Moving on is a subject that comes up more and more. Lately, conversations with fellow creatives in this building center on what comes next; what do we do when the lease renewal comes around? Are we going to stay or go? Are we able to keep this gig going even when obligations to family pop up; when work isn’t getting done; when sales decline…
Travel has kept me out of the studio for weeks that turned into months over the last couple of years. Each long trip seemed to be preparing me for the inevitable-and I could begin to feel that maybe I was ready to let it go. But, each time I returned from one of those trips, the sounds, sights and even smells (varnish, paint, old wood..) pulled my soul back into my little corner of this beautiful old building.
During our Open Studios last Friday evening, I met a couple of new tenants. Their excitement about moving into the building was contagious and I found myself telling them about my favorite things here in the FAB, as follows:
-Winter is the best time to work in the building. There is no cozier spot on earth than the FAB in winter-to come in from the cold, embrace the warmth and sink into the sounds of piano, violin, cello or voice emanating from various studios. Often, choral groups will gather on the top floor and sing acapella-the beauty of the voices drifting down through all of the floors.
-And then again, Spring is the best time to work in the building. The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra makes its home here. Rehearsals for spring concerts give you a front row seat-or at least a listening treat. The city feels vibrant and it spills over into our building as we pass the outdoor seating of the Artist’s Cafe on the ground floor.
-Also, Summer is the best time to work in the building. Windows open, and all of the above comes drifting up to our 7th floor studio through the Venetian Courtyard. The courtyard is a lovely space to have lunch al fresco (though renovation will limit that this summer). A short walk to the lake or Buckingham Fountain refreshes and renews.
-For sure, Fall is the best time to work in the building. The art world in Chicago unofficially begins in the fall. All over town and among our FAB Studios members, hope and opportunity abound. Exhibits are planned for the annual Chicago Artists' Month and our Members' show for December. The possibilities seem endless heading into the holiday season, culminating in the special Holiday Open House mid December…..which brings us to winter…..
When that hard decision is made to leave, I know all will go on. New faces with unique offerings will fill the studios. My love for the Fine Arts Building is not unique. Others feel it, too, and the building will continue to nurture its tenants as long as it stands.
A heads up-there will be a BIG art sale when that time arrives-so check back often….