So I’m standing in my studio basking in the golden warmth of just having completed my one month Solo Exhibition which filled three rooms in an historic mansion at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. I’d worked for years creating new work for this prestigious opportunity. And now the show was over, the work still owned by me was taken down from the walls, packaged protectively and transported to my home studio. I looked around me surrounded by all this new artwork. I remembered the journey of discovery as so many new ideas had begun to seep into my new work over time.
As I stood there looking around me with contentment at these 40 new artworks, a cold wave of concern trickled into my mind. Where would I put all my art? I’m a minimalist by nature. I can’t stand clutter and now every surface in my two-room studio is covered with piles of work. Canvases are stacked, leaning against the walls. All the walls in my studio and home are already full. A sense of claustrophobia was rapidly taking hold. The warm glow I’d been feeling turned a cold blue.
I needed to immediately take action. I pulled down the ceiling ladder to the attic and climbed up to the sweltering space. There was artwork from my college days still stored up there as a reminder of this long road of creativity. But it occurred to me that now my work was bigger, heavier & how would I easily and safely get it up and down that ladder for upcoming exhibitions? As the years progress that solution would be even less and less optimal. And then I remembered the squirrels. The ones we’d battled to evict from the attic. In my mind, I crossed this idea off the list of possibilities.
Next, I went to the garage. The one filled with bicycles, a power washer, a lawnmower, a snowblower and racks and racks filled with gardening tools and powders & liquids. Again I pulled down the ceiling ladder to enter the garage attic which had even less potential. No lighting, not much height for shelving let alone standing upright. Oh and yes, the mice. The ever present mice who are so resilient, were here when I bought their home in 1989 and they will be here well after I’m gone. I do live in the woods after all and they are survivalists.
Driving to the supermarket that day, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a public storage business that had eluded my conscious vision for years. And now on the day I needed a solution to my problem, my vision became focused. Don’t you love it when these seemingly random events coincide!
I began calculating the size I would need to store my work. At home, I went online and priced a few local businesses which seemed to fill the need and fit the budget. When I drove to the closest storage business to my home/studio to inquire about sizing and see what they had to offer the manager quoted me a price that was $15/month over the online listing. When I mentioned the price difference she said that was normal & I’d be better off ordering it online. Clearly, she wasn’t a commissioned salesperson or owner.
Then she mentioned that the units she had weren’t climate controlled but that another location a little bit further away had units that would fit my needs and were, in fact, climate controlled. She then pulled out her phone & found me a Memorial Day Sale price that was still in effect at the other location & urged me to book it immediately since it was well past that holiday. With a click of my phone, I booked the unit, ensuring the sale price which was half my original estimate, and I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders.
Again I felt the warmth of success enter my being. My artwork would be stored with the respect it is due in a climate-controlled critter-free environment. The safety of access to my work as it comes and goes in and out of exhibitions and to new homes is in place. Less clutter in my studio and home provides the space I need and the freedom to continue to create new work and entertain new ideas. Problem solved.