This year started in a new space with some great new benefits. Probably the most noticeable is the air conditioning. Though it has been nice enough to leave the outside door open most every morning, the A/C makes a real difference by afternoon. Our new studio is also smaller. This sounds strangely like a drawback, but the small size means that I can hear people when they ask for help. In addition classes feel like a community instead of a group of individuals.
Of course, this new studio also comes with some challenges. Where should I store supplies? Where should we store or display artwork? Where should I put 30 kids when there are only 20 desks? I try to solve as many problems as I discover in a given day. Some have been considerably easier to deal with than others.
So how did I end up with a small, clean, air conditioned studio? Our school combined some buildings over the summer, and I had an opportunity to move two of my classroom spaces closer together. In the past, art class was held in a large industrial metals classroom. This has been ideal when I taught jewelry, or sculpture, but it was a problem for my drawing and painting classes. In addition to the industrial space, I had also inherited a ceramics classroom on the opposite side of the building. Teaching in different parts of the building, was very disruptive to my creativity and organization. At one point, while I taught Stagecraft, I was supervising 4 separate classrooms simultaneously. It just became overwhelming.
The move has allowed me to keep my industrial space (Studio 213). And, I now have a classroom (Studio 201) directly above the shop, with observation windows, and a staircase connecting the two.