Grain Bin Art Studio
I'm an artist and for years I've been working out of my home- eking out space in the dining room, front porch, bedroom, wherever I could find room and light. Over time, I ran out of space, and I wanted my house back. I really need a proper studio. A place with plenty of light, storage, and work area.
I live on a small farm and one day I had an idea. Why not turn the old metal grain bin into a studio? I've seen stories and pictures of grain bins that have been recycled into everything from bars to B&Bs. Surely with a little work, mine could be made into an art studio.
So I started asking around, and talked to the local building trades teacher at the high school. He came out and had a look and said his class could take it on as a school project. This will take a while, the whole school year, but it will keep my cost down significantly. It will be a great learning experience for the kids- they'll really have to think outside the box! They can use some reclaimed and green building materials, which will be good for the environment.
The funds I'm asking for will cover the building materials, plus 30% of the cost of those materials which goes to the building trades class. The amount of $15,000 will give me the basics- framing, drywall, electrical, windows, doors, and a floor. If I'm able to raise over that amount, the surplus will go towards cabinets, countertop, work tables, chairs, better lighting, and some basic art materials for students. I want my studio to be accessible to everyone, so I'll have a ramp installed as well.
After the studio is completed, I will not only have a place to work and show my art, but I can invite other artists to use the space to teach and do workshops. I live in an especially beautiful country setting, on a small farm. Visitors would not only be able to enjoy my art, but they could see the gardens, visit the chickens and pet the goats. They'd see many of the same views that inspire my paintings, and they'd come away with a unique art experience that I think they'd remember for a long time.
We got a good start on framing the closet, so the interior is taking shape. The studio has come such a long way from being a dark, dusty, empty grain bin! We never would have gotten this far without the support of so many people, my deepest thanks to all of you.
There's still work to do and the funds are pretty much used up. I'm just $1375 short of my goal and if I could reach it, that would help to finish the project. We need to paint and seal the floor, trim the doors, finish the doors and windows on the outside, install a countertop and cabinets, install the skylight, put up a beam to house the ceiling fan and light fixtures, and build proper steps with a railing. I don't think $1375 will cover all that, but we do have some of the materials for these last few projects, so if we can raise a little more cash we should be able to stay on track with our goal of opening in late May.
We're working on the ceiling too, stapling canvas onto the rafters. It's a treated canvas, moisture repellent, mildew resistant, and fire retardant. It's a canvas used for yurts, marine boat covers, and army tents. It's much less expensive than drywall and lighter weight. There is a learning curve to getting it up wrinkle-free, but I think we have the hang of it. After it's all stapled in place, we'll tack up strips of wood to cover the staples, preserving the beautiful sunburst design of the structure.
So far we've spent just over $13,000, and our expenses have been covered through the studio fund. We are not quite at our goal of $15,000, and we still have work to do. The floor needs to be finished, the closet and cabinets installed. The electrician needs to come back and finish his work and be paid. The windows and doors need trim, and the outside steps need to be permanent with railings. Things have been moving along so well that I'm hoping to be open by spring. After so much success, I'd hate to see things stall or get put on hold due to lack of funds. Just a few more donations, or perhaps one big one, will get us over that last hump and see us through.
As always, everyone who has supported the project in anyway has my unending gratitude. You have made the studio possible, thank you.
A huge amount of progress has been made this fall, and most of the funds we raised have been spent to get us this far. Thanks very much to everyone who has helped so far, this project is succeeding because of each one of you.
Rain was in the forecast so I hurriedly caulked and spray foamed the windows. There's one tiny leak which we'll address when things warm up and dry out. A big stack of drywall was delivered and the drywall guys, Uri and Charlie, tackled it Saturday. By the end of today they had most of it hung. They're putting up two layers of flexible 1/4" board, and it fits the curve of the wall beautifully. The drywall is one of my big expenses, $2600. Next will be finishing the ceiling and the floor, two more big ticket items. If I can reach my fundraising goal soon, it should get me over this last hump. Thanks as always to all my supporters who have gotten me this far.
I hope to get down and see we live in Michigan but have a place in Brown County. When do you think it will be open. 82 and can not wait too long like to meet you and see some of your works! K