Vernon Street Studios

Evolution of Studio Space by Kerri McGill



Establishing a studio space after college means something at home.  To make art between the waitress shifts, art shows, and general mayhem of daily life on no budget, my home needs some type of extra corner, just an extra something... and low and behold, I come across an apartment with a walk-in closet.


The closet is cozy to say the least.  A fan is always on so the oil fumes don't make it into m bedroom.  I have to step back into my bedroom to look at my paintings...But if Weegee used the trunk of his car for a darkroom, then I have no worries. (more details in "Artist in the Closet" post)                                                    


So the roof fell in and I fell into a beautiful new apartment with room in the basement for a studio space.  It's so much larger!  I was excited... So  excited I gave it a good cleaning, a special "anti-moisture" paint job and spent the next two years rearranging things.    It never quite took off. 

I thought I was just being spoiled, wanting some kind of natural light...I mean if Monet can have a boat studio, why can't I have a basement studio?

It turns out, general consensus says basements are challenging studio spaces.  Apparently dark and dank is tougher than wind and waves.


On a random day filled with random tasks, I drive down an unfrequented street.  There is a huge brick building, door propped open with a small handwritten sign: "studio sale".  I stop for yard sales, tag sales and church bake sales.  This fits right in... I use the opportunity to ask about renting studio space... "..two year waiting list..maybe try your luck posting on the bulletin board.." 

I did.  Just as I poked the thumbtack in, a voice from a man trotting down the stairs- "Hey what are you doing? Are you looking for space?.. This door shouldn't be open.." and he pulls the wedge. 
The door locks shut. 

 But I am already in. 

Now I have a beautiful sunny spot at 6 Vernon Street Studios in Somerville...Let the painting begin.