The Studio is meant for anybody who wants to make change. Art, and culture, and learning, and growth all can take place in the midst 64 people sharing two bathrooms. I’d never been surrounded by such amazing and just innovative artists with such bright and new ideas. When you look down the list of majors, it’s really incredible to see the range and diversity. You’re surrounded by all these other visual artists, and these other fashion designers, and musicians, and singers. And so it’s such a collaborative and a creative space and mindset that you get into. I really wanted to go somewhere where I would be able to do all my different art stuff and that wasn’t really an option for some of the other dorms. There’s just so many art forms and it’s always developing. Artists have been shapers of social consciousness so the world that we live in has been designed, constructed, engineered by creative people. And I would say that young people are coming to university- they’re not sure what pathways they are going to take. And what The Studio can do, we can help them really understand or give them a taste or an introductory to what different forms of the art practice is about. I think of myself as the hub of information for The Studio. So I learn from the students what it is that they need and I work with all the other people on the team to bring to life the students ideas. She genuinely wants to help us and she genuinely wants to see the best for us and kind of understand where we’ve come from on our journey, where we wanna go and she’s gonna do what she can to give us those steps to get there. So one of the most important things that we offer here in The Studio is the opportunity for community building. If it’s not the most diverse floor on the campus, then it’s pretty darn close. You get to see so many different perspectives, and so many different talents, and so many different backgrounds, and so many different cultures in one hallway, which is so cool. With 64 students living on the floor, we really facilitate the opportunity to get to know each other. And equally as important, we facilitate
the students getting to know the campus and the resources of the campus. My practice as an artist essentially means that I will create an artistic blueprint for students to follow to have them unpack their imagination and make some of their ideas come into form. It doesn’t matter what you do, he can look at whatever art form you do and give you some kind of new insight. We have a number of different art spaces here. Of course, we have the blackbox space, which is a theater-like space with a sprung dance floor. Blackbox is where the creativity is forged. It’s almost like a candy store. It can be a dance studio, it can be a photography area, it can be a drawing space, or a place to practice and jam out. I’ll probably be talking about that for the longest time. For years to come, I’ll be like “found myself in that black box” We have the creative lab where students can do video and audio and photography editing. We have The Hive, which is a bit like a maker’s space where students can sew, they can paint, they can draw, they can meet. A lot of collaboration happens in that space. One of the things that I absolutely love is whenever we have showcases, we create these opportunities for students to share their work, to share their visual art, and their performances, and their spoken word, and their dance. Anything that they want to share. The atmosphere or the feeling of being at a Studio Showcase, for lack of other terms: is lit (whooping, cheering) Roachie is my drag persona. He did it for the first time at one of our Studio Showcases. Everybody was just blown away. The audience at The Studio performances- it’s really great. They’re always really supportive. I have never written a poem before I love watching how supportive they are of each other. It’s like a next step in your journey if you’re not as comfortable with performing because it’s literally a safe space where people are cheering you on. I was raised with all of the evidence I needed to believe in something (whooping, cheering) The students are The Studio. And their experience in The Studio is paramount. And it’s important that when they come through this space, they get some understanding of how they can go on to be social advocates or people of influence. I feel more confident in my own future, knowing that these students are going to be the leaders. If you just at least have the burning, the passion for it, the like “man, I want to tap into this, I want to express something, I want to show people a different side, and do art,” go for it.