to accommodate a number of artists. The location, on 6th street, a half block off 89A is central to our area. I would love to invite you to join me there!
And this space might be just the first location for us in the area. Hidden away are other empty spaces which might be turned into studio/gallery space.
Staff at the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce are enthused by this plan. They offered a space for us to meet. They have said they will help us further. We will meet there, on Cove Parkway, February 15 at 2 p.m. Come to this meeting to be a part of the beginnings of an exciting Clarkdale/Cottonwood artist community!
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"