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Old 05-12-2007, 12:09 AM
 
7 posts, read 9,288 times
Reputation: 11

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I think being an artist in Mexico and feeling at home with that almost requires that you find your inspiration in the culture, the people and landscape of Mexico. My problem is that I am only moved by the cows going down my road. They are part Brahma and they knoock me out! As for starting an artists' community... I have given up on the idea because space is not cheap down here. In square footage it is expensive unless you live in a Mexican ghost town. That means no services and isolation. I did the no phone thing for two years and did some interesting writing that I will finish eventually. One thing you can do in Mexico is build your own building without any codes or rules. Any way you want! That is tempting. And of course the weather. It's perfect for a loft type building! I'm flip flopping again. I know of a NY documentary filmmaker who built such a red brick building that looks like it was dropped from the sky into this Mexican village. She avoids other American expats. I think she's pretending she's in NYC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingearth View Post
I'm with you Letsgosee. It is good to hear your story—I joke around and say if I ever want to retire, I’ll have to move to Mexico. Are people willing to start an artist community where you are? Sometimes it takes someone organizing it and people find they like it. I also need a small theater—Olympia has two! I always seek out artists or people sharing their creativity to talk to wherever I live. I love that flow of ideas that happens, inspiration from each other when we're feeling like a dry arroyo. This quarter working in the ceramic studio at school that is happening and it is great. It seems to happen more when we are actually working together in the same space then just talking but talking is good too.

I've been flipflopping for four years! But it is continuing because I am in college. It is wearing thin though - wish I'd decide what I want to do and where I want to live and settle down and stay. It will either be New Mexico or here unless I come up with some idea of a job that I just want to do that requires a masters. Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:50 AM
 
Location: new orleans
182 posts, read 751,805 times
Reputation: 83
ontheroad:
Read your comments about Northampton and was wondering: is it too far gone or is this the kind of place for artists to move into to have studios and cheap rent and such to get things turned around? It seems like once artists start doing that places have a tendency to get "rediscovered" the rents go up as more businesses move in and eventually the artists get pushed out .....
It reminds me of down town New Orleans way back in the 70's. there was an area where the street people and "winos" hung out, businesses moved to the suburbs. It was not a pretty sight but fast forward to now and it is the Arts District with many galleries, converted mills with condos that are VERY expensive.
Been enjoying your travel blogs here
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
Even more than ten years ago, the Pioneer Valley (Northampton) was expensive and it isn't getting cheaper, but more expensive. Northampton is the county seat, but it does not reflect the region--farms, small business, five of the top colleges in the East, etc.

In no way could an art community be affordable in the town--it may still be possible out of town--up in the hill towns--Shutesbury comes to mind. In Shutesbury, there already exists several alternative communities. Now, I couldn't predict the cost of land, or housing, but when some of the communities were developed the land was dirt cheap. Judging from another visit several years ago, I somehow doubt that anything is affordable in the region. There is a book called, House, I believe, written by a bunch of guys who did some building up in the region; a great book, btw, and it really gives a fresh perspective on building and building costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormweary View Post
ontheroad:
Read your comments about Northampton and was wondering: is it too far gone or is this the kind of place for artists to move into to have studios and cheap rent and such to get things turned around? It seems like once artists start doing that places have a tendency to get "rediscovered" the rents go up as more businesses move in and eventually the artists get pushed out .....
It reminds me of down town New Orleans way back in the 70's. there was an area where the street people and "winos" hung out, businesses moved to the suburbs. It was not a pretty sight but fast forward to now and it is the Arts District with many galleries, converted mills with condos that are VERY expensive.
Been enjoying your travel blogs here
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:47 AM
 
Location: new orleans
182 posts, read 751,805 times
Reputation: 83
Default Pittsburgh

ontheroad:
In today's paper here there is a list of midsized cities for art from the AmericanStyle magazine(?) Pittsburgh was listed as #1!! what they used as criteria is not mentioned.
1. Pittsburgh
2. Albuqueruque
3. Las Vegas
4. Scottsdale, Az.
5. Atlanta
6. New Orleans
7. Honolulu
8. Miami
9. Tucson
10. Savannah
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Old 05-20-2007, 09:34 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Pittsburgh is moving up in these ratings as its population decreases. In other words, it has gone from a 'big city' to a medium-size one. It still has a metro area almost as large as Denver's (which is probably in a larger city category), and a city population less than that of Colorado Springs, CO. Thus, it still has the cultural facilities of a big city.
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Old 05-20-2007, 11:34 AM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,185,924 times
Reputation: 1102
Vacant space becomes gallery for local artists....

http://www.syracuse.com/articles/new...370.xml&coll=1
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Old 05-20-2007, 11:57 AM
 
Location: new orleans
182 posts, read 751,805 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellafinzi View Post
Vacant space becomes gallery for local artists....

http://www.syracuse.com/articles/new...370.xml&coll=1
thanks, bellafinzi, nice article
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
Stormweary, I have so much to report and I do have to finish my Pittsburgh report. I'll try to do this either tonight or tomorrow. I've made it to Maine.

And, I have two New England towns to report on that are absolutely artist ready!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormweary View Post
ontheroad:
In today's paper here there is a list of midsized cities for art from the AmericanStyle magazine(?) Pittsburgh was listed as #1!! what they used as criteria is not mentioned.
1. Pittsburgh
2. Albuqueruque
3. Las Vegas
4. Scottsdale, Az.
5. Atlanta
6. New Orleans
7. Honolulu
8. Miami
9. Tucson
10. Savannah
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
Nice share, bellafinzi. This is exactly what an artist needs to know. Many thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellafinzi View Post
Vacant space becomes gallery for local artists....

http://www.syracuse.com/articles/new...370.xml&coll=1
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Old 05-20-2007, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
Default Final Chapter - Pittsburgh

The final chapter on Pittsburgh—I have been very reluctant to finalize the update because of personal reservations on extolling the City when I know it is not going to be my final choice. Although I’d love to live closer to my youngest daughter, it just feels wrong. However, I do think that it is not just a co-incidence, or folly that Pittsburgh keeps getting nominated as best this, and best that—for a large or medium city.

What is has is affordability and culture to match its size and population. It has sufficient housing, and it also has enough un-used commercial/industrial spaces to conceive of yet another artist community or art space.

It has 3 or more art stores (Utrecht and two independents, one in Squirrel Hill, the other in Oakland). All three together get you anything you want for visual art.

But as I consider an art community all encompassing, I explored more than visual arts. I looked at other arts in the larger community—they all exist (theatre, music (lots and varied), photography, ecological art (green spaces), dance, puppetry, et al) and in sufficient quantity and quality to feel you are in a cultured city.

If you want you can find a place to live that doesn’t require a car, but a car is a helpmate. You can bike from and to some of the neighbourhoods, and you’d have to plan accordingly to have that added as a possible benefit.

The downside of Pittsburgh is the weather—it is often grey, but the upside is all the green spaces and the eco-system—something I don’t truly understand—the City has some unusual birds and plant life. Some good gardening, and community gardening is available as are rain barrels and recycling. Some within the community pay excellent attention to good use of resources, and the foundations (which are numerous) support some offbeat and special projects.

With many colleges and universities it has a social life, and the South Side has numerous bars, as do other neighbourhoods and the few times I went to a restaurant, it was filled up and busy. Buying alcohol is not easy but drinking seems easy.

I can recommend the City of Pittsburgh to anyone who has a desire to live in a medium sized city on the threshold of positive change.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, and of course, check out the Pittsburgh Forum. Many love the City; others deplore it!
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