“Here, there and everywhere…”
Paris has always had its Montmarte and Montparnasse, their ateliers (artist workshops or studios) tucked away in the various districts or arrondissements around the City of Light. Artists everywhere have always chased good light and cheap rents. Often when the artists come, the area improves and the artists, no longer able to afford the rents, move on. I call it the “SoHo effect”. The artists in Manhattan’s SoHo district – South of Houston Street, took up residence in warehouse spaces during the emergence and heyday of abstract expressionism, attracted coffee shops, restaurants and galleries, then moved on when the area became so chic that only 1%ers could afford the spaces. The artists are now as far flung as Flatbush in Brooklyn and Hoboken, across the Hudson in New Jersey.
Santa Fe has had its own development and abandonment of spaces as our community has changed over the years. One has only to look at the warren of rooms in most Canyon Road galleries to realize they were once homes, then became what we now call live/work spaces and then commercial enterprises. In fact, I am sure that if Will Shuster was alive today and a working artist, he would not be able to afford the Camino de Monte Sol home that still bears his name.
Which brings me to the subject of this post: I am beginning a series of profiles on artists and their studios and studio compounds around the Santa Fe area. For me, it is the perfect time to do so since artists, like most of us, tend to hibernate during the cold winter months, often producing a large segment of their work for the year during this time. Santa Fe has always been blessed with wonderful light and, by careful selection of places to work, artists have tended to get more time out of each stop in their semi-transient search for their own atelier in the City Different.
A note or two on language and pronunciation: First of all, though I am an ex-New Yorker, I have no explanation on why we call Houston Street, HOWston Street. I also want to take credit for the creative use of the term generated by Occupy Wall Street, referring to the 1% of Americans who are wealthier than the rest of us. I kinda like the look of it: 1%ers. Don’t you? Do I get a residual if Webster’s Dictionary picks it up in this form?