A significant shift happened in my life the Fall of 2013. My application for an artist’s loft at the Artspace Jackson Flats was approved. Artspace's mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations.
I moved to Minneapolis in my early twenties, and I have lived in six different apartments three of them with roommates. Never once have I ever lived in a brand new building. A fresh apartment NO ONE had lived in before. Excited, I couldn’t wait for the day I could choose my apartment. As soon as I had heard about this project I began stalking it. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. A dream come true an affordable housing project with a focus on artists and community.
I was approved, and I moved into my first live/work space that Fall. I made sure to show up to the open house as soon as I could so that I could get the unit I wanted. A bright sunny corner one bedroom with a view of downtown. I had arrived!
The simple dynamic that I was now in a community of artists who encouraged, supports and nurtures creativity was thrilling, and it was an instant game changer for me as a jewelry designer.
It immediately gave me this sense of credibility. I had a place I could direct people for my business that made it seem more “official.” If I did not want to meet clients in my actual apartment, there is a community gallery. It gave me a sense of confidence and from that opportunities began to appear.
I have lived in many many apartments, large complexes with amenities, small little duplexes even a renovated attic. Rarely would neighbors engage in conversation much beyond a hello. In an artist building, we open up to each other and get to know one another. We have had gatherings in the courtyard and, it is a nurturing environment for children. We have had the kids to do artwork and even have their little show up in the gallery.
After I had my son, it was time for me to say goodbye to my beloved corner apartment and move down the hall when a two bedroom opened up. I was happy to stay on my floor, and I got used to my neighbors. While I do not have the downtown Minneapolis skyline to look at out my window anymore, I have a beautiful tree and a view of our garden to keep my spirits high.
Living in this building also created new opportunities that I NEVER thought I would do. I participated in putting together an art Exhibit in the main gallery. I became more involved with the events committee and its social media.
Sure like any community, there are little dramas that occur, but we tend to work out our differences. At the end of the day I am deeply grateful I am here and that this is a place I can call home.