History: Citywide Studios Part 2

Citywide Studios were named after the television repair business that once was run in the building. It was a one story complex of 6 units, each of which opened onto a gated parking lot on one end; the other end had doors with street access. Those could have served as store fronts, but the the nature of the location prevented that.

Citywide was in a bad area. Drug addled prostitutes and a drunken tribe of nomads pushing shopping carts were our neighbors. Part of what kept the rent down, and I did not mind it. While pursuing my art I’ve always lived in bad areas, to save on expenses, so this was actually more familiar terrain for me than the well manicured apartment compound I lived in during my first year in Phoenix.

The spaces were rented specifically to working artists; the landlady held kind of a jurying process of the artwork of potential renters. And productivity was enforced: my space had become available when the owner realized the previous tenant had abandoned art and was using the space just for storage. In exchange for the excellent opportunity, almost an artist-in-residency program, tenants of Citywide Studios were expected to be committed and serious.

I loved this expectation.

to be continued

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