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Renovation Project Will Provide Live/Work Space For Visiting Artists
The Studios of Key West has just broken ground on the renovation of the Ashe Street Cottages, properties located just behind the Armory at 607 and 609 Ashe Street. Earlier this year, a capital campaign was completed to fund the project, and thanks to its success, TSKW will soon be able to offer month-long residencies to forty artists each year.
“The community has shown tremendous support and enthusiasm for TSKW’s next stage of development, with almost fifty individuals, families, and foundations stepping up to help us meet our goal,” said Jay Scott, executive director. “These cottages will give visiting artists the time and space to grow and to discover Key West, and their presence will greatly enhance quality and diversity of the workshops, exhibitions and events TSKW can give back to the community.”
Upon completion of the project, the Ashe Street Cottages will be transformed to include three suites with two attached working studios for visiting artists-in-residence, and a large covered back deck will provide a beautiful indoor/outdoor space for small gatherings. Thanks in part to a grant from the Tourist Development Council, the adjoining lot will be developed into a beautifully landscaped nature center filled with rotating sculpture installations by local and national artists.
“This spring, TSKW received nearly one hundred proposals from people who would like to be a part of our next season,” continues Scott. “It’s our hope that the residency program will attract some of the most exciting artists and thinkers from around the world, and help continue our island’s legacy of being a haven for creative people.”
The Ashe Street properties were originally gifted to TSKW by the Rodel Foundation in 2009. TSKW is working with Affiliated Design and Construction Managers to renovate the cottages, and hopes to complete the work by February 2012.
Two TSKW studio artists have been instrumental to the development of the properties, with Guillermo Orozco working as the project architect, and Debra Yates working as the spatial designer. Yates will be designing the exterior space of the cottages and reconfiguring the space surrounding the Armory to complete the campus.