Charlotte Street Foundation identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. We cultivate the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City Art Community
Let’s be brief.
My term at Charlotte Street – after two years as a writer-in-residence – is at an end. And I am very much going to miss this place.
My studio, measuring ten feet by seven feet, is the smallest of all of the studios. My desk is roughly two and a half feet wide by six feet long and stands approximately three feet tall; the first thing I did was cut eighteen inches from its width using a circular saw I borrowed from a friend’s father. When I moved in my walls were a bright, blood red from floor to ceiling, so red that multiple people told me they were relieved that my studio was not theirs. I took a half-used five gallon bucket of white from my parents’ house, bought a quart of light blue and painted. The black floor is speckled with white and blue drips. I cannot turn off the florescent lights in my studio – some sort of security feature – but one bulb burnt out after about three months, making the brightness a little less intense and quite a bit more tolerable. I have been in this room, usually between 8:00 and midnight, between 250-300 times over the past two years.
This studio is mine.
Well, at least until Monday, September 5. Then it becomes someone else’s. Another writer’s presumably – almost any sort of visual artist would find the space too cramped. And there’s a renewal in the process that appeals to me. That someone else will be here and write here and use the space as I did feels right, feels like what a studio residency should be, feels generous and perfect.
I suppose it’s a case of happy to go, but sad to leave. Because again, I will miss this place. And not just my physical space, but the times I spent pacing the halls trying to think of my next sentence. I’ll miss hearing the drums and horns from practicing bands, the buzz of power tools, the faint hum of sewing machines, the meandering conversations with other residents, the cold winter midnight walks to my car, the dim hallway lights, the concrete floors and the modular office walls. I’ll miss the expectation that came with this residency, that I would be here, work here and be a part of the community. I’ll miss Charlotte Street.